The Best Masters of Public Administration in Europe | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

The Best Masters of Public Administration in Europe


Are you interested in working for the public sector? Looking for a degree to take your career to the next level? A masters of Public Administration may be a great option for you. With many excellent programmes across Europe, it can be difficult to narrow down your options. That is why this EDUopinions article will outline the best masters of public administration—to help you find the perfect programme for you!

What does a masters of public administration do?

Masters of Public Administration

A masters of public administration (MPA) is similar to a masters of business administration (MBA) but with a focus on public sector management. Instead of learning about how to operate private companies and industries, this degree focuses on the skills necessary to be an efficient and innovative professional within the realm of public services. Many of the skills taught in MPA courses are similar to those of MBAs (like project management, decision-making and finance) but with important industry-specific knowledge on what it is like to work in the public sector.

Is a Master of Public Administration a good degree?

A master of public administration is certainly a good degree, in that it teaches you how to be a professional in a number of public sector fields. For example, many graduates of MPA programmes go on to work in policy analysis, emergency management, transportation, public health care, environmental policy and more. In recent years, MPA degrees have incorporated an international emphasis, enabling their graduates to go on to work in non-governmental and international organisations, like the United Nations, the World Bank and more.

Is an MPA or MBA better?

Neither degree is inherently better than the other. Whether an MPA or an MBA is the ideal degree for you depends on your career goals and work interests. If you are more inclined to work for a government agency, a non-profit social organisation or an international organisation, an MPA is definitely the better option for you. MBAs tend to prepare graduates for work in business, finance, banking and other for-profit sectors, whereas an MPA is helpful for working in fields like healthcare administration, educational administration and non-profit management, among others.

What is a MPA degree salary?

Because salaries differ depending on location, position and a variety of other factors, it is difficult to pinpoint a single salary one can earn with an MPA. Our research showed that across most of Western Europe, an average salary for an MPA graduate is around €60,000. But again, this figure can vary substantially. Those working for the government at mid-level positions may expect to earn around this amount, whereas those working for an international organisation at the executive level could expect to make a six-figure salary. For more information about salaries with an MPA degree, reach out to EDUopinions for individual advice!

Looking for more info on MPAs?
Get help!

EDUopinions’ list of the best masters of public administration in Europe:

MSC Public Administration at Leiden University

First up is the MSc in public administration at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Because this one-year programme is taught in The Hague, home to numerous international institutions and a hub of European policy and governance, students benefit from close access to a variety of public-sector opportunities like events, internships and career paths. The programme allows students to choose one of three specialisations in economics and governance; international and European governance; and public management and leadership. With plenty of growth opportunities and the option to specialise, it is no wonder why this programme at Leiden is one of the best masters of public administration in Europe.

Master in Public Administration at the University of Nicosia

Next on our list of the best masters of public administration is the MPA at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. This programme is an excellent opportunity for Greek speakers to advance their knowledge and experience in public-sector work. Lasting three semesters, this MPA takes an initially interdisciplinary approach to public administration but then allows students to specialise in a field of interest. With modules on public policy, management and implementation, students are guaranteed to receive a comprehensive education in public-sector work, with area focuses in Europe, the US and beyond.

Masters in Public Administration at the University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham in the UK offers another one of the best masters of public administration. Their MPA programme is flexible in that students can choose between a one-year full-time and a two-year part-time format. This type of programming is particularly ideal for those who may continue to work during their studies. Another advantage of this degree at the University of Birmingham is the highly international environment, with students coming from dozens of different countries and bringing with them a sense of their culture and public services. Students in this programme can be sure to go on to successful careers in public administration.

Executive Master of Public Administration at Hertie School of Governance


Another one of the best masters of public administration is offered by the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. Their Executive MPA programme is also highly flexible, giving students the option to complete the course in one year or in two to four years part-time thanks to its modular format, which allows students to pursue their studies around their own timetable. This degree places emphasis on innovation and digitalisation in the public sector, a trend which is in high-demand. In addition, this programme at Hertie benefits from its location in Berlin, with numerous public sector organisations in a highly international environment, meaning there are plenty of excellent opportunities to pursue after graduation.

Master in Public Administration and Organisational Science at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam - EUR- campus

Erasmus University offers a masters in public administration and organisational science, which is another top-notch option to consider. Located in Rotterdam and lasting two-years, this programme differs from others on this list in that it is a research master, meaning that students learn how to conduct public policy-related research under the supervision of some of the field’s best academics. For students who are looking for an intellectual challenge, this course may be perfect for you! What’s more, this is the most affordable course on this list, with tuition fees set at just over €2,000 for EU/EEA students. For motivated students looking to elevate their public-sector knowledge and research skills, this is one of the best masters in public administration available.

MPA in Public Administration at the University of Leeds

Finally, the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom is home to another top-ranked master of public administration. Their MPA programme lasts one-year and provides students with an interdisciplinary education, with options to select a variety of different modules based on your own interests and goals. The University of Leeds maintains many public-sector partnerships, giving students the opportunity to work on real-world case scenarios and bring their theoretical learning into practice. This degree has a proven track record of setting up graduates for work in senior-level positions in the public sector. For all these reasons, this MPA is definitely one to consider.

Conclusion about The Best Masters of Public Administration in Europe

We at EDUopinions hope this list has helped you understand what an MPA is and what options exist. If any of these programmes sparked your interest, or if you need helping to find additional programmes, do not hesitate to reach out to EDUopinions for free, individualised advice.

Need help choosing an MPA?
Get free advice!

Check out these related articles on the 9 best masters in healthcare in Europe and the top business schools with sustainable development.

Featured Content
Written by
Drew Harper is a recent graduate of University College London, where he studied history, politics and economics. As a content creator at EDUopinions, he is passionate about broadening access to international learning opportunities for students around the world.

Recent Posts

Get our experts advice for free.
Contact us.
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our Privacy Policy for more details.