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Global Conflict in the Modern Era (MA)

Career prospects

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

Where do our graduates work?

Because of the extensive curriculum and specialisations, the career opportunities after completing the International Relations specialisation in Global Conflict in the Modern Era are broad. Our graduates have landed jobs in various sectors of the job market, such as research institutes, international organisations, government bodies, media and academia. Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Communications officer at an NGO providing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan
  • Editor at a newspaper
  • Consultant at the European Network for Cyber Security
  • Officer at Free Press Unlimited

'After my BA International Studies I decided to do the MA International Relations, and that proved to be a good choice,' Mats Radeck (23, Trier, Germany) says. He is in the last phase of the MA, working on his thesis on "lone-wolf terrorism". Mats has already secured an internship that he will start after graduation at a German political foundation in Palestine. Read more 

In which sector do students find jobs?

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA International Relations - Global Conflict in the Modern Era 2016-2020.


  • 28 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 23 % Non-profit (e.g. at an idealistic organisation)
  • 10 % Business services
  • 10 % Education
  • 10 % Consulting
  • 10 % Media and journalism
  • 5 % Research
  • 4 % IT

Career preparation

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

The Master's programme in International Relations 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 International Relations courses are:

  • Research
  • Collaboration
  • Project management
  • Intercultural skills
  • Creative thinking

You have the opportunity to do an internship at an organisation in the Netherlands or abroad. This experience is highly valued within international organisations. Organisations that our students have interned at include:

  • Dutch Ministry of Defense
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies around the world
  • Media outlets such as EenVandaag
  • Netherlands Permanent Mission to the United Nations
  • Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’
  • The International Centre for Counterterrorism
  • The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

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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Student-Alumni Networking Events

One of the many ways the MA International Relations prepares you for your future career is the Student-Alumni Career Networking Event. Practical advice, a panel discussion, and an informal networking reception are key ingredients for this successful event. Read more about the Student-Alumni Networking Event in 2023 or watch the video for an impression of the Networking event in 2022!

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