Universiteit Leiden

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Assyriology (research) (MA)

Career prospects

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

Our graduates end up working in a diverse range of positions, examples include:

  • PhD candidate at Dutch and international universities
  • Project assistant at a Dutch city council
  • Research assistant at a university
  • Curator at a museum
  • Policy officer at a ministry
  • Communications officer
  • Programme manager

Your qualifications

As a graduate of a Classics and Ancient Civilizations (research) programme at Leiden University you are qualified to work as a junior academic researcher in an academic environment or carry out further research work on a PhD programme. It is also possible to find employment within the fields of publishing or teaching, at policy-making departments of governmental bodies, within the education sector, or within cultural tourism.

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.

Andrew Deloucas

Graduated in Assyriology (Research MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations)

Andrew Deloucas

"Currently I am working as a Marketing Coordinator at Salas O'Brien, an architectural and engineering firm in Seattle, Washington. My job asks for me to compile working narratives for projects from a network of architect and engineer resumes, accounting information, and personal interviews for the purpose of submitting proposals to municipalities, private businesses, and non-profit organizations that are interested in upgrading, remodeling, or otherwise constructing new buildings or structures. They also allow me time to independently research and go to academic conferences!"

Successfully perform my duties

"The challenge of compiling material from differing contexts and from it producing data that speaks toward a particular end-goal is the strongest thread that ties together my studies and current work. In understanding an advanced level of data management and analysis of scope, context, and audience for objects that otherwise appear unbiased or created without particular interest, I have been able to quickly, accurately, and successfully perform my duties with ease."

Individualised attention

"Because Assyriology is a small department at Leiden University, it was common and expected to receive individual support and attention from teachers and researchers, both in class and in the NINO library (Netherlands Institute for the Near East). Everyone was caring and thoughtful in their wanting to help me carve out my own niche in the ancient world."

Maarja Seire

Graduated in Assyriology (Research MA Classics and Ancient Civilisations)

Maarja Seire

“Since January 2017 I am working as an Educational and Research Staff Member at Leiden University. My main responsibility is creating a database of Babylonian cuneiform documents (7th–4th c. BCE), which will eventually be published online as part of the ERC project PERSIA AND BABYLONIA, directed by Caroline Waerzeggers. I also contribute to a collective volume on the history of Babylonia during the reign of the Persian king Xerxes (early 5th century BCE).”

Studying social networks

“During my MA studies in Assyriology at Leiden University I attended various courses which focused on the social and economic history of Babylonia. I wrote my MA thesis about the archives from Old Babylonian Nippur and studied their social networks. In order to do this, I created a database of name attestations and document metadata. In my current job, I apply my experience working with archival data and databases.”

A broad focus and fantastic collections

“I studied Assyriology because of the vast amount of cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia. These sources, mostly still unpublished, can be investigated to understand various historical processes in this region. I chose Leiden University because it offers a broad focus on Mesopotamian history and languages, has renowned lecturers, and boasts the fantastic NINO library as well as the Böhl collection.”

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the (Research) MA Classics and Ancient Civilisations 2016-2020.

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 57 % Education
  • 14 % Research
  • 10 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 5 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 5 % IT
  • 5 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 4 % Other

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 82 % found a job within two months
  • 82 % 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.

The development of in-depth knowledge in the field and the ability to think critically and analytically are key goals of this programme. The Classics and Ancient Civilizations (research) programme introduces you to the concepts and academic approaches current in Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, including disciplines such as: linguistics, history, religious studies or material culture studies. You will learn to use these concepts and approaches in researching and analysing source material. Your thesis gives you the opportunity to apply these methods in your own research.

We also provide opportunities for students to broaden their experience and professional skills in preparation to excel early in their chosen career. Many of our students choose to do an internship during their study. Internships are a great way to gain invaluable first-hand experience in your area of interest before you decide on making it a career. Our students have done internships at, among others:

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

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