Universiteit Leiden

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Archaeology (MA/MSc)

Career prospects

An archaeology master's degree from Leiden University will open up a world of opportunities for you!

Broad array of skills

The broad array of skills that you will acquire as an archaeologist will make you an attractive target for a wide range of employers. These skills will equip you for a variety of positions in the Netherlands or abroad, in government or in business. They will also make you an objective, critical and, above all, articulate and creative thinker. Creative thinkers have the ability to draw logical and accurate conclusions from incomplete information, and to come up with practical and original solutions. This ability will make you a great fit with many different professions.

Stepping-stone to the job market

Your archaeology master’s can be a stepping-stone up to a career in almost every sector of the job market. Many of our archaeology graduates work in areas that include public services, the government, NGOs, research institutes, museums, business services, communications, education, advisory work, policy development, management, coordination services, publishing and information services.

Outside the specific field of archaeology, you’ll discover that opportunities can present themselves in journalism, publishing, public relations, international organisations or public service in general. It’s the winning combination of practical knowledge and academic skills that fuels employers’ demand for Leiden University’s archaeology graduates.

Sectors in which graduates of Archaeology are employed

  • 37.0 % Consultancy Archaeology/public space-environment-soil
  • 29.0 % Government/heritage land-management, environment
  • 22.0 % Research
  • 4.0 % Public-interest group
  • 2.0 % Education
  • 2.0 % Art and culture
  • 2.0 % NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation)
  • 2.0 % Others, like industry/communications

Our graduates find employment as:

  • field archaeologists
  • researchers
  • PhD candidates at Leiden University or other universities
  • policy advisors at governmental institutes or NGOs
  • consultants with independent or commercial companies
  • museum curators
  • cultural resource managers (Heritage)
  • university or secondary school teachers
  • journalists
  • publishers
  • public relations officers
  • project managers
  • digital education officers at museums
  • digital specialists

Archaeological job opportunities

During the past 10 years the career prospects for archaeologists have increased substantially, particularly since new legislative guidelines were established regarding construction sites and zoning plans (2007). These guidelines force municipalities to carry out research into archaeological heritage before a plot of land can be officially designated as a construction site. This alone offers significant job opportunities for archaeologists.


Alternatively, you could continue in academia and pursue a career as researcher or lecturer at a university. The Faculty of Archaeology offers a dynamic research environment for PhD researchers, with the PhD Graduate School of Archaeology serving as home to all the Faculty's PhD students. It organises annual PhD meetings and monitors the training programme and supervisory activities for the PhD trajectory.