During your master’s programme, you will also be stimulated to think about your future career. We will encourage you to think about your ambitions and your potential, to reflect on the skills you have learnt and still want to learn, the subjects you’d like to specialize in and how to do that (f.ex. by enrolling for specific courses or choosing a subject for your thesis), the type of job you would like to do and how to prepare for it.
We’ll inform you by e-mail of events related to career orientation. It is advisable to keep an eye on the following activities that could be important for your orientation.
Seminar career orientation in November
Research abroad (in Latin America)
Humanities Career Event
Seminar career orientation in April
Research School Course Latin American Studies (ResMA)
Methods I: Research Seminar Latin American Modernities (ResMA)
Methods III: Writing Workshop (ResMA)
For future employers, not only the knowledge you have obtained during your studies is important, they might even pay more attention to ‘soft skills’, as they sometimes are called. These are different, behaviour-related skills that for example determine how you handle responsibilities, how good you are at planning and organizing, and how you solve problems.
This is why it is important that, during your studies, you focus both on obtaining as much knowledge as possible and on being conscious of which skills you have acquired and which skills you’d still like to learn. In the course descriptions of the master in Latin American Studies and the Research Master Latin American Studies you will encounter several of the following ‘soft skills’ that we will work on.
Problem solving (recognizing and analyzing problems, solution-oriented thinking)
Analytical skills (analytical thinking, abstraction, evidence)
Project management (planning, scope, boundaries, result-orientation)
Responsibility (ownership, self-discipline, bear mistakes, accountability)
Motivation (commitment, pro-active attitude, initiative)
Self-regulation (independence, self-esteem, aware of own goals, motives and capacities)
Verbal communication (presenting, speaking, listening)
Written communication (writing skills, reporting, summarizing)
Collaboration (teamwork, group support, loyalty, attendance)
Flexibility (adaptability, dealing with change, teachability, eagerness to learn)
Critical thinking (asking questions, check assumptions)
Creative thinking (resourcefulness, curiosity, thinking out of the box)
Integrity (honesty, moral, ethics, personal values)
Intercultural skills (communications between different cultures)
Questions about your (studie-related) career orientation? Make an appointment with the coordinator of Studies: Tim Sanders
The programme has the following objectives:
1. to broaden and deepen the students’ knowledge, understanding and skills, and train them in the use of scientific methods in the area of contemporary history, cultural and social analysis of Latin America;
2. to enable students to develop the following academic and professional skills: − the ability to solve academic problems independently, critically and creatively;
− the ability to analyse complex problems;
− the ability to clearly report academic results, both in writing and orally;
3. to prepare students for an academic career at a university for postgraduate programmes;
4. to prepare students for a non-academic career in the public or private sector for which advanced research skills and practical research experience are a prerequisite.
Theoretical Core Courses – 20 EC
In the first year of the programme you will take two core courses: ‘Modernities in Latin America and the Caribbean’ and ‘Resistance, Revival and Change: Mechanisms and Expressions’. These courses mark the start of the programme and allows you to acquire knowledge on theoretical debates centered around the concept of modernity.
Thematic Electives – 20 EC
Throughout the programme you get three opportunities to select electives in your chosen theme of specialization. The themes are ‘State-society relations’, ‘Literature, arts and media’, and ‘Culture and identity’.
The thematic electives combined with the core courses will help you to define your own research interest within the profile and expertise of the programme.
Research Seminar (Methodology 1) – 10 EC
In this Research Master the acquisition of research methodologies is of central importance. In the second semester of your first year, you start preparing for your research in the second year. The course will teach you the basics of writing a research proposal.
Graduate School – 10 EC
Research Schools courses offer training in both methodology and area specific knowledge. Research MA students choose courses at the Research Schools that relates most with their possible area of research.
Research in Latin America (Methodology 2) – 20 EC
Based on the prepared proposal from your first year, you will start your second year by carrying out the research project in Latin America or the Caribbean under local supervision and with guidance from your supervisor in Leiden.
Thematic Elective – 10 EC
In your second year you will also choose one thematic elective again. See description above.
Writing workshop (Methodology 3) – 5 EC
The writing workshop will provide support in how to present your findings in different academic writing formats (for example: PhD research project; article publication; funding proposal).
Thesis – 25 EC
Write your thesis based on the material you collected in Latin America or the Carribean.
Master thesis and requirements for graduation
The Research MA Latin American Studies is concluded by a 25 EC Research Master thesis.
The thesis is based on original research in primary sources and will be ca. 30.000 words in size (excluding footnotes, literature or appendices). The thesis has to meet a high scholarly standard; it should be possible to rework the results of the thesis in to an article for an academic journal. Students are guided in writing their thesis by thesis supervisors.
Requirements for graduation are:
Successful completion of all courses (75 EC)
Successful completion of a research project (20 EC)
Successful completion of MA Thesis (25 EC)
Please note that you are also asked to fulfill certain administrative procedures, as can be found on the website of Latin American Studies.