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Public Administration: Multi-Level Governance

Introduction and target group

Please note: you can only follow our minor courses if you have an official registration for the minor. It’s not possible to follow the minor courses as electives, if you do not have an official minor registration. Everyone without a registration who enrolls anyways, will be de-registered.

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 programme consists of courses that enable students to analyse complex governance problems in a national and, especially, international multi-level context.

We would like to point out that if you come from a different discipline, the transition could be hard and may require extra time and energy. Think of mastering a different way of doing research, examination and/or writing papers. If you are not sure whether this minor is for you, please contact the study advisors. This minor is only accessible for university students (so it’s not open to HBO students).

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 organisations 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 organisations the public sector actually consists of and what the relationships are between organisations and levels. Contemporary problems and developments are discussed, such as decentralisation to municipalities, ‘good’ governance, privatisation of public tasks, Europeanisation, and the role of international regulation in forging multi-lateral agreements. As an elective, ethical argumentation and normative questions can also be 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 'European Unions and Politics' and on 'Multi-level regulatory governance'.

In block two, students will become acquainted with two more core courses of 'Public Management and Organizations' and 'International Administration'. They will also be able to choose between two sub-topics of the discipline. Here, the research component can be taken with an online course mixed with face-to-face elements 'Research in Public Administration'. This course is especially useful (and mandatory!) for students who wish to continue in a Master’s program in Public Administration but do not have a social science background (see also next tab Important Information). Alternatively, students can choose to follow the course 'Public Values and Ethics' about normative and ethical questions of good governance. All courses are worth 5 ECTS.

Block 1 (semester 1)

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

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

  • Multi-level Regulatory Governance (level 300, 5 ECTS)

*Block 2 (Semester 1)

  • International Administration (level 200, 5 ECTS)

  • Public Management and Organisations (level 300, 5 ECTS).

Choose from:

  • Public Values & Ethics (level 300, 5 ECTS).


  • Research in Public Administration (SPOC) (level 300, 5 ECTS). NB: this course is essential for students who wish to continue in the Master programme 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.

A selection of 15 ECTS elective courses

Students from Leiden University are supposed to follow the entire minor programme of 30 ECTS. We have a shorter minor programme for students from outside Leiden University. Parts of the minor can be followed as a programme 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 1, semester 1

  • Public Management and Organisations (level 300), block 2, semester 1

If you cannot follow minor courses in block 2 (November and December) you can also opt to follow courses in block 1 (September and October) only.

Work group attendance

Most, not all, courses offer work groups (similar to tutorials or small scale seminars). There is a special minor work group for minor students. The Educational Service Centre will enroll all minor students for these work group(s). Students only need to enroll themselves for courses (lectures) and (re)exams. For more information, please go to the tab ‘Important information’ and take a look under ‘Enrolling for a minor, courses and exams’. The minor has its own schedule and its specific minor working groups.

See next tab 'Important Information' for:

  • Level of the minor programme

  • 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.


All classes will take place in The Hague.


Questions about the minor can be directed to the study advisers at Study advisors BSc Public Administration. The study advisor will forward you to the minor coordinator, if you have questions about the content or coherence of the programme.


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Introduction to Public Administration 5
International Regulation 5
European Union Politics and Policy 5
International Administration 5
Public Management and Organisations (Minor PA) 5

Blok 2 Kies uit:

Public Values and Ethics 5
Research in Public Administration 5

Important information

On this page you can find information about:

  • How to register for a minor, courses and exams

  • Schedule education and (re)exams

  • Level of the minor programme

  • If you fail one or more courses

  • Disabilities

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

  • Examination Regulations

How to register for a minor, courses and exams

Most courses consist of lectures, work groups (similar to tutorials or small scale seminars) and exams. However, some courses don’t have work groups or only assess papers. Please check the Prospectus what applies to each course. Furthermore, the registration process for minors, courses and exams differs per type of student.

  • Leiden University students have to register for a minor via EduXchange. After you're enrolled, you need to register for the individual courses, lectures and (re)takes in MyStudymap. When you’ve done this correctly the course will appear in your weekly schedule on MyTimeTable.
    The Educational Service Centre will enroll them for the special minor work group(s). Find these in the schedule in MyTimeTable.

  • Students from TU Delft or Erasmus University also register via EduXchange for a minor. They enroll for courses (lectures) and (re)exams on uSis. The Educational Service Centre will enroll them for the special minor work group(s).

  • Students from other universities will only be admitted to our minor if they receive a written approval from the study adviser. For more information, please contact the study advisers. After they’re admitted they can enroll themselves for courses and (re)exams in uSis. The Educational Service Centre will enroll them for the special minor work group(s).

*) It’s possible that the course registration procedure for non-Leiden students will change from 2023-2024. The prospectus will in this case be adjusted. Therefore, please keep an eye on this page from June 2023 for possible changes.

You pass the exam if the result is 5,5 or higher. A result lower than 5,5 means that you failed the exam.

Schedule education and (re)exams

The minor takes place in the first semester (September - January), which consists of two blocks of eight weeks each. The eighth week is the examination week.

One important note (especially for international students) is that retakes are held in the month of January.

Level of the minor programme

According to Leiden University regulations, the minor programme is scheduled within the 30 ECTS discretionary space in the third year of the Bachelor’s programme.

If you fail one or more courses

In case a student doesn't pass one or more minor courses, they are not allowed to re-register for the minor. The student can replace courses that were not passed with other seperate electives. Passed minor courses and electives will be shown on your diploma as separate electives (meaning you can still use these for your elective space). Students who re-enroll for the minor will be unenrolled.


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 counsellors. 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 of Public Administration 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's

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

If you're interested in the master's, you will need to apply for the MSc and you need to keep to the deadlines. If you have or will obtain a Dutch degree these are: November 15th and May 15th.
If you wish to start the MSc in February (deadline is 15 November, if you obtain a Dutch degree), please make sure you make clear in your application that you are currently pursuing this minor. You will be admitted on the condition that you finish your bachelor’s degree and this minor before or on January 31st. If you wish to start in September (deadline is 15 May, if you obtain a Dutch degree), please make sure that you mention finishing this minor in your CV and that you upload a transcript to prove this.

Examination Regulations

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.


Registration and enrolment

There are different application procedures for different groups of students:

  • Students at Leiden University

  • Students at TU Delft or Erasmus University Rotterdam

  • Other university students from outside Leiden University

Students from Leiden University can register for the minor via eduXchange from 8 May until 15 July 2023.

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 programme 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.