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Master of Public Policy (MPP) - Social Policy

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) suite of  programs are designed to provide education which complies with  international norms, for professionals to develop further as leaders in a variety of roles, including public policy analysis and planning, public management and services, research institutes, government orientated positions within the private sector and the third sector organizations.  The MPP’s scope includes providing students with the theoretical and practical knowledge to develop and apply the analytical tools necessary for high quality policy analysis and strategic development.  This includes aspects of design, advocacy and evaluation of public policies and strategies.  It will contribute to growth in program management capabilities within a dynamic economic and global context.

The MPP Programme is also aligned to the seven key strategic objectives of the UAE National Innovation Strategy (NIS), which are:
  1. Renewable Energy
  2. Transportation
  3. Education
  4. Health
  5. Technology
  6. Water
  7. Space

Program Mission

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) suite of programs provides an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, intellectual and practical skills, aspects of competence and other attributes in the area of Public Policy. In the current context of the rapidly-evolving global socio-economic reality and technological spread, the policy making and delivery function of the State have now become more challenging than at any time in the past. Students who study the MPP at MBRSG can become specialized policymakers and policy analysts as well as the public governance leaders who facilitate creativity, skill and commitment in managing innovative and smart public policies, 

MBRSG offers six (6) Master of Public Policy Programs. There is a Master of Public Policy program and there are five Master of Public Policy programs each with a specialisation. 

The Master of Public Policy programs of offer are listed as follows:
  • Master of Public Policy,
  • Master of Public Policy (Social Policy),  
  • Master of Public Policy (Education),  
  • Master of Public Policy (Health),  
  • Master of Public Policy (Sustainable Development) and  
  • Master of Public Policy (Science and Technology).  

Master of Public Policy (MPP) - Social Policy

As a student in the MPP with Social Policy specialization you will explore various social policy domains that require a coordinated response that promotes the sustainable improvement of all members of society, especially for those vulnerable children, elderly and marginalized adults. A particular focus of this specialization is policy making and governance in the MENA region which presents a context of instability and uncertainty for policy makers. The social policy specialization combines analytic training with opportunities for applied research and real world experience.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the MPP - Social Policy program will be able to:
  1. Compare and contrast current governance and public policy theories and perspectives to the analysis of the relationship between structure of governance and policy performance and the development of innovative public governance systems and policy processes to face the future challenges in public service delivery.
  2. Evaluate how various principles, tools and methods influence the effectiveness of public policy development, implementation and evaluation.
  3. Measure the values of governance not only in terms of better performance, accountability and transparency but also how they engage citizens, markets and the third sector in participatory policy making and policy change.
  4. Analyze public policies in key sectors such as economic, social, education, health and sustainable environment using appropriate research principles and methods.
  5. Appraise the impact of global political and economic institutions, knowledge sharing and current trends on governance and public policy.
  6. Utilize effective leadership and teamwork skills to solve complex/ advanced public organizational problems and communicate policy decisions.

Admission requirements

  1. Completion of a recognized recognized undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree in a discipline appropriate for the MPP or one of the specialisms.
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale, or its established equivalent, in the applicant’s undergraduate or baccalaureate degree program.
  3. As the MPP is taught in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the Paper-Based, 213 on the Computer-Based, or 79 on the Internet-Based test, or its equivalent in a standardized English language test, such as 6.0 IELTS or another standardized, internationally recognized test approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, with the following exceptions:
    1. a native speaker of English who has completed his/her undergraduate education in an English-medium institution and in a country where English is the official language;
    2. an applicant with an undergraduate qualification from an English-medium institution who can provide evidence of acquiring a minimum TOEFL score of 500 on the Paper-Based test, or its equivalent on another standardized test approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, at the time of admission to his/her undergraduate program. 
  4. An applicant who meets the above requirements should have minimum of three years of relevant work experience, except for applicants who have a CGPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale, and who are already working in the public sector or a nonprofit organization, who may be accepted with a minimum relevant work experience of eighteen months.

Proficiency Requirements

Prior to enrolling in a Master of Public Policy (MPP) - Social Policy program students must demonstrate proficiency in basic statistics and research methods. These requirements can be met by passing an undergraduate university level subject in statistics and/or research methods. Students who have not demonstrated previous proficiency in basic statistics and research methods will be required to take the Foundation Course for Research Methods in Public Policy during their first semester of academic study. Furthermore, these students will be limited to enrolling and studying one Core Module, in addition to the Foundation Course for Research Methods in Public Policy, in their first academic semester as part of their Master of Public Policy (MPP) program of study.

