Universiteit Leiden

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Ancient History (MA)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

Your master will qualify you for roles in almost every sector of the employment market. Many of our graduates work for public services, research institutes, business services, banking and financial services, communications, education, advisory work, policy development, management, co-ordination, editing and information services.

Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Senior assistant at the European Union
  • Consultant
  • PhD candidate at Leiden University
  • History teacher at a secondary school
  • Project manager at a text agency
  • Digital education officer at a museum
  • Policy advisor at a local council
  • Editor at a publishing house
  • Web journalist at a multimedia publishing house

Your qualifications

The MA in History offers outstanding preparation for students seeking a profession that requires in-depth knowledge of history and strong academic skills, with a focus on analytical and writing skills.

Teaching qualification

If you are interested in a career in teaching, you may be eligible to follow a teacher-training master's at the ICLON Graduate School of Education once you have graduated from the master programme in History. You must speak fluent Dutch and there are other, additional entry requirements.

Dennis van Leeuwen

Graduated in Ancient History (MA History)

Dennis van Leeuwen

"I chose Leiden University for the exceptional freedom of choice and excellent reputation of the programme. After my Bachelor’s in History, I followed my interest and curiosity and enrolled in the Master’s in Ancient History. During my studies, I was active as a student ambassador of History, and I still reap the benefits every day. Skills I acquired then, such as public speaking, event organisation and team management came in handy at my first job – as a museum education officer at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities)."

Translating old sources into relatable information

"I was also able to make immediate use of the subject-specific skills I acquired during the programme: historians are constantly translating old sources into easy-to-understand information and this is ideal for giving guided tours and teaching lessons. Through my work as a student ambassador and museum education officer, I have built up an extensive network of contacts that subsequently helped me find my current job."

Pleasure in my work

"I recently started working as a study coordinator for the MA & Research MA in History at my alma mater, where I mainly supervise students during their studies here. In this role, I answer all kinds of questions about study problems, courses, progress and options. The contact with history students, the variety, the challenging environment and pleasant, familiar working environment help me enjoy my work even more!"

Thomas Bliznicki

Graduated in Ancient History (MA History)

Thomas Bliznicki

"Since I graduated as a master of Ancient History in August 2013, I have been working in the commercial and financial sector. During my study at Leiden University, I also held several managerial functions like for instance a double treasurer function at the board of the A.L.S.V. Quintus and the treasurer function of my student fraternity. As a result of these side activities, I broadened my personal horizon and they helped me getting hired more easily for jobs after my graduation. Before the end of 2013, I became a financial and account manager at a company in Delft. I was responsible for the company’s financial administration and for sales in the United Kingdom."

Extracurricular activities are important

"In 2015, I applied for the Young Professional Traineeship of the Rabobank and was elected. During this traineeship, I was trained and educated to become a finance specialist, which is my current position at the Rabobank. I specialise in structuring finance applications of Food & Agri businesses that for instance want to build a new greenhouse or buy more agricultural land. The abilities and skills I learned during my study (analyzing, writing convincingly and to-the-point) help me a great deal in my current field of work. Though doing extracurricular activities next to your History study also proves to be important."

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.

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA in History.

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 18.0 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 17.0 % Education
  • 14.0 % Research
  • 6.0 % Industry
  • 6.0 % ICT
  • 5.0 % Non-profit (e.g. at an idealistic organisation)
  • 4.0 % Communication
  • 4.0 % Consultancy
  • 4.0 % Journalism
  • 4.0 % Business services
  • 3.0 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 3.0 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 13.0 % Miscellaneous

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 74.0 % found a job within two months
  • 65.0 % found their first job at academic level

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