Universiteit Leiden

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Classics (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
  • Teacher of classical languages at a secondary school

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.

Bram van der Velden

Graduated in Classics (Research Master Classics and Ancient Civilizations)

Bram van der Velden

"Currently I am back in Leiden, working as a postdoctoral researcher at the university. I am a member of a team which studies the reception of the Roman orator Cicero. The current focus of my research is the way in which ancient commentaries on Cicero’s work have influenced the conception of him as the rhetorician par excellence."

Learn from world experts

"The research Master's programme in Leiden was instrumental in my academic development. It enabled me, for example, to spend two semesters at Harvard University with a grant offered by the Huygens Scholarship Programme. There I was able to learn from some of the world experts on Latin literature. My Master’s also gave me ample time to work on the research for my thesis and to work on PhD proposals."

Well prepared for this next step

"After my research Master’s I ended up doing my PhD at King’s College in Cambridge. The overall level of my fellow students was quite high, but I felt that the Leiden degree had prepared me well for this next step. Most of all, I felt that my experience with writing longer papers for the Master’s courses helped me with my work on the individual thesis chapters."

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the (Research) MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations 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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