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Public Administration: Public Management and Leadership

The MSc Public Administration offers 3 specialisations:

  1. International and European Governance (IEG)
  2. Public Management and Leadership (PML)
  3. Economics and Governance (EG)

This master’s is a fulltime day programme taught in English. Only students of the MSc Public Administration can participate in the courses of Public Administration. However, once enrolled in the Master, students can only start their master's thesis after completing their bachelor's thesis.

If government wants to solve societal challenges and improve society, individual public organisations must be able to achieve results. The Public Management and Leadership specialisation focuses on how management and leadership shape the performance of organisations in the public sector. In times of increasing complexity, management is needed to ensure that public organisations operate in an effective, efficient and reliable manner. At the same time, leadership is necessary for public organisations to be adaptive, responsive and innovative.

Specialisation: PML
Please consult the programme overview of the Master Public Administration for the September and February intake to see which courses you follow in each block. Your study load is 15 ECTS per block. The core and skills-oriented courses are offered twice per year and the specialisation courses are offered once per year. Please note: the range of electives differs per block II and block IV. You can find the overview on the right side under 'Files'.

  • In your first block, you follow one core course Public Institutions (5 ECTS) and one specialisation course (1x10 ECTS).

  • In your second block, you follow one core course Public Policy and Values (5 ECTS), one skills-oriented course Research Design (5 ECTS), and one elective (5 ECTS).

  • In your third block, you follow one specialisation course (1x10 ECTS) and start on your Master's Thesis (5 of 20 ECTS).

  • In your fourth block, you work fulltime on your Master's Thesis (15 of 20 ECTS).**


Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block 1

Public Institutions 5
Strategic Public Management and Collaboration 10

Block 2

Public Policy and Values (PML) 5
Research Design 5
Elective (see below) 5

Block 3

Public Institutions 5
Leadership and Organisational Behaviour 10

Block 4

Public Policy and Values (PML) 5
Research Design 5
Elective (see below) 5

Master thesis Public Administration

Master's Thesis Public Administration 20


Markets and Competition Policy 5
EU Policymaking and Implementation 5
Comparative Public Management 5
States, Markets and Politics 5
Data-driven Policymaking 3-5
Managerial Economics, Business and Politics 5
Markets in the Welfare State 5
Politicians and civil servants 5


Board and co-participation

The programme Public Administration has a programme board that consists of:

  • Programme coordinator, responsible for the content of the programme amongst other things: Dr. R. (Rik) de Ruiter.

  • Student member of the board, who brings in the student perspective of the programme board: S.M. (Sandra) Schott.

The Master Public Administration has a Programme Committee (OLC). This is a co-participation body that consists of academic staff as well as students.

Study counseling and support

The study advisers from your programme can help you out with programme related questions and problems, like if you fall behind with your studies, your study planning, examination rules and regulations etc. Please see below:

  • Personal circumstances:
    By this we mean: illness, disability, special circumstances within the family, pregnancy and certain board activities. If you’re not sure about your situation, please also come by the study advisers.

  • Other study related issues:
    Study progress, rules and regulation Institute of Public Administration/ University, problems with thesis.

Furthermore, there are also:

  • Student counselors: they answer your questions and help you out with problems where different regulations and legal conditions play a role;

  • Student psychologists: they can for instance help you with fear of failure, procrastination, hindering thoughts and they also provide study skills workshops and support groups for students who write their thesis.

You’re always welcome to come by the study advisers first if you are in doubt as to whom you should turn to.

Other important departments:

  • The Board of Examination is, among other things, responsible for the organization of exams and they also check up on the fulfillment of the Regulations for Teaching and Examinations. Furthermore, the Board of Examination also processes individual requests from students regarding their programme. For individual questions to the Board, please read the rules and regulations.

  • The Education Services Centre (OSC) takes care of the registration of study and education information and is available for students by telephone and at the desk during their opening hours.


  • The study advisers are the first point of contact within the programme. Please speak to them first, if you are not sure where to turn to regarding the options below.

  • The university offers different portals where you can discuss your question or complaint.

  • Do you have a questions, suggestion or complaint about a specific course, exam or about the study programme and time schedule? Please check the complaints page of your programme.

  • Every faculty has a complaints coordinator: the assessor of the Faculty (student member of the Board). He or she is the complaints coordinator for all other complaints.

