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Public Administration: Pre-master

This part of the e-guide provides a complete overview of the Pre-Master Programme of the Institute Public Administration. In your own Decision on Admission you can find which of the Pre-Master courses you have to follow before you can start with the Master Programme.The institute of Public Adminstration offers three MSc Programmes; Public Administration (PA), Crisis and Security Management (CSM) and Management van de Publieke Sector (MPS; taught in Dutch).

Prospective students: a booklet with information is available (right of screen under ‘files’)



The pre-master programme is not an independent study programme therefore you cannot apply for admission to the Pre-Master. It is meant to provide a solution for students who have registered for the Master’s programme in Public Administration (PA), Management of the Public Sector (MPS) or Crisis and Security Management (CSM) and who still have deficiencies to eliminate.
The pre-master programme consists of 15 ects on courses. The Pre-Master programme runs twice per year; from September to January and from February to June. You can only follow the Pre-Master programme once. If you fail one or more courses, you cannot start again in the next semester and you cannot enter the master programme.

On you can find information on deadlines, tuition fees, how to apply for a programme, etc.


You can consult this e-prospectus for information on the content of the courses in the various Master tracks and the pre-master programme by going through the different tabs. The e-prospectus also contains information on the literature you will be using and on the time schedules of the various programmes.


The Board of Admissions of the Institute of Public Administration will determine whether and to what extent you are in possession of knowledge and skills that match the contents of the Leiden University Bachelor’s programme in Public Administration. If your knowledge and skills by and large meet the criteria, the Board of Admissions may decide to grant you admission to the pre-master programme. In its decision, the Board of Admissions stipulates exactly which courses you are required to complete in order to eliminate your deficiencies and be granted admission to the Master’s programme. Once you have been granted admission to the programme, you will be issued with a five-digit Student ID which you can use in StudyLink to indicate that you will be following this particular programme. Registering via the online registration system does not commit you to anything.

Can anyone be granted admission to the pre-master programme?

The Board of Admissions considers every application individually. If the applicant cannot be directly admitted to the Master’s programme, the Board will consider whether the applicant can follow additional courses so that he or she acquires sufficient academic knowledge to be able to start on the programme. If your previous education is unrelated (or not sufficiently related) to Public Administration, you may not be able to acquire a basis comparable to that of our own Bachelor’s students within the time frame of the pre-master programme (half a year), as a result of which you will be denied admission.
Admission to the pre-master is competitive. Students are admitted to the pre-master program on the basis of demonstrated academic capacity, English proficiency, and affinity to the subject of the Master programme, as evidenced by professional experience, completed courses and specializations, or other means

What is the time frame for applying?

  • Apply via the online registration system before the deadline.

  • After approximately eight weeks you will receive the Board of Admissions’ decision.

  • If you are admitted to the pre-master programme: registration

  • Once you have completed the pre-master courses in the fall semester, you can immediately start on the Master programme in February. Once you have completed the pre-master courses in the spring semester, you can start on the Master programme in September.

Language of Instruction

Since the MSc programs Crisis and Security Management and Public Administration are taught in English, the Pre-Master courses are taught in English as well. The MSc program Management van de Publieke Sector is taught in Dutch, therefore the Pre-master courses are taught in Dutch. This is not up to discussion.
The literature in the premaster and the master Management van de Publieke Sector is mostly English. All literature of the premaster and the masters Public Administration and Crisis and Security Management is in English.

How does the registration for the pre-master programme work and how much does it cost?

There are two ways of registering and paying for the pre-master programme, namely registration as a non-regular Bachelor’s student and registration per course (contract student). Both kind of students can pay per ects. What the most affordable option is for you will depend on the likelihood that you will secure a study grant (studiefinanciering) and the number of courses you will be following. You are free to choose between these two options.

If you register as a Bachelor’s student, and have completed the pre-master programme, your registration can be converted to registration as a Master’s student via StudyLink. You need to register on Studielink as a Bachelor student (not as a first year student!) in the programme Public Administration (or Bestuurskunde, if you need to choose between tracks, please choose Policy, administration and organisation). You can follow the instructions given by the Admission Office.

