Content of the Master's in Public Administration

Get in touch with a student of this Master's

Learn to address political-administrative, societal, and technological challenges through the development of public policy, public management, and public governance.

As a student of this Master’s, you will learn to investigate and find solutions to complex public issues that society is facing today. You will ask yourself: what does good public governance entail in an increasingly digital society? How can you make collective decisions for society, based on limited, or even contradictory information and evidence? In essence, you are prepared to play a vital role in (supporting) government decision-making and implementation processes. You will learn to investigate, develop, analyse and evaluate public policies in the face of multiple and conflicting stakeholder interests.

Examples of courses you will follow within this Master’s:
  • How can you manage and prevent major crises and unexpected events, especially with the rise of new advanced technologies that can sometimes produce adverse events? You will discover this in the course Crisis Management in Technological Domains.
  • The course Policy-making for Complex Systems teaches you how you can address highly complex societal challenges with a non-linear and often unpredictable nature, ranging from poverty, racism, crime, bullying, pollution, obesity, and gambling to terrorism.
  • How can you solve public problems in the often complex networks of public institutions with the private sector and interest organisations? The course Public Governance and Policy Networks teaches you all about the governance systems that exist within and around formal, bureaucratic structures.

This Master’s places public administration in today’s modern technological context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. What does it take for governments to implement new sustainable energy technologies? How can governments adapt their infrastructures to self-driving cars? How can governments prevent the outbreak of new viruses? What are the opportunities and challenges of smart cities? But also, how can governments themselves optimise their workflow by adopting automation technologies? There is a very broad range of topics, domains and challenges you can explore yourself within this Master’s.

Build your unique profile

As a student of the Master’s in Public Administration at UT, you have the opportunity to tailor your programme to your interests and ambitions. You will not just gain a strong foundation in core themes within the field of public administration, but you will be able to develop your own unique profile with a selection of profile courses, combined with your final thesis.

You might want to become a public manager within the healthcare sector or advise governments on sustainable policies. Or what about starting a career with the police? Your Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Twente is the perfect starting point to build expertise for your future career!

You can choose to build your curriculum around one of six unique profiles, each of which covers a specific domain within public administration.

  • Healthcare

    How do you make sure that healthcare innovations work as expected and are properly implemented by health care professionals and patients? What does it take to launch a large-scale vaccination programme, and convince people to get vaccinated? How, as a government, do you address a national shortage of healthcare personnel? And how can you prevent inequality in access to health technologies? The healthcare profile will deepen your understanding of the dynamics behind healthcare governance.

  • Safety & Security

    The maintenance of public order and security is one of the fundamental responsibilities of the government. In this profile domain, you will focus on public safety governance, with special attention to public and private policing. How can you tackle organised (drug) crime across borders? Or effectively manage police resources to deal with violent protests? What technologies support such activities with what (un)intended effects on privacy? To what extent should we use digital technologies (e.g. cameras or internet tracking) for surveillance purposes – and how would mass surveillance harm society? But also, how can you design proper strategies for crisis prevention and management as a government?

  • Sustainability

    Achieving the sustainable development goals is one of, if not, the most important topics on the public agenda nowadays. In the conversion to sustainable energy sources, how do you decide where to place windmills or solar parks and how do you involve citizens in the decision process? How to engage farmers and other stakeholders in the protection of nature? What alliances are needed if you want to ensure a constant supply of biokerosene to an airport like Schiphol? But also: how can you make a city more climate-resilient, protecting it against floods as well as heat waves that are becoming more frequent due to climate change? These are just a few illustrative questions you will come across within this profile domain.

  • Public Governance of Science & Technology

    To address societal problems, governments often focus on formal procedures and neglect deliberative policy development at a meta-level. For example, nuclear energy can be defined in terms of its problematic long-term waste, but also in terms of its contribution to energy production in the face of CO2 emission reduction. To improve the substantive quality of policies, you can benefit from a deliberative approach and define a problem or situation thoughtfully, considering characteristics, values, and ethics. This profile helps you to gain a deeper understanding of decision-making processes and the process of policymaking on a metalevel. This profile is offered in collaboration with the Master’s in Philosophy of Science, Technology & Society (PSTS). You can even extend this profile into a unique, two-year double-degree programme in both Public Administration and PSTS.

  • Public Affairs

    Public management and public communication go hand-in-hand. How can you maintain a good reputation as a government or public organisation? What’s the role and impact of lobbying in political decision-making, knowing that there are many more lobbyists active around government than elected politicians? How can social media influence elections and drive political polarisation? Within the domain of public affairs, you will deepen your understanding of government relations and communication with the public, including stakeholder management and reputation management from a communication perspective.

  • Nederlands Openbaar Bestuur (Dutch-taught)

    If you are interested in the foundations of public governance within all levels of the Dutch government, the Dutch-taught profile Nederlands Openbaar Bestuur is right for you. It’s a cross-over profile in which you can deal with a lot of different topics within local, regional, and national governance. For example, how can the autonomy of local and regional governments (i.e. municipalities and provinces) be strengthened? How can you ensure good collaborations between the different levels of government? What does it take to manifest a new culture in Dutch politics and administrative organisations, such as the Dutch tax authority? What impact does algorithmic governance have? In essence, you will be prepared to work within the context of Dutch public governance.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of this Master’s, you have acquired specific scientific knowledge, skills, and values.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s, you:

    • have in-depth knowledge in fields of policy, governance management and societal challenges;
    • have relevant knowledge in related domains such as health, communication, safety and security, sustainability, city innovation, etc., and can incorporate this knowledge in the design of a solution or advice;
    • understand the implications of today’s modern technological context in addressing societal challenges by public administrations.
  • Skills

    After completing this Master’s, you:

    • can identify, (re)define, and analyse a complex, ill-structured societal problem from a policy, governance and/or management perspective;
    • are able to design a solution to or develop an advice about a societal challenge in terms of policy, governance and/or management;
    • have academic reasoning skills and are able to advise a commissioning party in a convincing and goal-oriented way.
  • Value

    After completing this Master’s, you:

    • are aware of and can reflect on the ethical, political and societal implication(s) of a solution;
    • can exchange and justify arguments in a critical, open and constructive way;
    • can identify gaps in your knowledge, and you have a mindset to improve and extend your knowledge in a goal-oriented way.

Related master’s

Not sure if this Master’s is exactly what you’re looking for? Maybe another related master’s at UT suits you better:

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