Universiteit Leiden

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Literary Studies (research) (MA)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

As a graduate of the master in Literary Studies (research), you are prepared for a career in fields including journalism, education, public relations, archiving or publishing and other media industries. Our graduates have also found roles in management positions within the cultural public domain, in libraries, and in the art trade, and you are in a strong position to enter a top PhD programme and a research-oriented career.

Some of the careers of our graduates include:

  • PhD candidate in English Literature at a European university
  • Trainee teacher at a secondary school
  • Assistant academic staff member at a Belgian university
  • Library staff member at a university library
  • PhD candidate at a British university
  • Account manager for books and literature at an antique store
  • PhD candidate at a Dutch university
  • Teaching coordinator at a Dutch university
  • PhD candidate at a Dutch university
  • Latin teacher at a secondary school

Rahel Schmitz

Graduated in Literary Studies (research Master)

Rahel Schmitz

“The Literary Studies Research Master’s at Leiden University provided me with the ideal means to explore my love for Gothic studies, foregrounding my focus on literary studies whilst not foreclosing my interest in other media such as film, television, and video games.”

Learn and discuss in an international environment “At the same time, the program taught me how to do independent, and interdisciplinary research in the field, and provided me with the opportunities to learn and discuss in an international environment. In short, the program prepared me for my current position as a PhD candidate with a full scholarship in Germany.”

Gothic studies “Equipped with the knowledge and skills acquired at Leiden University, I am hoping to advance the field of Gothic studies and make it available to students in the future.”

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.

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the Research Master in Literary Studies 2016-2020.

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 20 % Research
  • 20 % Education
  • 20 % Communication and marketing
  • 20 % IT
  • 20 % Other

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 67 % found a job within two months
  • 100 % 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 your master’s programme at Leiden University you will be able to work in a range of professional and academic careers. These include highly sought after skills such as:

  • to think critically;
  • the ability to write well;
  • to organise your work and meet tight deadlines;
  • to convey meaning precisely;
  • to research and thoroughly analyse literary and academical texts;
  • to critically use literary and cultural theory.

The master’s programme in Literary Studies (research) at Leiden University aims to equip you with these important skills and knowledge that will help you thrive in your future career. Your specialised knowledge is complemented by a strong, critical-thinking approach to problem-solving that can be applied to even the most complex conceptual problems.

Do you consider to put your knowledge into practice during your studies? Determine whether an internship could be an option for you. Start orientating your possibilities by visiting an internship information session. This way you can receive information about the internship procedure and listen to tips of former interns.
Notice that you will search for an internship yourself to find a place of your interest. Do you need some help with this or the application process? Do not hesitate to contact the Career Service. When you have found an internship, inform us. Then, the internship coordinator advises you how to proceed and provides your internship plan with feedback so it can be submitted for approval to the board of examiners.

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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