Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership and Digitalization
Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership and Digitalization
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization is a highly research focused Master’s programme of 120 ECTS. It is a collaboration between three different universities; University of Gothenburg, NORD University in Bodø (Norway), and Åbo Akademi University (Finland)
The programme is directed at students coming from a social science background (minimum requirement of a bachelor degree of 180 ECTS) aiming at preparing for professional work in academia as well as within public sector organizations.
The programme will provide students with valuable insights into theory and practice, focusing on public administration, public finance and budgeting, and governance. The Nordic welfare models is highly integrated throughout the programme, together with a distinct perspective on how public sector organizations are affected by and adjusts to processes of digitalization.
In order to be eligible for the Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme, you need a bachelor’s degree of at least 180 ECTS within the field of social sciences (or equivalent). Within the bachelor’s degree you are required to have at least 7.5 ECTS of science theory and methodology.
It is not a formal requirement to have written a bachelor’s thesis within your degree, but for a successful completion of the programme you are recommended to have a high degree of proficiency in reading and writing academic text.
Specific admission requirements (for NORD University)
Please note that the general academic requirement does not fully apply to the courses given by NORD University. Courses given by the Business School have additional requirements, ensuring that candidates will be able to facilitate a deeper understanding in the areas of accounting, budgeting and organizing principles.
For students purposing to seek a semester at NORD University during their 2nd or 3rd semester (see above), admission requirements are as follows:
Admission to the Master of Science programs is based on a Bachelor degree of three/four years of study (Bachelor or equivalent) in business/management-related fields, with certain requirements concerning relevant courses. Minimum 90 ECTS credits within the following topics must be covered as part of the undergraduate study:
Business 30 ECTS credits (introduction to business administration, management accounting, financial accounting, finance and investment.)
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization is taught, examined, and graded in English. In order to cope with the high demands placed on candidates, you are required to have a very good level of English. Exemptions from the English language requirements are very limited.
Application and selection
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization starts every autumn semester and there is only one application period (please note that both international and domestic/EU students apply in the international application).
If you are unsure of what documents to submit, please read above under "Entry requirements" and "Selection". We will not consider or review any letters of recommendation, but do not forget to submit your Statement of Intent.
Applications for the Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization are reviewed by the Admissions Office at the University of Gothenburg. Assessments of qualifications equivalent of subjects within the field of social science are due to individual assessments as part of the regular admissions procedures. The Admissions Office and the School of Public Administration are unable to make any assessments in advance.
The round for applications runs from the October 16th to January 15th. You do not have to have completed your Bachelor’s degree when you apply. You must, however, meet the requirements when the programme begins. The strict time limit is due to e.g. VISA-application procedures.
EEA students or non-EEA students apply at www.universityadmissions.se. Follow all the instructions that are given on the webpage. The strict time limits for application are due to visa applications, among other issues. Do not forget to pay the application fee. Application fee does not apply for EU/EEA citizens or exchange students.
In addition to the entry requirement documents (transcripts, degree, and English proficiency certification) you have to fill out and upload a Motivational Letter. Applicants’ Motivational Letters are used to rank applicants that meet the basic requirements for the programme. Please use the assigned form below (the weighted importance of each question is defined in the form). Your Motivational Letter should be written in a clear and concise language, where each area of interests is elaborated upon.
The programme is well suited for candidates that want to pursue an academic career through an application to PhD-programme at one of the universities.
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme is suitable for students with a study background within the social sciences, especially within public administration, public policy, business administration, or social work. The programme is also suitable for (active) practitioners that wishes to advance their current education level with a multiple master degree, e.g. individuals active in so called street-level bureaucracy or front-line professional work such as education, social work, or law enforcement. Candidates of the Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme will be well prepared for a large variety of highly qualified professional work.
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme is well suited for candidates that want to pursue an academic career through an application to PhD-programme at one of the universities. The flexibility of the programme structure, enables students to obtain a valuable and individually relevant master education of high quality. All candidates are encouraged to seek a PhD-position after completion of the programme.
Please note that completion of the Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme does not entitle or give a right to a PhD-position.
