3.2.1    Master in Public Policy

Admission Policy

The objective of the Master in Public Policy (MPP) programme’s admissions policy is to select a diverse group of students who have not only outstanding academic ability but also the potential for career growth and who are committed to public service.

Graduates of the programme are likely to pursue careers with national, regional or international governments, non-profit organisations, the media, public sector planning firms, international corporations, and other agencies devoted to public interest.

The MPP Candidate

The Admissions Committee selects candidates for this Master’s programme using a variety of criteria. In general, the candidate should display evidence of professional merit, intellectual distinction, leadership ability and a desire to build a career with social impact.

To be considered for the Master in Public Policy programme, you must have:

  • A National University of Singapore (NUS) honours degree (at least Second Upper) or an equivalent degree, such as a four-year Bachelor’s degree with an average grade of B or better; or
  • A good Bachelor’s degree and passed the School’s placement test.

Other qualifications and experience may be accepted subject to approval by the NUS Board of Graduate Studies. Applicants should preferably have some background in Economics and Mathematics.


The minimum candidature period for the MPP is 18 months and the maximum is three years. Within that time, a student must earn at least 64 graduate-level Modular Credits (MCs) by completing at least 15 modules, comprising 8 common curriculum (28 MCs), five modules in a chosen specialisation (20 MCs), free electives (16 MCs) and The LKY School Course. Most MPP students read four modules per semester and complete the requirements in four semesters spanning two years. Students may apply to read electives (up to 12 MCs) taught in other programmes within NUS.

The MPP programme is full time and fully taught in English. The curriculum will consist of:

  1. Common Curriculum (28 MCs) that all MPP students must take in their first year (in the 2-year MPP programme)
  2. Modules in a chosen Specialization (20 MCs)
  3. Free Electives (20 MCs)


  1. The Common Curriculum focuses on imparting practical skills, disciplinary knowledge, and interdisciplinary competencies that the School believes to be necessary for the kind of work done by public policy practitioners, researchers, and public managers and leaders. The modules in the Common Curriculum are:
    1. PP5401 Policy Challenges (4MCs): This module is designed to get students to think in a practical, problem-oriented, and multidisciplinary way through critical lenses and analytical tools available in the disciplines of Public Management and Leadership, Political Science and International Relations, and Economics, all pillars of a traditional Public Policy education.
    2. PP5402 Policy Process and Institutions (2 MCs, half a semester): The module is about approaches, institutions and processes in public policy. Specifically, it examines: definition and approaches to the analysis and practice of public policy; the political economic context of public policy; and the process of framing, making, and evaluating public policy. The objective is to build students’ capability to conceptualise policy problems, devise strategies for addressing them, and comprehend policy documents.
    3. PP5110A Policy Analysis Exercise (4MCs, year-long): To obtain direct practical experience, MPP students work in diverse teams to undertake a public policy or management study for a client in the public, private, or not-for-profit sectors.
    4. PP5403 Economic Foundations for Public Policy (4MCs, semester-long): As Economics is an essential component of a Public Policy education, all students will be expected to graduate with at least a basic understanding of the key concepts and theories associated with microeconomics and macroeconomics. The main objective of this module is to understand foundational economics concepts and principles and their application to public policy.
    5. PP5405 Public Administration and Politics, a half-semester module worth 2 MCs, covers the key foundational topics of public administration and politics, such as the role of government; public and private sector relations and dynamics; political-administrative relations; collaboration and networks; performance management; stakeholder management; and values, ethics, and anti-corruption strategies. It will provide students with knowledge, tools, and best practices of thinking about these administrative, political and managerial problems necessary to effectively continue their studies.
    6. PP5406 Quantitative Research Methods for Public Policy 1 (4 MCs, semester-long)
      trains students to be competent users and producers of quantitative evidence for policy analysis, this module will equip students with foundational quantitative analytic skills. The focus is on basic concepts of multiple regression analysis and its applications to real-world policy problems. Exercises through textbook examples, case studies, and group projects will enable students to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the method. PP5407, provided in sequence in the second semester, will provide students with more in-depth knowledge and skills required to understand and conduct policy evaluation.
    7. PP5407 Quantitative Research Methods for Public Policy 2 (4 MCs, semester-long) teaches Policy evaluation which is critical in helping to decide whether to expand, modify, or terminate a program or policy. The objective of this module is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to understand and conduct policy evaluation. The module will build on the foundational analytical skills taught in PP5406. The focus is on rigorous quantitative evaluation tools. These will be taught using case studies and datasets that will allow students to identify the strengths and weaknesses of these methods and learn how to apply them to a policy problem of their choice.
    8. PP5408 Qualitative Research Methods for Public Policy (4 MCs, semester-long) explore the question of how qualitative research methods can be used to answer questions about public policy development and outcomes and how concerns about objectivity and representativeness can be overcome. This course introduces students to the conceptual foundations of qualitative research in the social sciences. It covers a wide range of techniques for conducting research with policy makers and the public, and on country cases. The course will prepare students to consume and conduct qualitative research by combining both theoretical and procedural understanding.
    9. PP5010 The LKY School Course (0 MC, semester-long) comprising of a series of lectures on public policy innovations in Singapore and elsewhere, against a broad background of Asia’s development trajectory. The module will provide students with broad appreciation of the philosophy and principles that inform governance and public policy. Notably, it will explore specific public policy innovations in Singapore, like housing and healthcare, and analyse thinking behind the formulation and implementations of such policies.
  2. Specializations (20MCs): The Specialization component of the curriculum is where students will acquire depth and sophistication in their selected areas of policy expertise. To graduate with a Specialization, students will have to pass at least 5 modules listed in that Specialization along with the Gateway module. Students may opt not to graduate with a Specialization. The following Specializations will be offered:
    1. Economic Policy Analysis
    2. Politics and International Affairs
    3. Urban Policy
  1. Free Electives: In addition to the Common and Specialization modules, students can choose to read any 4 electives as their Free Elective modules, either in their chosen Specialization or from other Specialization lists.