Nordic Master Programme in Innovative Governance and Public Management

NORDIG educates international experts who profoundly understand the dynamics of public-private collaboration and knowledge intensive professional work in the context of global trends and Nordic welfare societies.

Preliminary info for the 2018 intake!

Programme profile and research at UTA

Finland University
Degree: Master of Administrative Sciences
Duration: 2 years
Extent: 120 ECTS
When to apply: 1.12.2017 – 17.1.2018
Start date: August 2018
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA students: 8000 euros per year
UTA Scholarships
Programme web page
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The programme builds on Nordic research excellence in public administration, innovations and services. The programme brings together the teachers, students and regional partners in innovative learning environment to challenge the current societal problems and practices.

Nordic Master Programme in Innovative Governance and Public Management aims to challenge the traditional contents and sector-oriented learning approaches that are typically applied in the field of public administration and public policy. It brings together elements from social sciences and engineering, combining the strengths of soft and hard applied sciences, resulting to a spirit of solution-focused and resource-oriented entrepreneurialism, interdisciplinary and close relations to society. It provides the students a unique learning environment enabling them to come up with smart solutions and sustainable learning outcomes in the field of public administration and management, in the contexts of public-private partnership, public value creation, co-production and deliberative democracy as well as innovation systems, digitalization and smart solutions.

Programme is organized jointly by University of Tampere (Finland), University of Agder (Norway) and Royal Institute of Technology (Swede



The programme gives the opportunity to study in three excellent Nordic universities. NORDIG puts a strong emphasis on the interplay between theory and practice. It equips graduates with excellent learning and networking skills. They will be able to understand and manage complex networks, service production and value chains. These skills and competencies are particularly relevant given the changing nature of the public and private sectors; such as the blurring of boundaries between the two, the pressure for responding swiftly to societal demands, as well as the enormous socio-economic and political challenges facing European societies in years to come.

Study objectives

The programme educates students to understand public interests and values and the impacts of public services and policies on citizens, organisations and society at large. The curriculum adds a truly Nordic dimension through studies on public administration and public policy across the whole of the Nordic region. The graduates will be equipped with generic and domain-specific competencies needed in the labour market and post-graduate studies.

Graduates will have adequate knowledge of the philosophy of the social sciences and theories of public and innovation policy, public administration, organisational studies and management in order to qualify them to enrol on PhD programmes in public administration and to be able to obtain and utilise the latest academic knowledge from the respective fields. In addition, graduates will develop their managerial skills in order to manage teams and projects – as well as their own learning and knowledge – and to coordinate and develop service systems and value chains both within and across organisational settings. Their adaptive leadership skills will be developed in conjunction with basic training in inter-cultural communication, learning and negotiation skills. The attitudes supported in the programme build on Nordic public values such as transparency, efficiency, equality and fairness, and focus on innovation, openness, problem-solving, partnership networks and global responsibility.

The domain-specific competencies of the programme are derived from the Nordic tradition in public administration and management, in combination with novel (pragmatic) insights from the extended network composed of non-degree providing partners.

The most important domain-specific competencies attained in the programme include understanding the following:

  • the complexities associated with the policy process;
  • the specificity of the public domain as an operating environment;
  • structures and operating principles of knowledge-intensive innovation systems;
  • the management of public processes, organisations and service systems;
  • public leadership.

The generic competencies of the programme highlight the importance of lifelong learning and the ability to work together with experts from different disciplinary, professional and cultural backgrounds. The programme puts a strong emphasis on the interplay between theory and practice. A pragmatic epistemological approach is one of its cross-cutting themes. One semester is dedicated to critical issues related to learning, creativity and communication, which are practiced hands-on in the interdisciplinary context of KTH’s Open Lab. The core aim is to identify and address the so-called ‘wicked problems’ (for which no simple solutions exist) and, in turn, utilize the theoretical knowledge and available technological solutions to solve a multiplicity of societal problems associated with public governance and service provision. Nevertheless, the programmes research-intensive in nature and thus puts a special emphasis on methodological aspects, such as academic writing skills and data-gathering.

Career opportunities

The programme equips graduates with excellent learning and networking skills. They will be able to understand and manage complex networks, service production and value chains. These skills and competencies are particularly relevant given the changing nature of the public and private sectors; such as the blurring of boundaries between the two, the pressure for responding swiftly to societal demands, as well as the enormous socio-economic and political challenges facing European societies in years to come.

Doctoral study opportunities

This master's degree provides the required background if you wish to pursue doctoral studies in Administrative and Social sciences, for example in UTA’s Doctoral Programme of School of Management.

Applying for the programme


Eligible to apply to a Master's degree programme is a person who

  • has completed a university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of Social sciences (eg. Administrative Sciences, Political Science, Business Administration) or other relevant field (eg. Engineering)
  • has fluency in English sufficiently advanced for academic studies. For the requirements, please see the section on Language requirements below.

Language requirements

Applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: previous studies and language tests.

1. Previous studies

The following previous studies are accepted as proof of a good command of English:

  • A Bachelor's degree taken in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States, excluding online degrees, with the applicant having stayed in the respective country when studying for the Bachelor's degree.
  • Secondary education in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States.
  • A right to study towards a degree at the University of Tampere, University of Agder or KTH Royal Technical University in Stockholm AND the foreign language course required in all Bachelor’s degrees in these universities completed in the English language.

2. Nordic Citizens

Applicants who have taken their pre-university education in Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic are not required to submit an international language test score but they must provide other sufficient evidence of their English language proficiency (for example information on studies conducted in English or work experience with English as the working language). NB: International applicants should notice that a degree taken in Nordic countries in English does not exempt from submitting a language test score.

3. Language tests

The programme accepts the following tests as proof of a good command of English:

  • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language; 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based. Please note that scores from TOEFL ITP/institutional testing programme are not accepted.
  • IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System; 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
  • PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English; 62

Please note that the language test score must be valid throughout the application period. This means that if the language test expires even one day before the application deadline, the applicant must take a new language test. Language test results are valid for two years.

We advise all applicants needing an international language test score to book for one well in advance, as test dates are filling up fast in the autumn and it may take several weeks for the test result to reach University Admissions Finland.

For information on how to submit a language test result, please see


Application period

Master's programme application period, 1.12.2017 – 17.1.2018

Start date

August 2018


2 years

Teaching language




Tuition fee

The tuition fee of the programme is 8000 euros per academic year (non-EU/EEA students) with a scholarship-system for fee-paying students:

How to apply

Applications are submitted through an electronic application system. A link to the application form is available on the Admissions web page during the application period. All applications are pre-processed by the centralized University Admissions Finland (UAF) service. Applicants must be able to support their application with enclosures related to their educational background, language skills, and other qualifications and merits. The deadline for submitting the application is 17 January 2018.


Applicants must be able to prove their educational background by means of officially authenticated copies of their documents. If the documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, both the authenticated copies of the documents in their original language and an officially confirmed complete and precise translation into one of the languages mentioned above are required.

In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents issued in certain countries have more specific requirements for submission. Please go through the requirements carefully and check the country-specific requirements for your degree awarding country before applying.

For more information on the required documents, and instructions for applicants, please see How to apply.

If selected, the admitted student will have to present her/his original educational documents upon arrival at the University of Tampere in order to be able to register at the university.

Tuition fee and scholarships

Finnish universities will start collecting tuition fees from non-EU/EEA citizens starting their studies in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes taught in English in August 2017 or after that.

Students do not need to pay the tuition fee if they are:

  • EU/EEA citizen or a family member (spouse/child) of an EU/EEA citizen
  • equivalent to EU/EEA citizens (i.e. citizen of Switzerland)
  • already reside in Finland or some other EU country on a permanent basis (continuous A, or permanent P/P-EU residence permit type), or have an EU Blue Card

Applicants must submit documents confirming their residence permit status with their application. For more information on the required documents, please see Application documents.

The University of Tampere offers a substantial number of scholarships for the most talented fee-paying students. The scholarship scheme consists of two scholarship categories.

  • The University of Tampere tuition fee scholarships cover either 100% or 50% of the tuition fees in a two-year Master’s degree programme.
  • The University of Tampere global student award for academic excellence scholarships cover 100% of the tuition fees and include a 7,000 € annual scholarship to cover the student’s living expenses during the two-year Master’s degree programme.

Students apply for the scholarship as part of the application to the degree programme. Admitted applicants who have been granted a scholarship will be informed about this together with the admission decision.

For more information on who is required to pay the fee and on the available scholarships, please see Fees and Scholarships web page.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who fulfil the official admission criteria. Student selection is made on the basis of application documents; there is no entrance exam. Applicants are assessed on the following merits:

  • the applicant’s a) academic quality and the success and b) relevance of the applicant's overall study record in the completed Bachelor's degree and other studies, judged primarily from the degree certificate and transcript of records
  • the applicant’s English language skills for academic purposes, judged from the documentation provided
  • the applicant’s motivation to study in this programme specifically, and justification of the application in relation to prior studies and future career plans, judged from the letter of motivation and the CV, in the case that there are equally qualified applicants
  • the disciplinary background of the student supporting the aim of the programme, in the case that there are equally good applicants

In addition, work experience relevant to the programme and other relevant merits and qualifications may be taken into account, in the case that there are equally good applicants.

The Consortium may arrange interviews to assess the most qualified applicants. The interviews are conducted by video, telephone or in Skype in February-March. The interviewees will be contacted using the contact details provided by the applicant on the application form. Prior to the interview, instructions will be sent to the interviewees by email. The purpose of the individual interview in English is to establish the applicant's motivation and her/his aptitude and ability to discuss the content areas of the Master programme. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.

Announcement of results and rectification procedure

Admissions results will be announced in March 2018 (to be confirmed). All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.

Please see the general instructions concerning rectification procedure at University of Tampere:

Contact information

Aino Nordling
Study Coordinator
aino.nordling (at)