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incoming studentserasmus


For International students: study at our university

Option 1

Please note: only available for summer term, one semester in English from January to May.

You will study in our campus in Cologne, address:

Hochschule für Polizei und öffentliche Verwaltung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Erna-Scheffler-Str. 4
51103 Köln

The HSPV NRW offers a specially designed program for guest students which does not require German language skills. It has the following components:

1Introduction to public administration in Germany5Oral exam

Only for guest students

 Module description

2Comparative public administration 6Presentation of a paper

Together with Students from the HSPV. Guest students and German students compare their respective administrative systems.

 Module description

3English for public administration6Either written exam, oral exam or presentation of a paper

Together with Students from the HSPV.

 Module description

4German language course (possibly online)4To be determinedOnly for guest students
5Practical training in a German local community for 6 weeks (e.g. the city of Cologne)9No examWorking language is English

The course is designed to give the students a thorough insight in how German public administration works in theory and in practice. It also provides them with a toolset which will enable them to do comparative work and thus broaden their view on public administration in their own country.

The course covers 30 credits, which amounts to exactly one semester. It starts on the first Monday of January after New Year and finishes at the end of May.

Taking this course at the HSPV requires language skills in English at level B2 according to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Option 2

One or two semesters in German  
Studying in German at the HSPV requires language skills in German at level B2 according to the CEFR.

Guest students have three options here:

  1. One semester starting in the second week of September until Christmas
  2. One semester starting in the first Monday after New Year in January until the end of May
  3. Two semesters starting in the second week of September until the end of May.

There is a greater variety of choices in courses in German than in English, mainly in constitutional and administrative law, economics for public administration, political sciences, sociology and psychology.  

Most of the courses up for choice are concluded by an exam (usually oral or written exam). The HSPV is committed to provide our guest students with a fair chance to succeed in their exam with an appropriate result. We take into account that it is usually more difficult to study abroad then to stay at one’s home university and collect the credits there. We therefore decide on a case-by-case basis which kind of exam is the right one for our guest students in a specific course. We may e.g. decide to replace a written exam with a presentation.

HSPV does not run student’s housing facilities. Our administration will nonetheless try to assist our guest students to find an accommodation.

The application deadline for studying from September on is the 15th of July, the application deadline for studying from January on is the 15th of October. Applications can be made by sending a mail to matthias.einmahl(at)hspv.nrw.de or 

Module: Introduction to public administration in Germany

Competence objectives

The students

  1. know about the institutional structure of public administration in Germany and are able to identify its functional challenges,
  2. can apply the fundamental legal principles of administrative action, 
  3. know about the specifics of local self-governance in Germany, 
  4. know about the specifics of employment in civil service in Germany (Berufsbeamtentum), 
  5. know about the fundamental principles and recent developments of public financing and accounting, especially on the municipal level.


  1. Structure of public administration and repartition of competences (federal level, states, municipalities)
  2. Fundamental legal principles of administrative action
  3. Organisation of structures and procedures Strategic planning on the municipal level Concepts and implementation of public sector reform 
  4. Civil service law, human resource management in public administration 
  5. Tax revenues and allocation, New municipal finance management, cost and performance accounting, controlling


  • Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), The Federal Public Service, 2014
  • Fisher, The German legal system and legal language
    Robbers, An introduction to German law, 5. Auflage,
  • Kuhlmann, S., New Public Management for The ‚Classical Continental European Administration’, Modernization at The Local Level in Germany, France, and Italy, in: Public Administration, Vol. 88, No. 4, 2010, pp. 1116-1130
  • Muramatsu, Naschold (eds.), State and Administration in Japan and Germany, A Comparative Perspective on Continuity and Change, Berlin, New York, 1997
  • Jann, W., State, Administration and Governance in Germany, Competing Traditions and Dominant Narratives, in: Public Administration, Vol. 81, No. 1, 2003, pp. 95-118
  • Reichard, C., Local Public Sector Reforms in Germany, in: Public Administration, Vol. 81, No. 2, 2003, pp. 345-363

Module: Comparative public administration

Competence objectives

The students

  1. know the different perceptions about state and administration in Europe, their historical roots and their diverging functionalities, 
  2. know the different structures of civil service in Europe and can deduce functional effects, 
  3. can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different concepts of local government, 
  4. know the different dynamics of public administration reform in Europe and can link these differences to specifics of the countries in question, 
  5. understand the influences of the European integration on national public administration in a functional and structural way.


  1. Administrative tradition in continental Europe: centralized and federal concept, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon model 
  2. Employment status groups of the public sector, recruitment of personnel, social background of public service employees, the concept of Public Service Motivation (PSM)
  3. Local (municipal) functional responsibilities and multi-level governance 
  4. Public sector reforms, the concept of New Public Management and national variations of its implementation, neoinstitutionalism as theoretical perspective to understand reform discourses, 
  5. Negotiating and executing the European topics: restructuring of administrative responsibilities, cooperation, and networks


  • Literatur Chandler, J.A., Comparative Public Administration, Oxon, New York, 2nd edition, 2014
  • Heady, F., Public Administration, A Comparative Perspective, New York, 6th. edition, 2001
  • Kuhlmann, S., Wollmann, H., Introduction to Comparative Public Administration, Administrative Systems and Reforms in Europe, Cheltenham, Northampton, 2014
  • Tummala, K. (ed.), Comparative Bureaucratic Systems, Lanhnam, Boulder, New York, 2005
  • van der Meer, Raadschelders, Toonen (eds.): Comparative Civil Service Systems in the 21st Century, Basingstoke, New York, 2015

Module: English for public administration

Competence objectives

The students

  1. enhance their language proficiency in English 
  2. are able to communicate in oral and written form on topics related to public administration


  1. Communication about public administration
  2. Grammar, spelling, punctuation