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Professional skills for public impact


Admission requirements

Professional skills for public impact is an elective course in the BA Public Administration and the minor Public Administration: Multi-level governance.
Dutch proficiency is not necessary (language of conduct is English). You should have obtained your propedeuse before starting this elective.


This course trains you how to become more effective in providing policy advice and getting things done in a public context. The central aim is to strengthen your skills through a series of assessments of values, assumptions and habits. To be effective in school, work and private life, students must be able to exhibit a range of functional skills such as project planning, financial management, analytical and personal skills such as presenting, writing and negotiating. To be effective in providing policy advice and achieve results in a public context, it is crucial to master specific techniques and methods. Therefore, students further develop their skills in identifying and weighing different types of empirical sources used by policymakers. They learn how to cope with huge amounts of information and translate this into sound policy advice for decision makers in public organizations. All in all, these skills will help students to navigate the complexities of their (future) professional life and enable them to make public impact.

Weekly overview
Week 1. Introduction to you. How to identify, reflect and act upon your own talents and pitfalls? Followed by a personality test.
Week 2. Introduction to time. How to cope with pace, information, and unpredictability? Followed by a planning training.
Week 3. Introduction to value. What is public value? How to balance economic, social and ecological impact? Followed by a budgeting training.
Week 4. Introduction to public leadership. What is empathy? How to relate to others and how to achieve results. Followed by a negotiation training.
Week 5. Introduction to the networked society. What are opinions and interests? How to identify and dissect different empirical sources. Followed an active reading training.
Week 6. Introduction to rhetoric. What is the power of framing? What are different forms of narratives and argumentation structures? Followed by a training in writing.
Week 7. Reflection on making public impact. How to be effective in an increasingly networked (public) environment. How to be(come) more persuasive? Followed by a presentation training

Course objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Assess your own personal strengths, weaknesses and attitudes and report on it;

  • Display budgeting and planning skills by working on a policy advice;

  • Identify and weigh different types of empirical sources relevant for policy advice in a public context;

  • Provide policy advice on societal challenges (both in written and oral form) to public professionals in collaboration with other students;

  • Critically reflect on the role of the public professional in creating public value and how to achieve public impact.



Mode of instruction

Interactive seminars in which teachers and students discuss course literature. The first part of each seminar provides a theoretical reflection, while the second part builds and trains professional and personal skills.

Course Load

Total study load of this course is 140 hours, of which contact hours: 3 hrs. per week x 7 weeks = 21 hrs.

Self-study hours: 119 hrs. preparing for lectures and work labs, studying literature, completing assignments, preparing presentations, etc.

Assessment method

Individual essay assignment (50%)
Group report (30%)
Final group presentation (20%)
Participation, attendance of the classes is mandatory (Pass/Fail)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students can enroll at least one week before the start of the course.

Reading list

To be announced


To be announced by OSC staff. ### Contact

Sjoerd Louwaars
Mark Reijnders