Degree and diploma
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization is a multiple degree programme.
This means that graduating candidates can receive one, two, or three different master degrees, depending on the individual choices and educational focus. Each university issues a diploma, given that local criteria are met by the candidates:
From UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG, graduating candidates may receive a Master of Public Administration.
From AAU, graduating candidates may receive a Master of Social Sciences
Upon the successful completion of the program, candidates will acquire the following knowledge, skills and, competencies:
Demonstrate in-depth knowledge concerning Nordic governance and management models applicable for public administration.
Demonstrate advanced understandings concerning methodological practices regarding the social sciences generally and public administration specifically.
Compare and critically assess governance and management models within and between the Nordic countries.
Demonstrate in-depth knowledge concerning the digitalization as a concept and its implications on leadership in public administration.
Acquire an enhanced ability for critical reading of scientific texts and an ability to compare and assess such literature within the fields of public administration, leadership and digitalization.
Expertly advance a capability to think across disciplinary boundaries and to advance novel understandings of complex governance and management models in the Nordic countries.
Demonstrate an ability to undertake systematically and logically assessments with specific reference to governance and management models in the Nordic countries.
Develop an ability to critically analyze and identify key challenges for efficient and effective leadership in different areas of digitalization processes in public administration.
Advance an awareness of ethical considerations when implementing governance and management models within public sector organizations.
Enhance the ability of ethical aspects in social science research.
Be able to formulate theoretically and empirically relevant research problems.
Be able to independently plan and execute scientifically valid research with focus on leadership strategies in digitalization processes of public administration.
Be able to summarize and present considerable volumes of high quality research information in a practice-relevant manner.
Be able to present novel and innovative research findings and to discuss and collaborate with relevant research communities.
Mandatory and electable courses
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme is constructed through a mix of mandatory and electable courses.
The mandatory courses are given during the first and fourth semester:
Introduction to public administration in a digitalized era (15 ECTS): This course gives an introduction to different governance and administrative models used in the Nordic countries. The course aims at presenting the students with a wide pallet of theories for understanding and analysing how, when, and why certain reforms have been implemented. The course also situates modern public administration theories within ideas of automation and digitalization in order to enable deeper understandings of future developments.
Advanced methods in social science (15 ECTS): This course introduces students to a wide array of different methodological practices and theories, necessary for the advancement of advanced studies within the field of social science. The course is partly integrated with the “Introduction to public administration in a digitalized era” in that assignments and tasks of a methodological character will be connected with contents of the other course.
Master thesis (30 ECTS): This course builds on each student’s own development within the programme in the sense that the student is required to design and carry through an advanced study. The study can be either empirically or conceptually oriented, although students are encouraged to write a thesis that has bearing for academia as well as practice. In order to validate the quality of the undertaken work, the master thesis must reach the requirements of each university where a diploma is to be issued.
Electable can be taken during semester two and three at either NORD University or Åbo Academy University:
Electable courses at NORD University Electable courses at Åbo Academy University
ECO5002 (7.5 ECTS) Performance Management in the Public Sector
OFFLEDOBL1 (5 ECTS) Public Sector Management and Leadership
ECO5003 (7.5 ECTS) Public Accounting & Financial Reporting according to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)
OFFLEDOBL4 (5 ECTS) Public Sector Reform
ECO5015 (7.5 ECTS) Risk Management and Internal Control
OF1 (5 ECTS) Applied Organization Theory
FIN5002 (7.5 ECTS) Digital business analytics
OF2 (5 ECTS) Management of Public Resources
ENT5003 (7.5 ECTS) Teamwork in practice
STATSVETOBL1 (5 ECTS) Democratic Innovations
EN313E (7.5 ECTS) International Governance and Business in the High North
OL00BC81 (5 ECTS) Ethics and Organization
ECO5021 (7.5 ECTS) Sustainable development in perspective of ecological economy
370186.0 (5 ECTS) Multi-Level Governance
ECO5023 (7.5 ECTS) Experience based innovation and value co-creation
370177.1 (5 ECTS) Policy Processes in the EU
SO341S (10 ECTS) Foundations of Northern Development
370161.0 (5 ECTS) Political Institutions in the European Union
SO343S (10 ECTS) Climate Change as a Current Issue in the Northern Regions
OF00BP15 (5 ECTS) Environmental Governance at the Local Level
SO342S (10 ECTS) Sami Society and Identity in the Past and Present
SA356S (10 ECTS) Social Policies in the Nordic Welfare State
SA384S (10 ECTS) Housing and Community Work
SA385S (10 ECTS) Youth@Risk
PO305S (10 ECTS) Development of the Welfare State
PO301S (10 ECTS) Governance
OR335S (10 ECTS) Innovation in the service sector
Students furthermore have an opportunity to integrate one semester worth (30 ECTS) of internship with one of our many collaborating organizations. The possibility of an internship is given during the third semester at University of Gothenburg and NORD University.
