Universiteit Leiden

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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.

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.

Tika Ramadhini

Graduated in Colonial and Global History

Tika Ramadhini

"It did not take long for me to be involved in other academic activities after I graduated from the MA Colonial and Global History. Back in Indonesia, I became a part of a research for a joint-publication about Indonesian history with some young historians in Jakarta. I have always been passionate about history, and now I have figured out that doing an academic career is my true calling. I believe my two-years studying experience in Leiden has influenced me so much in life."

Working on my PhD dissertation

"Since March, I live in Berlin. I work as a doctoral research fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, a German research institute devoted to an interdisciplinary and comparative study of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia from a historical perspective. Besides engaging myself in the research activities of the institute, I am currently working on my PhD dissertation about Southeast Asian women, at the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Training that I received in Leiden, especially in conducting research independently, helped me a lot in doing my works today."

Thomas Kerstens

Followed the Europaeum programme European History and Civilisation: Leiden-Oxford-Paris Programme (MA History)

Thomas Kerstens

"Currently, I work as a researcher at the Brussels office of APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs consultancy. Every day, I work with an international team to analyse EU policies and developments which are relevant to clients from all over the world."

Trimesters in Leiden, Paris, and Oxford

"Since the Europaeum MA had a diverse programme, consisting of trimesters in Leiden, Paris, and Oxford, I learned two valuable lessons. First, students had to familiarise themselves with new concepts and master them quickly. This skill proved vital when I started working in public affairs. The common denominator of my clients was that they all demanded a rapid elucidation of political or industrial policies, no matter how complicated or novel. Secondly, studying in different countries with fellow students of various nationalities taught me how to work in international groups or teams. Since my masters' degree, I continued to use this skill on a daily basis, during subsequent studies abroad, a traineeship at the Cabinet of First Vice-President Timmermans at the European Commission and my work at APCO Worldwide."

The perfect foundation for an international career

"I decided to apply for the Europaeum MA as the prospect of being taught by leading academics at three renowned European universities seemed very exciting. Moreover, it felt like this unique programme would be the perfect foundation for an international career. Looking back at precious memories, such as my discussions in Parisian bars with my favourite professor from the Sorbonne, and the new doors that the Europaeum opened for me in academic and professional circles, I can say that the programme definitely lived up to my expectations and even went beyond."

Alice Eaton

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

Alice Eaton

"I work as an Editorial Assistant for Sweet Cherry Publishing, a small independent children's book publisher based in Leicester. I read many manuscripts and sort out the good from the bad. I also edit books, making sure they make sense as a whole and correct spelling and grammar. I use my analytical skills to decide what is good. I need to be able to tell my manager what works, and why."

Working with a diverse range of people

"I also read a great many books in a short space of time, something that I had begun to develop during my studies. I create short reports on my opinions of them; again, something I learnt during my studies. Working with a diverse range of people for my MA helped me to develop my teamwork and presentation skills, both of which I need for my job."

A fascinating subject to study

"I decided to study Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence because I am very interested in migration and the history of migratory movements. I wrote my BA dissertation about the movement of Dutch East-Indians to the Netherlands, the research for which introduced me to Leiden and then made me think a master's in this field would be a fascinating subject to study and Leiden was the best place for me."

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