Public Policy and Administration examines the notoriously complex and dynamic workings of the EU. From agenda setting and decision making to policy implementation and evaluation, from how power and influence work in Brussels to how EU policies are applied in the member states – this specialization gives you a behind-the-scenes look at each step in the process of EU policymaking and governance. You will learn about the EU institutions, analyze the transposition of European directives into national legislation, and examine the role of civil society in EU integration and policymaking. You will gain a thorough understanding of new modes of governance in the EU.
Why this program?
European Studies: Public Policy and Administration
European Studies: Public Policy and Administration focus on the international dimensions of policy, governance, and administration. The program looks beyond the institutions of the European Union and the mechanics of European integration to examine global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context. The program employs an interdisciplinary approach, combining political science, history, international relations, economics, and cultural studies. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture.
What will you learn?
How to apply theoretical knowledge to practical, interdisciplinary case studies;
Critically appraise EU developments using conceptual insights from public policy studies;
Develop professional skills such as drafting policy documents, negotiation and policy analysis, and evaluation.
A program, but also a community
Our program kicks off with a series of activities designed to acquaint you with your fellow students and integrate you into the community. First is an introduction day where you meet your fellow students, who come from over 20 countries. In the spring all students take a two-day trip to Brussels to visit various EU institutions, think tanks, and lobbies, and to meet informally with some of the 250 program alumni living and working in Europe’s capital. Not only do these activities ease you into the social life of the university, but they also provide valuable experience and exposure, helping you to broaden your network.
European Studies: Public Policy and Administration is a highly international program, reflecting the curriculum and the goals of most participants to work in the international sphere. More than 120 international research and policy-making institutions are based in Maastricht, and program staff members publish research that has an international outreach and impact. In addition, every year in February, the entire program goes on a two-day trip to Brussels to visit various EU institutions, think tanks, and lobbies. Students gain insight into these institutions and first-hand access to key figures in the ‘European Capital’, an empowering experience. For many students, this trip is their first impression of Brussels and the hive of activity centered on the Rond-Point Schuman.
European Studies is taught by 27 international well-renowned staff members
The 27 instructors in the master’s program European Studies come from 14 different countries. Collectively, they know everything there is to know about the EU. They hold PhDs from prestigious universities including Cambridge University, Central European University, KU Leuven, Mannheim University, Oxford University, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. To introduce a few of our top-notch teachers:
The program director is Dr. Paul Stephenson. He is an expert on EU policy-making, the politics of evaluation and audit, and issues of financial accountability;
Dr. Hylke Dijkstra is an expert in European security and the Principal Investigator of an ERC research project on the decline and death of international organizations;
Prof. Tannelie Blom has long studied power and influence in the EU. He provides an advanced understanding of the European Policy Process;
Dr. Aneta Spendzharova is an expert on the Euro and Eurozone. She teaches the course on the EU Budget and Economic Governance;
Dr. Andreea Nastase has written a book on the European Commission and provides students with a deep understanding of policy analysis;
Dr. Iskander de Bruycker knows everything about lobbying and interest groups, expertise he brings to this specialization.
You will write your master's thesis on a topic related to your specialization. You will receive guidance from our academic staff and will follow a thesis course devoted to developing your academic skills. This course will help you practice research design and methodology and you will receive individual feedback on your work.
Links with research
Our teaching staff is highly active in the international research community, publishing widely in EU politics journals. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has a permanent research program centered around administrative governance and the role of the EU in the world. These topics make up the core of the curriculum. Staff members are active in both national networks and international research communities, contributing regularly to academic debate in international peer-reviewed journals. Accordingly, the program has a strong research orientation. Our research is embedded in the Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM).
As with many Maastricht University programs, European Studies: Public Policy and Administration are taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Most of your work will be done in small tutorial groups, where you team up with your fellow students to seek solutions to ‘problems’ taken from real-world situations. The tutorial group is the heart of PBL and is a forum for research, analysis, debate, negotiation, and feedback. Instructors act as facilitators, giving help as it’s needed. This allows you to build independence and develop problem-solving skills that you’ll need in your career.
You'll also participate in seminars, which are thematically related lectures by experts that involve reviewing literature and providing information necessary for participating fully in tutorials. Various lectures are also given by academics and practitioners from European Union institutions, providing insights into specific dimensions of EU policy-making.
You will also be trained in professional skills such as writing press releases or speeches, giving engaging presentations, and negotiating strategies.
Writing policy papers and blogs
Drafting briefing notes
Communication via (social) media
Premium honors program
Want to gain that extra edge by getting real-world experience during your studies? The Premium honors program will help you gain the experience and develop the skills employers are looking for. As part of a team of students and under the guidance of our academic staff, you’ll spend about three months working on a real-world assignment for a company, NGO, or educational institution. You'll also work on a personal development plan, receive intensive individual coaching, and attend masterclasses and workshops. All of this will take about 250 hours, but it will give you a lifetime of benefits.
Truly international: 78 students in the 2019/20 Master European Studies program came from 17 different countries.
Guest lectures and involvement of experts from professional practice.
Extensive alumni network and links to Brussels.
Strong focus on learning on-the-job skills.
You will study European Studies at the place where the European Union was founded through the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.
Courses & curriculum
European Studies: Public Policy and Administration is a one-year, full-time program focusing on the internal dimension of EU policy, governance, and administration. The program combines insights from political science, public administration, history, and political economy.
Common courses in MA European Studies:
Post-War Europe: Political and Societal Transformations
Specialization courses in Public Policy and Administration:
The European Policy Process
EU Budget and Economic Governance
Europeanisation and Domestic Change
Civil Society and European Integration
The admission requirements for the academic year 2021/22 for the master’s program European Studies: Public Policy and Administration depend on your prior qualifications.
For the master's program in European Studies, enrolment takes place on the basis of your quality and suitability. For this your motivation, prior qualifications, and your (professional) experience are important. You are expected to have prior knowledge of contemporary European history, the integration process, and the institutions of the European Union. Some previous insight into theories and methods of social and political science is essential.
Besides the general requirements:
A recent passport picture;
A copy of your valid passport or your EU/EEA identity card;
A copy of your most recent certified grades transcript and a copy of your certified diploma.
All candidates should also meet the additional requirements:
Submit proof of a bachelor's or master's degree,
Submit your curriculum vitae,
Write a letter of motivation,
Submit an academic paper,
Demonstrate proficiency in English.