Governance in Theory and Practice

Course Description:

Governance is a complex concept which is often used differently in various disciplines of social sciences. Moreover, the key debates in the studies on governance vary in different strands of the literature. This course is organized as an introductory exploration to the wider multidisciplinary study of governance and offers diverse literature and methodological approaches. The course will guide participants through the key theoretical debates surrounding the concept of governance while at the same time present a range of empirical examples illustrating how governance works in practice. The target group of this course is oriented but not limited to students, policy practitioners, NGOs staff, civil and international servants. 

The course is divided into four units. The first unit is an introduction to the key concepts of governance. The second unit introduces governance studies in the discipline of public administration. Unit three discusses governance in the study of international and global politics. Finally, unit four introduces the concept of “good governance” in the development studies and the study of political economy. 


A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent). Candidates with any educational background are welcome to enrol.

Course completion and estimated workload: 

The course is completed once you fulfill the course requirements and pass the final assignment and oral exam. Your coursebook will also include the explanation of resit options.  

The estimated workload is 60 hours, including 10-15 hours per week and 10-15 hours per assignments/oral exam. 

ECTS equivalence: 2

Participants will receive 2 ECTS equivalence credits and the certification will be offered through an online educational badge. 


Group based participation: EUR 500,-

Duration: 10 weeks 

You will be enrolled for 10 weeks, including 1 week to access the platform and become familiar with the materials, 4 weeks of coursework, 2 weeks to submit the last assignment and 3 weeks for potential resit time.

Starting date and enrollment: 
Deadline Application  Course Start Date 
28 August  11 September 
30 October  13 November 
15 January  29 January 
1 April  15 April 
3 June  17 June 


Group sign up and group composition will be confirmed within 3 working days after the application deadline. Tutorial meetings are taking part with full or partial groups, and will be communicated by the tutor keeping time zones in mind. 

Please note that we will close the group registrations at 10 participants, based on first paid first serve rule. We will identify the full groups on the application website. 


You can register for the certificate programme via the application form by clicking on the “Apply Now” button on the right side of this page.


To pay the tuition fee, please make the transfer to the following account. Upon payment, you will be registered as a student and contacted by your tutor. Please note that we need to receive the payment by the application deadline. On average, it takes 1-2 weeks between your transfer of funds and us receiving it. 

Bank account no: 
IBAN:  NL05 INGB 0657 618705 
Swift or BIC code:  INGBNL2A 
Beneficiary:  Maastricht University 
Bank name:  ING Business Banking 
Bank address:  P.O. Box 90153 
  5600 RE  Eindhoven 
  The Netherlands 
Payment specification:  Your last name and 

Download the coursebook

Required Readings:

The cost of the course does not include books or hardcopies of the course material. Course materials can be bought, ordered or downloaded by the participant him/herself. The course will start, upon receipt of your materials.
Below the ISBN-number to order the course materials for the online courses ‘Governance in Theory and Practice’
Anne Mette Kjaer, Governance (Key Concepts), Polity Press
(only for the Governance course)
ISBN: 978-0745629797 (4th edition)

Oxana Celbis – Online Course tutor (2023)

Governance in Theory and Practice introduces approaches of studying governance in different fields (Public Administration, International Relations, European Studies, and Development Studies).  Students taking the course find it to be a useful overview of the key debates and questions in this multidisciplinary area of study.
Oxana Celbis,