Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Legal Public Administration Governance and Law in Digital Society
Header image Governance and Law in Digital Society

Governance and Law in Digital Society

How do governments influence effects of digitalisation, such as cybercrime and breaches of privacy? And how can governments make better use of benefits that digitalisation has to offer?

In the modern globalised world, privacy and security are two topics that do not lose their relevance. On the contrary, incidents demonstrate how they affect our daily life. This LLM programme discusses the need to protect the privacy of citizens online, but also looks at the risks of the dependency on the private sector in IT projects and describes online tools to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement.

Our law students are interested in studying how governments deal with challenges IT raises. Consequently, they understand that it is in their interest to have knowledge of social sciences. If they have no prior knowledge, they are willing to obtain this during a Summer pre-LLM.

This master responds to an increasing demand of the labour market, since there is a great need for lawyers with knowledge of public administration to deal with the aforementioned issues.

By means of guest speakers, excursions, internships and research, the student will gain practical experience with digitalisation issues in a public sector context. After this study, students will have all necessary skills allowing them to successfully pursue a meaningful career in this highly dynamic and complex environment.

If you'd like to know more about the special features of this LLM, there will be an online webinar on May 7th 2020 which you can register for here.

Facts & Figures
Degree
LLM in Law and Public Administration
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
66461
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Law
Why study this programme in Leeuwarden?

The English-taught LLM Governance and Law in Digital Society combines two distinctive disciplines: Law and Public Administration in order to study consequences of IT (including privacy, safety and security), making it unique in the Netherlands.

Further, the LLM is taught at the University of Groningen's Campus Fryslan in Leeuwarden, offering a chance for a more personalized study experience within a small classroom setting.

Programme

Governance and Law in Digital Society is a one year programme, consisting of lectures, a seminar, an internship and a master's thesis. The first semester comprises of various courses on key themes of governance and law in a digital society, focusing on issues such as privacy, safety and security, but also the construction of effective cooperation and efficient delivery through sharing and analyzing data.

The focus is not only on becoming familiar with theoretical concepts, but also on developing research skills. During the programme you will become familiar with problems the public sector faces. You will gain practical experience through guest lectures and discussions about present-day topics of organisation such as the National Police Corps, Europol, consultancy agencies, or governmental organisations as broad as local authorities or the Immigration Services.

The second semester is aimed at deepening this knowledge. The semester starts with two additional courses. Furthermore, students will become familiar with the current practice through an internship. The final assessment is a master thesis, which is written for an organisation of preference, that will answer a scientific question of practical importance by combining a juridical analysis and social scientific research.

Please note, course names and schedules in the overview below are occasionally subject to change. You can find the full course descriptions in Ocasys by clicking the link 'Course Catalog' in the schedule.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Policy science in digital society (6 EC)
Supervision & Enforcement (6 EC)
Seminar Policy Analysis (6 EC)
Modern Public Management (6 EC)
Safety & Security in Digital Society (6 EC)
Cyber crime (5 EC)
Governance of Safety (5 EC)
Thesis Project (20 EC)
Programme options
Master's Honours Programme (honours program)

The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies.

It is a programme worth 15 ECTS that is followed in addition to the standard Master's programme. It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC
Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

You will need to provide proof of English language proficiency:

  • TOEFL: 100 (all sections need to be at least 21; the writing section needs to be at least 23)
  • IELTS: 7 (all sections need to be at least 6.0; the writing section needs to be at least 6.5)
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE, Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English);
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE, Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English)
  • Applicants who are taking/have completed an English-taught bachelor programme at a Dutch research university may be exempt from taking an English proficiency test.
  • For more details about language requirements please check: https://bit.ly/2Ho7gkM

The test scores cannot be older than two years. Native speakers of English may request exemption from providing proof of proficiency. When you have completed an English-taught bachelor's programme at a university in the Netherlands you are exempt from the above language requirements.

previous education

As the programme is a hybrid of both law and the social sciences, applicant must have a LLB or equivalent with a minor in Social Sciences or a BSc in Social Sciences with a minor in Law. Students with a bachelor of Law of the University of Groningen, with the specialisation Juridische Bestuurskunde, are directly admissible. Also for graduates of a bachelor in Public Administration, Applied Safety & Security Studies or Law at NHL Stenden with the integrated premaster direct admission is possible.

