International Public Management - English

Many students start this programme thinking they are going to change the world. That’s good; hold on to that thought. But we prefer to educate students who become practical idealists. The main goal at IPM is for you to develop a critical and reflective attitude towards society. But you will also acquire an awareness of your own prejudices. In year one you will learn about economics, international law and of course, public management. Then in year two, you will apply this knowledge during group projects, in which we simulate many international political crises. In the last two years of the programme, you will work on cases that government institutions and multinationals struggle with today, via an applied research course in year three and an internship and thesis in year four.

Contact the study

If you have any further questions about admission requirements, enrolment or about following the International Public Management programme, please e-mail Jasper van Koppen at or give him a call: +31 (0)70 - 445 7170

Contact our Study & Career Centre Contact us by phone (+31) (0)70 445 8595 or by email

Structure of International Public Management - English



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Study credits


in year one

Year 1

The first year is the foundation (propaedeutic) year

In year one you will be introduced to four ways of looking at public administration: from political, legal, economic and sociological perspectives. Insightful courses include: Public Administration, Trade, Economics and Governance. What is your understanding of democracy? And should we apply  Western morals when looking at EU dilemmas such as the refugee crisis or the economic uncertainties in Greece? Or should we approach these from a more intercultural standpoint? If you are wondering whether all the theory in year one is ideological by nature? Partly. Yes, you will need to understand the basic ideologies on which countries around the world base their political systems. But to make these ideologies tangible you will be given the tools to translate ideas into international public policies. To name an example: most public administrators impose green energy onto companies because they feel it will be good for the environment. IPM will teach you how to set up a sensible strategy with a realistic cost structure to make international energy giants see why.


Block 1
Introduction to Public Administration
Organisation and Management 1
Project 1.1
Professional English
Skills Week I: Applied Research
Reasoning and Research Skills
Block 2
Introduction to International Relations
Comparative Politics
Project 1.2
Professional English
Skills Week II: Project and Management Skills 1
Block 3
Introduction to Economics
Global Sociology 1
International Law
Civil War and Conflict Studies
Professional English
Skills Week III: Project and Management Skills 2
Block 4
Financial Management
International Peace building
Human Rights Law and Conflict Resolution
Professional English
Skills Week IV: Applied Research
Drag sideways

Year 2

Delve deeper

The second part of IPM is all about putting your critical thoughts on public policy into practice. You will further learn international law, which cannot exert the same power as a national legal system. But you will also acquire knowledge about peace negotiations. To help students understand how this plays out in practice you will participate in mock-trials. Last year for instance students each had their own role and political agenda in the re-enactment of the Columbia-Farce peace negotiations. One group of students represented civil society, while the other spoke on behalf of the United Nations and the European Union. Additionally, year two will also see you and your fellow students plan and organise a conference in which speakers will deliberate on current governmental issues. Each year students choose a particular theme, such as healthcare, and all courses will then revolve around this theme to support students with their preparation for the conference.

Year 3

Once you have figured out how you would tackle today’s burning economic and political questions, year three will follow up with more group projects. This time, however, the main focus will be on business and governments and the compromises they make on a daily basis. For example, you could be exploring what new safety procedures could be introduced to prevent ISIS from spreading terror, while at the same time taking civilians’ privacy into consideration. So, does all this mean that IPM is basically about public relations, lobbying and diplomacy? Well not entirely, as a pubic administrator you cannot afford to turn a blind eye to international corporations. That’s why year three emphasises the significance of organisational behaviour and intercultural communication. Additionally, you will have to follow two minors, either at THUAS or abroad. We have had students travel to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Ghana to see how non-European countries deal with public management.

Year 4

Internship and graduation

You will have a few courses in year four but these are all designed to support you in successfully completing your thesis and internship. The space available to us on this website isn’t enough to let us describe the wide array of subjects you can cover for your thesis. We therefore advise students to focus on a particular policy that governments, NGOs or multinationals struggle with today. Because, let’s be honest, combining a thesis with your internship avoids having to start from scratch. And it will make your thesis more relevant, and fun to write too. Last year, for instance, one student wrote his dissertation on the introduction of a public policy that would make emission trading more effective. It isn’t hard to see how this could benefit a company like SHELL. It creates cold hard cash, but also exceeds government regulations on bettering the environment.

Assistance during your studies

Study coaching and advice

We assume your time at IPM will run smoothly. But, if you are experiencing any study problems, we offer personal assistance. A coach can help you keep track of your study progress and further guide your career development. He or she can help you improve your time-management skills for example, or find the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions. He or she will also support you if you have any personal problems that can adversely affect your schoolwork.

Collect ECTS

Binding Study Advice (BSA)

In the first year, you are expected to earn at least 50 of the 60 credits available. In some cases, as part of the 50 credits, you will need have passed a certain subject.

If you fulfil all requirements, the Examination Board will issue a positive study advice and you can continue with your degree programme. If you fail to meet these requirements, you will be issued a negative binding study advice and will be required to leave the degree programme.

The Examination Board may take personal circumstances into consideration, such as illness or participation in professional sports. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The study advice may be deferred, possibly with certain conditions attached that must be fulfilled during the following academic year.

You are personally responsible for your academic progress, so make sure to contact your academic career coach early on if things are not going well.


Shape your degree

IPM students often enter the workforce with some form of specialisation. We have at least six minors at THUAS that fit the IPM programme. You might, for example, want to deepen your understanding of Chinese Economics and Culture or help developing countries improve their exporting position in a globalised economy via the minor Development Cooperation. Of course, we could hardly call ourselves an international programme if we didn’t offer you the opportunity to do a minor abroad. Last year we even had students studying in China and Morocco.

Working methods

Lectures, seminars, study visits, self-study, group activities and project work

International Public Management is an UNESCO certified programme. This means we are connected to many international partners and over a 150 partner universities across the globe. The IPM curriculum serves its students a perfect mix of private- and public-sector lesson material. So what better place to study IPM than at The Hague, a melting pot of politics, international tribunals, NGOs and multinationals. And, thanks to our study organisation Agora you will go on plenty of excursions and meet guest lecturers at these institutions. THUAS  applies a perfect combination of traditional classroom teaching and practical group assignments. And, paired with our strong relationship with internationally active corporations, this is probably why IPM students have no difficulty getting top of the bill internships at organisations like Eurojust, the ICC, the Ministry of Defence and UNICEF.

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