Education for the higher educated

Master in Public Administration: Our English-language master programme specializations

Nijmegen School of Management

  • Description
  • Overview


Public administration is changing. Transnational institutions such as the UN, the EU, the World Bank and the IMF have grown in importance. Decisions are increasingly made in complex multi-governance systems. Policy problems are not the remit of a single government, but often involve several layers of government (local, regional, national, transnational) and several types of actors (governments, non-profit organisations, businesses). The public sector appears to become more and more fragmented.

This fragmentation of the public sector comes at a time when they face a particularly difficult set of problems. Economic and financial crisis threaten the sustainability of what we used to take for granted. Social and demographic changes, such as ageing and shrinking populations, have made existing social policies and public programmes controversial. New technologies have radically changed the risks that we face and how we perceive them. Of course, this has implications for the training and skills of those who wish to work in the public sector and make a change for the better. 

The public administration programmes at Radboud University Nijmegen have been specifically designed to address the issues and impart the skills necessary for a young professional in contemporary public administration. 


What makes the Njmegen programme distinctive

Comparative focus: The courses address themes of current significance to public administration in Europe and elsewhere, drawing on experiences from different countries and teaching the analytical skills that are at the basis of effective solutions for the public sector.

Small-scale, interactive teaching: We believe that a personal approach can only be achieved by limiting the numbers of students and using interactive teaching methods that allow students to actively shape the meetings. 

Room for individual specialisation: For each student, there is space in the programme to choose elective courses as well as the topic of the master thesis. This allows students to develop their own profile and strengthen their career prospects.
Close links with research: classes are taught by experts in the field of comparative public administration, which ensures a close link between teaching and research.

Admission requirements

Entrants must have a previous education that includes an academic bachelor degree (BA. or BSc.) in public administration. Applicants with a bachelor degree in public administration from one of the IMPACT universities (Radboud University Nijmegen, Corvinus University Budapest, University of Ljubljana) are admitted automatically to the programmes.

Entrants from other universities and/or with a background in another social science (e.g. sociology, political science, economics) may request admittance from the Examining Board. The Examining Board may decide that, in order to have sufficient starting knowledge of public administration or methodology, students should first complete additional courses from the Bachelor programme, in the shape of extra courses, a minor or a one-year pre-Master programme.

Entrants to all programmes must have a good command of the English language, because this will be the sole language of instruction and examination. For applicants who are from outside The Netherlands and who are not native speakers, we require either in the form of a TOEFL test with a minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 233 (computer-based), 79 (Internet based), or of an IELTS overall score of 6.5 or higher.

Career prospects

Our programmes have been specifically designed to cover the needs of new professionals in public administration and give students an edge in an increasingly competitive job market. Students leave the programmes with a firm knowledge of complex issues and current changes in public administration, and the skills and crafts to provide smart solutions. They build up a strong CV that includes an advanced understanding of public administration, knowledge of one or several specialist topics and (in the case of the 1.5 and 2-year programmes) international experience. Students have the opportunity to specialise within the programme, developing a personal profile to strengthen their distinctiveness on the job market.

IMPACT prepares students for senior positions in organisations in and around the public sector, for example:
- International organisations such as the UN, the OECD and EU;
- Public employers, such as local, regional and central government departments;
- Thinktanks and advisory bodies;
- Consultancy firms.

How the programmes are structured

The international master programmes in public administration that offered at the Nijmegen School of Management allow students to choose and construct a programme that fits their needs and professional ambitions.

a. 1-year programme COMPASS. In its shortest version, the programme consists of a single year, for which an MSc will be awarded.
b. 1.5-year programme COMPASS. Students can voluntarily add a foreign exchange semester to their programme.
c. 2-year programme IMPACT. The two-year programme IMPACT allows students to take courses at two partner universities. A triple master's degree will be awarded.


Quality guarantee

- All public administration programmes of Radboud University Nijmegen are accredited nationally and by the EAPAA (European Association for Public Administration Accreditation).
- We only work with partner universities whose programmes are at least nationally accredited.
- All courses are taught by lecturers with a PhD.

Level University
Incompany No
Open enrolment Yes
Costs (indication) No entry
Titles No title
Required language skills English
State / Province Gelderland
Country Netherlands
Completion Diploma