For those with a relevant degree but who are missing a required minor, we also offer Dutch and English-taught Pre-LLM programmes to ensure adequate mastery of key competences and knowledge. One of the options for law students is a summer Pre-LLM programme consisting of 20 ECTS in total that contains four intensive courses:

  • Social science research (7 ECTS)
  • Social science theory (4 ECTS)
  • Policy science (4 ECTS)
  • Public governance (5 ECTS)

The courses start in May. Between May and the beginning of August students will work in their home country on the assignments by themselves, with regular online supervision meetings. The classes are scheduled for two weeks in August, making it a condensed programme. The Pre-LLM is concluded with written exams taking place in the final week of August. See also Summer pre-Masters programme for GLDS: www.rug.nl/rechten/education/images/flyer-pre-llm-governance-law-digital-society.pdf

More information on both Summer Pre-LLM and regular Pre-LLM routes can be found at: www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6267 For questions, please contact our student advisors at studieadvies-rechten rug.nl (Dutch speaking), LLM rug.nl (English speaking) or contact Barbara Brink via b.brink rug.nl, programme coordinator of Governance and Law in Digital Society.

reference letter

Candidates must provide one letter of reference from an academic referee who has detailed knowledge of their academic records. The reference can be emailed to the Admission Office from your referee's institutional e-mail address or uploaded in the Online Application System. The uploaded letter should be on a letterhead and signed by the referee and must contain contact details of your referee, including his or her institutional e-mail address. More information can be found at: www.rug.nl/rechten/education/international-programmes/llm/application/admission-requirements

written request

Applicants must send a motivation letter (max. 650 words). The letter should be written by the applicants themselves; it is not allowed to submit an (official) translation.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Applied Safety & Security Studiesnhlstenden

Additional requirements

More information:

De bacheloropleidingen Bestuurskunde, Integrale veiligheid en HBO recht aan de NHL geven toegang mits hiervoor speciaal voorbereide minoren (aangeboden vanaf 2017) zijn opgenomen. Neem voor vragen contact op met studieadvies (studieadvies-rechten rug.nl) of opleidingscoördinator (b.brink rug.nl)

Lawnhlstenden

Additional requirements

More information:

De bacheloropleidingen Bestuurskunde, Integrale veiligheid en HBO recht aan de NHL geven toegang mits hiervoor speciaal voorbereide minoren (aangeboden vanaf 2017) zijn opgenomen. Neem voor vragen contact op met studieadvies (studieadvies-rechten rug.nl) of opleidingscoördinator (b.brink rug.nl)

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
LawUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

Extra informatie: De afstudeerrichting Jur. Bestuurskunde binnen de bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid geeft een drempelloze toelating. Andere afstudeerrichtingen binnen de bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid dienen aangevuld te worden met essentiële instroomvakken. Neem daarvoor contact op met de studieadviseur.

Juridische BestuurskundeUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
grade average

On top of providing the Admissions Board with transcripts and diplomas, students should have an equivalent minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) of 7/10 (Dutch grading scale).

language test

Native speakers of English may request exemption from providing proof of proficiency. Otherwise you will need to provide proof of English language proficiency:

  • TOEFL: 100 (all sections need to be at least 21; the writing section needs to be at least 23)
  • IELTS: 7 (all sections need to be at least 6.0; the writing section needs to be at least 6.5)
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE, Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English);
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE, Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English)
  • Applicants who are taking/have completed an English-taught bachelor programme at a Dutch research university may be exempt from taking an English proficiency test.
  • For more details about language requirements please check: https://bit.ly/2Ho7gkM

The test scores cannot be older than two years.

previous education

As the programme is a hybrid of both law and the social sciences, applicant must have a LLB or equivalent with a minor in Social Sciences or a BSc in Social Sciences with a minor in Law. For those with a relevant degree but who are missing a required minor, we also offer Pre-LLM programmes to ensure adequate mastery of key competences and knowledge: one Summer pre-LLM for law students and two regular pre-LLMs, one for social science students and one for law students.

