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Public Administration: Pre-master

Public Administration: Pre-master, 2016-2017

The purpose of the pre-master Programme is to eliminate deficiencies of students who cannot be admitted directly to the masters Public Administration (PA), Crisis and Security Management (CSM) or Management van de Publieke Sector (MPS; taught in Dutch)
This part of the e-Prospectus gives an overview of the pre-master courses offered by the Institute of Public Administration. The pre-master programme is not an independent study programme therefore you cannot apply for admission to the pre-Master.



There are two pre-master programmes:

  • One programme for the masters Public Administration (PA) and Crisis and Security Management (CSM)

  • One programme for the master Management van de Publieke Sector (MPS; taught in Dutch)

Both programmes consist of 15 ECTS of courses. The pre-master programmes run twice per year; from October to January (Block 2) and from March to June (Block 4).

You can only be enrolled in this programme if you have applied for one of the the master programmes and the Board of Admissions has decided that you can be admitted on the condition that you complete the pre-master first.

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 start with the master programme. You also cannot be admitted to another pre-master programme either.

Moreover, it is not possible to convert any courses passed from one pre-master programmes to the other pre-master program.

Study load.

The pre-master is a fulltime study. Even though the pre-master has the duration of one block and contains 15 ECTS, the pre-master is difficult to combine with another study or (voluntary) work. We expect that the student has 40 hrs. per week available to study.

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 (two months), 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?

You need to register as a non-regular Bachelor’s student through Studielink. Through Studielink you select the Bsc Public Administration Science (if you need to choose between tracks, please choose Beleid, Bestuur en Organisatie or Policy, Administration and Organisation) and you indicate that you are not a first year student.
You pay per credit: one credit is € 33,10 (2016-17; the fee is adjusted on a yearly basis).

Once you successfully completed the pre-master programme, your need to convert your registration through StudyLink and register as a Master student.
Please note that as the tuition fee is calculated per credits, you don’t get a refund if you decide to stop.

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. Successfully finishing the pre-master is a condition for admission.

More information

If you have any further questions you can contact our study advisors.

Welcome meeting

Dear Student,

On behalf of the board and staff of the Institute of Public Administration of Leiden University we warmly welcome all new pre-master’s students!

We organize a special meeting for new students on Thursday 23 March at 10-12 hrs in room 301, location Wijnhaven (Turfmarkt 99) The Hague. You get a short introduction to:

  • The pre-master’s programme as a whole

  • Teachers telling about their courses

  • What the study advisers can do for you

  • What the Education Service Centre and the Board of Examiners can do for you

  • Things you need to know about the pre-master’s programme

  • Procedure pre-master’s to Master’s

  • uSis, Blackboard, e-prospectus

  • If we have time, we will give you tips on how to study

  • Q&A

The meeting is not mandatory, but we do urge you to be present. If you cannot attend please ask a fellow student for his or her notes.

See you on March 23rd!

Kind regards,

Ms. Tineke Choi, MSc
Ms. Ir. Ariane Timmer
Ms. drs. Jolanda den Heijer

Study advisers Institute of Public Administration


In your decision on admission from the admission committee you can find which of the pre-master courses you have to follow before you can start with the Master Programme. Below you can find information of the courses of both programmes.

Did you receive a decision on admission where other courses are mentioned than those listed below?
Please contact the admission committee (only for this question. For other questions, please contact our study advisors)

Pre-master students for the master Public Administration (PA) or Crisis and Security Management (CSM) will follow these three courses (15 ECTS):

  • Research in Public Administration (English) (5 ECTS)

  • Public Policy (English) (5 ECTS)

  • Public Management and Organisations ( English) (5 ECTS)

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Introductie Beleid 5
Research in Public Administration (English) 5
Public Policy 5
Public Management and Organisations (English) 5,0
Bestuurskundig onderzoek (NL) 5
Public Management and Organisations 5

Study tips

We are pleased to welcome you to the pre-master’s of the Institute of Public Administration. In this part of the e-prospectus we focus on study success. Since a lot depends on the pre-master’s, we recommend you to be well prepared. We notice that the pre-master’s is often underestimated. If your previous education is HBO (vocational) and this is the first time you study at a university or if you are a bit rusty, because it has been some time since you last studied we strongly recommend that you look into these study tips

Students are expected to spend 40 hours per week on the pre-master’s. It is advisable to start studying from the first week on. The longer you wait, the more you have to catch up. Read the literature before and after the lectures!

Have you never studied in the Netherlands before? Please go through the tips for non-Dutch students

Practical information

It’s the first time i study at an university and it’s my first time studying in the Netherlands. What can I do to prepare?

Leiden university offers several workshops.

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 advise 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 1: 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 study advisors. 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-digit Student ID for Studielink? What’s that?

You find your 5-digit 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.