Programme structure

The one-year Master’s programme Public Administration is divided into three periods:

  • Throughout the first three quarters you take five core courses (25 credits);
  • Your two personal profile courses are usually scheduled in the first and third quarter (10 credits);
  • In the fourth quarter the focus is on completing your profile within a Master’s thesis (25 credits).

Core courses

The five mandatory core courses are aimed at bringing you up to date on the latest public administration theories and insights. The knowledge and competencies you acquire here will enable you to tackle the most pressing political and administrative challenges related to the big societal concerns of our time. By connecting these core courses to your profile choice, you can make sure you learn to apply this expertise in an area you care about.

Public Management: Research and Applications

One of the hottest and most rapidly developing subfields in public administration, Public Management is all about the interaction between the political system, bureaucracy, and the (semi-)public sector from an organizational and inter-organizational perspective. This course is an excellent introduction to public management. You will learn to understand publications in top journals, evaluate research results and discuss their real-life implications, as well as writing a brief review paper and formulating novel research questions.

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Social Problems

In this course you will explore how social problems are constructed and controlled by policy makers and governance actors. Think, for example, of poverty, crime, alcoholism, alienation, depression, racism, bullying, waste, headscarves, abortion, genetic engineering, pollution, ageing, obesity, gambling, or terrorism. The goal is to enable you to link theory to practice and science to governance and policy-making in the social problems we encounter in our everyday lives.

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Academic Research

The goal of this course is to equip you for writing your Master’s thesis. First, you select a thesis topic and a supervisor. Then, through seminars, you familiarize yourself with different kinds of research questions and thesis projects, and the processes of formulating a research question and collecting and measuring quantitative and qualitative data. You will also develop a plan for using your research outcomes and write and present your own research proposal. This proposal will be the starting point for your graduation thesis later in the year.

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Public Governance and Policy Networks

This course is all about networks, or the informal, organic social systems that exist within and around formal, bureaucratic structures. You will familiarize yourself with the content of and differences between network approaches, and the relevance of network approaches for governance issues in public administration. You will also learn to analyse specific public governance issues using network approaches and to design and improve network structures aimed at solving public problems.

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Public Governance and Legitimacy

This course focuses on the functioning of systems of governance in terms of their legitimacy – the degree to which their authority is accepted. At the end of the course you will be familiar with the meaning and measurement of legitimacy, its relevance for the exercise of power, and the causes and effects of legitimacy, or the lack of it. In between the weekly seminar meetings in this course, you will complete several assignments, such as writing memo’s or essays on the basis of prescribed and self-selected readings.

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Create your own profile

One of the unique aspects of the PA Master’s at the UT is that it does not just give you a solid footing in public administration, but also enables you to develop your own personal profile. You can do this by carefully selecting your profile courses, in combination with your graduation project. The profile courses offer you room to get creative and make connections you may not have thought of before, for example by linking public administration to a specific societal issue or domain you care about.

Fuse your PA expertise with leading research in a field of your choice

One of the strengths of this approach is that it means you get to tap into exciting courses offered through our many other Master’s programmes, from Communication Science, Psychology or Healthcare, to Safety & Security, Sustainability or Science & Technology. Of course, you can also fuse your public administration expertise with some of the leading-edge research our university is renowned for. Think for example, of the 5 societal themes our university focuses on: Improving healthcare by personalized technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

A very popular Dutch-taught profile on Local & Regional Governance

One cross-over profile that appeals to a lot of our Dutch students is Local & Regional Governance (Lokaal & Regionaal Bestuur). Designed to give you a firm grasp of local and regional governance in the Netherlands, this Dutch-taught dual profile course is the ideal gateway to an impacting and fulfilling career as an academically trained public administration professional in the dynamic municipal or provincial domain.

Your graduation thesis

You will spend the last few months of the programme researching and writing a Master’s thesis on a topic of your own choice. You can do your thesis research with a national or international organization, or at one of our university’s many high-profile research departments.

Examples of graduation thesis topics

The topics our students deal with in their graduation theses are a good indicator of both the depth of knowledge you will acquire in this programme and the breadth of application areas. Here are just a few of the many examples we could present: Stimulating the preparedness to report crime; an evaluation of the reform of Bulgaria’s judicial system; the contemporary state of youth care; an empirical study as to why lower educated people are more likely to vote for left- and right-wing populist parties in the Netherlands; the future of e-learning in higher education; regulatory standard setting for managing e-waste in the US; political knowledge of Dutch citizens: do Dutch voters know what they need to know?; the influence of climate change on migration and national borders; social connectedness between drug runners; pre-university programmes and study success: a case study at the Pre-U of University of Twente; citizens in the digital metropolis; governmental support measures that make WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch Groups function better; game of drones: exploring the development of unmanned aerial vehicles in public safety organizations; sugar tax: the fiscalization of childhood obesity; Turkish immigrants in Europe and their religious identity.

Accredited by the EAPAA

Our Public Administration programme has been accredited by the EAPAA (the European Association for Public Administration Accreditation). This means it meets all applicable national and international higher-education standards and is recognized worldwide.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor eapaa

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