Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development

⏰ Application deadline extended! ⏰

There’s still time to apply for our MSc in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) until 1 July 2024 – don’t miss your chance to join our new cohort this September!

We’ve re-opened the application process following our new partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), allowing potential applicants to take advantage of the benefits that this collaboration brings to our Master’s programme. MPP students who choose our Governance of Innovation specialisation will be learning directly from WIPO experts (who will co-create the academic curriculum together with UNU-MERIT staff). You’ll also have the chance to visit WIPO on the annual MPP trip to Geneva, as well as access to WIPO internships, networking and other opportunities.

⚠️ Please be aware that due to the short timeframe of this deadline extension, if you are not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, we will not be able to process your application unless you already possess a visa to reside in the Netherlands.

💥  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?
💥  L
ooking 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. 

Send me a digital brochure!


⚡ 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 May 2024 for non-EU applicants, 1 July 2024 for EU applicants (and non-EU applicants who already have a visa to reside in the Netherlands)
  • 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 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, STATA, RA)
  • Spring semester focus: your chosen specialisation and writing your thesis


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

Once you’re admitted, you are invited to join an online onboarding sessions to help you decide if our programme is right for you, on 20 June

Our MPP Student Ambassadors will be present at the onboarding events above to answer your questions and provide insight into their MPP experiences. In the meantime, you can follow them on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to see what student life is like at a UN institution.


💡 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:


🌍 Your future

This year’s (2023-24) MPP cohort

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)
  • 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!

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 – you can ask them questions on Instagram or Facebook. They have also recently launched a TikTok account!


‘Master’s Voice’ blog series

This MPP-specific blog series tracks the latest news and views from students, alumni and staff of our Master’s programme – you can even find a Student Ambassador podcast there!

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

Learn more and apply!


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