Master's in International Development & Public Policy

The Program

Master’s in International Development & Public Policy

The Master’s in International Development & Public Policy responds to the demand for applied training in the fields of Public Policy and Development, tailored to attract high quality international students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, from the social sciences and humanities, to economics, political science, and engineering.

About the Program:

  • Students will be exposed to the fields of economics, management, political science, and quantitative methods, with direct application to Public Policy and Development.
  • At the same time, students will develop an empirical approach to applied issues through Policy Analysis Project (PAP).
  • The degree program aims to provide a sustainable response to the needs of decision makers by providing them with analytical skills, awareness, and personal development at an appropriate level to support the performance of governmental and non-governmental organizations, including companies, in demanding and diverse socio-economic contexts.

  • From any bachelors programs with quantitative background: from management and economics, international relations or other social sciences, to engineering or other analytical skills. We strongly advice students with limited quantitative skills to complete the bridging courses in order to progress smoothly into the program.
  • Keen on learning the questions behind public policies and developing analytical and quantitative skills to deal with real problems.
  • Strong international vocation, bringing future leaders from a wide range of contexts to Nova SBE.
  • That aspire to know more on economics for policymakers, with an important management component.
  • That aim at helping leaders to have a meaningful impact in their communities.
  • Young practitioners in organizations with a public policy dimension, with high potential and willing to enrich their knowledge and practical approach on international development and public policy.

Program Overall Structure

Find out what this Master’s degree will offer you during the 3 semesters at Nova SBE!

You will have to follow mandatory courses, but you will also choose from a wide range of electives, allowing you to tailor-make your curriculum according to your own goals.

Everything together should give you the necessary ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) to graduate.

  • Discovery Week

1st Semester (30 ECTS)

  • Mandatory Courses
  • Electives
  • Skills Accelerator Modules
  • Seminars
  • Career Development Program – Mastering Your Career
  • Mentoring Program

2nd Semester (30 ECTS)

  • Mandatory Courses
  • Electives
  • Seminars
  • Skills Accelerator Modules
  • Work Project (PAP - Policy Analysis Project)

* Please note that for the academic year of 2023/24 this information may be subject to changes.

Applications Fall Intake 2024/25

Applications are closed.

For more information, please contact us by emailing, or calling +351 213 801 699.

Get to know the Mandatory courses and Electives

  • Development Economics I
    This course aims to discuss poverty traps and foreign aid’s effectiveness. Natural resources and ethnic divisions will follow. Good institutions will be portrayed as improving development. We will then examine democracy and corruption.
  • Development Economics II
    The broad objective of the course is to give students an overview of current knowledge of development economics. We also aim to offer basic research skills: we will often take the perspective of a researcher/analytic policy maker in this field. Both theory and empirics will be tackled. The course will introduce the main evaluation methods used in impact measurement of development interventions.
  • International Relations and Organizations
    The objectives of this course are to explain and discuss the institutionalization of multilateral international order, focusing on the second half of the 20th century. The course is divided into four main thematic areas:
    1. Main theoretical perspectives of the international order and its institutionalization.
  • 2. Historical circumstances of the formulation of the order and its translation into international institutions.
    3. Functioning of the main institutions.
    4. Adaptation of institutions to the change in the post-Cold War international order.
  • Policy Appraisal
    The course aims to prepare the student in terms of econometrics for Policy Evaluation, providing knowledge and understanding of the economic tools used to evaluate and assess public investments and policies. The core of the course is introductory econometric content, aiming to bridge the gap between Statistics for Policy Action and Policy Evaluation. This econometric background is taught through practical examples of policy evaluation in governments and international institutions. The course also covers the basics of Cost Benefit Analysis and qualitative evaluation tools, as complementary approaches to quantitative policy appraisal.
  • Public Policy I
    A foundational course on the microeconomic approach to public policy, covering the main goals and tools of government intervention in the economy, and addressing a wide range of topics that include externalities, public goods, mixed goods (with a focus on education), social insurance programs (social security, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, worker compensation, health insurance), poverty-alleviation programs, and taxation.
  • Statistics for Policy Action
    A course on statistical techniques with an emphasis on public policy-oriented case studies. The course completes the classical vision on parametric statistics and also offers a brief introduction to probability theory and to the basic concepts of Statistics with the aim of better understanding real datasets, by quantifying, summarizing through measures and graphically representing datasets, in order to facilitate decision making processes in a context of uncertainty.
  • Policy Evaluation for Public Policy
    Does public policy work? How much of a difference does it make? Are its benefits sufficiently strong to exceed its costs? These are some of the questions addressed by this intermediate course in quantitative methods. The course will overview the main policy evaluation methods and their context, as well as promote an intuitive understanding of the most important impact evaluation methods, including practical applications using the Stata software. The course aims to support students who may be involved with policy evaluations in the future, including in their Policy Analysis Projects.
  • Politics for Policy
    Politics For Policy is an introductory course combining concepts from politics and economics to address the nature, design, and impact of public policy initiatives. The course builds on a large and diverse body of academic work from the disciplines of Political Science and Economics to address issues of relevance to the field of Public Policy, including concepts and methods, topics, and applications. The students will become proficient with several frameworks of analysis in public policy and policymaking, the institutions that shape policy, and the different stakeholders and policy objectives that policymakers need to balance.
  • Public Policy II
    This course focuses on the role of the government in the economy. The aim is to provide an understanding of the reasons for government intervention in the economy, empirically analyzing the benefits of possible government policies and the response of economic agents to the government's actions in real-word applications. The course will give students an introduction to frontier research and policy applications in economics and social science in a non-technical manner. In this context, the course will also introduce basic methods in data science, including regression and causal inference.
  • Management
    This course is intended for undergraduate students providing an overview of the different functional areas of management, emphasizing, namely, the way economics can be used for decision-making in a business. Whenever relevant will address the peculiarities of public sector management.
  • Markets, Incentives, and Behaviour
    The aim of this course is to review the main principles of microeconomics, to train the student in the use of economic analysis to identify market failures. In the first part, the course introduces the basic theories of the firm, of consumption, and of price adjustment and market dynamics in a well-functioning economy. Then, it addresses the main types of market failures, and discusses the eventual policy tools to address these failures.

