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What will I learn?

The Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development emphasises the connection between public policy and decision-making processes, or more specifically, the effectiveness and efficiency of governance. You will be equipped with a variety of skills, tools and knowledge which enable you to work as a policy designer or policy analyst. You will be capable of working within public and private institutions at local, national and international levels. The one-year master's programme is offered as a double degree in collaboration with United Nations University.

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 global warming
  • the conflict of China's economic growth and its sustainable development
  • the watchdog role of the media

Due to the increasing complexity of the issues, there is a growing need for specialists in policy analysis who have a combination of technical skills as well as theoretical and specific area knowledge. During the one-year master's programme in Public Policy and Human Development, you will be trained by leading experts from both Maastricht University and United Nations University and will earn two master’s degrees.


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 Design and Financing (in co-operation with the ILO)
  • Foreign Policy and Development
  • Migration Studies
  • Risk and Vulnerability (in co-operation with UNU-EHS)
  • Regional Integration and Multi-Level Governance (in co-operation with UNU-CRIS)
  • Innovation, Institutions and Development

Your future

Graduates of the Public Policy and Human Development programme are academically trained policy designers and analysts, working in the area of public consultancy and advisory. With the skills acquired in the programme, you will be able to identify and review the different policy options and select the best available policy option. In you work, you will be able to integrate legal, social, cultural, political and financial aspects, and while warranting the economic viability and sustainability of the policies you develop. You will also have professional skills in policy monitoring, policy evaluation, innovative thinking, and strong quantitative skills, as well as critical and analytical thinking skills.

Your future

Career prospects

Our graduates work throughout the world in the public and private institutions of both advanced and less developed countries, including in national, regional and local governments, ministries, pension funds, market authorities, NGOs, as well as in international organisations and consultancies. Our graduates are also well prepared for pursuing an academic career, and a significant number of students continue with a PhD after their master's.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 Year)

Tuition fees
€13,800.00 (11,14,701) per year
Statutory fee for this programme is € 2,083
Start date

Expected September 2022


Maastricht University

Minderbroedersberg 4-6,



6211, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have eligible for admission if you have a bachelor's degree from a relevant academic field, for example, philosophy or sociology. English language requirements: IELTS (6.5); TOEFL Paper-based test (575); TOEFL Internet test (90); TOEIC listening and reading (720) and speaking and writing (310); Cambridge [Advanced (CAE) Grade C (scale 180-184), First Certificate in English (FCE) Grade A (scale 180-184), First Certificate in English (FCE) Grade B (scale 176-179)].

For international students

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a relevant academic field such as economics, international relations, political science, law, social sciences, business administration, health sciences or public health.

TOEFL exam: minimum score of 100 for the internet-based exam. (TOEFL code number of Maastricht University is 7102)

IELTS exam: minimum score of 7.0

Cambridge English, Proficiency: minimum grade of C

Cambridge English, Advanced test: minimum grade of A


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