Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Middle Eastern Studies (research) (MA)

Career prospects

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

The MA in Middle Eastern Studies (Research)  prepares students for a wide number of careers in which in-depth knowledge and advanced conceptual, analytical and interpretative skills are essential.

Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Freelance writer/translator/project coordinator at a translation centre
  • Lecturer at a Dutch university
  • Translator and executive secretary at an embassy in the Netherlands
  • Policy officer for education and funding at a national student union
  • PhD candidate at a university in Spain
  • PhD candidate at Leiden University
  • Policy officer for Sahel region at a ministry
  • Production assistant at a Swedish museum
  • Teacher of English/Islamic religion at an educational institute in Saudi Arabia
  • Middle East representative at a shipping and forwarding company.

Your qualifications

Our graduates have pursued successful careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Graduates have also gone on to pursue a PhD and a career in academia. If you wish to pursue an academic career, your Master's is excellent preparation for a PhD programme or a career in a research agency or the research department of a company or government organisation. Your strong analytical and problem-solving skills can also be applied in a wide range of other vocations.

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.

Brigitte van de Pas

Graduated in Research MA Middle Eastern Studies

Brigitte van de Pas

"I enrolled in the research master’s programme Middle Eastern Studies because I wanted to do a second degree that had a bit more immediate relevance for today’s world than my first degree, History. I am fascinated by other peoples and cultures, and this programme allowed me to study the Middle East as a whole, without having to choose one particular country to specialise in."

Research skills

"I am currently working as a researcher for the Benelux markets at the market research company Statista in Hamburg, Germany. Although the research I am doing now has little to do with the Middle East, the research skills learned at university are applicable to other types of research as well. Critical thinking, analysing information and presenting it the way non-experts would also understand it is vital to my job."

Prepared to work in an international environment

"The international atmosphere of the Leiden Institute of Area Studies as well as my study abroad period in Turkey and my internships in Kuwait and Egypt furthermore prepared me to work in an international environment, with people from all over the world. During my studies I never once considered the possibility of working with statistics, but as the saying goes: life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans!"

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the research programmes of the Faculty of Humanities

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 45.0 % Research
  • 17.0 % Education
  • 8.0 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 6.0 % Publishing and the book industry
  • 3.0 % Communication
  • 3.0 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 18.0 % Miscellaneous

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 68.0 % found a job within two months
  • 79.0 % found their first job at academic level
  • 89.0 % held a position at academic level when the study was carried out