Universiteit Leiden

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Chinese Studies (MA)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

Our graduates frequently find employment in policy-making occupations and are sought-after within the world of commerce. We have alumni working in management positions in NGOs, multinationals and SMEs in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia.

You may also find employment as a journalist, correspondent, public relations manager, travel guide, interpreter or translator. We have graduates working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China Southern Airlines, Gassan Schiphol and Reformatorisch Dagblad.

Some of the occupations of our graduates include:

  • Curator of the China department at a national museum of ethnology
  • PhD candidate at a university in Hong Kong
  • China Director at an international architecture, planning and strategic consultancy firm
  • Test consultant at a large IT consultancy firm
  • Managing partner of a translation agency
  • Policy officer at a ministry of foreign affairs
  • Editor at a publishing house
  • Project officer for Asia collections at Leiden University Library
  • Technical programme manager at a multinational technology company
  • Web editor and newsletter coordinator at an embassy in China

Your qualifications

As a graduate of the master's in Chinese Studies, you are qualified to work within any field in which there is a demand for expertise in Asia, including journalism and publishing, international trade and marketing, business, public relations, education and development aid, and in government, international organisations and NGOs.

Research Master

If you have ambitions to pursue a PhD position or a career as a researcher in business or academia you can apply for the two-year Research Master in Asian Studies on completion of the programme.

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.

Thomas Falkenhagen

Graduated in Chinese Studies

Thomas Falkenhagen

"As soon as I obtained my master’s degree in 2009 I joined the national civil service trainee programme. I thought it would be a good way of getting into the civil service, but to my surprise I was immediately selected for Foreign Affairs, the very place I most wanted to work. My career since has taken me to vastly different places, with 'all-things-Asia' frequently returning on my path. Currently I am serving as deputy Consul-General in Chongqing, China."

Thesis research in China

"I have always been keen to go abroad. During my studies I spent a year in Beijing, which was great! It was a wonderful experience to live in such an enormous metropolis. I visited China again during the last three months of my master’s, for my thesis research."

First steps of professional life

"The master’s in Chinese Studies prepared me for first steps of professional life at the ministry of Foreign Affairs because it fostered my ability to take initiative, to work both independently and in cooperation with others and to handle politically sensitive issues. And of course in my line of work, foreign language proficiency is a real must, with Chinese language growing in relative importance."

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA Chinese Studies. 

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 13.6 % ICT
  • 9.7 % Industry
  • 9.7 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 9.7 % Tour operator or airline
  • 9.7 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 9.7 % Business services
  • 37.9 % Miscellaneous

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 77.0 % found a job within two months
  • 82.0 % found their first job at academic level

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