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Governance and Management in the Public Sector

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
On campus
01 September 2021

Program description

Governance and Management in the Public Sector

In the master programme Governance and Management in the Public Sector at Erasmus University Rotterdam you learn how to govern complex societal challenges which the public sector currently faces.

In our globalised and complex network society there is an increasing need for experts who demonstrate analytical skills and connective leadership. Modern public professionals need to have an entrepreneurial attitude and a strong ethical compass. Network managers are needed to enhance collaboration among various societal parties in order to create innovative solutions and high-quality public policies and services that current societal challenges require. This master programme trains you to become such a network manager. You will learn from the best, as the department of Public Administration at Erasmus University is ranked worldwide number 2 in the Shanghai Ranking 2019 for public administration.

What is this master programme about?

The public sector in our current society faces many complex, wicked problems such as climate change, obesity, migration and public safety and security. An increased need exists  for updating public infrastructure, the revitalisation of cities, the provision of integrated public services and care, and for dealing with radical innovations (like smart mobility, social media, Uber and Airbnb). What makes these problems wicked is the presence of networks of governments, businesses, societal groups and citizens with divergent interests and preferences. These networks need to be governed in order to handle wicked problems. This requires a set of unique management skills:

  • Scientific skills to analyse complex problems as well as the processes and networks in which they evolve.
  • New management and leadership skills to connect to actors and resources.
  • Entrepreneurial skills in order to initiate and realise innovative solutions.
  • Ethical skills, which are a prerequisite to operate as a trustful and respected broker between various actors with different interests, perceptions and value orientations.

Admission requirements

Prior education

You are eligible for admission to the programme if you have obtained a relevant Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree (comparable to the Dutch academic level according to the standards of the Dutch Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic)) from a research university in the following fields of studies:

  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • Spatial Planning
  • a Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree in other disciplines related to public administration and societal processes.

Please have a look at the additional information regarding your prior education. The eligibility of your bachelor can only be determined after you have submitted an application and only after we have received all requested documents. Prior inquiries will be purely hypothetical.

Language requirements

A good command of English is essential. Therefore you will have to submit proof of English proficiency in your application.

You might be exempted from presenting the proof of English proficiency, please check our website for all of the exceptions.

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.

If you would like to know more, please send an information request or click on the institute's web page.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

The master track presents theories on new forms of governance and management which deal with the complex challenges the public sector in the current network society faces:

  • climate change 
  • the greening of the economy
  • sustainable water management
  • new forms of mobility
  • integrated care 
  • urban revitalisation
  • new safety and security risks
  • the rise of social media and the platform economy (e.g. the companiesÜber and Airbnb)

These challenges cannot be dealt with by the government alone. They require collaboration between various governments, businesses, knowledge institutions and societal groups. To enable this collaboration, new forms of governance and public management are needed.  

Challenges and governance solutions are relevant for governments operating at local, regional, national and international levels worldwide. The lectures of this programme are taught by internationally well-known scholars.

Mode of education

The programme provides in-depth theoretical modules, as well as a series of Governance Labs that offer opportunities to learn and practice scientific and managerial skills in real-life settings.  Inspirational guest lectures from experts in the field enable the transfer of knowledge and experience. A research design course prepares you for writing a master thesis. In this thesis, students demonstrate their knowledge and skills of analysing and devising governance network strategies which deal with actual, complex societal challenges. 

Scholarships & funding

There are scholarships and grants for two groups:

1. Students from abroad, who wish to study at EUR or are already doing so;

2. Students studying at EUR, wishing to go abroad for a while during or after their current study program.

Request information to learn more about the available scholarship opportunities and to find out if you qualify. 

Tuition fees

    • €2,168 (Statutory fee: Dutch / EEA students)
    • €12,300 (Institutional fee: Dutch / EEA students)
    • €15,500 (Institutional fee: non-EEA students)

Studying in a foreign country can be very expensive. Fortunately, the Dutch government subsidizes higher education which leads to lower tuition fees for students with a nationality from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA). In recent years, more and more students from outside the EEA have decided to study in the Netherlands, resulting in a growing demand for academic scholarships.



Career opportunities

The master Governance and Management in the Public sector provides insights, tools and competences that can be applied to govern and manage problems and networks found anywhere in the modern world.

After completing this master track you will be able to identify and analyse complex societal challenges with regard to public problem solving, policy making and services delivery. You will be able to function as a broker between actors whose resources and willingness to collaborate are essential in order to deal with these challenges. You are educated to organise and manage collaborative governance processes that are necessary to develop innovative, legitimate and high-quality solutions, policies and services.

After graduation you might consider working as:

  • A member of a project team that manages the development of large public projects (e.g. a wind mill park, a railway connection or a water engineering project);
  • A policy advisor, public affairs officer or consultant who reflects on a complex problem like care for vulnerable people, the protection of ecological systems or the development of innovative regions;
  • A government official working on plans like the extension of a city’s harbour area or the revitalisation of a neighbourhood. In this position, knowledge needs to be shared between governmental agencies, private firms, societal groups and local residents;
  • A manager or professional at a non-profit organisation (e.g. in the field of housing, safety, (health) care, education, human rights or transport) who provides integrated and tailor made services;
  • As a researcher, studying the governance and management of complex societal challenges in the public sector.

About this institute

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) is home to a vast diversity of study programs and scientific disciplines: Public Administration, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and...

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Average rating 4

Based on 1 reviews.

Prepare to be challenged in a very demanding masters program. As an international student, I recommend this program for students and professionals that are looking get out of their comfort zone. First, you will arrive in a very different yet enriching educational system where 70% of the experience definitely depends on the student, hers/his expe...
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