Master in Economics and Governance at Leiden University

What does this master programme entail?

The E&G specialisation aims to develop professionals who are able to analyse and address policy problems broadly, and in the field of social policy and market regulation specifically.  The focal point is on welfare states and markets. You learn about the role of government in creating, facilitating and controlling markets. You also examine the status of the current welfare state, such as the pension system, social security, labour markets, and income distribution in society; and the challenges the welfare state currently faces. You are provided a strong multidisciplinary preparation for a professional career in areas such as socio-economic policy- making or market regulation. The combination of applied economics and public governance forms a solid base for policy-makers, consultants and future leaders

5 Reasons to choose Economics & Governance at Leiden University

  • You will learn to produce solutions to current issues found where economics and public administration meet. You will analyse the ways in which social-economic policy and regulatory governance can be improved, and how to realise those improvements in dynamic and refractory settings, in which you will be confronted with politics and differing interests.
  • You will combine theoretical knowledge with academic and professional skills, in doing so, preparing yourself for a career as a policy advisor, policy analyst, or consultant.
  • You will be instructed by driven lecturers who are involved in high-level research within your subject and who are experienced with strategic policy advice in practice. 
  •  As you will be examining international cases, performing comparative research and having discussions with your fellow students based on their international perspectives, you will develop a broad perspective on issues that involve economics and governance.
  • You will be studying in the heart of The Hague - a bustling, cosmopolitan urban centre and the administrative heart of the Netherlands - amidst government ministries, international organisations and multi-nationals. Here, you can directly experience the subject of your studies and your potential field of work

Admission requirements

Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Leiden University are always eligible for direct admission. They can register through Studielink. All others need to apply through Studielink and through the online application system. 

In order to be considered for the Public Administration Master’s programme, you should possess:

  • a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration or a Bachelor’s degree in a closely related discipline from a recognised university.

Related disciplines are considered to be Political Science, Public Management, Public Policy, Economics, Business Management, and Sociology. Students coming from a related discipline should still officially apply. In exceptional cases, a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, International Studies, European Studies, or Organization Studies will be acceptable, provided that a substantial number of courses related to public administration are included in the bachelor’s programme.

Interview with Rianne, currently studying Economics & Governance in Leiden

Why did you choose your current Master programme?

Already during my Bachelor, I tried to on economic issues as much as I could, so I knew quite soon that I wanted to do a master which combines politics and economics. So I went to a lot of open days and visited a lot of websites, and this programme, in the end, sounded the most interesting

Why did you choose the city / University you are studying at?

Leiden University has a very good reputation, both nationally and internationally. I chose to live in The Hague and not in Leiden, as The Hague is the political capital of the Netherlands, which in my opinion largely adds to the study climate. Besides, The Hague is more of an adult city than Leiden, which is more of a bachelor city in my opinion

How would you describe the University environment and student life of your city?

Well, to be honest, compared to Groningen, The Hague is not really a student city at all. In The Hague you cannot go out until 5.00 every day of the week, there is no ACLO and the student population is definitely not as big as in Groningen. Nevertheless, The Hague is a very nice city to live in and it is quite chill to have the beach as your backyard.

How would you describe the city you are living in? (International/local, open-minded/closed-minded, vibrant/quiet, modern/historical, artsy/sober) What is there to do?

The Hague is a very international city, but unfortunately there is quite a segregation between the internationals, the students and the locals, so in that sense, it is quite closed-minded. It is a very vibrant city in the weekend, but during the week, I would say it is quite quiet. There are a lot of sights in The Hague, such as the historical city centre, the museums, and the beach. Last but not least, The Hague is way more central than Groningen, so you can go to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Utrecht whenever you like


What are the backgrounds of your fellow students? (What did they do as a Bachelor  and  where?)

My fellow students come from a large variety of backgrounds. I have met students who did a bachelor in geography, history, political studies, regional studies, or economics. I would say that the master is less international than IRIO, but there are students from both inside and outside Europe

Would you recommend your Master to IR students?

If you like economics, but also want to take the political side into account as well, then I would definitely recommend this master. The master is quite broad, and you have a lot of opportunities to shape your own master, which I consider a positive point of this master. The master is however quite intense, so that is something you should definitely take into account. 

This interview was given by Rianne van Staalduinen - if you wish to get in contact with her, send an email to

For more information about this Master programme, click here

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