Universiteit Leiden

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Classics and Ancient Civilizations (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:

  • Policy officer for education
  • Curator of classical antiquity at a museum
  • Education officer at a museum
  • PhD candidate at a university
  • Research analyst at a consultancy firm
  • Teacher of classical languages at a secondary school
  • Teacher at an institute for special needs education
  • Policy officer at the provincial department of a political party
  • Chief desk editor at a publishing house

Your qualifications

As a graduate of an MA in Classics and Ancient Civilizations 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.

Tori Finlayson

Graduated in Egyptology (MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations)

Tori Finlayson

"Immediately after graduating, I was hired by the University of Arizona as a research specialist with the Egyptian Expedition for a one year period. In this position, I have been working on the final publication for the Tausret temple site, while living in Luxor for several months overseeing the construction of our new research facility."

Next step

"I have also co-directed an undergraduate student tour in Egypt, taught a few outreach classes, and participated as a staff member on an archaeological excavation in Sudan along the third cataract. In the fall, I will be joining Johns Hopkins University as a funded PhD student in Egyptology. I look forward to this next step in my career, and I am thankful for the opportunities presented to me by the Egyptology Programme at Leiden University."

Experience in Egypt

"I chose the Leiden University Egyptology master’s programme because I was excited to find a programme that offers real experience in Egypt and that has a strong tradition in language. The Cairo semester is really the jewel of the Leiden Egyptology programme. It gives you the opportunity to conduct original research in Egypt, as well as to connect with professionals in the field, from around the world. Living in Egypt for two months and working with the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, is an opportunity not given to many master’s students. The Cairo semester is an invaluable experience that has made my time at Leiden meaningful."

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the 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 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 5 % Publishing
  • 5 % IT
  • 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 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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