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Internship MA Literary Studies


Admission requirements

Students are eligible to do an internship in their second or third semester provided they have finished at least 30 EC in course work.


The MA in Literary Studies offers students the possibility to exchange one elective for an internship at an organization/institution in the field of literature and culture, for instance a publisher, a cultural institution or the editorial office of a paper or review. An internship is an excellent way of experiencing working and living in one of the countries where the language you study is spoken. You learn how to work within a project and acquire practical skills to bring a project to a fruitful end in a new and culturally different environment.

This is why an internship is preferably done in a country where the language you study is spoken, or else in an organization in the Netherlands where this is the case.
If you want to do the internship within the curriculum (10 EC), it has to include a research project (see below).

An internship can also be extracurricular, in which case the credits will be added to the regular 40 EC course credits on the diploma supplement. In this case, no research project is required but your internship proposal does need to be approved by the exam committee. Note that extracurricular internships do not count towards the weighted average.

Internships are currently supervised by a university lecturer from your own Master track and by a supervisor within the host institution. Students are free to choose their own host institution, but need final approval by the Board of Examiners of the MA.

Academic research is an important part of the internship, when it is part of the curriculum. It is done on a topic relevant to the Internship Organization and to the MA Literary Studies. The topic is chosen in consultation with both supervisors. Students are therefore required to:

  • At the start: submit an internship proposal (approx. 1000 words) including:
  1. the working schedule: what are your tasks, when and where?
  2. a research proposal including the following: an abstract, a research question and initial bibliography. The language of instruction depends on where the internship takes place.
  • During the internship: submit short, monthly reports by email to your Leiden supervisor.

  • At the end of the internship: submit a final report of 5,000 words (including a bibliography) consisting of two parts: 1) on your work as an intern (ca. 3000 words); 2) on the research done (ca. 2000 words).

Language of instruction: English/French/German/Italian, according to the chosen track.

When approved by both supervisors, the Leiden University Career Service will submit your outline to the Board of Examiners. The final report has to be submitted to both supervisors. Final assessment is based on the report by the local supervisor of the work you carried out during your internship (60%) and on your final report (40%).

Course Load:

Preparation and devising a plan : ± 30 hours
Interaction with local and Leiden supervisors: ± 20 hours
Working on the project: depending on the length of the internship. Example: 580 hours for a 3-months internship.
Writing final report: ± 30 hours.


When considering an internship, always first contact the Leiden University’s Careers Service. The staff there can inform and help you and it has a considerable number of internship vacancies, in Holland and abroad. Please first consult the Career Service website

The Internationalization Office can inform you on the grants available for an internship abroad.

Contact within the MA Literary Studies: