Faculty of Social
and Economic Sciences
Comenius University in Bratislava

Public Policy Studies

Brief characteristic of the study programme

Public policy studies how individual administrative and political levels create, approve, apply as well as evaluate measures and programmes aimed at resolving various social problems.

Public Policy and Administration, as a field of study, is an interdisciplinary study programme which draws from such fields as political science, management, economics, law and sociology, but also from other social sciences. Its main objective is to prepare professionals who have the conceptual and analytical knowledge, as well as all the necessary skills to work in the area of public policy. Graduates of the programme should be able to analyse the sectoral policies and cross-sectional administrative and political issues, present and urge new information, findings and attitudes, as well as to contribute to improving the quality of professional discourse both in Slovakia and abroad.  The study programme has been designed in cooperation with first-rate foreign institutions and its contents as well as the structure are comparable with similar programmes at prestigious international universities.

The course of study

The course, as delivered, is based on the credit system of study. Students are also granted  credits following ECTS (the European Credit Transfer System), which in practice means that individual courses can be compared to each other, but also that credits can be transferred between studies in Slovakia and abroad. Each student follows the list of courses and then designs his or her study plan either on their own or with the help of a tutor. At the beginning of each semester, a lecturer specifies the outline of their academic course including a syllabus, reading list, information on forms of assessment as well as the clearly stated conditions to be met in order to get the credits.

The courses which the programme consists of are divided into: compulsory (CC), compulsorily optional (COC) and elective courses (EC). In order to finish their studies, a student must successfully pass all the compulsory courses and a specific number of the compulsorily optional courses. As far as the compulsorily optional courses are concerned, each student choses them from the list of COC provided to them. The elective courses are complementary in nature, they are faculty-wide and students are free to choose them either from their own programme‘s courses, or from other programmes’ courses, from courses of other faculties at the Comenius University but also from other colleges or universities. More information on courses offered by the Institute of Public Policy can be found here.

A significant supporting educational tool that the institute provides is that of e-learning. E-learning is used intensively and it enables effective communication between students and teachers, the students’ access to learning materials, as well as flexibility of the whole learning process.

Graduate Employment Possibilities

Studying Public Policy and Administration at the Institute of Public Policy not only gives graduates a chance to gain a high-quality education, but also to build a unique network of contacts while gaining experiences which might be crucial for their future careers in the field of public administration, the non-governmental sector, the academic world or in politics. This is crucial, since even the best education and talent can only be put to effect  if developed in the context of an appropriate social environment and if built around good contacts.

Apart from gaining relevant theoretical knowledge, students of Public Policy and Administration also have possibilities to:

  • Take an intership in non-governmental organizations
  • Create extremely important social networks with leaders from the fields of the social sciences, public policy-making, public administration or non-govermental organizations
  • Gain experience and assert oneself in research or in the realization of different professional projects
  • Continue in their studies for the master´s degree and eventually doctoral studies (PhD studies).

Postgraduate degree (Master´s degree)

A graduate of the 2nd level of the postgraduate study programme (master’s degree) will master theory as well as the methodology of public policy, analytical methods of work with own organizations’ agenda. Furthermore the graduate is able to resolve individual research tasks, apply creative processes in preparation of the public policies, participate in the continual development of cross-sectional and sectoral policies as well as propose changes and legislative modifications. The graduate can independently analyse the results of policy implementation and communicate effectively in domestic and international forums when asserting the policies in accordance with European standards.

The graduate picks up the professional vocabulary, terms, facts and theories related to studying the process of policy-making and policy implementation, in order to prove understanding of the context  and consequences of a problem together with alternative decisions when proposing solutions; they learn to compare policies’ operation in an international scope, especially within the European Union and know how to propose processes and tools for the resolution of individual practical political problems. Graduates are also able to manage and organize workshops, help create organisational relationships in preparation of public policies on European, national and local levels, and then analyse the needs, propose, create, realise, monitor and assess the policies, conduct empirical research, interpret its results and apply the research-related recommendations in practice.

The compulsory courses form an analytical, theoretical and cross-sectional base of the public policy studies. In the first year of study the courses concerned are public policy, economic aspects of public policy, public law and public policy, methods of analysis and research – quantitative, social aspects of public policy, tools and implementation of public policy, public finance, methods of analysis and research – qualitative, comparative public policy in EU context. These account for 9/10 ECTS credits for the study programme during the 1st year of study. In the 2nd year of study, the compulsory courses include analysis of public policy and decision-making processes as well as the seminar for diploma thesis. The rest of the courses are elective courses which enable the student to specialize in a chosen sector or in a field of specific public policy issues.

Course for the final exam:

  1. Theory and methodology of public policy
  2. Comparative public policy
  3. Specialization: a sectoral or cross-sectional course

Course delivery:

Doctoral studies (PhD. Studies)

Graduates of the 3rd level of the study programme of European studies and policies are top professionals in research processes within European policy, law and economy, with a focus on the development of their own specialized scientific discipline. The main objective of the PhD. studies is to form a new generation of professionals and creative scientists in the area of multidisciplinary reflection on European integration in the context of international development. The study entails contribution of the doctoral student (s) to the elaboration of theoretical basis of new European policies, creative definition of problems within the European system of managing specific common issues, specific policy-making and implementation processes of the European institutions as well as the analysis of programmes and their impacts in practice. The PhD. student contributes to the development of the theoretical basis of the scientific field in Policy theory.