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Public Administration: Multi-Level Governance

Introduction and target group

This minor targets third year Bachelor level students who have a broad interest in the functioning and improvement of the public sector in all its facets. This necessitates attention for the interactions between public and private actors at various levels of governance, and requires an understanding of how research is conducted in public administration. At the same time, students should be open to and get acquainted with multiple disciplines in order to be able to benefit from the insights other related academic disciplines offer for a better understanding of the functioning of the public sector. As such, this minor program consists of courses that enable students to analyze complex governance problems in a national and international context. The public sector is increasingly a multi-level system, with interactions between public and private actors on the national, sub-national (provinces, regions) and international (e.g. EU, OECD, UN, WTO) level and various public, semi-public and private organizations that perform public tasks. In this minor students pay attention to decision-making processes in and interactions between and within those levels and organizations. The minor addresses a broad range of topics. We discuss which organizations the public sector actually consists of and what the relationships are between organizations and levels. Contemporary problems and developments are discussed, such as decentralization to municipalities, ‘good’ governance, privatization of public tasks, Europeanization, and the role of international organizations in forging multi-lateral agreements. Ethical argumentation and normative questions are also discussed. Moreover, the minor enables students to assess and conduct proper social scientific research to critically investigate public administration and to offer solutions to current and future challenges of governance.

Programme and structure

This minor is taught in two consecutive blocks of 8 weeks each. In block one, students will become acquainted with some basic building blocks of the discipline, with an introductory course on Public Administration, a course on management and performance and on the skills you need to be successful in the every-day practice of public administration. In Block two, students will go in-depth into several sub topics of the discipline where they also have a choice (choose 3 out of 4). Here, the research component can be taken with an online course, mixed with face-to-face elements. This course is especially useful (mandatory!) for students who wish to continue in a Master’s program in Public Administration but who do not have a social science background (see also next tab Imporant Information). In addition, there are courses on international administration and on normative and ethical questions of governance. The latter course is also taught online with some added face-to-face elements. All courses are worth 5 ECTS.

Block 1 (semester 1)

  • Introduction to Public Administration (level 200, 5 ECTS).

  • Management and Performance (level 200, 5 ECTS).

  • Professional skills for Public Impact (level 200, 5 ECTS).

Block 2 (Semester 1) (Choose 3 out of 4 courses)

  • Research in Public Administration (level 200, 5 ECTS). NB: this course is essential for students who wish to continue in the Master program of Public Administration without having to follow a pre Master – see next tab Important Information). This course is taught mainly online combined with face-to-face elements.

  • Public Values & Ethics (level 300, 5 ECTS). NB: This course is taught mainly online combined with some face-to-face elements.

  • European Union Politics and Policy (level 200, 5 ECTS).

  • International Administration (level 300, 5 ECTS).  
    A selection of 15 ECTS elective courses
    Parts of the minor can be followed as a program of three elective courses. These courses, once passed, will be shown as electives on your diploma but do make up a coherent program of 15 ECTS of Public Administration. It concerns the following courses:

  • Introduction to Public Administration (level 200), block 1, semester 1

  • European Union Politics and Policy (level 200), block 2, semester 2

  • International Administration (level 300), block 2, semester 2

Working group attendance
Minor students also attend working group sessions. The minor has its own schedule and its specific minor working groups, identifyable by the M or Minor-exch. Students have to register themselves in uSIS. The activity code for registration is published in the Schedule on the right side of this page

See next tab 'Important Information' for:

  • Level of the minor program

  • Continuing with a Master in Public Administration without a pre Master

  • Examination Regulations and retake exams in January

  • Retake policy


The link on the right side of this page leads to the schedule 2017. The schedule 2018 will be published asap.


All classes will take place in The Hague.


  • Questions on the minor in relation to one’s own main study and or questions on personal circumstances and planning can be directed at the Study advisors BSc Public Administration

  • Questions on content and coherence of the program can be directed at the program coordinator, Dr. V.E. Pattyn


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Introduction to Public Administration 5
Management and Performance (Minor PA) 5
Professional skills for public impact 5
Research in Public Administration 5
European Union Politics and Policy (Minor PA) 5
Public Values and Ethics (SPOC) 5
International Administration (Minor/Exchange) 5

Important information

On this page you can find information about:

  • How to register for courses and exams

  • Re-takes: 2 requirements

  • Level of the minor program

  • Disabilities

  • Continuing with a Master’s in Public Administration without a pre-Master’s

  • Examination Regulations

  • When one or more courses are not passed

How to register for courses and exams

You need to register for the individual courses in uSis. There are specific work groups for minor students. The activity codes in uSIS are published on the schedule. There is a link on the front page of the minor description. When you’ve done this correctly the course will appear in your weekly schedule. If you are registered for the course, the Education Services Centre (OSC) will enroll you for the exam.
You pass the exam if the result is 5,5 or higher. A result lower than 5,5 means that you failed the exam.

Re-takes: 2 requirements

One important note (especially for international students) is that retakes are held in the month of January.
Furthermore, you cannot just do the re-takes, there are 2 requirements for this:
1) All students are obliged to take the first exam that is offered. If you do not take the first exam, you cannot take the re-exam. If you have 2 exams on one day or have another reason why you cannot take the first exam, please contact the study advisers as soon as possible.

