Universiteit Leiden

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Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present (MA)

Career prospects

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.

Emma van der Schrier

Graduated in Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present (MA History)

Emma van der Schrier

"After the summer holidays, I will begin working as a lecturer in History and Social Science at the Christelijk College De Populier in The Hague. Having completed my master’s in Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present (Political Debate specialisation) last year, I started the VHO Social Sciences teaching master’s in September."

Historical concepts linked to current events

"The combination between these two fields is exactly what I valued during my Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present master’s. The ability to link historical concepts to current social and political events makes the master’s very valuable. These links often come to the fore in the Political Debate specialisation. In my daily work, I constantly get my students to ponder this connection. Many current social issues have a historical basis, so it’s crucial to have a strong grasp of these foundations to better understand the current situations."

In which sector do students find jobs?

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA (History of) Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present 2016-2020.

  • 25 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 13 % Education
  • 13 % Media and journalism
  • 13 % Financial institutions
  • 6 % IT
  • 6 % Non-profit (e.g. an idealistic organisation)
  • 6 % Consultancy
  • 6 % Information management
  • 6 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 6 % Other

Career preparation

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

The 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 History MA 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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