EMPA programme

European Master's in Public Administration - EMPA

This is a one-year Master Certificate programme provided by the Department of Public Policy and Management of the Faculty of Economics at the Corvinus University of Budapest.

Students enrolled to the MSc in Public Policy and Management progríam can complete the EMPA programme and spend a guest semester at an EMPA network partner institution they select. If completed successfully, this will entitle students for an EMPA Certificate jointly signed by these EMPA partners. The certificate is issued provided student writes and defends his/her thesis work also in English and studies one semester at one of the partner universities.

The EMPA programme is offered by a network of twelve different universities. Besides the Corvinus Department of Public Policy and Management the following institutions are involved:

  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium),
  • Deutsche Universität für Verwaltungswissenschaften, Speyer (Germany),
  • Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (France),
  • Institut d'Études Politiques Lyon (France)
  • Tallin University of Technology (Estonia),
  • University of Liverpool (the United Kingdom),
  • University of Vaasa (Finland),
  • Rijkuniversiteit Leiden (the Netherlands),
  • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (the Netherlands),
  • University of Geneva (Switzerland),
  • Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)


For more information: www.empa-network.info


What is the aim of EMPA and who is the programme designed for?


The public sector young practitioners who can cross cultural boundaries and manage effectively in multicultural situations in Europe. Accordingly, many public agencies have sought to employ graduates who demonstrate the managerial, cultural and linguistic skills necessary for national and international careers. The EMPA was created as a joint response to this demand.

The primary objective of the current programme is to stimulate the development of European Master’s in Public Administration by internationalizing the existing programmes of the participating institutions. For this purpose, the institutions have developed a common framework for scheduling and organizing a one-year study program on the basis of mutually agreed course requirements, curriculum elements, cross-national and common examination standards and well structured and closely supervised student exchanges.




The EMPA programme is focused on the comparative analysis of questions of public administration, public policy and public management in different (EU and non-EU) European countries in the context of processes of internationalization, Europeanization and European integration.

The programme is designed to provide a comparative understanding of public sector structures, policies and processes in different European countries, as well as a methodology for analyzing and dealing with different structures and processes of public sector management, guidance and control. A basic topic is the way in which the characteristics of different systems of government and administration within Europe relate to national and sub-national perspectives on issues, processes and institutions of European integration, both within and across the borders of the EU.

The language of instruction is generally English, but it is German in Speyer and French in Paris. For admission to the EMPA program non-native English students are requested to take a TOEFL test (minimum score 550) or an equivalent language test. Non-native German students wishing to spend a semester in Speyer are requested to obtain the 'Deutsch als Fremdsprache Zertifikat' (ZDF) from the Goethe Institute. Non-European students can also be subjected to a GRE-test.

Check out the leaflet of the programme, click here.

Read more about the programme from the perspective of a former student, click here.



Available Courses (indicative, non-exhaustive list)


  Fall Spring
Comparative Public Administration 2+2 (6 ECTS)  
Theories of Public Affairs 2+2 (6 ECTS)  
Multilevel Governance 2+2 (6 ECTS)  
Economics of the Public Sector   2+2 (6 ECTS)
Institutions of the Public Sector   2+2 (6 ECTS)
Comprehensive Public Policy Analysis   2+2 (6 ECTS)



  Fall Spring
Organizational Theories 2/2  exam  
Corporate Governance 2/2 exam  
Economics of Health at Work 2/2 exam  
Health Economic Modeling 2/2 exam  
Public Economics and Finance 2/2  exam  
Civil Society and Organizations of Transition 2/2 exam  
Empirical Research Methods 2+2  
Comparative Political Economy 2/2 exam  
Public Policy Decision-making   2/2 exam
Comparative Local Government Systems 2/2 exam 2/2 exam
EU Economic Policies 2+2 exam 2/2 exam
The Globalisation of World Politics 2/2 exam 2/2 exam
Decision Theory   2/0 exam
Autonomy, Control and Coordination in Public Administration   2/2 exam
Local Government Regulation and Finance   2/2 exam
Public Policy Process in Central and Eastern Europe 4/0 exam 4/0 exam
Quality Improvement Management in Health Care   2/2 exam
Public Financial Management   2+2
Globalization, Financial Crises and Development   2/2 exam

Courses are taught in English.


The advanced character of the EMPA programme presupposes a basic knowledge as well as an understanding of European Public Administration of Public Economics and Finance, and of International Organization and Politics. This means that the programme is directed in the first place towards graduated students of Business, Economics and Political and Social Sciences or to students holding an equivalent degree.


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