Preparatory Course: Returning to Learning

The aim of the MBRSG induction activities is to introduce students to the range of services that are available to postgraduate students, as well as to provide them with essential information about registration and enrollment. It is also an opportunity for students to get acquainted with each other. During these sessions, faculty members will guide you through essential knowledge and skills to enhance your progression through the programs.

We propose that induction will answer many of the questions that students may have about what being a postgraduate student at MBRSG. The Induction course will be delivered over two weekends prior to the commencement of the first semester of study. All new postgraduate students are required to attend.

In support of students at the commencement of their graduate studies or at what may be a return to an academic environment after a period away from higher education, MBRSG requires that all new students admitted to a graduate program attend an Induction Course entitled ‘Returning to Learning”. The Induction course will be delivered over two weekends prior to the commencement of the first semester of study and all new postgraduate students are required to attend. The Returning to Learning Course includes activities to introduce students to the range of services that are available to postgraduate students, as well as to provide them with essential information about registration and enrollment. It is also an opportunity for students to get acquainted with each other. During these sessions, faculty members will guide you through essential knowledge and skills to enhance your progression through the programs. We propose that the Returning to Learning Course will answer many of the questions that students may have about what being a postgraduate student at MBRSG.

Careers and Employability

Our Master of Public Policy - Social Policy graduates will find themselves working in a range of public and private sector organizations. The MPP - social policy degree will equip graduates to operate effectively in an environment where public policy options have multiplied and where the boundaries between public and private entities have become increasingly blurred. Graduates can also be promoted into senior policy making and decision making roles with the public or private sector, because they now have a breath of applied knowledge related to the field of public policy. Graduates with the various specializations are further equipped to take up senior decision making, consultancy or advisory positions in their areas of specialization. 

Program Structure

Program Structure

Semester Full Time Part Time
1 MPP 701 20 credits MPP 701 20 credits
MPP 702 20 credits MPP 703 20 credits
MPP 703 20 credits    
2 MPP 704 20 credits MPP 702 20 credits
MPP 711 20 credits MPP 704 20 credits
MPP 712 20 credits    
3 Dissertation 60 credits MPP 711 20 credits
    Mpp 712 20 credits
4     Dissertation - Semester 1 60 credits
5     Dissertation - Semester 2 (if required)
Total   180 credits   180 credits


Module Code Module Title Credits
Core Modules
MPP 701 Governance & Policy Process 20
MPP 702 Public Policy Analysis 20
MPP 703 Public Economics & Finance 20
MPP 704 Microeconomics of Competitiveness 20
  Students undertaking the MPP - Social Policy degree program will be required to take the following Concentration Modules
Concentration: MPP with Social Policy
MPP 711 Social Policy 20
MPP 712 Global Governance 20
MPP 901 Dissertation 60

Total Credits


Program Requirements

To be awarded a Master of Public Policy (MPP) - Social Policy degree requires the successful completion of six (6) Modules and a Dissertation totaling 180 (CATS) credits with an overall average grade of 60% (Merit) or above, in accordance with the Graduate Completion Policy (P-ACD-134).

Delivery Mode

Students for the MPP - Social Policy can enroll as part-time students over 2 years or full-time students over 18 months.  The primary mode of delivery is weekly small group interactive lectures offered in the afternoon and early evening.  Each 20 credit module will comprise a minimum of 30 hours of direct contact.  Students are also required to complete a further 170 hours of directed independent learning and self –access study

The program is further supported by e-learning resources for each subject on Blackboard and students are required to attend additional (non-credit) workshops focusing on the development of academic writing and research skills.  Students are also encouraged to attend seminars and guest lectures hosted by the MBRSG.

Students can exit with a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Policy (Social Policy)* after completing 120 credits and prior to attempting the dissertation.
* subject to meeting the average overall grade requirements

Module Description

Module Description
Core Modules
MPP701: Governance and Policy Process (Core) (20 CATS Credits)

This module facilitates the students’ understanding of the theories of governance and public policy process as a critical step to analyze policies in the current context of globalization and governance. The aim of the module is to offer students the knowledge of key issues and processes in public policy to enable them to appreciate how globalization, technology, innovation, and other emerging challenges impact the various phases of policy making as well as policy implementation and evaluation. Through local and international case studies, the module also provides a comparative perspective of different public policy paradigms in the contemporary world with a special reference to the UAE and MENA region. This module also explores the institutions and processes in public policy making, implementation and evaluation and how leadership plays a catalyst role in policy change and policy adaption. Finally, it examines how future governments will adopt smart policies to shape the social, economic and environmental growth and sustainability in the UAE and Arab region.

