Universiteit Leiden

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History (research) (MA)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

  • PhD candidate at a university in England
  • PhD candidate at a Dutch university
  • Assistant publisher at a large publishing house
  • Online content specialist at a PR company
  • Project officer for video and audio-visual collections at a provincial archive
  • Policy officer at a city council
  • Researcher and teaching staff member at Leiden University
  • Communications advisor at a consultancy firm
  • Coordinating strategy advisor at a ministry of security and justice
  • Curator at a gallery

Your qualifications

As a graduate of the History (research) programme at Leiden University, you will be qualified to work as a junior academic researcher – either in a semi-academic position or at a university. You will be able to solve complex academic problems independently, critically and creatively, and report on these results with clarity both in writing and verbally.

If you are interested in a career outside of academics you will discover that the depth and scope of the research master in History allows you to successfully venture on a career in education, administration, heritage, journalism, business, and many more.

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.

Gijs Dreijer

Graduated in Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (Research MA History)

Gijs Dreijer

“I have just finished my Research MA with a thesis on the establishment of the Ostend Company, an eighteenth-century chartered company in what is nowadays Belgium, working with archival sources in three different countries. I also did an internship at the Huygens Institute for Dutch History, where I worked on the resolutions of the States General, the early modern Dutch Parliament. As a result of the internship, I was offered a job as a junior researcher in the same project for several months in the summer: a very nice opportunity to develop my research skills even more!”

Looking back with great pleasure

“In October 2017, I will start as a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter, in a large comparative research project on European economic and legal history. The skills developed over the past two years in the Research MA have certainly added very much to my profile in applying for a PhD position: applying theoretical frameworks on difficult problems, a strong focus on difficult primary sources and presenting at conferences and symposia are examples of those skills. I can honestly say  I look back with great pleasure at my time in Leiden in this Research MA!”

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.

Career preparation

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

The research master’s programme in History at Leiden University aims to equip you with a range of important skills and knowledge that will help you achieve your personal career goals. Whichever your area of expertise, you will have a broad and global context to your knowledge and critical-thinking skills that can be applied to the most complex conceptual problems.

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. In recent years students from the research master’s programme in History have been doing internships at the following organisations:

  • Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands
  • KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies)
  • Dutch Embassy in Jakarta
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie
  • Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael
  • Maritime Museum Rotterdam
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Security and Justice

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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