The summer Pre-LLM programme for law students consists of 20 ECTS in total and contains four intensive courses:

  • Social science research (7 ECTS)
  • Social science theory (4 ECTS)
  • Policy science (4 ECTS)
  • Public governance (5 ECTS)

The courses commence in May. Between May and the beginning of August students will work on the assignments by themselves, with regular online supervision meetings. The classes are scheduled for two weeks in August, making it a condensed programme. The Pre-LLM is concluded with written exams taking place in the final week of August. See also Summer pre-Masters programme for GLDS: https://www.rug.nl/rechten/education/images/flyer-pre-llm-governance-law-digital-society.pdf

Specifically for NHL Stenden graduates in Public Administration, Applied Safety & Security Studies this is achieved through a set of Minors in their own programme.

More information on both Summer Pre-LLM and regular Pre-LLM routes can be found at: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6267

If any questions, please contact Barbara Brink via b.brink rug.nl

reference letter

Candidates must provide one letter of reference from an academic referee who has detailed knowledge of their academic records. The reference can be emailed to the Admission Office from your referee's institutional e-mail address or uploaded in the Online Application System. The uploaded letter should be on a letterhead and signed by the referee and must contain contact details of your referee, including his or her institutional e-mail address. More information can be found at : http://www.rug.nl/rechten/education/international-programmes/llm/application/admission-requirements

written request

Applicants must send a motivation letter (max. 650 words). The letter should be written by the applicants themselves; it is not allowed to submit an (official) translation.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 15000full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

In the job market, there is a clear demand for graduates with an interdisciplinary profile capable of interpreting development in digital society and responding to them accordingly. The Master's programme is designed to meet the increasing demand and prepare students for a career within the field.

Graduates of this programme go on to work in a variety of positions in the public sector. Career opportunities are not limited to traditional authorities such as ministries or subnational authorities but also found within organizations surrounding them, for example the Public Prosecution Service, consultancy agencies and the police organisation.

Further, all students have access to the university Careers Services Law which can help them in finding and preparing for internships and employment.

Job examples

  • Data specialist, coordinator of a shared data centre or information manager at a subnational authority
  • Consultant, for example of IT risks, digital transformation, digital safety or law enforcement in digital society
  • Specialist at a regulatory body, such the Data Protection Authority
Research

Research of Governance and Law in Digital Society is located both on Campus Fryslân as at the Faculty of Law of the University Groningen. Campus Fryslân is a unique faculty based in Leeuwarden. Unique because multiple disciplines are represented there. This enables international students, PhD's and world-class researchers to approach scientific questions from different perspectives. Using this approach, the faculty is dedicated to find local solutions for real-world global challenges.

The staff involved in Governance and Law in Digital Society conducts research on many different fields of the digitalising society. As an example, dr. Evgeni Moyakine, Assistant Professor at the IT Law Section of the Department of Transboundary Legal Studies of the University of Groningen and dr. Oskar Gstrein, Assistant Professor at the department of Governance and Innovation and member of the Data Research Centre at Campus Fryslân, are experts in the fields of cyber security, privacy and data protection.

In the modern globalised world, privacy and security are two topics that do not lose their relevance. To the contrary, they seem to become even more important to all of us. The 2017 WannaCry and NotPetya malware attacks, the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, the 2019 leak of personal data of more than 400 million Facebook users… these are just a few examples of the incidents with a global impact and worldwide ramifications that have shocked the public and raised many questions that unfortunately largely remain unanswered. How does one effectively protect the most fundamental rights and freedoms in a technology-driven society? To what extent are the legal instruments and policies adopted at various levels capable of preventing cyber incidents and data breaches? What would be the preferred methods for imputing responsibility of those who are engaged in different types of illicit activities in the digital domain?

