Universiteit Leiden

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Middle Eastern Studies (MA)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

Our graduates pursue careers in a range of positions in the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Examples of these careers include positions within:

  • The diplomatic service
  • Policy-making at ministries
  • Refugee aid
  • The Immigration and Naturalisation Service
  • The education sector
  • NGOs involved in development cooperation projects
  • International organisations
  • Cultural tourism
  • The socio-cultural sector

Your qualifications

The master’s programme in Middle Eastern Studies qualifies you to work in a wide variety of careers requiring specialist language or cultural knowledge. Your strategic choice of courses will also determine the next steps you choose to take. Your degree is an outstanding academic foundation from which to move onto a PhD programme. Our tutors on the programme can guide you in your choices from early in your degree – to the moment you are ready to apply for a position.

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.

Chantal Hamelinck

Graduated in Turkish Studies (MA Middle Eastern Studies)

Chantal Hamelinck

"After my BA degree in English literature, I wanted to learn a language that was completely different in structure from English and Dutch. After my graduation from the MA Turkish Studies at Leiden University I first did an internship at a literary agent in Istanbul. A year later I started working as Foreign Rights Manager at one of the largest publishing groups in Turkey, for which I was in touch with publishers from all over the world."

Explore a completely different language

After three wonderful years, I decided to move back to The Netherlands, where I currently work as Account Support Coordinator for Elsevier in Amsterdam. Here I continue using my Turkish, as I work with customers from Turkey. I am very grateful that the MA Turkish Studies has taught and motivated me to explore a completely different language and culture, and what I learned greatly helped me in my work experience there, as well as back here in The Netherlands.

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 17.0 % Research
  • 17.0 % Teaching
  • 13.0 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 13.0 % Non-profit (e.g. at an idealistic organisation)
  • 13.0 % Business services
  • 3.0 % Banking
  • 23.0 % Miscellaneous

Main tasks and responsibilities

  • 43.0 % Writing, editing and translation
  • 40.0 % Research
  • 23.0 % Advising
  • 23.0 % Archiving, organising and administering
  • 17.0 % Implementing and preparing policy

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 63.0 % found a job within two months
  • 84.0 % found their first job at academic level
  • 93.0 % held a position at academic level when the study was carried out