Universiteit Leiden

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Colonial and Global History (research) (MA)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

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

  • 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

Your qualifications

As a graduate of the research master's specialisation in Colonial and Global History 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.

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.

Maarten Manse

Graduated in Colonial and Global History (Research MA History)

Maarten Manse

“After I finished my bachelor’s in History, I chose Colonial and Global History (research), a specialisation of History (research), because of its wide topical scope and variety of themes in world history, as well as its strong focus on research.”

Worldwide contacts

“The programme is very dynamic, as every student is free to choose specific areas of interests, as long as the research is related to global issues. Traveling to these regions for research is not only possible but also strongly encouraged. During the programme, I gained extensive knowledge of the interconnected history of interaction between Europe and South and Southeast Asia.”


“This knowledge proved essential for my internships in the National Archives of Indonesia in Jakarta and the Royal Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden. These internships proved valuable to acquire the adequate research experience necessary for an academic career as a historian. After graduating, I continued to work for six months in the archives in Jakarta in 2015, and since March 2016 I am working at the Faculty of Law in Leiden as a PhD Researcher on a dissertation about colonial taxation in Indonesia.”

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the Research Master History 2015-2019.

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 50.0 % Research
  • 25.0 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 12.0 % Consultancy
  • 6.0 % Financial institutions
  • 6.0 % Culture, sports and recreation

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 79.0 % found a job within two months
  • 100.0 % found their first job at academic level

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