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Asian Studies (Research MA)

Career prospects

Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.

What our graduates do

The master in Asian Studies (Research) prepares you for a wide range of careers in which knowledge of Asia and advanced conceptual, analytical and interpretative skills are essential. Our graduates have pursued successful careers in academia and in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Experience and knowledge of Asia combined with advanced analytical skills are also in demand in careers in publishing, international trade, public relations, education, development aid, or in government, international organisations and NGOs. Leiden University Asian Studies graduates often find employment in Asia itself.

Some of the occupations of our graduates include:

  • Freelance writer at a magazine and online platform focussing on China
  • Teacher at Leiden University
  • Researcher and teaching staff member at Leiden University
  • PhD candidate at Leiden University
  • PhD candidate at a university in Asia
  • Junior underwriter at an insurance company
  • Area Manager Asia at the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion
  • Consular Officer at the Dutch Embassy
  • Coordinator, International Relations at Mima City Hall

Your qualifications

A research master from Leiden University is a qualification that is respected by organisations worldwide. You will be equipped to pursue a position conducting independent research at a high academic level, such as that of a junior academic researcher or a doctoral student on a PhD programme.

Alice Simionato

Graduated in Asian Studies (research)

Alice Simionato

"I decided to apply for the Research Master in Asian Studies because I wanted to develop my research interests related to Chinese philosophy and, while doing so, learn about the tools and methodologies that a researcher should acquire. During my studies in Leiden, I was able to build my own curriculum by choosing courses related to my field of interest and, at the same time, I learned about the fundamental issues and methods of Area Studies.”

“I am currently a PhD student in Philosophy (School of Humanities) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where I was awarded a four years scholarship. My research project focuses on the relations between European rationalism and Neo-Confucianism, two traditions that have been compared in both Europe and China during different historical periods. Because of the skills and knowledge I have aquired during the Research Master in Leiden I started my PhD with confidence and I am now able to work independently. "

Aurelie van 't Slot

Graduated in Asian Studies (research master)

Aurelie van 't Slot

"After participating in the Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School, I soon realised that we need to acknowledge the significance of Asia as a force of global change in order to nourish the global function of our institutions. In order to break free from my rather Eurocentric understanding of the humanities, I applied for the research master programme in Asian Studies."

Critical attitude and inquisitive mind-set

"During the programme, I learned to develop a critical attitude and inquisitive mind-set. Although most research master students have the ambition to pursue an academic career, I believe that the advanced conceptual, analytical and interpretative skills gained during the programme are extremely valuable in any given professional setting."

Significant impact

"I currently work as a policy advisor at the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This is a governmental organisation that is tasked with providing an expert and objective assessment of the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders. I feel that the experiences gained through the programme, such as presenting at international conferences and publishing some of my research papers not only contributed to my academic track record, but also had significant impact on my personal development."

A Leiden University degree

Leiden University Master's graduates are sought-after employees at (inter)national organisations. Our graduates are known for their combination of robust academic training, in-depth and relevant knowledge, and critical, multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the research programmes of the Faculty of Humanities

In which sectors do students find jobs?

  • 45.0 % Research
  • 17.0 % Education
  • 8.0 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 6.0 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 3.0 % Communication
  • 3.0 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 18.0 % Miscellaneous

How successful are they at finding a job?

  • 68.0 % found a job within two months
  • 79.0 % found their first job at academic level

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