Study association

The study association Bestuurskundige Interfacultaire vereniging Leiden (B.I.L.) forms a link between students and the Institute and organizes several activities for students.

Transitional arrangement

Research Methods (IEG and PML February 2020 cohort and earlier)
Due to the restructuring of the program the course Research Methods is no longer offered from the academic year of 2021-2022 onwards. .

Students from the IEG and PML February 2020 cohorts and earlier who still need to finish this course need to contact Study Advise before the 25th of August. More information will follow asap after August 25th.


Welcome meeting Master of Public Administration (MPA) 3 September 2021
Location: Wijnhaven, Turfmarkt 99, 2511 DP Den Haag

Dear student,

On behalf of the board and staff of the Institute of Public Administration of Leiden University, we would like to welcome you to the Master of Public Administration (MPA). We organise a welcome meeting for our new MPA students on Friday 3 September 2021 at Wijnhaven. During this meeting, you will become acquainted with the overall programme and your specialisation. Please find the revised programme below due to the maximum group size of 75 students per lecture room.


  • 14.15 – 15.00 Optional: ICT session by student mentor(s) in room 3.50

  • 15.00 – 15.15 Walk-in

  • 15.15 – 16.15 Presentatations per programme:

  1. Economics & Governance (E&G): presentation by Prof. Olaf van Vliet, specialisation coordinator in room 3.60
  2. International & European Governance (IEG): presentation by Dr. Rik de Ruiter, specialisation coordinator in room 3.46
  3. Public Management & Leadership (PML): presentation by Dr. Joris van der Voet, specialisation coordinator in room 3.48
  • 16.15 – 17.45 Sit-down drinks & pub quiz Restaurant Wijnhaven

If this is your first time studying at Leiden University, please come to the ICT session before the welcome (see programme attached) to familiarise yourself with uSis, Brightspace , MyTimetable and the Prospectus. For more information, you can consult the practical information attached and (soon) on Getting started! and Information for new students. Attached you will also find a vacancy for a new student ambassador for the upcoming academic year.

We look forward to meeting you on 3 September!

Kind regards,

Ms. Tineke Choi, MSc
Ms. drs. Jolanda den Heijer
Ms. Charlotte Rosalie, MA
Study advisers Institute of Public Administration

  • Please note: this information only applies to students who (are eligible to) start with MSc Public Administration on 1 September 2021. If you start in February, more information will follow in December.

Career preparation

Studying is about more than just obtaining a diploma. It is also about preparing for a professional career. How can you use the knowledge and skills that you acquire? Which specialisation should you choose within your study programme and why? What skills do you already have, and what skills do you want to develop? How do you translate the courses that you choose into something that you would like to do after graduation?

These questions and more will be discussed at various times during your study programme. You may have already discussed them with your study adviser, the FGGA Career Service and/or other students. We organise many different activities to help you reflect on your own wishes and options, and explore the job market. All these activities are focused on answering the questions: ‘What can I do?’, ‘What do I want?’ and ‘How do I achieve my goals?’.

The Career Service’s main aim is to smoothen the transition from university to the job market. We can give you personal advice and we organise different events. Each year we organise a variety of activities, such as:

  • Individual career advice and a CV check

  • Workshops and training courses, e.g. 'Networking & LinkedIn', 'CV & personal profile' or 'Interview skills'

  • Career Colleges in which alumni tell about their job, how they got their job and their typical workday

  • Information sessions, for example ‘How to find a job in the Netherlands’ or ‘Working for the EU’

  • Company visits, e.g. embassies, different ministries, the European Commission in Brussels, Accenture or AIVD

  • Internship Fair

  • Campus The Hague Career Event

You will be notified via your study programme website and Career Service email about further career preparation activities. We hope to see you at one of our online or offline events!

More information

  • Visit the Leiden University Career Zone to access online personality tests, labour market information, the Leiden University Job Portal and more.

  • Join the Alumni Mentor network to get in touch with alumni for advice.*

  • Like the Career Service FGGA on Facebook and stay updated on activities, vacancies and other interesting opportunities!

  • Do you want to do an internship during or after your master’s? Find more information here.

  • Are you a non-EU/EEA citizen and do you want to stay in the Netherlands after graduation? Read more about the orientation year permit.

  • Request a CV check, make an appointment for individual career advice and/or send other questions to careerservice@fgga.leidenuniv.nl