MSc in Public Policy and Human Development


Program Description

MSc in Public Policy and Human Development


Why study Public Policy at UNU-MERIT's School of Governance

• Double-degree diploma (UNU & UM)

• Intensive, multi-disciplinary one-year programme

• Problem-based learning in small groups

• Students from dozens of countries

• Guest lecturers from international organisations

• Career opportunities in multiple sectors

Study global topics and challenges

Public policy issues are growing in complexity and there’s an increasing interconnectedness between local, national and international levels of decision making and implementation. This can be seen in current public policy concerns such as:

• the impact of immigration policies

• healthcare access for children in developing countries

• mitigation of the effects of climate change

• the conflict of China's economic growth and its sustainable development

• the watchdog role of the media

• Coordinating policy with international partners

• Fostering innovation and stimulating growth

MPP programme

The one-year consists of two semesters of studies and a thesis. The first semester is the same for all students. The focus is on the theories and practice of governance and policy analysis. You will take three courses and several skills training covering the general aspects relevant in the fields of governance and policy analysis. You will learn to apply current theories and research in the following academic disciplines:

• public policy

• public finance

• public economics

• policy analysis

• statistics and econometrics

This will provide you with a strong foundation and will prepare you to conduct detailed analyses of the issues covered in the specialisation of your choice.


At the end of the first semester, you will choose an area of specialisation. The programme manager and the specialisation coordinators will support you in making your selection. The areas of specialisation are:

• Social Protection Policy (in co-operation with the ILO)

• Foreign Policy and Development

• Migration Studies

• Risk & Vulnerability (in co-operation with UNU-EHS)

• Regional Integration & Multi-level Governance (in co-operation with UNU-CRIS)

• Innovation, Institutions & Development


1 September – 31 August (12 months full-time study)

Double degree

After successful completion of the programme, you will obtain a double Master of Science (MSc) degree in Public Policy and Human Development. You will receive two diplomas. The first is from Maastricht University and is accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), and the second is issued by United Nations University.

Programme objectives

The MPP programme trains students to analyse, monitor and evaluate policies in order to be able to give recommendations for improving or replacing existing policies and for proposing new policies. Students are equipped with a variety of skills, tools and knowledge, which enable them to work resourcefully as policy designers and policy analysts in public and private institutions.

Student profile

MPP students come from diverse backgrounds. Some join the MPP immediately after completing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree; others are mid-career professionals with various cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. UNU-MERIT's School of Governance aims to recruit highly motivated students with strong academic records, a demonstrated commitment to public (international) affairs and/or an outstanding potential for career growth and leadership.

Come and visit us

Join our next Master's Open Day on Saturday 7 October 2017

Student for a day: Would you like a taste of our Master’s programme first-hand? Come and spend a day at UNU-MERIT/MGSoG: this will give you the opportunity to attend a lecture, a tutorial or simply meet current students or the course coordinator.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 28, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
12 months
Full time
Netherlands - Maastricht, Limburg
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Maastricht, Limburg
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info