Two year full-time Master in Public Policy (MPP) program launched in 2013 is designed to bring up highly skilled professional policy-makers and analysts in the public, private or non-profit sectors. It provides students a strong foundation in policy formulation and analysis, program evaluation and management.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  1. comprehend policy contexts,
  2. apply analytical and research Skills,
  3. behave professionally,
  4. utilize policy expertise,
  5. communicate effectively,
  6. apply theory and identify knowledge-based solutions.

The MPP program has many innovative features. In addition to having a progressive and comprehensive curriculum with a rigorous focus on economics, statistical techniques and disciplines crucial to public policy making and analysis; high-performing students will also have the unique opportunity to spend a semester in Singapore.


The core curriculum focuses on quantitative skills and analysis, economics, political science, management and leadership. It comprises 8 core modules, a Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) with a client in the public or private sector, and 6 electives.

Each core/elective module and PAE equals to 16 ECTS credits. The total number of credits in the program is 128 ECTS.

Suggested MPP curriculum
Year 1: Semester 1
Module School ECTS Credits
MPP 601 – Microeconomics and Public Policy GSPP 8
MPP 611 – Statistical Techniques for Public Policy GSPP 8
MPP 621 – Introduction to Public Policy and Analysis GSPP 8
MPP 612 – Public Policy Research and Evaluation GSPP 8
Year 1: Semester 2
Module School ECTS Credits
MPP 602 – Macroeconomics and Public Policy GSPP 8
MPP 613 – Policy Research Design and Methodology GSPP 8
MPP 641 – Public Management and Leadership GSPP 8
Elective 1 GSPP 8
Year 2: Semester 3
Module School ECTS Credits
MPP 631 – Politics and Public Policy GSPP 8
Elective 2 GSPP 8
Elective 3 GSPP 8
Elective 4 GSPP 8
Year 2: Semester 4
Module School ECTS Credits
MPP 699 – Policy Analysis Exercise GSPP 16
Elective 5 GSPP 8
Elective 6 GSPP 8


[1] Approved by the resolution of the Academic Council of the autonomous organization of education “Nazarbayev University” Minutes # 33 of 27.06.2018

[2] Order of the modules can be reconsidered by Teaching and Learning Committee


MPP 601 – Microeconomics and Public Policy

The module is designed to develop an appreciation of how microeconomics concepts and tools can be utilized to analyze public policy issues. It covers traditional microeconomics topics, such as theory of consumer behavior, choice under uncertainty and behavior of firm under various market structures. Economic theory is applied to a wide range of policy issues. The module emphasizes application rather than formalism.

MPP 611 – Statistical Techniques for Public Policy

This module provides students with a solid grounding in quantitative techniques used to analyze public policy. The major topics covered are: Sampling and survey design, linear regression and the classical model, model building for regression analysis and multiple regression analysis.

MPP 621 – Introduction to Public Policy and Analysis

This module is an introduction to the public policy process, and is meant for the beginner policy analysts. It considers a number of fundamental questions including: 1) rationales for collective interference in private affairs; 2) limitations to collective action; 3) generic instruments of public policy; 4) how can social costs and benefits be measured; and 5) what are the appropriate roles of policy analysts in democratic societies.

MPP 602 – Macroeconomics and Public Policy

This module examines the essential of key macroeconomic policy instruments used in the attainment of policy objectives such as full employment, price stability, and economic growth. Short-term tools such as monetary and/or exchange rate policy, government expenditure and levy policy, wages and foreign labour policy will be examined. Longer-term policies such as saving and investment policy, ways of achieving international competitiveness, human resource policy and policies aimed at promoting economic growth and factor productivity will also be covered.

MPP 612 – Public Policy Research and Evaluation

This module introduces students to the basic concepts and methods in social science research and their application in public policy analysis. It focuses on the development of students’ professional skills in research design, data collection techniques, and analysis for the purposes of conducting policy research and evaluation. Main topics for the module include measurement, experiments, sampling, survey research, qualitative data collection and analysis, and methods for secondary analysis. A strong emphasis will be given to cost-benefit analysis, an important tool of policy research and evaluation. Theoretical foundations and methodologies in conducting cost-benefit analysis will be examined.

MPP 613 – Public Policy Research Design and Analysis

This module focuses on research design through the analysis of research papers using the various techniques of qualitative and mixed methods of empirical analysis. Major topics include qualitative policy research, descriptive qualitative analysis, participatory techniques, methods of research design, quasi-experimental and non-experimental designs, case study research, field research and quality control, and meta-analysis. Students are expected to apply these techniques to real-life case studies and present analyses in class.

MPP 631 – Politics and Public Policy

This module addresses the question, ‘Regarding the political world, what do we need to know in order to have a critical understanding of the rationale, mechanics, and prospects of policymaking in the modern world?’ The first part of the module explores the institutions, practices, cultures, interests, and actors of modern political systems, whereas the second part focuses on modern political theories and ideologies that have conditioned the possibilities and limitations of policymaking. Cases and examples will be drawn primarily from Asian experience but discussed in comparison with appropriate cases and examples from elsewhere.

MPP 641 – Public Management and Leadership

This module reviews major strategies for improving the performance of public sector organizations. It critically examines the so-called “New Public Management” (NPM) approaches to reform, exploring the conditions in which these may be successfully applied to a range of country contexts and organizational settings. The role of leadership in redefining organizational missions, building operational capacities and mustering political support for reform is a cross-cutting theme.

MPP 699 – Policy Analysis Exercise

The PAE is a public policy or management study, completed for a client or a target organization. It is, in essence, the applied version of the traditionally theoretical Master thesis. It requires each student to define and analyze an actual policy issue. In doing this, students develop confidence and competence in meeting the professional demands they will subsequently face. In completing the PAE, students must be prepared to define and structure the problem, organize data, define and carry out analyses of the issue and conclude with specific action recommendations as part of a clear and persuasive written report.