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Public Administration: Economics and Governance

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.

The Economics and Governance specialisation of the Master in Public Administration teaches you to formulate problem-solving approaches to concrete policy issues found at the intersection between economics and public administration. This specialisation is a unique joint offering of the Department of Economics and the Institute of Public Administration.

Specialisation: E&G

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 two specialisation courses (2x5 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 two specialisation courses (2x5 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
Research Methods: Applied Empirical Economics 5
Welfare State Economics 5

Block 2

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

Block 3

Public Institutions 5
Economics of Regulation 5
Political Economy in International Perspective 5

Block 4

Research Design 5
Public Policy and Values 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
Data-driven Policymaking 5
Managerial Economics, Business and Politics 5
Markets in the Welfare State 5
Regulation and Governance (elective) 5
Lobbying and Public Affairs in Theory and Practice 5
Public Leadership Across Borders 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: R. (Rassoul) Coelen

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 are your first point of contact within the programme. They can help you with study-related questions and problems, such as study delay, planning and choices, thesis issues, internships, exchange, rules and regulations etc. Please inform them of personal circumstances, especially when they affect your studies and/or wellbeing. Examples include (acute or chronic) illness, disability, family circumstances, pregnancy, top-level sport and certain board activities.

Depending on your question or problem, the study advisers might forward you to the:

  • Student counsellors. They help you with any questions or problems you might have concerning combining studying with top-level sport, a disability or pregnancy/with children, academic delay, complaints and financial matters.

  • Student psychologists. They can help you with study-related and personal problems. They also provide mindset and study skills courses and workshops, and support groups for students who are writing their thesis.

  • Board of Examiners. The board of examiners is responsible for examination and monitors the level of exams and elective courses/packages, including adherence to the rules and regulations, granting exemptions and taking measures with regard to fraud, plagiarism etc. For individual requests to the board, please read the rules and regulations.

  • Educational Service Centre (OSC). The OSC is responsible for the organisation of exams and exam facilities, registration of final grades and processing of requests in uSis, diploma requests, transcripts and schedules. They can be reached at the desk and by telephone during opening hours, and via email 24/7.


  • The study advisers are the first point of contact within the programme. Please inform them about your complaint first so they can forward you the right contact person, department or procedure.

  • The university offers different channels 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

Regulations and Governance (E&G February 2020 cohort and earlier)
Due to the restructuring of the Economics and Governance program the course Regulations and Governance is no longer offered from the academic year of 2021-2022 onwards.

Students from the E&G February 2020 cohorts and earlier who did not finish this course follow one of the following electives as a substitute for Regulations and Governance: Markets and Competition Policy or Markets in the Welfare State. If they have already followed one of these courses as an elective they can choose another course to follow as an elective.


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 February 2023 at Wijnhaven. During this meeting, you will become acquainted with the overall programme and your specialisation. The programme and specialisation coordinators, study adviser and student mentors will provide you with essential information, from course overviews and thesis to extracurricular activities and career services. 

The programme is as follows. 
14.15 – 15.00 Optional: information session for new students at Leiden University Room 3.50*
15.00 – 15.15  Walk-in  Room 2.02 
15.15 – 15.45  Welcome by Dr. Rik de Ruiter, programme coordinator of MPA, and Jolanda den Heijer, study adviser  Room 2.02 
15.45 – 16.00  Break   
16.00 – 16.45 

  • Economics & Governance: presentation by Prof. Olaf van Vliet, specialisation coordinator, and Silke Osinga, student mentor Room 2.01 

  • International & European Governance: presentation by Dr. Rik de Ruiter, specialisation coordinator, and Daniëlle Kuper, student mentor Room 3.60

  • Public Management & Leadership: presentation by Dr. Joris van der Voet, specialisation coordinator, and Anna-Maria Janssen, student mentor Room 3.48 

16.45 – 17.00 Class of February 2023 picture Spanish Steps
16.45 – 18.15  Drinks Wijnhaven Restaurant

For new students at Leiden University we offer an information session. During this session, we will inform you on course and exam enrolment, schedules, rules and regulations, facilities and other useful resources *.

If you are an international student coming to the Netherlands, please read the Student Welcome Guide carefully. We also recommended you to participate in the Winter Orientation Week Leiden (OWL). Dutch students are also welcome.

You can find the weblinks to the MyStudymap, uSis, Brightspace and MyTimetable here and in the Prospectus. Please find (other) practical information in attachment and on Information for new students. You can already enrol for the courses in block 3 until five days before the start of the course.

We look forward to meeting you on 3 February!

