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MSc Public Administration

Course Description

Worldwide, governments and societies today are confronted with big challenges like climate change, rapid technological innovations, and economic crises, that raise all kinds of new organizational, policy, and ethical issues. These challenges pose both opportunities and constraints for a multitude of public, non-profit, and private actors. For example, a sudden influx of refugees causes anxiety among citizens and high costs for shelter, but can boost knowledge and economic growth in the long run. Social media and advanced data sharing technologies enable citizens to organize themselves, but also come with potential risks of privacy invasion. The financial crisis has laid bare the fragility of the global economy, but also the important role that governments still play in regulating markets. Such challenges have political, administrative, financial, and policy aspects that need to be handled within a governance perspective.

Visit the website: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/public-administration/en/introduction

Course detail

In the midst of all the turmoil, we expect governments to be transparent, effective, and efficient problem solvers. The main question that we ask in the Master of Public Administration is therefore:

How can we address humankind’s most pressing problems from the perspective of governance?

The Master of Public Administration focuses on the management, steering, and coordination of political, administrative, economic, and social actors, as well as the formal and informal regimes and policy processes within which they act towards addressing collective social problems at regional, national, and international levels. A defining hallmark of the master is that governance is studied and taught from a multi-level perspective. This means that there is no single level of governance at which societal challenges can be addressed best. For example, the Ebola disease started as a local governance problem of a few countries but transformed itself rapidly into a global problem due to the disease’s spread by means of modern transportation. Boat refugees, to take another example, who flee their homelands because of local famine or civil wars poses a major challenge for the European Union.


These examples show that for educating future public policy professionals, in order to be able to address these problems in an adequate ways, a holistic rather than a single-level approach is needed. Hence, the various tracks within the Master of Public Administration span the intricacies of multi-level governance by a multitude of public and private actors, all the way to the management of organizations and the behaviour of individual public managers.


- Economics and Governance
- International and European Governance
- Public Management: Linking Politics and Policy


The combination of academic and professional skills taught in the master’s programme makes Leiden graduates excellent candidates for positions in national and international Public Administration as well as for managerial positions in the private sector. Many of them also find their way to consultancy organisations.

How to apply: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/arrange/admission


For information regarding funding, please visit the website: http://prospectivestudents.leiden.edu/scholarships

Visit the MSc Public Administration page on the Leiden University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Leiden Excellence Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

This scholarship is intended for:1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017. All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only. 2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017. Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law:

◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy

Additional requirements1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship. 2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom". 3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such). 4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship.

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards: •€ 10.000 of the tuition fee •€ 15.000 of the tuition fee •Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University. Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017 •All programmes except law:
1 February 2017 •Law programmes:
1 March 2017 2. Upload all required documents.

3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately.
4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100. 7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.

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Recipient: Leiden University
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