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Russian and Eurasian Studies (MA)

Career prospects

Where do our graduates work? 

The master’s programme in Russian and Eurasian Studies degree is a qualification that will open doors to a wide range of careers. Exactly because the MA in Russian Studies is a unique programme which stands out from other programmes it is often seen as an asset by companies, non-profit organizations and government institutions.

The impact of Russia in the current geopolitical situation which has changed dramatically since the war that Russia started against Ukraine also has led to a bigger demand for graduates with expertise in Russia and a solid command of the Russian language in governmental organisations and NGO’s. As a graduate of the master’s programme in Russian and Eurasian Studies, you will be qualified to meet this demand, with a range of career prospects that are both directly and indirectly related to your studies.

Examples of the diverse roles of our graduates include:

  • Academic staff member for Eastern European collection
  • Political editor
  • Regional coordinator at a human rights organisation
  • Librarian of Eastern European material
  • Partner for management and business development
  • Consultant
  • Information manager at a network organisation of consultants and policy experts
  • Project manager/policy advisor
  • Communications officer at an NGO

Tatiana Kleerebezem-Egorova

Graduated in MA Russian and Eurasian Studies

Tatiana Kleerebezem-Egorova

"During the final period of my studies I managed to find a decent starter’s function in a visa bureau which cooperates with the Russian Consulate in the Hague. Recently I found a new job as office manager at Uranium One. It is an international company which is engaged in mining, production and sale of uranium. As it operates among others in Russia and Kazakhstan I deal with the Russian language and Russian-speaking people every day."

Expanding my knowledge

"Russian and Eurasian Studies offered me a good opportunity to expand my knowledge about Russia and its neighbouring countries in the sphere of politics, economics and culture. Moreover, thanks to well-qualified teachers, I was able to develop my analytical skills and critical thinking. I should mention that I found these studies both personal and flexible. There was always space for your own interests in the field. In addition, student union MOST organises many activities which help to create a warm and friendly atmosphere among the students. I truly enjoyed studying at Leiden University and doing this MA programme."

Jonathan Katzman

Graduated in MA Russian and Eurasian Studies

Jonathan Katzman

‘I was in the process of attaining position at a Russian university. But when Russia invaded Ukraine, that dream fell apart. Instead, I find myself working with the people on the other side of the conflict. So you can say that things have turned out very differently.’

Jonathan now provides support to around sixty Ukrainian refugees living at a converted music school. His ability to speak Russian plays a key role in providing support, because he finds that most Ukrainians can’t speak English or Dutch. Although Jonathan had never envisioned working with refugees, he says the work is very fulfilling. ‘I especially like working with the children, because even though they have been through very difficult times, they still walk around with a smile on their face,’ he says.

With his own student experience at the back of his mind, he urges current and upcoming students to really think about what makes them tick. ‘I spent a lot of time trying to find the thing I was actually interested in. I enjoyed taking advantage of the electives offered by Leiden University. I eventually settled on Russia as my area of interest. I enjoyed the small course sizes and the in-depth course offerings with great teachers like Matthew Frear. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to take those electives and that I find myself in a position where I can do the work that I do today.

In which sectors do students find jobs?

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies 2016-2020.

  • 21 % Communication and marketing
  • 14 % Non-profit (e.g. at an idealistic organisation)
  • 14 % Education
  • 14 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 7 % Consultancy
  • 7 % IT
  • 7 % Research
  • 7 % Information management
  • 7 % Wholesale and retail
  • 2 % Other

Career preparation

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

The development of in-depth knowledge in the field, and the ability to think critically and analytically are key goals of this programme. Upon graduation, you will have a profound knowledge of either the linguistics, literature and culture, or the history, politics, international relations, and economy of the Russian and Eurasian region.

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.

Student Sophie talks about her internship at VPRO

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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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Student Sophie did an internship at the VPRO

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