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Study choice & careers advice

Your choice of study programme can determine your career path and your future. It is therefore understandable that you might have doubts about your chosen Bachelor’s programme, or find it difficult to choose a Master’s programme. The advisers at the Career Service are on hand to offer help and advice.

If your studies are not progressing as you’d hoped, or if you risk being issued with negative BSA, you must always speak first to your study adviser! Your next step might be to look into alternative study programmes with a study choice adviser from the Career Service.

Study orientation (re-selection)

There are things you can already do yourself when it concerns study orientation. Check out 'Choosing your bachelor' or the Career Zone where you will find extensive information on the study choice process, tips and pitfalls.

Study choice tests

The Career Service makes use of various tests when helping you determine your ideal study choice. These include www.icaresprofessional.com, www.icares.com, as well as various tests of personality, competences and values. You can also find several tests on the Career Zone. These tests may form part of an individual career or study choice trajectory.

Choice of Bachelor and Master programme

Bachelor choice

You can find full details of all Leiden University Bachelor’s programme on bachelors.leiden.edu. The Prospectus also has a wealth of information about individual programmes and courses. 

The websites below can come in handy when researching  Bachelor’s programmes in the Netherlands: 

Master choice

Obtaining your Master’s degree is the culmination of your university studies. You can choose do a Master in Leiden, elsewhere in the Netherlands, or anywhere in the world. 

Master in Leiden

Leiden University has around 70 study disciplines which together offer 250 different Master’s specialisations. You can choose to follow a Master’s programme that directly follows on from your Bachelor, or a Research Master. Be aware that for a Research Master you will generally have to go through an admission and/or selection procedure. 

On mastersinleiden.nl you can find an overview of all the Master’s programmes offered by Leiden University, as well as practical information about how to apply, student registration, student finance and much more. 

Master elsewhere in the Netherlands or abroad 

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from Leiden University and want to do a Master’s programme elsewhere you will have to go through an application and/or selection procedure. You can find more information on the website of the university in question. 

For Master’s options in the Netherlands see: studies-in.nl.

You can also choose to do part, or all, of your Master’s programme abroad. A period of study abroad is actually recommended if you are doing a two-year (research) Master’s programme in Leiden. You can find more information on our Study Abroad site

For Master’s options worldwide see: mastersportal.eu

Tips for choosing your Master’s programme 

  • Start researching your options as early as possible.
  • Attend an information session about your (intended) Master’s programme.
  • Speak to students currently following your intended Master’s programme.
  • Look into the career prospects for graduates of the programme.
  • Speak to alumni of your intended programme about their experiences and careers.
  • Make a list of pros and cons before making your final decision.
  • Check that you meet the admission criteria for your intended programme.
  • Make a careful note of application deadlines and don’t miss them!

Other options after your Bachelor 

Entering the job market

You could look for a job directly after your Bachelor studies. This could represent the end of your academic career or just a break before continuing onto a Master’s programme at a later date.

University Bachelor’s degrees have a different profile to Bachelor’s degrees from universities of higher professional education (Hbo). In addition to knowledge and experience a university Bachelor’s programme also teaches academic skills, whereas a Hbo Bachelor’s programme teaches more practical skills. Employers tend to prefer academics with a completed Master’s degree and a more defined profile. 

Temporarily discontinuing your studies 

For more information about taking a year out, for example between your Bachelor’s and Master’s programme, please refer to our web info on ‘temporarily discontinuing your studies’. 

After your Master

Entering the job market

After obtaining your Master’s degree you could of course decide to do a second Master’s programme. However you are, in principle, ready to enter the job market. You can find more information on (preparation for) the job market on the Career Zone.

Continuing your studies

You could opt to continue studying after obtaining your Master’s degree. Leiden University offers a range of post-Master and professional courses at the Juridisch PAO (in Dutch) and ICLON

Many other Dutch universities offer post-Master and professional courses: 

Doing a PhD

After graduation you could continue your academic career by doing a PhD. Take a look at Leiden University’s research areas and current PhD vacancies

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