* Please note that for the academic year of 2023/24 this information may be subject to changes.

  • Applied Quantitative Studies
  • Applied Social Entrepreneurship
  • Asian Brands
  • Behavioral Economics and Finance
  • Brand Management for Hospitality
  • Brands and Marketing in Asia’s Emerging Markets
  • Circular Economy:  Eliminate, Circulate and Regenerate
  • Competition Policy
  • Corporate Strategy and Transformation
  • Design Thinking for Social Innovation
  • Economics of Education
  • Economics of Health and Health Care
  • Economics of Health Systems
  • Energy and Climate change
  • Environmental Policy
  • European Union: Governance and Crises
  • Game Theory
  • Geoeconomics and International Relations
  • Global Energy Markets
  • Global Talent Management
  • History of Economic Analysis
  • International Migration
  • International Tourism Policy
  • Labor Economics
  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Macroeconomic Analysis
  • Management in the Public Sector
  • Management of Non-Profit Organizations
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Microeconomic Analysis
  • Modeling Business decisions for Operations
  • Negotiation
  • Operations Management
  • Political Economy
  • Principles of Shopper Marketing
  • Private Sector Development
  • Project Management
  • Public Finance
  • Qualitative Methods for business decisions
  • Responsibility and Ethics of Business
  • Sovereign Advisory
  • Strategic Costing
  • Strategic Planning and Control
  • Sustainability Evaluation of Policies, Plans and Projects
  • Sustainable International Business
  • Sustainable Operations
  • Please note that for the academic year of 2023/24 this information may be subject to changes.

The Policy Analysis Project (PAP) is the final work project to complete the Masters Program. The PAP will be evaluated as a master's thesis.

The PAP can be implemented in a variety of formats, from Field Lab, to Directed Research and Directed Research Internship.

Most PAPs are supposed to be developed as Field Labs. In a Field Lab, a group of students is given a topic or a challenge proposed by a partner institution, under the supervision of an academic tutor. Partner institutions can be public, non-profit, or private organizations aiming to address specific policy questions. The work project consists in addressing the challenge with a written report, that must include both individual contributions and a group contribution.

The implementation of the PAP will take place during the master’s third semester, starting in September, and to be completed in December.

* Please note that for the academic year of 2023/24 this information may be subject to changes.

The Skills Accelerator is composed by 4 areas and students must complete 1 module in each area, according to their Master’s program.

  • Digital
    Technology for business: concepts, tools and software.
  • Ethics
    The concept of ethics and its importance in life (personal and professional). Exposure to ethical challenges and practical discussions on how to address them.
  • Market Links
    Activities career and job market related. Organized by Careers office, student clubs, or faculty. Depending on the module selected, corporate partners and other companies are invited to participate. Competencies you might acquire and/or accelerate: self-awareness, collaboration, teamwork effectiveness, critical thinking and problem-solving, job market knowledge, Alumni networking.
  • Leadership
    Leadership concepts and tips: self-leadership and leading others.

* Please note that for the academic year of 2023/2024 this information may be subject to changes.

Grading is based upon the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), a grading scale developed to understand better and compare grades given, according to different national systems.

We did the math for you and the awarding of ECTS grades breaks down as follows:

in Mandatory Courses including the Mastering Your Own Career Activities
(Bridging courses not included)

in Elective Courses (minimum)

in Skills Accelerator Modules

in the Work Project

90 ECTS in total to graduate
You need a minimum of 90 ECTS to complete your Master's, but if you need 120 ECTS to proceed with your studies, you can extend your Master's by one semester with courses (28 ECTS) and modules (2 ECTS).

Study Abroad

Complete your Master’s in IDPP with international experience.

You can choose from an Exchange Program or a CEMS MIM.

(This requires an additional semester)

Master's Talks

Master's Talks

Attend one of our many Master’s Talks and learn all about this program, its Academic Director, the teams that can help you on your journey to Nova SBE and clear any doubts you may have.