MPP702: Research Methods for Public Policy Analysis (Core) (20 CATS Credits)

This module is designed to give students an understanding of the qualitative and quantitative research methods needed for public policy analysis. Module topics include research design (this includes defining research problems, formulating research questions and reviewing literature), research strategy; methods and data collection tools. Students will be introduced with a wide range of qualitative tools such as case studies, grounded theory and action research as well as quantitative tools moving from descriptive statistics to regression analysis. The module will enhance students’ skill in evaluating published research and learn how to use different research methods in their own research and studies in order to grasp and analyze issues related to public administration and public policy; including the evaluation of policy alternatives. They will learn to formulate research questions, design surveys, systematically conduct research and operationalize variables.

MPP703: Public Economic and Finance (Core) (20 CATS Credits)

This module examines the economic foundations of policy analysis and fiscal administration by introducing basic microeconomic principles and tools required to understand the role of government in the economy. It explores the rationale for government intervention, the goals of intervention (achieving allocative efficiency, redistribution and stabilization), and the prospect of government failure in making such interventions succeed. More specifically, the module provides an overview of the assumptions of perfect competition and considers a variety of situations in which the ideal of a perfect market breaks down, including the cases of public goods, externalities, market power, natural monopolies and asymmetric information. It uses actual policy problems to demonstrate applications of the theoretical framework to areas of education, health, environment, social security and others. It also provides an overview of public sector budgeting and other methods for financial management, regulation and control drawing on contemporary public finance issues. It also provides an overview of regulatory economics and reviews the recent research on implications of behavioral economics for public policy making.

MPP704: Microeconomics of Competitiveness (Core) (20 CATS Credits)

The module is concerned with the determinants of competitiveness and economic development viewed from a bottom up, microeconomic perspective. While sound macroeconomic policies, stable legal and political systems, and the accumulation of factors of production affect the potential for competitiveness, wealth is created at the microeconomic level. The strategies of firms, the vitality of clusters, and quality of the business environment in which competition takes place are what ultimately determines a nation’s or region’s productivity and wealth. The content covers both developing and advanced economies. The focus is on emerging, transition and advanced countries where microeconomic agendas are critical to sustained success. Furthermore, the module addresses competitiveness at the level of nations, states or cities within nations, clusters, and groups of neighboring countries. A major theme of the module is that competitiveness and economic development is affected by policies at all these levels. The module is also concerned with government policy but also with the roles of business, universities, and other institutions in competitiveness. In modern international competition, the roles of the constituencies have shifted and expanded, and the traditional separation between them works against successful economic development. Also, the ability to mount and sustain a competitiveness strategy for a nation or region is a daunting challenge. The module explores not only theory and policy, but also the nature of the organizational structure and institutions for sustained improvements in competitiveness. In addition to both macro and micro policy choices, the module underlines the role of history, i.e. the legacy of nations (such as language, culture and general institutions), and geography, i.e. the regional circumstances (such as the level of development among neighboring nations and the intensity in regional interaction).

Concentration Modules:

MPP711: Social Policy (MPP with Social Policy specialization) (20 CATS Credits)

This module explains theories of public policy with a focus on social policies and current reform challenges in that. The overall aim of the module is to help the students understand the interplay between socio-economic context, social policy actors and institutions in a global, regional (MENA) and local (UAE) setting. The module highlights how social policies are analyzed and developed through this interplay. The role of global governance in shaping social policy reform processes is investigated in order to underscore the interplay dynamics. This module also introduces students to contemporary political economy of the MENA region - this includes the role of government, civil society, and private sector as well as the legacy of Islamic institutions and the oil economics. After this, it covers key social (and economic) policy sectors including health, education, public welfare, demography, labor markets & unemployment, elderly care, gender, and youth development.  

MPP712: Global Governance (MPP with Social Policy specialization) (20 CATS Credits)

This module will investigate diverse policy issues and the equally diverse structures of governance and diplomacy regulating them at the international, transnational, state and sub-state levels. The program will equip students to understand, explain and practice governance and diplomacy in the contemporary global era. Inter-Governmental Organizations provide important channels of communication between states and mechanisms for galvanizing international action on issues of global concern. They are also important actors in global governance The module will include a study visit for students that will reinforce classroom teaching by enabling MBRSG students to learn more about the subject of Global Governance encouraging intercultural competency and understanding, and developing knowledge of the international community, and a sense of global understanding within the field.

