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Literature in Society. Europe and Beyond (MA)

Career prospects

Where do our graduates work?

Because of the extensive curriculum and specialisations, the career opportunities after completing the Literary Studies specialisation in Literature and Society. Europe and Beyond are broad. Our graduates have landed jobs in various sectors of the job market, such as education, communication and marketing, government, media and consultancy. Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Archivist
  • Editor
  • Content manager
  • Copywriter

Ingeborg Morawetz

Student Literature in Society. Europe and Beyond (MA Literary Studies)

Ingeborg Morawetz

"I chose to study Literature in Society, because it’s a unique programme in Europe. It goes far beyond Literature Studies and helps to understand and analyse societal narratives. That made it special for me. And I wasn't disappointed, in one year I learned more about postcolonialism, environmentalism, terrorism and many more currently relevant topics and the ways in which they are perceived and told than I would have considered possible. Reading became a scientific way to look at our world."

From Albert Camus to Jonathan Safran Foer

"If students are considering to study Literature in Society. Europe and Beyond I would show them our reading list: the primary literature goes from Albert Camus to Jonathan Safran Foer, the secondary literature is even more manifold. And I would recommend them to visit the university for one day. Small classes, interesting discussions and a relaxed atmosphere are some of the strongest arguments for studying Literature in Society at Leiden University."

Fien van Aardenne

Graduated in MA Literature in Society. Europe and Beyond

Fien van Aardenne

"The skills and knowledge acquired during my master's studies have proven to be highly applicable in my current job. The extensive reading and writing skills developed during my master's program have equipped me to effectively organize complex information—a skill I frequently utilize in my current role. I particularly enjoy creating and writing content, which is an extension of the work I engaged in during my master's program. This background allows me to contribute effectively to content development in my current position, enhancing my ability to communicate effectively in a professional setting."

Exploring different facets of literature

I chose to pursue a Master's degree in Literature in Society: Europe and Beyond because I had completed my Bachelor's degree in Film and Literature Studies and wanted to further explore the realm of literature. I was intrigued by the opportunity to delve deeper into understanding how literature reflects and interacts with society. Connecting literature to contemporary issues during the program provided valuable insights, enhancing my understanding of the subject.

From literature to communication

Currently, I am employed at SchaalX, a mediation agency specializing in marketing, communication, and digital services. Through SchaalX, I am engaged in an exciting interim assignment at the communication department of Ikazia Ziekenhuis (Ikazia Hospital). After completing my master's degree, I briefly deliberated on my career path, and I am pleased with my decision to pursue a role in communication. It feels like a natural and fitting choice for me.

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

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 36 % Education
  • 14 % Communication and marketing
  • 9 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 8 % IT
  • 6 % Financial institutions
  • 5 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 5 % Media and journalism
  • 3 % Research
  • 3 % Consultancy
  • 3 % Business services
  • 8 % Other

This pie chart shows in which sectors alumni of the MA Literary Studies are working.

Career preparation

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

The Master's programme in Literature in Society. Europe and Beyond 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 Literary Studies courses are:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Oral and written communication
  • Creative thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Analysis

You have the opportunity to do an internship at an organisation in the Netherlands or abroad. Internships are a great way to gain first-hand experience in your area of interest and deepen your expertise. Organisations that our students have interned at include:

  • Royal Library The Hague, Koopman Collection
  • Dutch Embassy in Paris
  • Royal Brill Editions

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.

The Literary Studies Career Colloquium enables you to actively prepare your future career by providing you with information and inspiration. This programme, specially tailored for Literary Studies students, consists of a series of meetings over the year on your personal profile, academic and practical skills. It includes two career events where you can meet professionals and alumni, in order to clarify your personal career prospects and start building your network

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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