Course of studies

The curriculum is designed to equip participants with solid theoretical knowledge, a broad range of practical skills and particular training in one of four specialization areas. Throughout the year, MPM students acquire foundational knowledge in Public Management and Applied Policy Analysis, complemented by trainings in leadership and management as well as communication and negotiation skills. Students also choose from elective courses in the following specialization areas: Management in Public Administration, Global Public Policy, Sustainability & Environmental Governance, and Digitalization & Public Policy. In the Methods and Skills Module, students apply their knowledge in a research seminar and project lab.

The academic program is complemented by practical insights into the work of experts and professionals through a number of extracurricular activities, such as additional management trainings and site visits. At the end of their studies, students write a master thesis of around 15.000 words. The process is accompanied by a thesis colloquium and students have to defend their thesis at the end of the process.

This way, within one year, the MPM is set up to meet the demand for appropriately trained, managerial staff. The majority of the program's Alumni hold executive positions in ministries, local governments and NGO's.

Joint Foundation Modules

Students in the Master of Public Management (MPM) gain foundational, practice-oriented knowledge in these modules of the program.

Foundations of Public Management

In this foundational module, students will be introduced to basic concepts, theories and management approaches in public management, such as Strategic Management, Performance Management, and Accountability. They will understand the difference between and be able to apply both traditional and management oriented models and concepts in the management of Public Administration. They will also acquire further understanding of the role of the state and civil society in the provision of public services and will be able to critically reflect and analyze (interview) data gathered. In the end, students will be enabled to reflect personal knowledge, experiences and learning results in reference to management approaches and potentials for improvement and apply that against their personal professional background.

Applied Policy Analysis

In the course "Applied Policy Analysis", students learn about the content, objectives, and effects of different governmental policies (such as social policy, environmental policy, administrative policy etc.), and get to know the policy cycle and how to separate it into different phases (agenda-setting, policy formation, implementation, evaluation, termination). Participants will be able to understand and apply different models of decision making (rational, incremental, garbage can) and analyze highly interdependent policy networks or concepts of policy learning. In the end, they will be able to apply theoretical knowledge to their particular practical experience and cases.

Methods and Skills Module

This practice-oriented module consists of the Research Seminar and Skills and Projects Lab. 

Research Seminar

Research Seminar

The research seminar is dedicated to the research process in general, from developing a research question to formulating a theory to answer that question, as well as defining and measuring the main concepts, identifying relevant indicators, finding suitable cases and conducting investigations. In addition, the module conveys the basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods in social and administrative sciences. The importance of combining empirical evidence with the chosen theory as well as drawing valid conclusions for a successful academic work is conveyed to the students.

Skills and Project Lab

Skills and Project Lab

In this module students receive further training and mediation of basic knowledge and practical skills in areas such as academic working, leadership and communication, negotiation, and presentation. The three skills courses vary each year, and may take the form of seminars, workshops, or training courses. This flexibility allows for the courses to address new topics in public administration. 

In the Project Lab, students undertake a project in which they apply these skills and knowledge to real-life policy cases and issues, in cooperation with experts from local public and non-profit institutions, organizations and companies. This can include different formats such as workshops, seminars, and talks from experts.

Sample courses:

  • Leadership Skills
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Risk Management

Specialization Modules

Participants of the Master of Public Management (MPM) program can freely choose elective courses from four three specialization areas, which all provide expert-knowledge in specific fields in public management.

Management in Public Administration

The specialization area Management in Public Administration within the MPM Program offers academically sound, practice-oriented training for public policy and management. Courses combine business management with social sciences perspectives and prepare participants for interdisciplinary approaches to conceptual assessment, implementation, and the adaptation of international management models to the specific circumstances of the public sector.

Sample Modules:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Public Financial Management

Global Public Policy

Courses in the specialization area of Global Public Policy take an interdisciplinary approach to address the challenges of global interdependence. Faculty members and students work together on the analysis and design of international policies and options for implementation. In these courses, students receive a firm grounding in international politics, international development and international organizations and draw on the latest approaches. They learn how to analyze policy problems beyond the nation state and contribute effectively to the design and formulation of “real world” policies that deal with cross-border problems.

Sample Modules:

  • Global Public Policy
  • Governance and Governments in Developing Countries

Sustainability & Environmental Governance

Courses in the specialization area of Sustainability & Environmental Governance provide a science-based perspective for professionals working at the interface of administrative and environmental policy. This focus area aims to better integrate the results of current research on global problems such as natural hazards, climate change and sustainable resource management into policy decision making. To bridge the gap between natural and social sciences, all seminars have a strong interdisciplinary focus which incorporates environmental topics into the classic public management program.

Sample Modules:

  • A Systems Approach to Earth Sciences - Living on a dynamic planet
  • Global Environmental and Sustainability Governance

More information on the program curriculum can be found in the MPM Handbook.