As experts in the fields of cyber security, privacy and data protection, the lecturers adopt a multidisciplinary approach to addressing a myriad of issues arising in this area and implement it in their course “Security & Privacy in Digital Society”. By delving into the sea of concepts, theories and ideas presented and explained in the lectures and working groups, students acquire knowledge about the existing governance structures and legal developments associated with security and privacy that must be comprehended for generating solutions to the problems posed by digitalization. They coherently analyse various legal acts, case law, policies and other sources and actively cooperate in groups in order to formulate own opinions and valid arguments and defend them in a sound professional manner. By doing so, students gain all necessary skills allowing them to successfully pursue a meaningful career in this highly dynamic and complex environment.

Students also conduct research as part of their studies. Among other things, student from this degree have studied information exchange between governmental institutions, for example to tackle abuse of social security provision, for real time intelligence or predictive policing. They have also looked into the need for better IT-management within public authorities and the benefits and risks of private party involvement in governmental IT-driven projects.

  • 
						Testimonial of Nynke Dijkstra

    The study responds to current events and the field of study is constantly evolving

    – Nynke Dijkstra
    Read more

    After obtaining a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the RuG, I decided to follow a pre-master to gain access to the master's degree in Governance and Law in Digital Society.

    This master's programme appealed to me enormously, because the field of law is so topical. Technological developments are ongoing, more and more devices are being connected to the internet. Digitisation is ubiquitous and although there are advantages to it, there is also a downside: today's society has become increasingly dependent on technology, and we have to deal with new security issues.

    During the year, several of issues were discussed. For example, different laws and regulations were discussed that have been introduced in the field of cybercrime and data protection. In addition, we have devoted a great deal of attention to the digitisation of government and government services, for example through the use of algorithms and automated decision-making.

    The internship, which is part of the master's programme, allows you to gain practical experience and apply the knowledge gained from the various subjects in practice. In addition to an internship assignment, it is also possible to write your thesis for an organisation.

    During my master's degree I gained a lot of knowledge about policy making and various laws and regulations in the field of privacy and cybercrime. Through my internship, I was able to apply my knowledge in practice and get a better idea of what I wanted to do after my master's degree.

    I graduated in July 2019, but even before I was given a contract as a Cyber Trainee at the Dutch I-Traineeship. This traineeship lasts 2 years, during which I will work for three clients for 8 months periods. My first assignment is at the Lower House, where I am responsible for information security policy and security awareness.

    I can strongly recommend the master in Governance and Law in Digital Society. The study responds to current events and the field of study is constantly evolving.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Jorn Travaille

    Jorn Travaille , Netherlands, LLM in Law and Governance in Digital Society

    – Jorn Travaille
    Read more

    Last year I graduated from the University of Groningen with a bachelors degree in Public Administration. I lived in Groningen for four years with great pleasure, but I thought it was time for something else.

    My interest in the UG Campus Fryslân (in Leeuwarden) was aroused, because the university was going to offer master programs that deal with contemporary problems there.

    I was looking for a study that would enable me to help solve social problems and involve my special interest in digitization. For that reason the choice for the master program Law and Governance in Digital Society was made quickly.

    I have lived in Leeuwarden since September 2018 and it is a vibrant and cozy city. In addition, it was also pretty easy to get a nice and affordable apartment. I like studying at Campus Fryslân; there is a positive atmosphere and they organize interesting lectures with notable experts, for example former Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Another interesting thing is that students in the LLM have different backgrounds, such as sociologists, lawyers, and safety experts. This multidisciplinarity presence in the classroom provides useful discussions which help me to develop a broader view on certain issues.