You will receive information on paying tuition fee. The tuition fee will be calculated based on the number of ects you need to obtain (according to your admission statement). If you do other courses besides the courses of the pre-master, you need to pay the full tuition fee.

Contract students have no right to a study grant. You may request a form via us. Only use this address to request the form for registration contract student.

You can pay per credit: one credit is € 31,77 (2014-15; the fee is adjusted on a yearly basis)

Does it make sense to follow courses in the pre-master programme without having submitted a request for admission? Can I take the Pre-Master courses during the Master?

There is no point in following courses in the pre-master programme until you receive an admission decision from the Board of Admissions and you cannot take Pre-Master courses during the Master. Succesfully finishing the Pre-Master is a condition for admission.

More information

If you have any further questions you can contact our studyadvisors.


Have you received a decision on admission and do you need to do courses which are not listed below?
Please contact the admission committee (only for this question. For other questions, please contact our studyadvsisors)

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Public Organisation and Policy Theory 10
Research in Public Administration- in English 5
Bestuurskundig onderzoek (pre-master) 5
Publiek Management en Organisaties 5
Policy 1: Policy making and decision making 5
Public Sector Economics 5

Practical information

What to do if you failed one or more Pre-master courses? What to do if have passed all courses. Read more about it!

What should I do if I failed a pre-mastercourse?

The coordinator of the course organises a meeting where you can look at your work and get some feedback. We advice you to go to this meeting to learn about the things you did correctly and the things that can be improved. This helps you with the preparations for the retake.

I have not passed all Pre-mastercourses. Can I continue in the next Semester?

No, you can only do the Pre-Master once. If you failed (only) one course, you cannot start in the Master or continue in the Pre-Master in the following Semester.

A different Master?

If you change your mind and wish to follow a different master programme, you need to appy online and follow the full admission procedure again. This goes for master programmes outside our institute as well as programmes offered by our institute.

Finished the Pre-Master courses?

Once you successfully passed all courses of the Pre-Master’s programme, this is the course of action.

Step one: New decision on admission

The institute needs to inform the Admission Office about this so that a new decision on admission can be made for you. If we see that you have passed the prescribed courses, we will inform the Admission Office (the Student Administration Plexus) via mail. A copy of this mail is send to your umailaddress.

We can inform AO if the grades are in USIS. Grades published in Blackboard are not official grades so we cannot use those.
The Admission Office sends you a new decision on admission for the Master.

Step 2: Register in Studielink

December 1st / June 15th is the latest date upon which you can enrol the Master’s programme in Studielink. This deadline is absolutely strict: after these deadlines you will no longer be able to enrol on a programme. If you are unsure of passing all pre-master’s courses, it is recommended that you enrol on two programmes.

Selected Haagse Hogeschool student?

If you are selected by Maarten Haverkamp of the Haagse Hogeschool and you finished your Pre-Master and your HBO, please inform the studyadvisors. You will receive more information from her. If you wish to start in September, please inform her before May 15, even if you are unsure whether or not you have your diploma on time. If you wish to start in February, please inform them before November 1st.

I need a 5-digid Student ID for Studielink? What’s that?

You find your 5-digid Student ID on your decision on admission. It looks like ‘Axxxxx’.

Should I deregister for the Bachelor in Studielink when I finished the Pre-Master?

If you are certain that you have finished, you can indeed deregister.

Meet & Greet study advisers

Dear student,

You are invited for a ‘Meet and Greet’ on March, 24th 16.00-18.00, at our Schouwburgstraat location, room A2.04.
Since you will have to be able to perform optimally within a short time frame, we would like to provide you with a good start. Therefore we decided to extend our support and the possibility for asking questions during this event.
From 16.00 h. some of our support staff OSC will attend the meeting to answer questions regarding registration for courses. Registration for every course in USIS is mandatory. For courses, registration is possible from four weeks up to three days before the start of the course. So please check if you can register. If there is a problem sent an email to the OSC BSK or come to the meeting.
From 17.00 h. onwards the pre-master coordinator will be available to provide information and answer questions on the content of the program. Of course the study advisors will also be present.

The main purpose of the meeting is still the same: an opportunity to meet and ask questions in an informal setting.

Best regards,
Jolanda den Heijer & Sofie Delpeut
Our walk-in consultations and are our contact details