Media Studies (MA)
Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University
The master’s programme in Media Studies provides you with an outstanding launch-pad for a professional role in the media. Our graduates are known for their combination of hands-on practical knowledge and a broad, critical and multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.
Your master's programme will qualify you for various roles in the media, cultural organisations and government institutions, depending on the specialisation you have chosen. You will also be qualified to continue in academic research and may be able to apply for a PhD programme.
To find out more about your career prospectus, please check the career page of the specialisation of your interest.
Graduated in Book and Digital Media Studies (MA Media Studies)
"During my final year as a BA student in Italian Language and Culture at Leiden, I decided to broaden my academic horizon through the minor in Book Studies (‘Boek, Boekhandel & Uitgeverij’) because I had always been passionate about books. I soon discovered that, apart from my original interest in publishing as a possible career, my budding interest in History of the Book went particularly well with my background in Italian, since the Italian peninsula was one of the main regions within Europe where the printing press found fertile grounds after its invention."
Choosing Book and Digital Media Studies
"From that moment on, my interest in book-historical research grew steadily, which was my most important reason for choosing Leiden’s MA programme in Book and Digital Media Studies. Through the excellent, highly personal supervision offered throughout this master’s, particularly during the research for my final thesis, and a generous grant offered by the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) I was able to unite the theoretical elements from my interdisciplinary background, and gain the necessary skills for pursuing a career as a researcher."
Pursuing a PhD
"I am currently PhD candidate at the University of Warwick’s Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, where I investigate the development of the town atlas genre during the 16th and 17th centuries, with Blaeu’s Theatrum Italiae (1663) as main focal point."
Laura van Gelder
Graduated in Cultural Analysis: Literature and Theory (MA Media Studies)
"I’m on the writing team of satirical platform De Speld and I work as an international editor for Univers, the independent newspaper of Tilburg University. I write satire, news articles and background stories. On my day off, I work on my doctoral thesis as an external PhD student at Leiden University."
Curiosity is one of my strongest allies
"All three of my current ‘gigs’ require me to spend a lot of time reading and writing. If anything can prepare you for that, it’s a master’s track in comparative literature studies. But more importantly, my work requires an analytical mind. I’d say that curiosity is one of my strongest allies. I have to be able to interpret texts of different forms and contexts, and I have to be able to engage creatively with those texts. Studying literature helped develop my personality in a more analytical and inquisitive one, which I benefit from on a daily basis."
A strong foundation
"I chose this programme because I was interested in art, literature and philosophy. Having no formal training in these disciplines, it was quite a challenge for me at first to read the dense philosophical writings of thinkers like Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler. But I genuinely enjoyed the reading sessions, the discussions, and the essay-writing. I developed a particular interest in concepts of cultural memory and collective identity, which became the focus of my master’s thesis, and, later, of my PhD thesis. The master’s programme has been instrumental in kindling my interest in the field of memory studies, and provided me with a strong foundation which I continue to build on today - in more ways than one."
Graduated in Film and Photographic Studies (MA Media Studies) and Philosophy of Humanities (MA Philosophy)
"During my MA Film and Photographic Studies I started volunteering for the Leiden International Film Festival. Fueled by my newly gained insights during my studies I was eager to develop my own initiatives, and after finishing my second master Philosophy of Humanities (with a focus on philosophy and film) I founded an educational platform that teaches film history, literacy and filmmaking skills to high school students."
"I've always had an affinity for teaching, and the skills and knowledge I acquired during my studies helped me start up my professional career. I now also work as head of programming for the film festival and am still using my critical eye and the curating skills I developed during my studies."
In which sector do students find jobs?
The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA Media Studies 2016-2020.
- 19 % Media and journalism
- 16 % Communication and marketing
- 11 % Culture, sports and recreation
- 10 % Education
- 6 % Government and semi-government organisations
- 6 % Information management
- 6 % Publishing
- 5 % IT
- 5 % Wholesale and retail
- 3 % Non-profit
- 13 % Other
How successful are they in finding a job?
- 89 % found a job within two months
- 74 % found their first job at academic level
The master’s programme in Media Studies at Leiden University aims to equip you with a range of important skills and knowledge that will help you thrive in your future career. Your specialised expertise is complemented by vocational skills and the ability to apply multidisciplinary, critical-thinking skills to solve complex conceptual problems.
Staff at the Media Studies programme take an active role in connecting you with professionals at various organisations either for internships, or through networking events. For example, twice yearly the Journalistiek en Nieuwe Media programme hosts a 'Dream Job Drinks Party'. Students from this programme are also required to apply for a job during their studies.
For internship opportunities, please check the Media Studies specialisation of your interest.
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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