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Colonial and Global History (MA)

Career prospects

Where do our graduates work?

Because of the extensive curriculum and specialisations, the career opportunities after completing the History specialisation in Colonial and Global History are broad. Our graduates have landed jobs in various sectors of the job market, such as research institutes, international organisations, government and cultural institutes. Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Archivist at a municipal archive
  • Researcher at the Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen
  • PhD candidate at various universities
  • Curator at the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam

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 government and semi-government organisations, education, research institutes, information services, IT, cultural institutes, financial institutions, communications, marketing, business services and welfare services.

Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Senior assistant at the European Union
  • Consultant in information management
  • PhD candidate at various universities
  • History teacher at a secondary school
  • Public educational work at a Dutch museum
  • Project manager at a text agency
  • Heritage researcher of Indonesia for a Dutch museum
  • Archive clerk at a Dutch archive
  • Communication and organisation officer for a Dutch political party
  • Digital education officer at a museum
  • Policy advisor at a Dutch Ministry
  • Research assistent at a Spanish university
  • 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.

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 Universit├Ąt zu Berlin. Training that I received in Leiden, especially in conducting research independently, helped me a lot in doing my works today."

In which sector do students find jobs?

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA Colonial and Global History 2016-2020.

  • 20 % Research
  • 16 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 11 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 11 % Education
  • 11 % Information management
  • 11 % IT
  • 5 % Welfare and health
  • 5 % Financial institutions
  • 5 % Wholesale or retail
  • 5 % Business services

Career preparations

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

The Master's programme in Colonial and Global History at Leiden University equips you with a range of transferable skills and knowledge that will help you stand out in your future career. Your specialised knowledge is complemented by a broad and contextual understanding as well as critical-thinking skills that can be applied to complex conceptual problems. Other skills you may encounter in the various History courses are:

  • Analysis
  • Research
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Written and oral communication
  • Creative thinking

You have the opportunity to do an internship at an organisation in the Netherlands or abroad. Internships are a great way to gain first-hand experience in your area of interest and deepen your expertise. Organisations that our students have interned at include:

  • Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands
  • KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies)
  • Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael
  • Netherlands Institute for Military History

Please note that you will need to find your own internship and have to follow an internship procedure for approval. Pursuing an internship may have consequences for the date of your graduation.

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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