2) If your result is 3.0 or lower you need to file a request to the Board of Examiners to be able to do the retake. Without their permission any grade you get for doing the retake is not valid. You can submit the request through filling out this web form. After the Board of Examiners give you permission, you can register for the retake through uSis. For questions, please contact the study advisers.
If your result is between 3.0 and 5.5 you can do the retake without permission. Please don’t forget to register for the retake through uSis.
Please contact the study advisers if you have any questions about these rules.

Level of the minor program

According to Leiden University regulations, the minor program is scheduled within the 30 ECTS discretionary space in the third year of the Bachelor’s program. For this reason, the level of courses has to be appropriate. Since most courses in the minor are also a part of the regular Public Administration Bsc program, some courses in the minor will therefore have a slightly higher level. This is only the case in the course International Administration. This course therefore has additional / different examination to account for the higher level. In general, minor students are expected to have third year bachelor’s level capabilities in terms of writing, reading and conducting (independent) minor research projects.


It’s possible that due to circumstances you may need more time for an exam or even need to take an exam on a laptop. Examples of such circumstances would be dyslexia or ADHD. Should you need to make use of these facilities, we recommend making an appointment with Fenestra as soon as possible (you can make an appointment by contacting the student counselors. We advise you to bring along all relevant medical certificates and test results. Please ensure that you also clearly indicate which facilities you think are necessary. Once the student counselors from Fenestra see the need for additional facilities, they will advise our Board of Examiners. If you already have a statement from Fenestra, please e-mail this to the study advisers a.s.a.p.

In the event that you have received or will receive advice from Fenestra, we would like to make you aware of the following important information:

  • In order to be able to arrange these facilities we need you to provide certain information in a timely manner. The Education Services Center intends to make this process as easy as possible for you. They will send you an email well in advance of each block, in which you will be specifically asked for this information. If you respond within the deadline and provide us with full information, you are guaranteed to be able to make use of the necessary facilities. You will receive a confirmation email, which also contains (among other things) the exam time and location. Please check whether you have received this email!

  • Incomplete information or replies after the deadline will not be taken into consideration anymore. In effect this means that there won’t be any additional facilities available to you and that you will have to take the exam in the regular lecture hall.

  • We would also like to bring to your attention that the facilities that are available are only those that are mentioned by Fenestra in their advice to the Board of Examiners. Discussions with teachers, a colleague of the Education Services Center and/or supervisor that take place before, during or after the exam will be relayed to the study advisers. In case of repeated instances, they will relay this to the Board of Examiners who could possibly decide not to follow the advice of Fenestra anymore.

Continuing with a Master in Public Administration without a pre Master

Completion of the full 30 ECTS minor program (including Research in Public Administration) offers students the possibility, if the condition of proper motivation is met, to enter the master’s program of the Institute of Public Administration without first following a pre master’s program. To be eligible, students must follow all 30 ECTS. In addition the course Research in Public Administration has to be chosen in blok 2 in case students do not already have a background in the social sciences. Please ask our study advisors for more information about requirements and possibilities.

Examination Regulations and retake exams in January

The courses in the minor all fall under the Examination Regulations of the Bachelor Public Administration. As such, this has consequences for grading and retake opportunities. More information can be found on the website of the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Public Administration. One important note (especially for international students) is that retakes are held in the month of January.

When one or more courses are not passed

In case a student does not pass one or more courses of the minor, the procedure is as follows:

In case of a 30 ECTS minor:
1. If a student does not pass 1 or 2 courses and there are exceptional personal circumstances (such as an illness, a death in the family, etc.), then the student can ask the Board of Examiners for one extra (third) chance (preferably immediately following the retakes in January). For conditions of exceptional circumstances, please contact the Board of Examiners.
2. If a student does not pass 3 or more courses (irrespective of personal circumstances), then the minor cannot be completed. In that case, the remaining ECTS will have to be filled with electives and the diploma will not state that a Minor has been followed.

NB: In both cases, one cannot re-enroll for the Minor.


Registration and enrollment

There are different application procedures for different groups of students.

  • Students at Leiden University

  • Students at TU Delft or Erasmus University Rotterdam

  • Other students from outside Leiden University

Students from Leiden University can register for the minor via U-Sis from 1 May 2018 until 31 July 2018 via Usis 6000MPAMN (stud. act./class # 1235 ).

For questions about applying, contact 071 – 527 1111 or

It is not possible to follow only one course, as the minor is a consistent package of courses designed to help you build your knowledge in a logical and connected order.
An exception is made for minor courses that are also electives. These courses can be followed individually by elective (such as exchange) students.

Students who follow the regular bachelor’s program Public Administration (tracks EBM and BBO) cannot register for the minor Public Administration, as already stated in art. 3.2.6. of the Course and Examinations Regulations of the bachelor Public Administration. That means that all individual minor courses are also excluded from participation, even if they are also electives. Exceptions are made in block 1 of 2018-2019 for the courses Professional Skills for Public Impact and Introduction to International Relations and Organizations, so that students who follow the regular bachelor program Public Administration are allowed to participate in these two courses. Permission from the exam committee does not need to be obtained for this.