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Latin American Studies (research) (MA)

Career prospects

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

Positions of our recent graduates include:

  • Intake advisor at a governmental agency aimed at promoting integration and assimilation of immigrants
  • Standards and certification officer at an NGO promoting fair trade
  • HR business partner at a multinational company producing consumer goods
  • Project officer for children's rights at an NGO
  • Social researcher at a Dutch city council
  • Coordinator at an NGO focussing on education
  • Communications expert at an NGO focussing on food safety and food security
  • Senior consular officer at an embassy in the Netherlands
  • Student services officer at a university in the United Kingdom
  • PhD candidate at a university in Chile
  • PhD candidate at Leiden University

Your qualifications

The MA in in Latin American Studies (research) prepares students for a wide range of careers in which knowledge of Latin America and advanced conceptual, analytical and interpretative skills are essential. Our graduates have pursued successful careers in academia and in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

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.

Lisa Thunnissen

Graduated in MA Latin American Studies (Research)

Lisa Thunnissen

“During my degree course I specialised in literature, and as well as the Research Master’s degree in Latin American Studies in Leiden I also completed a Master’s degree in Translation in Utrecht. I’ve been working as a Spanish-to-Dutch literary translator since then. Last year I translated my first novel and contributed to a collection of translations of Cuban stories.”

Editor, teacher and policy officer

“I’m also an editor for PLUK, a magazine for literary translators who are starting out, and I work as a teacher at Leiden University where I teach a course on translation, from Spanish to Dutch and vice versa. At the moment I also have a job with the Dutch Foundation for Literature as a policy officer for the inland department, where we process project grant applications from translators.”

Knowledge of another culture

“Of course, in my translation work the most important thing is knowledge of Spanish (as well as a good command of Dutch!), but I’ve noticed that I also use my knowledge of literature and textual analysis - among other skills. Those skills aren’t only useful for the translation itself – when you translate a text, it’s important to see what kinds of strategies the author uses, so you can reproduce those in your translation – but also for critically reading other kinds of texts, such as policy documents or opinions about literary work. Knowledge of another culture – and literature – also gives you a more detached perspective on how we see, do and talk about things here in the Netherlands.”

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the cluster of Regional Studies Masters 2016-2020.

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 24 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 11 % Education
  • 8 % Research
  • 8 % Communication and marketing
  • 7 % Financial institutions
  • 7 % IT
  • 5 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 30 % Other

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 61 % found a job within two months
  • 78 % found their first job at academic level

Career preparation

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

With the skills and knowledge you have gained during the master Latin American Studies (research) at Leiden University you will be able to work in a range of professional and academic careers.

  • You will be able to acquire academic knowledge, understanding and skills, and learn to use scientific methods in the field of Latin American Studies in general, and in particular with regard to the chosen specialisation.
  • You will be able to think critically and to present your findings in written and spoken English and/or Spanish, and/or Portuguese.
  • You will be able to organise your work and meet tight deadlines.
  • You will be able to research, select, analyse, organise and present information.
  • You will gain comprehensive knowledge of the Latin American region.
  • You will gain knowledge of the most important contemporary central research questions and be able to place them in their linguistic, cultural and/or historical context, with a special focus on knowledge of current debates on Latin American Modernities.
  • You will be able to carry out independent research in Latin America.
  • You will develop intercultural skills.
  • For those who choose to accentuate fieldwork within the scope of the social studies: knowledge of its basic concepts, research methods and techniques and the developments in the specialisation; or: For those who choose to accentuate field work within the scope of Latin American cultural studies: knowledge of basic concepts, research methods and of text and discourse analysis.

In recent years students from the master Latin American Studies (research) have been doing internships or research projects at the following organisations:

  • Mexico: Colegio de Mexico (Mexico D.F.), Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara/ITESO, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
  • Ecuador: FLACSO
  • Brazil: Universidade de São Paulo, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Fundação Getulio Vargas.Chile: Universidad Diego Portales, Universidad Central de Chile, Universidad de Chile, Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano.
  • Cuba: Casa de las Americas, Universidad de la Habana
  • Argentina: Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad de Cordoba

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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