First Level's Master Program


Master in Electoral Policy and Administration and individual modules

Dates: The Master has two intakes per year: 1st April (application deadline on the 25th February) or 1st October (application deadline on the 25th August). Individual modules can be started at any time. 
Duration: The Master is designed to last one year, however, students have up to two years to complete the program. Internships are encouraged but are not compulsory in order to complete the Master. Individual modules require 20 to 50 hours to be completed.

Location:  The master and the individual modules will be offered entirely online.  At the end of the program, an optional residential phase in Pisa, of up to 3 weeks, will be organized in Spring or in Autumn (provided that at least 10 students of the Master will attend it).

Italian University credits: Min. 62, Max. 67

Individual modules: 2 to 5 CFU

Number of participants: Unlimited

Tuition fees for the Master: 10.000 EUR

Tuition fees for individual modules: it is possible to select up to 6 individual modules. The fees for one module are 850,00 EUR. A 10% discount is offered on the fees of the 2nd and 3rd individual modules. A 15% discount is offered on the fees of the 4th, 5th, and 6th modules.

MEPA is an online Master Programme specifically designed for current and aspiring election professionals. The programme is based on the 2014 concept of International IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) and it is organised in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). The Master aims at providing election practitioners with a comprehensive overview of the electoral world and with the knowledge and skills necessary to serve as election administrators, members of Election Management Bodies, electoral observers etc.

If you wish to apply for the entire Master programme, follow the instruction contained in the document “tutorial for application” and register online by clicking on “Application online” below.

Then, download the file called “MEPA Master Application”, fill it electronically and upload it during the online application procedure. Under penalty of exclusion, do not forget to also upload:

-       Your passport

-       A copy of ALL the degrees mentioned in your application (e.g. BA, MA, PhD etc.)

-       OFFICIAL transcripts of your bachelor degree (it must be an official document from your university and it must include the marks of all the exams and your final grade. Screenshots of webpages will not be accepted)

-       Your last pay slip (only if you are applying for a scholarship)

Please note that incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

If you wish to attend only some individual modules (max. 6) please DO NOT apply online. Simply download the file called “MEPA Individual modules application”, fill it electronically and send it via email to together with a copy of your passport.

Application deadline for the Master: The application procedure is always open. However, the Master has two intakes per year: one in April and one in October. In order to be considered for the April intake, applicants are encouraged to apply no later than the 25th of February. To be considered for the October intake, candidates must apply before the 25th of August. Late applications will be considered for the next round. The list of admitted candidates will be published online shortly after the expiration of the deadline. Please note that, due to the high number of applications, only admitted candidates will be notified via email regarding the outcome of the selection procedure.

Application deadline for the Individual Modules The application procedure for individual modules is always open. Students can apply anytime and will be able to start attending the modules shortly after the payment of the tuition fees.


Scuola and UNITAR fee reductions

To foster diversity within the programme, the Scuola and its partners may award partial fee reductions to talented students in need of financial aid, based on merit, distinctive competences and academic excellence.

In particular, every selection round the Scuola and its partners may offer up to three 30% fee-reductions to Master candidates coming from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that reach at least 85 points out of 100 and that are in need of financial aid. Fee reductions are subjected to availability of funds.

Creative Associate International's Charito Kruvant Scholarship

Every year, Creative Associates International awards to two female students of the Master, a 5.000,00 euros scholarship each, to cover one-half of their tuition fees. Students may also be eligible for other support directly from the program. The current award calendar is for three years, starting from April 2019.

Eligible applicants must be:

1.            Female;

2.            Accepted into the MEPA program;

3.            Resident in a Least Developed Country (LDC)

The selection procedure for this scholarship is managed directly by Creative Associates International. Candidates who have already been admitted to the Master, who are interested in obtaining this scholarship, will be put in contact with Creative’s focal point, who will instruct them on how to apply for the scholarship.

Other reductions

Fee reductions can be accorded if an institute or organisation enrols a certain number of employees/participants at the same time.

Additional information on the Master Programme

The main educational goals of the Master in Electoral Policy and Administration are as follows:

1) To offer advanced preparation to those individuals interested in pursuing a career as professional in the field of Electoral Policy and Administration and those already working in this field;

2) To respond to a global, structural demand for qualified electoral administrators;

3) To contribute to reduce the gender gap in electoral administration by contributing to strengthen women’s role in this sector, including in senior positions.

The online lectures will adopt an intercultural perspective and a cross-disciplinary approach. Teaching methodologies will rely on the analysis of real situations and concrete examples, and will include a high number of drills, simulations and/or role-plays.

After the successful completion of all the compulsory modules, students will be required to write a 15,000-words dissertation on a relevant topic of interest, or a 7,000-words dissertation if they choose to undertake an optional internship. The final thesis can be discussed via online, video conferencing software, such as Skype.

Additional materials

Below you can find an interesting article on the role of election observers.

I'm an 'election observer' - but what do we actually do?”

Attendance certificate

At the end of the Master Programme, those students who have regularly settled the tuition costs, passed all the required examinations and successfully presented the Master Thesis will receive a First Level Master’s Diploma, from Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, in accordance with art. 3 of the Italian DM no. 270/2004. The degree is awarded according to the rules and regulations set by the Italian and EU education system. Due to its specificity it does not give general access to Doctoral studies (Phd and similar). Validation of credits for access to such programmes can be requested from competent institutions.

For individual modules, those students that have regularly settled the tuition costs and have passed all the required examinations will receive a Certificate of Completion and the respective academic credits.