First Level's Master Program


Master in Electoral Policy and Administration and individual modules

Subscription deadline:

Location: The Master will be offered online, with an optional residential phase in Pisa up to 3 weeks (provided that there is a minimum of 10 students attending the residential phase)

Dates: Students can start attending the Programme at two different times per year: 1 October or 1 April.

Italian University credits: Min. 62, Max. 67

Individual modules: 2 to 5 CFU

Training hours: 470

Individual modules: 20 to 50

Participant number: Unlimited

Teaching language: English

Course fee: 10.000 EUR

Individual modules: 850 EUR each

Application deadline: The application procedure is always open and applicants will be informed about their result within 8 weeks from the date of their application.

Apply here:

To apply for the Master Programme

To apply for individual modules

Course Description

MEPA is an online Master Programme providing comprehensive advanced learning on electoral processes for current and aspiring election professionals. The Programme is based on the 2014 International IDEA designed “Model Curriculum – Master of Electoral Policy and Administration”, which is piloted for the first time. The MEPA Curriculum framework relies on the concept of the electoral cycle, pioneered by International IDEA. The average duration of the Programme is one year. Students may opt to complete the degree within a longer timeframe. However, the maximum duration of the Programme should not exceed two years. Internships are encouraged but they are not compulsory in order to earn the Master degree. Individual modules are also available, leading to the attainment of a Certificate of Completion of the specific module taken.

Course target

It targets mid/upper level professionals who want to acquire the specific knowledge and skills to work as election administrators, and/or to work as a part of Election Management Bodies (EMBs).

Training objectives

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.

Teaching methods

The lectures covered by the Master Programme 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.

Course programme

The Master Programme is composed of an online component lasting nine months, at the end of which students are 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. In addition, students may attend the optional residential phase at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy. The optional residential component will take place twice a year, in autumn and in spring, to give students the possibility to discuss their thesis in front of an academic panel and to participate to events organised ad hoc, such as workshops and seminars. The optional residential component will be offered with a minimum of ten participants. However, all 19 modules composing the Master Programme are available online and the final thesis can be discussed via online applications programmes, such as Skype.

How to apply

Applicants shall enter their application online, at for the Master Programme and at for individual modules. Applicants are strongly advised to carefully fill in all the compulsory fields, included the field devoted to the description of their motivational profile. The fields that do not contain the information requested will not be considered valid.

Candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) Three-year (at least) university degree in a relevant field, combined with some (ideally at least 6 months) working experience in the field of electoral policy and administration or related areas. Students expecting to graduate within a period of three months from the application are also eligible.

(2) Fluency in English – at least at level B2 (please refer to: CEFR for Languages, CoE, lang-CEFR).

The following documents shall be enclosed with the online application:

  • CV/ résumé;
  • Transcript of all records of the BA degree (or equivalent), with the marks of each single exam passed and, if applicable, the final mark, issued by the applicant’s University and written either in Italian, or English, or French, or German, or Spanish. Applicants are informed that in case the BA degree transcript is missing, the application will be considered inadmissible;
  • Copy of passport or ID valid document;
  • Copy of last payslip if a scholarship is requested (only for the Master Programme)
  • It will be possible to apply any time and applicants will be informed about their result within 8 weeks from the date of their application.

Course fee

The tuition fee for the full Programme is 10.000,00 Euro, payable in three instalments of 4.000,00 Euro, 3.000,00 Euro and 3.000,00 Euro. Individual modules are also available. The fee for each MEPA module is 850,00 Euro. Starting from the second module, a 10% discount on the fee of the second and third module is applied and a 15% discount is applied on the fourth and fifth module. It is possible to select up to 5 modules. The fee for an individual module shall be paid in one tranche.


The Scuola and UNITAR 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 UNITAR may offer up to three fee reductions of 30% to 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.

Attendance certificate

At the end of the Master Programme, those students who have regularly settled the tuition costs and have passed all the required examinations and successfully presented the Master Thesis will receive from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna a First Level Master’s Diploma, 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. Giving 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.


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Selection Committee
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Admitted candidates I turn
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Admitted candidates II turn
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Admitted candidates IV turn
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Admitted candidates V turn
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