MSc in Public Administration

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Program Description

MSc in Public Administration

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Public Administration

Master of Science (MSc) in Public Administration

Erasmus University

In the Master programme of Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam, you learn how to manage complex societal problems within the public sector.

How to reconstruct a city centre? What are the opportunities for the management of migration flows, and how to prevent discrimination and to promote contact and cohesion in culturally diverse societies? Questions like these are dealt with in contemporary public sector.

In our globalized and complex network society, there is an increasing need for experts who demonstrate analytical skills, connective leadership, entrepreneurial attitudes and a strong ethical compass to achieve innovative solutions for societal problems. The Master programme in Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam focuses on the research, analysis and management of societal issues.

Governance of Migration and Diversity

What is this specialisation about?

Migration and diversity are key factors in one of the most fundamental transformations of society today. This transformation does not involve just migrants; it involves society at large. Migration and diversity play a key role in almost any domain of today’s society, at many different levels and in various types of organisations. They play a role in education, housing, labour, international relations, they are on the agenda of the United Nations, the European Union, the national government and increasingly also the local level and even the neighbourhood level of government. Migration and diversity are addressed by governments as well as by businesses, international organisations, research institutes and non-governmental organisations.

This specialisation focuses on migration and diversity as challenges in politics, policies and organisations. This includes but is not limited to understanding the development of migration and migrant incorporation policies per se. Migration and diversity have become highly politicized issues that play a much broader role in contemporary politics in many countries. Furthermore, migration and diversity are topics that are highly debated in media, which can have a broader impact on policy and politics as well. A key issue in the Public Administration-track of the ‘Governance of Migration and Diversity’ master is how the broader development of welfare state regimes affect issues of migration and diversity.

In short, this programme will provide you with a better understanding of what policies can be developed towards migration and diversity, how and why specific policies have been developed in cities and countries across the world, and what role migration and diversity play in broader political debates, media portrayals and welfare state regimes. Specific courses in this specialisation include:

  • Comparative public policy
  • Media, governance and politics
  • The governance of social risks

Do you want to learn more about migration and diversity? Examples of a multidisciplinary perspective on migration and diversity issues can be found here.

Joint programme

The Master specialisation of Governance of Migration and Diversity integrates knowledge from various disciplines with a focus on how public and private organisations can respond to the opportunities and challenges offered by migration and diversity. It brings together history, sociology, politics, international development and urbanism as a foundation for a better understanding of the governance of migration and diversity.

The programme is a collaboration between Erasmus University Rotterdam (including the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague), Leiden University and Delft University of Technology. The cooperation between these universities provides a unique combination of varied expertise within a single Master programme. Students can apply to one of four tracks: History (Leiden University), Sociology, Public Administration (both Erasmus University) and International Relations & Development (ISS, The Hague). This Public Administration track offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam focuses specifically on public policy-making and the broader political implications of migration and diversity.

Why choose this programme?

We offer:

  • Knowledge helping you address governance issues related to migration and diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective;
  • Courses offered by leading scholars from three universities and five academic disciplines;
  • A specific focus on policies, politics and governments at various levels;
  • Education that directly relates to current issues and trains students to contribute to the governance of migration and diversity in the context of very different organisations.


Besides the general part with mandatory disciplinary courses, you will follow track-specific courses. The general and the track-specific parts each comprise 50% of the Master programme.

Management of Governance Networks

How to tackle wicked societal problems like public safety, health issues (obesity), crime and unemployment? How can collaboration challenges be managed, in order to reconstruct a city centre, to construct a new transport corridor or to expand a harbour or airport? How can governments deal with protests against the location of asylum centre, address air pollution or provide complex public services in care, or public transportation? These issues are dealt with in complex networks of actors. These networks are characterized by value differences between stakeholders, and the search for adequate, tailor-made solutions.

Are you interested in complex societal problems and ambitious enough to contribute to solving them? The specialisation Management of Governance Networks at Erasmus University Rotterdam is a challenging programme that enables its graduates to analyse, solve and manage complex societal problems within the public sector.

The cornerstone of the programme is the observation that many of today’s societal challenges for which we seek solutions are very complex. This complexity implies that they:

  • are difficult to understand
  • are characterized by value differences
  • evolve in governance networks

In order to tackle these problems, the governance of networks is crucial. This imposes certain requirements on public managers, such as:

Scientific skills: to analyse complex issues as well as the processes and networks in which they evolve. New management and leadership skills: to connect actors and resources. Entrepreneurial skills are required to initiate and realize innovative solutions. Ethical skills: to be a trustful and respected broker between different actors with different values. This programme equips its graduates with the required competencies.

Why choose this programme?

  • Combination of theory and practice: next to lectures you will work in governance labs on solving governmental problems;
  • Education in both analysing and managing complex social problems;
  • Classes offered by leading scholars in the world of governance;
  • Department of Public Administration with an excellent reputation in governance and networks in Europe.