The module will address three key 'gaps' that are referred to in global governance discussions:

  1. The jurisdictional gap, between the increasing need for global governance in many areas - such as health - and the lack of an authority with the power, or jurisdiction, to take action.
  2. The incentive gap, between the need for international cooperation and the motivation to undertake it. The incentive gap is said to be closing as globalization provides increasing impetus for countries to cooperate. However, there are concerns that, as a Country lags further behind economically, its influence on global governance processes will diminish.
  3. The participation gap, which refers to the fact that international cooperation, remains primarily the affair of governments, leaving civil society groups on the fringes of policy-making. On the other hand, globalization of communication is facilitating the development of global civil society movements


MPP901: Dissertation (60 CATS Credits)

The Dissertation in Public Policy is designed to enable MBRSG Master’s candidates to integrate, apply and extend the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their program. The subject matter for the dissertation should also be based upon skills and concepts acquired during the taught part of the program. However, in order to satisfy the requirements for a Masters level dissertation, it will be necessary for the candidate to develop, enhance and apply these concepts through demonstration of independent research skills beyond the level achieved in prior coursework. To this end, candidates will conduct substantive original research on a strategic management, innovation management or service innovation issue of importance to the region. The outcome will be the development and presentation of the research results and recommendations that can inform innovation management in the UAE and beyond.


Apply Online

Online Application for Graduate Admission to Master of Public Policy (MPP) - Social Policy

Thank you for applying to the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government

MBRSG ensures that all applications are considered on academic merit in accordance with the admission criteria. MBRSG applies ethical practices in respect to all applications and no discriminatory practices are tolerated.

Please read the following terms, conditions and instructions carefully and acknowledge your acceptance of them before completing the Online Application For Admission Form.

  1. Applications must be completed and submitted by the applicant themselves.
  2. All questions marked with an asterisk (*) must be answered, or the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
  3. First-time users of the MBRSG Student Management System must register to create an account. Once you have selected either full-time or part-time below, you must choose a login username and password of between six and nine alphanumeric characters.
  4. You may save your application and complete it at a later time if necessary.
  5. Applications can be made at any time, however to be eligible for the next (upcoming) semester, it must be submitted by the deadline set by the admission office
  6. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as our postgraduate programs are often capped at 30 students per semester. If the semester you selected is full, MBRSG may consider your application for the following semester.
  7. When completing your online application, you must send the following in PDF or JPEG format:
    1. Official attested university/college degree certificate (Testamur) and attested official transcript(s) showing grading scale both side with a minimum CGPA of 2.5 out of 4.00
    2. Copy of passport and one passport sized photographs
    3. Copy of UAE Family Book (if applicable)
    4. Copy of Emirates ID (if applicable)
    5. Official TOEFL 550 or Academic IELTS 6.0 score certificate (English) or Emsat 1400 or equivalent test approved by the UAE Ministry of Education, if available
    6. Current CV or resume
    7. A one-page essay explaining your interest in the program and how you see MBRSG, benefiting your career
    8. Two recent letters from referees supporting your application
    9. Your full name in both English and Arabic. (This is a regulatory requirement)
    10. Certificate equivalency from MOE if the applicant studied abroad.
  8. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview at MBRSG.
  9. An Offer of Admission made to an applicant will only be valid for the academic year applied for.
  10. Applicants who are employed full time will (normally) only be admitted to a graduate program on a part-time basis. Part-Time students will be limited to studying a maximum of three(3) modules per academic semester. Full-time students will be able to study a maximum of four (4) modules per semester (pending seat availability).
  11. Applicants who are granted conditional admission to an MBRSG graduate program will be limited to studying two(2) modules in their first semester, pending satisfying the specific condition(s) of admission detailed in the offer of admission letter.
  12. Applicants who accept an offer of admission must attend and complete the Return to Learning orientation program prior to the start of the semester.
  13. Applicants who have not demonstrated proficiency in basic statistics and research methods in their prior tertiary studies (i.e. passing an undergraduate university level subject in statistics and/or research methods), may only be offered conditional entry, and will be limited to enrolling in one (1) module and required to take the Foundation Course for Research Methods in Public Policy during their first semester.
  14. Applicants who wish to defer their admission should contact the Manager of Admissions and Program Relations prior to the start of the applicable semester by sending an official mail. Approval of a deferral request will be considered and acceptance will depend on available seats.

For additional information or instructions, you should contact the Admission Administrator at or   

If you wish to submit a formal Application Form for Admission to the Master of Public Policy (MPP) - Social Policy,  please click on either the Full-Time or Part Time Online Admission link.

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