Kind regards, 

Ms. Tineke Choi, MSc 
Ms. drs. Jolanda den Heijer 
Mr. Dave Eikenbroek, MA 
Study advisers Institute of Public Administration

Career preparation

Labour market preparation in the Master Public Administration

In addition to offering you a solid university education, Leiden University aims to prepare you as well as possible for the labour market, and in doing so contribute to the development of your employability. In this way, it will become easier for you to make the transition to the labour market, to remain employable in a dynamic labour market, in a (career) job that suits your own personal values, preferences and development.

'Employability' consists of the following aspects that you will develop within your study programme, among others:
1. Discipline-specific knowledge and skills Knowledge and skills specific to your study programme.
2. Shared transferable skills These are skills that are relevant to every student and that you can use in all kinds of jobs irrespective of your study programme, for example:
researching, analysing, project-based working, generating solutions, digital skills, collaborating, oral communication, written communication, presenting, societal awareness, independent learning, resilience.
3. Self-reflection This concerns self-reflection in the context of your (study) career, including reflecting on the choices you make as a student during your studies, what can you do with your knowledge and skills on the labour market?
In addition, reflecting on your own profile and your personal and professional development. Who are you, what can you do well, what do you find interesting, what suits you, what do you find important, what do you want to do?
4. Practical experience Gaining practical experience through work placements, projects, practical (social) assignments, which are integrated into an elective, minor or graduation assignment.
5. Labour market orientation Gaining insight into the labour market, fields of work, jobs and career paths through, for example, guest speakers and alumni experiences in the field, career events within the study programme, the use of the alumni mentor network, speaking with people in the field, and walking along/visiting companies in the context of a particular subject.

Employability in the MPA

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? 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, in courses and through the career preparation modules on Brightspace. You can also discuss them with your study adviser and/or career adviser of Career Service FGGA. 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?’.

Although it may not always be explicit or obvious, the professors in our master's programme include (individual and group) assignments in their courses to train employability skills, some discipline-specific, thereby preparing you for the labour market. During the upcoming semester, students will follow one specialisation course with career preparation explicitly embedded in the curriculum. Students are required to perform an assignment and reflect on their learning experiences and applied skills, and to apply these insights to their future career perspectives.

Below please find an explanation of what employability skills the professors consider indispensable for working in the field of public administration, why and how they train those skills in their respective specialisation courses.

Economics & Governance: Economics of Regulation by Dr. Hendrik Vrijburg

This specialisation course pays attention to labour market preparation throughout. We ask students to think of examples of government policy that they might come across in a future work environment. We also ask students to conduct a Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA), give policy advice regarding the regulation of nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands and evaluate an actual SCBA to learn which difficult decisions drafting an SCBA requires. The assignments encourages students to reflect on the relationship between the course Economics of Regulation and their future work environment.

International and European Governance: Decision-Making in Multi-level Governance Systems by Dr. Rik de Ruiter

In the final assignment of this specialisation course, students need to reflect on their experience during a simulation negotiation game (week 7), link it to relevant parts of the literature assigned for this course and reflect on the relevance of the experience for labour market prospects for students of International and European Governance (IEG). More specifically, students need to reflect in the individual paper on the following questions:

  • Did you possess the skills needed to negotiate a successful deal? Did you obtain those skills after following this course or a different course from the MPA curriculum? If not, do you want to obtain those skills and how would you go about obtaining those skills?

  • Which roles of actors or organisations in the simulation game fit best with the types of jobs IEG students are likely to apply for after graduating? Why?

  • Which of these jobs do you consider applying for? Find more information on the actor or organisation you are most interested in from a labour market perspective and provide a summary of the information you found.

Public Management and Leadership: Leadership in Organisations by Bernard Bernards MSc MA

This specialisation course seeks to contribute to labour market preparation by:

  • Bringing students in contact with a relevant practitioner in public administration practice,

  • Giving students the experience of leadership consulting,

  • Giving insight into the practice of a potential policy field or organisation where the student may find future employment, and

  • Contributing to the development of relevant professional and analytical skills.

Examples of courses in which various skills are addressed:
1. Discipline-specific knowledge and skills: Public Policy and Values (all tracks) &Public Institutions (all tracks).
2. Shared transferable skills: Research methods (all tracks) & Research design (all tracks).
3. Self-reflection: Career preparation Brightspace modules (all tracks).
4. Practical experience: Global challenges and public policies (IEG), Welfare State Economics (E&G), and Politicians and Public Managers (PML).
5. Labour market orientation: Career preparation Brightspace modules (all tracks), Economics of regulation (E&G), Decision making in MLG systems (IEG), and Leadership in Organisations (PML).

Activities to prepare for the labour market alongside / outside the curriculum

Throughout the academic year, various activities take place within, alongside and outside of your study programme to smoothen your transition from university to the job market. These include a kick-off meeting to explain the career preparation Brightspace modules, activities organised by study association BIL, and by Career Service FGGA, 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 market

  • Campus The Hague Career Event

You will receive emails and Brightspace announcements about these 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