The programme offers a varied set of modules, seminars, working group sessions, and a series of guest lectures by internationally well-known scholars in which the main theoretical bodies of knowledge on governance are presented.

Mode of education

The programme provides courses and training in real-life settings giving an opportunity to learn and practice scientific and managerial skills. The courses provide the most recent theoretical and empirical insights in governance and are given by leading scholars in the field. The practical skills are developed through governance labs, working group sessions and seminars. Inspirational guest lectures enable a knowledge and experience transfer from the experts in the field.

Career opportunities

Master of Public Administration

The Master programme in Public Administration provides insights, tools and competencies that can be applied to governance problems found anywhere in the modern world.

Governance of Migration and Diversity

After completing this specialisation you will be able to identify and analyse social issues related to migration and diversity and are able to provide advice on these problems.

During this Master programme you will:

  • Develop a multi-disciplinary understanding of migration and diversity, including history, development studies, sociology, public administration and urbanism;
  • Acquire a methodological understanding of how to study migration and diversity;
  • Develop an understanding of the governance implications of migration and diversity at the local (urban), regional, national as well as European and international levels;
  • Obtain professional skills in terms of designing strategies for the management of migration and diversity at the policy level.

Graduates of Governance of Migration and Diversity with a specialisation in Public Administration will be suitable candidates for positions in business organisations (e.g. HR, consultancy), governmental organisations (policy makers, policy advisors, lobbyists) and organisations in civil society (e.g. unions, political parties, research institutes) on the local, national or international level.

Management of Governance Networks

After completing this specialisation you will be able to identify and analyse complex societal problems. You will be able to function as a broker between values and actors that characterize complex societal problems. You are educated to organise and manage the necessary processes to tackle these problems and develop solutions.

After graduation you might consider the following career paths:

  • As a member of a project team that manages the development of large public projects (e.g. a windmill park, a railway connection or a water engineering project);
  • As a policy advisor or consultant that reflects on the policy of a government dealing with a complex problem like care for vulnerable people, protecting ecological systems and innovative regions;
  • As a government official working on plans for large complex systems like the extension of a city’s port area by sharing knowledge between governmental agencies and private firms;
  • For a non-profit organization, like a housing corporation, a large healthcare organization, involved in complex projects solving housing or health problems.


Prior education

Depending on the specialisation you wish to apply for, you are eligible for admission to the programme if you have obtained a relevant Bachelor or undergraduate degree from a research university in the following fields of studies:

Admission to Prior education in
All specialisations Public Administration / Sociology / Political Science / a Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree in other disciplines related to public administration and societal processes
Governance of Migration and Diversity European Studies / International Relations / Social Geography / Liberal Arts
Management of Governance Networks Spatial Planning

Proof of proficiency in the English language

Please note that the test may not be older than two years at the time of application. Also, note that it takes several weeks before the results of the tests are known. Take this into consideration when you think of applying. Without the results, we will not be able to assess your application.

Language Test Minimum Score Minimum Sub-scores
TOEFL (our TOEFL ID Code 5971) 90 (internet based) 20
IELTS 6.5 6.0
CEF (Common European Framework) C1-level -
Cambridge EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Examinations CAE level B; CPE level C -


You might be exempted from presenting the proof of English proficiency if:

  • You are a native speaker of English (i.e. a national of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America) and you have obtained a diploma of secondary education in English for at least 2,5 years in one of the above countries and/or
  • You have obtained a diploma of International Baccalaureate (valid for 5 years) and/or
  • You have obtained your diploma of higher education in English (the entire programme).

Please mind that in case you believe that you qualify for an exemption you need to present a proof thereof. If you have obtained your diploma of higher education in English we need to see a written proof of it in the form of either a passage in the diploma, grade list, or a letter from the university stating that the language of instruction was English for the entire programme.


(only relevant for Management of Governance Networks) In a reasonable amount of detail (1 A4) explain your motivation by

  • Providing reasons for applying to the programme;
  • Demonstrating relevant knowledge, experience and affinity with the field of studies (also supported by means of your resume);
  • Telling us about your plans for the future.
  • Academic performance

In addition to the credentials mentioned above, the Admissions Board will also take into account your academic performance, i.e. your grades. Please note that there is no minimum score or average grade mentioned; your application will be assessed against the pool of applicants of the given year. Contributing aspects You may choose to provide the Admissions Board with additional information about yourself by uploading additional documents that you think might contribute to your profile. An example of such documents could be motivation and/ or reference letter.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Last updated November 21, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
1 year
Full time
14,500 EUR
(Non EU/EEA) €2002 EU
Netherlands - Rotterdam, South Holland
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Rotterdam, South Holland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info