Master - policy stream : public administration

Please note

The policy stream "Public administration" is taught entirely in French under the title "Administration publique".

Description and objectives of the Public Administration Policy Stream

The Public Administration policy stream within Master’s programmes at the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs equips students with core interdisciplinary knowledge of French and European public law, public finance, economics, social issues and broader topics in the field of public affairs. To this theoretical understanding it adds indispensable practical skills in management, negotiation and project leadership.

Sciences Po’s longest-running course is now one of its most modern. The public administration policy stream continues to attract a wealth of students seeking to take up positions of responsibility across the public and private sector, in institutional relations, politics or a range of other fields.

Programme structure of the Public Administration Policy Stream

The Public Administration policy stream is an option available to students of two Master’s programmes: the Master in Public Policy and the Master in European Affairs.

Courses within the Master in Public Policy give students in-depth comparative and interdisciplinary knowledge of the field of public affairs, blending economic, legal, ethical, historical, political, managerial and digital approaches.

The Master in European Affairs offers world-class training for students wishing to enter careers in Europe, whether in the European public sector, private sector or international organisations.

The Public Administration policy stream at the School of Public Affairs is structured around five core courses combining theoretical knowledge and practical skills. These consider public policies in all their diversity: social, legal, political, budgetary, economic, management and communication, and so on.

Core courses and electives open to all Master’s students provide a deeper insight into contemporary challenges facing actors in public administration and public affairs more broadly: deontology, digital transition, inclusive and sustainable policy-making, democratic issues. Students gain the skills and knowledge to bring their own responses to these.
The school’s Policy Lab allows students to put their knowledge into practice through case studies and simulations. As part of the Public Policy Innovator, they are invited to design and implement public policy projects. In doing so, they gain the practical skills they need to launch their careers: teamwork, negotiation, change management and leadership.

Courses specific to the Public Administration Policy Stream

The courses taught within the Public Administration policy stream specifically are:

  • Public law (Y1);
  • Public European law (Y2);
  • Public finance (Y1);
  • Political economy (Y1);
  • Social issues (Y2).

Students may also choose to deepen their knowledge of topics required for the competitive civil service recruitment exams. Three optional courses are available in Semester 1, 2 and 3 of the Master’s programme: international issues, European issues and contemporary issues in public administration.

Professional Opportunities after the Public Administration Policy Stream

This policy stream offered at the School of Public Affairs is aimed at students aspiring to enter the senior French and European civil service, either through competitive civil service recruitment exams (the school offers preparatory training for 15 different exams (FR), including the ENA, the INET, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Bank of France etc.) or by applying for contracted positions.

It is also suited to students wishing to work for public affairs departments at French and international corporations, public sector consultancy firms, or to enter careers in politics (e.g. as parliamentary assistants, ministerial cabinet advisors, local council officials etc.).

> Find out more about career opportunities.

Programme of the Public Administration Policy Stream

Master in Public Policy - Public administration policy stream:

Master in European Affairs - Public administration policy stream:

Academic Advisor of the Public Administration Policy Stream

Bernard Stirn - President of the Litigation Section at the Conseil d'État. 

Bernard Stirn holds a degree in law from Sciences Po and is an alumnus of the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA). Now Section President at the French Conseil d’État, he chaired the Litigation Section from 2006 – 2018. In 2019, he was elected a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. He was formerly cabinet director for the Secretary of State at the French Ministry of National Education (1983-1984) and assistant rapporteur at the Constitutional Council (1986-1991). An associate professor at Sciences Po, Stirn teaches law at the School of Public Affairs. His courses cover public European law (special course in Semester 3), European courts, constitutional courts, supreme courts (elective in Semester 2) and, as part of the core Master’s curriculum, a course on “Major Developments in Public Law since 1989” (Semester 2).


Academic advisor: Salymata Kanté

Academic assistants: Hanène Laidouni, Cécile Markarian

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