Global Political Economy (MA)
Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.
What our graduates do
The master’s programme in International Relations offers outstanding preparation if you are looking for a profession that requires comprehensive knowledge of world affairs and strong analytical and critical-thinking skills.
Our graduates end up working in a diverse range of positions, examples include:
- Policy advisor, at a ministry of foreign affairs
- Communications manager and project assistant at an NGO promoting reconciliation and peace
- Consular spokesperson at a ministry of foreign affairs
- Consultant at an NGO
- Project manager at a company specialising in geo-services, international development and project management
- PhD candidate and research assistant
- Communications officer at an international student federation
- Research analyst at a consultancy firm
- Product manager at a multinational company
- University relations manager at an education intermediary
- Senior immigration expert at a multinational accountancy and consultancy firm
Your degree will qualify you for a wide-range of roles in almost every sector of the employment market. Many of our graduates work for public services, research institutes, international organisations, government bodies, NGOs, education, communications, policy development, political institutes and academia, amongst others.
Graduated in Global Political Economy (MA International Relations)
"Leiden is a very inspiring place to study due to its rich academic tradition. I remember when I picked my master’s degree. I decided to study MAIR to learn more about the important debates within the realm of International Political Economy and the historical development of various strands of capitalism. From mercantilism, to Keynes versus Hayek, and state versus free market capitalism. The classes challenge you in an exciting and engaging way! Moreover, debates are extra fun when your peers come from all over the world."
"Currently, I'm furthering my practical knowledge as a policymaker, across the Dutch Ministries of Agriculture, Economic Affairs and Climate, and Foreign Affairs. Here, I'm bringing my academic and practical skills into play that I acquired during MAIR. In my current professional role, I'm responsible for affairs related to the IPCEI instrument (Important Project of Common European Interest). This state aid tool has high hopes to solve various forms of market and system failure across the European Union. The knowledge I gained from MAIR helps me to navigate the political-economic context I operate in and to see the urgency of implementing efficient policy instruments to solve contemporary societal problems.”
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.
In which sector do students find jobs?
The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA International Relations - Global Political Economy 2016-2020.
- 30 % Government and semi-government organisations
- 30 % Consulting
- 20 % Financial institutions
- 10 % Non-profit (e.g. at an idealistic organisation)
- 10 % Other
How successful are they in finding a job?
- 58 % found a job within two months
- 90 % found their first job at academic level
The master’s programme in International Relations at Leiden University aims to equip you with a range of important 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. In class, we encourage every student to participate in discussions to develop their ability to clearly and confidently articulate their ideas as well as fine-tune their logic and reasoning abilities. Other skills you may encounter in the various International Relations courses are:
- Self-directed learning
- Creative thinking
You will have the opportunity to gain experience working an as intern in an organisation in the Netherlands or abroad. This experience is highly valued within international organisations, as are strong communication skills. Organisations where students from the MA International Relations programme may find an internship include:
- Security Policy Department (DVB) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Dutch Ministry of Defense
- NGOs, for example Gender Concerns International or NGO’s focused on humanitarian aid
- Think tanks, such as the Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, the International Centre for Counterterrorism and the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies
- Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies around the world (Latvia, Washington, USA, South Africa, etc)
- European institutions - examples include Estonian presidency of the European Union, internships for members of the European Parliament
- Media outlets such as Een Vandaag in Hilversum.
- Netherlands Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Please note that you will need to find your own internship, follow an internship procedure for approval, and that 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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