Public Administration: Multi-Level Governance

Behaviour and society

About this minor

This minor targets third year Bachelor level students who have a broad interest in the functioning and improvement of the public sector in all its facets. This necessitates attention for the interactions between public and private actors at various levels of governance, and requires an understanding of how research is conducted in public administration. At the same time, students should be open to and get acquainted with multiple disciplines in order to be able to benefit from the insights other related academic disciplines offer for a better understanding of the functioning of the public sector. As such, this minor programme consists of courses that enable students to analyse complex governance problems in a national and, especially, international multi-level context.

We would like to point out that if you come from a different discipline, the transition could be hard and may require extra time and energy. Think of mastering a different way of doing research, examination and/or writing papers. If you are not sure whether this minor is for you, please contact the study advisors. This minor is only accessible for university students.

The public sector is increasingly a multi-level system, with interactions between public and private actors on the national, sub-national (provinces, regions) and international (e.g. EU, OECD, UN, WTO) level and various public, semi-public and private organisations that perform public tasks. In this minor students pay attention to decision-making processes in and interactions between and within those levels and organizations. The minor addresses a broad range of topics. We discuss which organisations the public sector actually consists of and what the relationships are between organisations and levels. Contemporary problems and developments are discussed, such as decentralisation to municipalities, ‘good’ governance, privatisation of public tasks, Europeanisation, and the role of international regulation in forging multi-lateral agreements. As an elective, ethical argumentation and normative questions can also be discussed. Moreover, the minor enables students to assess and conduct proper social scientific research to critically investigate public administration and to offer solutions to current and future challenges of governance.

Good to know

Students from Leiden University are supposed to follow the entire minor programme of 30 ECTS. We have a shorter minor programme for students from outside Leiden University. Parts of the minor can be followed as a programme of three elective courses. These courses, once passed, will be shown as electives on your diploma but do make up a coherent program of 15 ECTS of Public Administration. It concerns the following courses:

  • Introduction to Public Administration (level 200), block 1, semester 1
  • European Union Politics and Policy (level 200), block 1, semester 1
  • Public Management and Organisations (level 300), block 2, semester 1

If you cannot follow minor courses in block 2 (November and December) you can also opt to follow courses in block 1 (September and October) only.

For more information about the minor, please use below link

This minor programme can also be followed for 15 EC. Register for this minor and contact the minor coordinator.

Teaching method and examination

This minor is taught in two consecutive blocks of 8 weeks each.

In block one, students will become acquainted with some basic building blocks of the discipline, with an introductory course on Public Administration, a course on 'European Unions and Politics' and on 'International Governance'.

In block two, students will become acquainted with two more core courses of 'Public Management and Organizations' and 'International Administration'. They will also be able to choose between two sub-topics of the discipline. Here, the research component can be taken with an online course mixed with face-to-face elements 'Research in Public Administration'. This course is especially useful (and mandatory!) for students who wish to continue in a Master’s program in Public Administration but do not have a social science background (see also next tab Important Information). Alternatively, students can choose to follow the course 'Public Values and Ethics' about normative and ethical questions of good governance. All courses are worth 5 ECTS.

Block 1 (semester 1)

  • Introduction to Public Administration (level 200, 5 ECTS).
  • European Union Politics and Policy (level 200, 5 ECTS).
  • International Governance (level 300, 5 ECTS)

*Block 2 (Semester 1)

  • International Administration (level 200, 5 ECTS)
  • Public Management and Organisations (level 300, 5 ECTS).

Choose from:

  • Public Values & Ethics (level 300, 5 ECTS).


  • Research in Public Administration (SPOC) (level 300, 5 ECTS). NB: this course is essential for students who wish to continue in the Master of Public Administration without having to follow a pre-master's – see next tab Important Information). This course is taught mainly online combined with face-to-face elements.

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 30
  • Level
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Leiden University.


  • Start date

    1 September 2024

    • Ends
      2 February 2025
    • Term *
      Minor semester 1
    • Location
      Den Haag
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment period closed
These offerings are valid for students of Erasmus University