Universiteit Leiden

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Linguistics (MA)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

As a Leiden University Linguistics graduate your communicative and practical competences, such as your command of a specific language, your translation skills, and your editorial talents, will put you in high demand. Our alumni hold positions within the publishing sector, teaching, health services and ICT. As a graduate of the Master’s programme in Linguistics you are also qualified to work as a junior academic researcher, or as a doctoral student.

Our graduates work in a diverse range of positions, examples include:

  • Consular officer at a ministry of foreign affairs
  • Technical writer
  • PhD candidate
  • Content manager, editor, translator at NGO's
  • Translator within EU organisations
  • Author of digital educational materials
  • Research assistant at an university in Canada
  • Project manager at a translation agency
  • Teacher at a secondary school

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.

Karola Woll

Graduated in Language and Communication (MA Linguistics)

Karola Woll

"Language and Communication at Leiden University was the perfect fusion of my bachelor’s studies in Media and Communication Studies as well as English and American Studies. That’s why I had chosen this specialisation of linguistics in communication."

An international environment

"Leiden University offered a very international environment. All languages were welcome for being subject of research. Classes consisted of people from all over Europe and even overseas, and this made studying very enriching and colourful. Especially because groups were small, and a personal supervision could be provided by the academic staff."

Work in different fields

"This programme suited me as being rather more of a generalist than an expert. I’m more than one, and my studies have smoothed the way to work in different fields. Currently, I am preparing my freelance work as being a business coach in communication, a copywriter and a writer."

Margaret den Besten

Graduated in Language Diversity of Africa, Asia and Native America (MA Linguistics)

Margaret den Besten

"I was always interested in investigating languages. I was looking for a master’s that not only provided theoretical knowledge, but also practical knowledge. And that is exactly what the master’s in Language Diversity of Africa, Asia and Native America does. This master’s programme offers a wide range of courses. Not only courses that focus on the descriptive side of linguistics, but also courses where you are forced to think beyond what you are used to. It makes you think about your own worldview and how language influences it."

Put all your theoretical knowledge into practice

"Another great thing about this programme is that it offers you the opportunity to do an internship. This way you can put all your theoretical knowledge into practice. With the help of a professor I got to do an awesome and educational internship at SIL Cameroon, researching and writing a phonology and orthography of an indigenous language."

Helping to prevent languages from dying out

"After my graduation I started working there! I work with several undocumented languages. I study those languages to eventually produce an alphabet and an orthography. This helps to prevent the languages from dying out and gives the language groups a way of expressing themselves not only through speaking, but also through writing. It is exciting to live and work in a completely different culture and to be able to study languages that haven't been studied before."