For more information about the courses, please contact the Director of Studies.
The Nordic countries is located in the northern part of Europe. It is generally understood to include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. In the collaboration of the Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization, candidates are offered a unique opportunity to gain insights and personal experience with three of these countries (Finland, Norway, and Sweden).
To know more about our countries, please visit the below websites.
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization is a two-year master programme (120 ECTS), given in collaboration between University of Gothenburg, NORD University in Bodø, and Åbo Akademi University.
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization is a research-based master programme in which focus rests on an interdisciplinary Nordic approach to governing and managing the digitalized public sector. The programme aims to educate and train the next generation of professionals, within academia as PhD students or as civil servants in public sector organizations, with specific focus on efficient and effective use of public resources. Candidates will, specifically, be trained, prepared, and encouraged to apply for a PhD-programme at any of the three collaborating universities.
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme entails a truly interdisciplinary curriculum wherein focus is directed towards the fields of public administration, business administration, and public policy through a distinct Nordic perspective.
Mobility period (and academic focuses)
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization is given in collaboration between three different universities; University of Gothenburg, NORD University, and Åbo Akademi University. This means that mobility forms a focal part of the programme, demanding that students partake in at least 30 ECTS from one of the host universities in addition to the mandatory 30 ECTS at University of Gothenburg.
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme is highly flexible, allowing for students to choose between a high variety of different courses. All admitted candidates are offered an exclusive one-to-one consultation with a study counsellor at University of Gothenburg during the first semester. This consultation aims at ironing out which thematic profile that is best suited for the individual candidate.
The flexibility of the programme allows a high degree of individualization in terms of educational focus. This means that candidates will have a multitude of different courses to attend (see section on mandatory and electable courses), within the general scope of the programme. The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization also offers packages of different courses. These packages or focuses are:
The public administration and policy focus: focused on understanding the intersection of administrative and policy levels within the different Nordic welfare states. The focus engages candidates' analytical abilities in assessing and constructing viable administrative solutions that secure efficient use of public resources whilst also maintaining high levels of citizens involvement.
The public management and economy focus: focused on understanding how, when, and why public resources are used and what effects those resources are created. The focus challenges candidates to critically assess and understand how accounting, budgeting and organizing principles are implemented and used within public sector organizations. Performance management in the public sector organizations is one of the central topics in this focus.
The public digital organization focus: focused on the advent of digitalized tools and professional work structures, wherein candidates engage deeper knowledge concerning how governing and management models are fundamental for efficient and effective public sector organizations.
During the third semester, candidates are offered the opportunity to include an internship in the curriculum. Internships are high in demand and offered to candidates that have performed their studies with high marks. Internships are offered by University of Gothenburg (home university) and can also be offered by NORD University (host university) for a maximum of 30 ECTS.
During the fourth semester, all candidates are required to write a master thesis of 30 ECTS. All eligible candidates are given a main supervisor at the university of choosing. In order to validate the quality of the undertaken work, the master thesis must reach the requirements of each university where a diploma is to be issued.
Scholarship, Tuition and Fees
Candidates who participates in the Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme and are citizens of countries outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay application and tuition fees to the university at which they study.
The Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme has established Erasmus agreements between the three universities collaborating on the programme. These grants are open for application by all candidates of the Nordic Master in Public Administration, Leadership, and Digitalization programme.