Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development

Program Level
Programme Location
Program Start Date
1 September 2024

Are you interested in addressing society’s most complex public policy challenges?

Curious about how we can develop and change the policy landscape to create a better world?

Looking for an international career, committed to realising the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals?



In this rigorous, fast-paced one-year Master’s programme, you’ll be trained in designing, monitoring and evaluating policy, equipping you to change the status quo. Gaining a variety of quantitative and qualitative skills, tools and knowledge, you’ll be able to work in policy-related fields in public, private and non-profit organisations the world over. 

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Fast facts 

  • Unique partnership: the MSc in Public Policy and Human Development (known as MPP for short) is an innovative collaboration between United Nations University (UNU) and Maastricht University (UM)
  • Duration of programme: 1 year – resulting in two diplomas, one from UM and the other from UNU
  • Location: Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Intensity: full-time (10-14 contact hours and 30-40 hours independent study per week)
  • Next start date: September 2024
  • Application deadline: 1 July 2024 
  • Tuition fees for 2024/25 are: statutory fee €2,530; institutional fee €16,600. Find out the tuition fee that applies in your specific situation here, and learn more about your financial aid and scholarship options
  • Diversity: 40+ nationalities represented across students and faculty 
  • Student profile: various academic backgrounds and ages, ranging from recently graduated bachelor’s students to mid-career professionals
  • Personalised teaching: you can expect training in small international groups, personal guidance and access to 1-on-1 sessions with our MPP Study Advisor
  • Learning method: Problem-Based Learning, an innovative, active way of learning that improves knowledge retention and encourages critical thinking
  • 5 specialisation options: 

    Social Protection Policy

    Migration Studies

    Risk & Vulnerability

    Governance of Innovation

    Global Governance for Development

  • Student association: DEMOS UNU-MERIT aims to facilitate student bonding, professional capacity enhancement and network development
  • Autumn semester focus: strongly quantitative – you’ll learn how to use tools and software that are essential for policy analysis (e.g. statistics, regression analysis and STATA)
  • Spring semester focus: your chosen specialisation and writing your thesis

View this year’s UNU Rules for the MPP Programme (2024-2025) here.

Ready to apply? 

This blog post can help you with the MPP application process, giving tips on how to write a good application. 

What will you learn? 

Our MPP prepares students to be agents of change, with all the necessary skills to analyse current societal problems and assess policy solutions. You’ll be trained in formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policy in order to be able to give recommendations for improving or replacing ongoing policies.

Students are immersed in small and diverse discussion groups, workshops, trainings, simulation exercises, presentation and debates, with regular networking and learning opportunities at various events with guest speakers. 

To tailor learning journeys to individual interests, students can choose one of the following specialisations for the spring semester – click the links below to learn more:

The programme’s year-long Employability Track helps students develop their personal, academic and professional plans through workshops and mentoring sessions.

Our graduates have found positions at public and private institutions, including international, regional, national and local governments, ministries, pension funds, market authorities, NGOs, international organisations, academia and consultancies, including:

  • Asian Development Bank, India
  • European External Action Service, Brazil
  • Deloitte Barcelona, Spain
  • International Labour Organisation (Switzerland, Thailand)
  • International Organisation for Migration (Global locations)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland
  • Ministry of Welfare, Germany
  • UNICEF (various global locations)
  • UNOCHA, Burundi
  • World Bank, United States
  • JP Morgan

Read these stories from eight of our alumni to hear how our MPP programme helped launch their careers around the world. 

Our Student Ambassadors

From left to right: Kendra Larach, Lucas Boh, and Carmen Duran

Meet Kendra, Lucas and Carmen, the 2023-24 Student Ambassadors for the MPP programme! On the MPP student ambassador Instagram account and Facebook page, they share their study experiences during their student journey, moments of their lives in Maastricht, and much more. 

Follow them to get a sneak peek of your possible future on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. They will be able to answer your questions and provide insight into their MPP experiences.

If you have questions about the programme and/or about student life in Maastricht, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kendra, Lucas and Carmen through the MPP ambassador social media accounts; they’re happy to help you and answer your questions.

For more information about programme details, admission requirements and how to apply, visit our pages on the Maastricht University website 

Click Here

Elective Courses

Public Policy

Risk and Vulnerability

This specialisation deals with key geospatial, governance and social aspects in disaster risk assessment, resilience building and crisis management.

Public Policy

Social Protection Policy

This specialisation provides an interdisciplinary and in-depth examination of social protection policies, frameworks, systems and interventions.

Public Policy

Migration Studies

This specialisation comprises four courses that introduce students to the essential components of migration studies.

Public Policy

Governance of Innovation

This specialisation provides students with the tools to understand the impact and governance of new technologies.

Public Policy

Global Governance for Development

This specialisation provides students with analytical knowledge and skills to participate in the global governance of developmental policies.