    The programme provides insight into privacy issues, enforcement, and the policy process. I personally like the cyber security courses the most, because it is a subject that is currently developing very quickly within contemporary society. I get the feeling that I am studying something that matters, something that is in the center of political interest. For these reasons I would definitely recommend this LLM.


    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of

    A specialization for which there is a great demand in the market

    Read more

    As professor I am responsible for the Bachelor and Masters' tracks in Law and Governance. I teach within these tracks and carry out research. My research interests lie with the working of general and administrative law in practice and the functioning of the public sector and specific parts thereof .

    My job gives me the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity about how legal arrangements work in practice. I find the workings of the public sector the most interesting because that affects us all.

    This track provides a specialization for which there is a great demand in the market. Our society is digitizing at a rapid pace and that raises questions about the ways in which the public sector can and should react. In particular, issues of digital security receive a lot of attention – from security of financial transactions to security in elections, as well as public order and safety in the physical world, which is also influenced by developments of digital technology.

    This is the right track for you if you are interested in problems at the intersection of government, market and society and in particular the consequences of digitization for the ways in which our society works and should be governed.

    This is a track with a very interesting profile for the job market and an interdisciplinary setup that deals with current problems that affect all of us.


    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Evgeni Moyakine

    As an Assistant Professor I am involved in various teaching and supervision activities connected to cyber security, privacy and data protection

    – Evgeni Moyakine
    Read more

    As an Assistant Professor at the IT Law Section of the Department of Transboundary Legal Studies of the University of Groningen, I am involved in various teaching and supervision activities connected to cyber security, privacy and data protection. In addition, I continue to carry out research concerning the processing of personal data by State and non-State actors and the issue of international responsibility for cyber operations. From the privacy and data protection perspective, it is rather problematic to learn that governments can engage in electronic surveillance of their citizens without taking into account human rights and freedoms of those who are being surveilled. The same concerns can be raised with regard to cyber activities of private persons and entities who cause different forms of harm to others but operate on behalf of States and together with them manage to escape responsibility. Therefore, it is crucial to stand still and think about not only the existing legal norms and principles but also their interpretation in the light of these developments stemming from the cyberspace and having a tangible impact in the physical world.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Oskar  Gstrein

    For the teaching in this program insights from the EU-funded “Cutting Crime Impact” are of great relevance.

    – Oskar Gstrein
    Read more

    I am Assistant Professor at the department of Governance and Innovation at Campus Fryslân, where I am also member of the Data Research Centre. With my background in law and philosophy I explore topics such as human rights in the digital age, security and surveillance in context of the rule of law, privacy and data protection, digital identity, as well as the use of digital technologies for governance purposes. I combine my teaching with insights from ongoing research on the use of state-of-the-art technologies such as predictive policing or blockchain applications. For the teaching in this program insights from the EU-funded “Cutting Crime Impact” project are of great relevance. In this project we collaborate with law enforcement agencies and security experts from the Netherlands and all over Europe. We research the impact of ethical, legal and social aspects on the design of innovative security technologies. Finally, for this master we frequently organize excursions to international and national institutions so that students get the chance to exchange with practitioners on relevant topics (e.g. dark-web investigations) and receive the opportunity to enhance their network.

    Close
Student profile

The Master's track in Governance & Law in Digital Society is an interdisciplinary track for students with a legal or social sciences profile. Both groups of students will first have to complete a Pre-Master's programme to ensure adequate mastery of key competences and knowledge.

For Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden (NHL) graduates in Public Administration, Applied Safety & Security Studies and Law this is achieved through a set of Minors in their own programme. Other students must follow a Pre-Master's programme. The admission requirements for international students are still being considered; these do not, of course, lie in the area of Dutch law, but in the areas of European and international law.

Study support

If you come across questions with regard to your programme, study progress, your way of studying, personal circumstances, etc., you can go to the International Office for guidance. All discussed in these conversations is treated confidentially.