Universiteit Leiden

nl en

History, Arts and Culture of Asia (MA) (60EC)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

Your expertise in Asia will qualify you for jobs in a variety of fields where there is demand for expertise in Asia, including journalism, publishing, international trade, marketing, business, public relations, education, development aid, and in government, non-profit and international organisations.

Some of the occupations of our graduates include:

  • Assistant curator at a Singaporean museum 
  • Account manager at a translation agency
  • Quality analyst at an IT consultancy agency
  • Project manager at a trading and consultancy company in India
  • Owner of a consultancy firm
  • Consultant at a defence and security company
  • Communications officer at an animation studio in Japan
  • Relations management officer at an organisation promoting internationalisation in education
  • Customer service coordinator at a European rail travel company
  • Editor at an academic publishing house
  • Guest relations officer at a hospitality
  • Content editor at a booking website

Research Master

If you have ambitions to pursue a PhD position or career as a researcher outside of 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.

Roshny Kohabir

Graduated in MA History, Arts and Culture of Asia (MA Asian Studies)

Roshny Kohabir

"The MA Asian Studies helped me to further develop and deepen various skills such as written and oral communication and presenting research results. Creativity and an open mind were a necessity when it came to creating a critical and analytical view during the process. I obtained these skills as a recent Humanities graduate, and used them during my activities as a writer for tender applications. Of course they will be of great use for my future career. As a very recent graduate of the Master’s program Asian Studies, I immediately began my search for a job opportunity that formed a connection between my passions and my skills."

Humanities skills

"After graduating the BA International Studies, I started the MA Asian Studies program. My choice was an easy and a logical one, I simply wished to dive in to South Asia more than I did during my Bachelors. It was the best choice I could have made. I grew, developed skills, obtained in-depth knowledge on diverse subjects, joined field trips and I had the opportunity to create my own program through the generous amount of electives and freedom."

Thesis vs. Passions

"My true passion I discovered during my academic career; “misunderstood Asian Art and traditions.” I wrote my thesis by reading numerous ancient Hindu literature books, and connecting various phenomena to contemporary affairs. I praise the University for its large library and collections. Without those collections my education and the process of writing my thesis would not have been the same."

Lisette Atsma

Graduated in MA History, Arts and Culture of Asia (MA Asian Studies)

Lisette Atsma

"After graduating, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I did all kinds of jobs to earn money. I hadn’t even considered earning my living in IT as an option until I saw friends getting jobs in the sector without specific training in the field. A friend worked at Sogeti and I decided I would also give it a try. I applied for a young professional position and was hired as a test engineer."

Skills I learned at Leiden University

"Asking critical questions is definitely something. But above all, I learned how to learn. At high school, everything came to me pretty easily, but at university, I really had to buckle down. Now that I’m studying again in addition to my work, I can use these study skills very well. I meet lots of people, mainly because I am always working at different companies. The work is creative and my background knowledge of both writing and graphic aspects is widely deployed. I have a good eye for detail, which means I can sometimes surprise people with the things I notice. That is of course nice as well."

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA Asian Studies 2016-2020. 

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 26 % Governement and semi-government
  • 14 % Education
  • 12 % Financial institutions
  • 7 % IT
  • 7 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 5 % Industrial sector
  • 5 % Research
  • 5 % Consultancy
  • 5 % Information management
  • 14 % Other

How successful are they at finding jobs?

  • 58 % found a job within 2 months
  • 73 % found their first job at academic level

Career preparation

Find out how this programme exactly prepares you for your future career and check our career preparation activities.

At Leiden University, we give you the tools to become a powerful critical thinker with a strong and relevant knowledge base. Graduates of the master's in Asian Studies understand the key academic approaches taken within Asian Studies across multiple disciplines, and how to use these concepts to conduct quality research. They have a wealth of practical and professional skills. These qualities amount to a highly attractive package for future employers.

Do you consider to put your knowledge into practice during your studies? Determine whether an internship could be an option for you. Start orientating your possibilities by visiting an internship information session. This way you can receive information about the internship procedure and listen to tips of former interns.
Notice that you will search for an internship yourself to find a place of your interest. Do you need some help with this or the application process? Do not hesitate to contact the Career Service. When you have found an internship, inform us. Then, the internship coordinator advises you how to proceed and provides your internship plan with feedback so it can be submitted for approval to the board of examiners.

Our staff can help you identify both the career that is right for you, and the necessary steps to get you there. Our team at Humanities Career Service provide all Leiden University humanities students with professional advice and guidance on everything from internships and career planning to job applications. Humanities Career Service also organises regular workshops on topics such as effective interview skills and creating a successful CV.

The Humanities Career Service offers you various (online) workshops, webinars and info sessions. Check our overview of career activities

The Leiden University Career Zone is an online career portal that helps you to prepare for the job market. Here you can find information, tools and tips to help you gain more personal insight, learn about the job market, develop your application skills, plan your academic and professional career, find job vacancies and discover what the Career Service can do for you.

Join the Mentor Network to contact alumni with experience on the labour market and ask them for advice. More than 1200 alumni are happy to help you!

Jelle on finding an internship via Leiden University's Mentor Network

This video can not be shown because you did not accept cookies.

You can leave our website to view this video.

This website uses cookies. More information.