Universiteit Leiden

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Classics (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
  • Conservator 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.

Teacher qualification

If you are interested in a career in teaching, you can apply for the Dutch-taught teacher-training MA at the ICLON Graduate School of Education after graduating from the master’s programme. To be admitted, you need to have a master’s degree in the  relevant discipline. Fluency in Dutch is mandatory, and additional entry requirements may apply.

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.

Annemijn Geelen

Graduated in Classics (MA Classics and Ancient Civilisations)

Annemijn Geelen

“My interest in Greek tragedy and focus on Greek linguistics made me choose the Classics master’s at Leiden University. The members of staff have extensive knowledge and there are plenty of visiting scholars who give lectures or stay for a longer period doing research and teaching classes. The international orientation and open attitude of both teachers and students make this a very attractive programme.”

Challenging  traineeship

"I have been working as a secondary school teacher of ancient Greek and Latin for a year now, as part of a challenging national traineeship to stimulate academics to become teachers. As a teacher, you develop your own style and you have the space to portray in the lessons what you consider important."

See the relevance of the ancient world

"I feel that my master’s programme in Classics in Leiden has played a significant role in who I am as a teacher today. In Leiden I learned a lot about the 'Anchoring innovation' project, set up by scholars such as Professor Ineke Sluiter. The project has made me think about my perception of classical texts, and I also want my students to see the relevance of the ancient world. Actualization is therefore a structural topic in my classes, which makes my students and myself enthusiastic about reading ancient texts."

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA in Classics and Ancient Civilizations 2016-2020. 

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 57 % Teaching
  • 14 % Research
  • 10 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 5 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 5 % ICT
  • 5 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 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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