Public Administration, Master's, 2 years

Public Administration is the study of administration, organization and politics.
  • TuitionNone
  • Years2 Years
  • Intake10
  • Grade requirementsMinimum C
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ECTS120
  • StartAutumn

Main content

The Master’s programme in Public Administration develops analytical skills through the use of relevant theories of organization and institutions. You will also learn how to design suitable research methods to study current complex governance and policy issues and their implications.  

  • How does policies and governance impact administrative performance and quality of service?
  • How do we measure and study good governance? 

This is a political science master’s programme that combines organizational theory and a unique understanding of public administration. We draw on theoretical and empirical research on formal organizations, and look at the relationship between organizations and individuals and organizations and their environments.

The ability to understand organizations in a political context is sought after in many different industries and fields of research.

The Department of Government is friendly, international, and not too big. As a master’s student, you will be part of the research environment. 

Here you will find interviews with our students

More information below

Master's Programme in Public Administration
Emil Breistein for UiB


With an MPA, you will have developed your analytical skills through scientific work and presentations - particularly when it comes to organizational issues, democracy, politics, administration and service delivery.

You can work with organizational design and leadership, management in public administration, private firms and voluntary organizations. You will also be able to give advice on organizational and policy issues in the private and public sectors.

Our alumni work in a variety of positons, such as

  • National coordinator for an NGO
  • University Union Project Manager
  • Government undersecretary
  • Senior Human Resources Officer

Job opportunities with a master’s degree from the University of Bergen

More information below

Student life

As a master’s student at The Department of Government you will have your own desk in the department’s reading rooms in our building on campus in the center of Bergen. 

We only admit a small number of master’s students each year. This creates a tightly knit group of students and great follow-up from our staff. 

Semester 1 and 2 

In a typical week, you will normally attend 3 lectures a week, as well as seminars. You are expected to join in the discussions, give presentations and comment on other students’ material. You will also write essays based on the syllabus.  

Semester 3

You collect data through fieldwork or other methods, and start writing your master’s thesis. You present your work as it progresses, and get thorough feedback from faculty, fellow students and your supervisor. You also attend Dissertation Seminars where you present chapters from your thesis twice. You also learn how to plan your studies and thesis writing. 

Semester 4

In your final semester, you will mostly work in close cooperation with your supervisor to complete your master’s thesis.

You choose the topic of your master’s thesis based on your research interests. You can also decide on a topic while taking the course AORG 332 Research design. 

You choose a supervisor among the faculty based on similar research interests. Through the two semesters, you and your supervisor have up to 10 meetings, and discuss via email.

Read more about our graduates' master theses


The programme covers two academic years (four semesters) and starts in the autumn. Most students conduct some form of fieldwork for their master’s project. 

First semester

Mandatory courses:

Second semester

Mandatory courses:

Elective “state of the art”- courses, choose one:

  • AORG326 Political Organization and Multilevel Governance (10 ECTS)
  • AORG327 Knowledge, Politics and Organization (10 ECTS)
  • AORG328 Leadership in Organizational and Cultural Contexts (10 ECTS)

A supervisor is appointed for your master’s project.

Third and fourth semester

  • writing your master’s thesis (AORG351, 60 ECTS)

See full list of courses

What you learn

Employers will be interested in your training in both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

With an MPA, you will

  • know recent theoretical developments and research on organizations, public administration, public policy and governance.
  • have developed critical thinking and can conduct independent analysis in assessing, diagnosing and addressing policy and governance related issues and challenges.
  • be able to communicate and identify relevant problem issues and how to analyze them with regard to public policy and governance to different stakeholders of public policy and administration. 

Full list of learning outcomes

Admission Requirements

In order to apply for the Master's Programme in Public Administration you need a bachelor's degree of 3-4 years' duration, or an equivalent educational background. 

The degree must include 1,5 years (80-90 ECTS) of full-time studies in relevant courses such as:

  • Political Science or related subjects
  • Public Administration
  • Organization Theory

The degree must include a minimum of 10 ECTS in social science methods.

You also need to document:

How to apply

Follow these links to find the general entry requirements and guidelines on how to apply: