Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development

💥  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. 

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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, granting a double diploma from UNU and UM
  • 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 June 2024 for EU applicants
  • Tuition fees for 2024/25 are: statutory fee €2,530; institutional fee €16,000. 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


💡 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 7 of our alumni to hear how our MPP programme helped launch their careers around the world.

Our Student Ambassador

Meet Kathleen, the 2022-23 Student Ambassador for Public Policy and Human Development! On her Instagram account and Facebook page, she shares her study experiences during her MPP journey, moments of her life in Maastricht, and much more. Follow Kathleen 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 Kathleen through her social media accounts; she’s happy to help you – you can ask her questions on Instagram or Facebook.



‘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 (2023-2024) here.