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Collaborate in solving societal issues

The Master's programme in Public Administration at VU Amsterdam is the only Master's in Public Administration in the Netherlands to hone in on critical aspects of good governance. We teach engaged and inspired public administration that pays close attention to the norms and values the public sector is to uphold, with a keen eye to the latest societal and governance developments.

The English track of the Master’s in Public Administration focuses on a topic of high societal relevance: Artificial Intelligence and Governance. The rise of algorithmic governance and the digital economy requires a new generation of trained experts that are both well-versed in the theory and practice of governance as well as technologically-savvy. This programme trains this next generation of ambitious students. You will be at the forefront of the latest iteration of the technological revolution in governance.

Close supervision
Within the programme, there is a lot of interaction between students and lecturers. You receive close guidance in writing your papers and thesis, coupled with timely feedback. This way, you are trained to become a knowledgeable and valued professional to the public sector.

The start date of this programme is 1 September.

Which specialisation do you choose?

Find out what the different possibilities are within the Master's programme

Summary

Artificial intelligence is transforming the way we live and our societies. Public organisations at all levels of government and our public institutions are no exception. Algorithms and automation are reshaping governance, public sector decision-making and the delivery of public services in fundamental ways. Artificial intelligence algorithms are increasingly adopted by governments in critical domains, ranging from predictive policing or criminal justice to the automation of welfare. The digital transformation impacts citizens and their experience of government in consequential ways and calls for the need to update traditional governance processes. 

How do these technologies redefine the work and behavior of public organisations and their interactions with citizens? And how can we ensure responsible use of AI in governance? These developments come with significant opportunities but also, unless carefully managed, with serious challenges that can inadvertently lead to digital exclusion, amplify bias, automate inequality in public services or decrease accountability and transparency.

The rise of algorithmic governance and the digital economy requires a new generation of trained experts that are both well-versed in the theory and practice of governance as well as technologically-savvy. This program trains this next generation of ambitious students. You will be at the forefront of the latest iteration of the technological revolution in governance.

Your programme in brief:

With this programme we educate you, as the next generation of policymakers, officials or regulators, to develop a reflexive, analytical and technological understanding of both the opportunities and challenges presented by rise of AI and digital technologies in governance and society. You will build a strong theoretical and analytical understanding of governance processes, coupled with valuable technical skills. You will learn to critically reflect on the ethical and normative challenges involved in the responsible deployment of new technologies and formulate concrete solutions that can deliver effective outcomes while aligned with public values. 

To maintain a strong link with practice, the programme makes use of (real-life) cases, guest lectures and assignments derived from the use of AI across public sectors, so that students are acquainted with professional practice. A strong plus of the programme is the collaboration with the Master’s in Communication Science, which will sharpen your data literacy skills. You will become familiar with innovative computational techniques, building your technical skills and critical engagement with data. Such skills are in high demand in all areas of society.

Subjects

Period 1

  • AI in Government: Artificial Public Administration
  • Research Methods and Techniques of Public Administration

Period 2

  • Core Themes in Governance
  • Computational Analysis

Period 3

  • Good Governance

Period 4

  • Digital Encounters: Citizen-State Interactions in the Digital Age
  • Elective course from Communication Science or Political Science

Period 5 and 6

  • Master’s Thesis in Public Administration

Please consult the provisional Study Guide for more information. The final study guide will be published online at a later moment.

Summary

We offer three Dutch specialisations:

  • Besturen van veiligheid
  • Kwaliteit van besturen
  • Besturen van zorgvernieuwing

Read more about our Dutch specialisations here

  • Artificial Intelligence and Governance

    Summary

    Artificial intelligence is transforming the way we live and our societies. Public organisations at all levels of government and our public institutions are no exception. Algorithms and automation are reshaping governance, public sector decision-making and the delivery of public services in fundamental ways. Artificial intelligence algorithms are increasingly adopted by governments in critical domains, ranging from predictive policing or criminal justice to the automation of welfare. The digital transformation impacts citizens and their experience of government in consequential ways and calls for the need to update traditional governance processes. 

    How do these technologies redefine the work and behavior of public organisations and their interactions with citizens? And how can we ensure responsible use of AI in governance? These developments come with significant opportunities but also, unless carefully managed, with serious challenges that can inadvertently lead to digital exclusion, amplify bias, automate inequality in public services or decrease accountability and transparency.

    The rise of algorithmic governance and the digital economy requires a new generation of trained experts that are both well-versed in the theory and practice of governance as well as technologically-savvy. This program trains this next generation of ambitious students. You will be at the forefront of the latest iteration of the technological revolution in governance.

    Your programme in brief:

    With this programme we educate you, as the next generation of policymakers, officials or regulators, to develop a reflexive, analytical and technological understanding of both the opportunities and challenges presented by rise of AI and digital technologies in governance and society. You will build a strong theoretical and analytical understanding of governance processes, coupled with valuable technical skills. You will learn to critically reflect on the ethical and normative challenges involved in the responsible deployment of new technologies and formulate concrete solutions that can deliver effective outcomes while aligned with public values. 

    To maintain a strong link with practice, the programme makes use of (real-life) cases, guest lectures and assignments derived from the use of AI across public sectors, so that students are acquainted with professional practice. A strong plus of the programme is the collaboration with the Master’s in Communication Science, which will sharpen your data literacy skills. You will become familiar with innovative computational techniques, building your technical skills and critical engagement with data. Such skills are in high demand in all areas of society.

    Subjects

    Period 1

    • AI in Government: Artificial Public Administration
    • Research Methods and Techniques of Public Administration

    Period 2

    • Core Themes in Governance
    • Computational Analysis

    Period 3

    • Good Governance

    Period 4

    • Digital Encounters: Citizen-State Interactions in the Digital Age
    • Elective course from Communication Science or Political Science

    Period 5 and 6

    • Master’s Thesis in Public Administration

    Please consult the provisional Study Guide for more information. The final study guide will be published online at a later moment.

  • Dutch Specialisations

    Summary

    We offer three Dutch specialisations:

    • Besturen van veiligheid
    • Kwaliteit van besturen
    • Besturen van zorgvernieuwing

    Read more about our Dutch specialisations here

Change your future with the Public Administration programme

Change your future with the Public Administration programme

The AI and Governance programme answers a big gap in the job market. In a context where the central government and implementing public bodies, much like the private sector, make widespread use of algorithms and digital technologies, this programme equips you with the skills needed to operate effectively in this new algorithmic governance context, and ensure effective and responsible use and deployment of AI. At the same time, you will become familiar with innovative computational techniques, building your technical skills and critical engagement with data. Such skills are in high demand in all areas of society.

When you graduate you will be well-trained to take up employment as future civil servants, policy advisors, policymakers and regulators, different policy and management functions in the (semi-)public sector or multi-nationals as well as roles as consultants, data analysts or (algorithmic) auditors.

Explore your future prospects
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