Master's programmes

Master's programme public administration

The one-year Master’s in Public Administration is an internationally oriented programme and is taught entirely in English. You can start both the Master's and the pre-Master's programme in September or February. Read more about the Master's programme, the pre-Master's programme and admission. You can also find more information about career perspectives.

We also offer a Bachelor's programme (BSc.) Management, Society & Technology.

In our complex and ever-changing society, the Master’s in Public Administration equips you to tackle today’s most pressing political and administrative challenges.

Programme overview

Master’s degree in Public Administration
Certification: MSc
1 year
Full-time (no part-time programs possible)
English taught
Starting date
1 September 2018
1 February 2019
1 September 2019
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands
Numerus fixus
Does not apply for the programme

Educating for the public sector of the future

In our technologically advanced world, grand societal challenges emerge at different scales. For example, young people raised in local communities in Western cities may radicalize and travel through Europe to fight a globalized, terrorist war. Sustainable energy production is increasingly realized in local neighborhoods, reducing problems of global warming. Cities have become vibrant replacements of nation states in producing well-being through innovative, creative technologies. Public sectors have become increasingly interdependent across the globe, resulting in shocks and crises at different scales.

Grand societal challenges emerging at different scales have two fundamental aspects. They have, in the first place, an interdisciplinary nature. In the second place these challenges are strongly tied to technological development. Thus, researchers and professionals who address societal challenges from the perspective of public administration must be able to take into account the interdisciplinary nature of societal challenges and the impact and use of technology.

Competences and 21st century skills

 The fundamental aspects of societal challenges require that future researchers and professionals in the field of public administration have specific advanced competences and 21st century skills. These include:

  • Learning skills, like creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, communication, collaboration
  • Information, media and technology skills
  • Life and career skills, like flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, leadership and responsibility.

You will learn to integrate interdisciplinary knowledge from specific domains and technologies into their public administration research and designs. The programme brings in the wide range of domain-specific expertise by the best researchers of University of Twente.

 Thus, the programme provides its graduates with a strong preparation for a career in (inter)national and local organizations as public leaders, policy-makers, consultants, or public managers.

Research and specialization

The programme core is directly related to the Public Administration research departments available at our university. We offer you a broad scope of choices, for example, in public safety, communication, civil engineering, sustainability, innovation of governance, higher education and more. By creating a unique mix of mandatory courses covering the main theories of Public Administration and profile courses related to, but not necessarily entirely focusing, on Public Administration itself, you will develop a broad view and learn how to use Public Administration knowledge in a way that reaches far beyond the actual PA domain.

Why public administration?

The combination of academic rigour and practical relevance, along with a cross-disciplinary perspective on public administration are important characteristics of this programme. You will gain broad and highly relevant core knowledge of the public sector and expertise in the profile of your choice.

Features of the programme:

  • A combination of solid academic grounding and practical relevance
  • Focus on the international context of public administration
  • A design approach to policy solutions
  • Cross-disciplinary perspective, approaching the field from various academic angles
  • Low student-teacher ratio, allowing for personalized feedback and personal development
  • International orientation with students from many different backgrounds
  • A wonderful green campus that provides an ideal environment for studying and living.

The programme has been recognized by experts of the European Association for Public Administration Accreditation as a leading national and international programme.


The profiles we have described here are an indication of the possibilities within this programme. More choices are available from the many Master’s courses we teach at our university. Here are some we would recommend:

  • Profile: Communication Media, with a course in Innovative Digital Public Services and a course in Social Implications Of The Internet.
  • Profile: Corporate Communication, with a course in Public Affairs and one in Reputation Management.
  • Profile: Safety and Security, with a course in Public and Private Policing and a course in Public Safety.
  • Profile: Sustainability, with a course in Economic Methods Of Sustainability Assessment and a course in Environmental Policy.
  • Profile: Health Care, with a course in Community and Public Health Systems and course in A Multi-Stakeholder Approach in Public Health.
  • Profile: Science and Technology, with a course in Policy Analysis in Public and Technological Domains and a course in Deliberative Governance of Knowledge and Innovation.
  • Profile: Regulation and Innovation, with a course in Risk Regulation and a course in Smart Rules and Regimes.
  • Profile: Higher Education, with a course in Issues in Higher Education Policy.
  • Profile (in Dutch) Lokaal en Regionaal bestuur. Read more information in Dutch. 

Other profiles, like Water Management or City Innovation and Technology, are under construction.

Career prospects

Organizations are keen on finding talented people with the right know-how to tackle complex public problems and successfully implement and manage new policies. Your study programme will be thoroughly attuned to the demands of effectiveness and feasibility, while addressing the requirements of procedural norms such as constitutional legality and democratic legitimacy.

As a Public Administration graduate, you will have specialized knowledge. This will make you valuable, highly motivated employee who can show initiative in working on complex projects. The programme is an ideal preparation for a career with a national or international government body, for instance the European Union.


The Master’s programme in Public Administration is only available on a full-time basis.


Would you like to know more about our Master's programme Public Administration? Check out the study programme, admission, and career prospects. Feel free to contact us for more information.

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