Since the end of the Cold War there has been a growing demand for experts on violent conflict. The Master’s programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights offers good preparation for careers in any sector involving conflict analysis, including the public sector, business, non-governmental and international organisations.

A growing number of specialised agencies are addressing issues of conflict management and resolution, rehabilitation, human rights and security, both from an analytical perspective and through field operations. These agencies offer a variety of specialised employment opportunities.

The use of English as the working language of the programme will be an advantage for students who will later pursue a career in an international setting. Ministries, NGOs, businesses, and municipalities are increasingly recruiting students with a degree in Conflict Studies.

Graduates from this programme have found a job in the following fields:

  • 30% work for national NGOs in the field of conflict, humanitarian aid, transformation, security, and peacebuilding.
  • 17% of our alumni move on to a PhD position, both at home and abroad, to research issues of violence, war, conflict and peace.
  • 10% find a job in the media as freelance journalists or documentary makers.
  • 10% work as consultants, either in-house with a consultancy firm or think-tank or as independent consultants in the field of conflict, humanitarian aid, stabilisation etc.
  • 9% work in business for banks or multinational corporations such as Rabobank, often as conflict analysts.
  • 6% work at ministries or embassies, mostly in foreign affairs, defence, or in municipalities or other public institutions.
  • 5% work for an NGO outside of the field of conflict e.g. youth, art etc.
  • 4% have got a job at international institutions such as the NATO or World Bank.
  • 5% move on to do another Master’s or further internships.
  • 4% are looking for a job.

With its strong emphasis on research, which is either in the field or through an internship, almost 1 out of 5 graduates move on to a PhD position.

Are you considering starting your own business? Now is a good time to prepare. Utrecht University can offer you a number of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship.

You could, for instance, take electives from Master's degree programmes that cover entrepreneurship in their curriculums:

The Utrecht Center for Entrepreneurship (CE) also organises Spring schools, Summer schools, Winter schools, Honours classes and short seminars on entrepreneurship for non-Dutch students. All courses are offered in English except when the entire group is Dutch.


Would you like to run a business while still at university? Do you want to graduate on running your own business? StudentsInc (Dutch language website) is home to a number of student businesses and offers programmes to develop your entrepreneurial skills.


Have you (nearly) graduated and do you want to start a business? UtrechtInc is the place to find financing, office space, expertise and coaching. UtrechtInc is there for

  • starting entrepreneurs and alumni, doctoral candidates, and researchers (preferably from Utrecht University, Hogeschool Utrecht, UMC Utrecht)
  • who are still in the ideas phase OR further along (less than five years) and have
  • and have a (IT) start-up focusing on health, environmental sustainability, or education.

Would you like to know more? Visit the UtrechtInc site, register your idea, and drop by for a cup of coffee.


Would you like to know whether entrepreneurship is right for you? Are you driven, socially conscious, and ambitious? Are you willing to spend a year working on a business for at least 8 hours a week? Enactus Utrecht (Dutch language website) offers you the opportunity to run a business and provides workshops and professional coaching.

Useful links

  • Register at the Chambers of Commerce.
  • You can read about all the other things you need to take care of on the Revenue Service (Belastingdienst) website.
  • Join relevant groups on LinkedIn to share knowledge online and expand your network.
  • Will you run an especially sustainable, innovative, and/or internationally oriented business? The Netherlands Enterprise Agency can support you with subsidies, knowledge, regulation, and more.

Upon completion of your current Master's degree programme, you can follow a one-year (Dutch language) teacher training programme. This will grant you a first degree teaching qualification for secondary education. That means you will be able to work in the upper and lower years of vmbo, havo, and vwo in the Netherlands.

Take a look at UU's Master's degree programme selection site.

When you complete your Master's degree programme, if you enjoy doing research in your area of expertise, perhaps you should pursue a PhD. You will start out as a research assistant or trainee research worker. Check the two-years Master's Programmes of Utrecht University.

The best way to find a research traineeship is to contact the professor in the field you want to specialise in. Another option would be

If you'd like to pursue a PhD at Utrecht University, your PhD programme will fall under the auspices of one of the Graduate Schools. For more information, consult the Prout | PhD Network Utrecht website.