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Education (TESOL)


Key facts

Start dates

September 2021 / September 2022

Course length

Full time: 12 months, Harcourt Hill Campus

Part time: Two / three years, dependent on your chosen trajectory - part-time on campus or distance learning.


School of Education


(Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) course is a specialised pathway of our MA Education. The course is for early career teachers seeking a grounding in the core disciplines of TESOL. And those with considerable experience hoping to consolidate or progress into specialist areas of expertise.

You can tailor the course content to your professional context. The course incorporates practical and academic tasks and assignments. And discussion with fellow TESOL practitioners worldwide on cutting edge practice and research. 

You have the option to specialise in the following areas:

  • the multilingual learner
  • English Language Teaching (ELT) materials development
  • English for specific purposes. 


Male student studying with laptop

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Applicants must demonstrate that they have a first degree at 2.2 level or above.

TESOL pathway students are required to show evidence of teaching experience of two years in any context, including summer language schools, one-to-one teaching, or teaching assistant roles. Teaching practice acquired through CELTA or DELTA qualifications can count towards this. In some cases, a shorter period of teaching experience can be negotiated where there has been significant TESOL content study.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

International students whose native language is not English are required to pass IELTS with an overall grade of 6.5, and each of the four skills should have a minimum grade of 6.0.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

International students hold a conditional offer until payment of a deposit of £3,000 is received.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£745 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£745 per single module

International / EU full time

International / EU distance learning
£1,655 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£745 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£745 per single module

International / EU full time

International / EU distance learning
£1,655 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

There are International Student Scholarships available for 2020 and other scholarships and funding options for postgraduate international students.

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

The MA Education - TESOL comprises nine modules.

There is a compulsory Research Methods module (20 credits) to support your studies and to prepare you for the Dissertation (60 credits).

You will also take three core compulsory TESOL modules and then choose two modules from the list of optional modules.

Group of students studying in the refectory

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Research Methods (20 credits)

You’ll develop your knowledge of research approaches, methods and techniques for the study of children and childhood, education and language. You’ll explore the interdisciplinary nature of work in and across these areas. After taking this module, you’ll be well prepared for the methodological aspects of your dissertation.

Language Acquisition and Development (20 credits)

In this core TESOL module, you’ll learn about selected theoretical and practical approaches to language acquisition. We don’t try to examine all language acquisition theories, but focus on those that are relevant to language learning and education. Key themes include linguistic variation, codeswitching, socio-politics and language policy, and language teacher training.

Descriptions of English (20 credits)

You’ll explore the linguistic description of English with a focus on ‘language in use’. You’ll examine the ways in which the language is organised – in both written and spoken modes – and discover which aspects of English usage are most important in different written and spoken genres. Following on from this, you’ll look at how our understanding of English connects with how we apply this knowledge in the classroom.

The areas we’ll cover include: 

  • theoretical approaches to the description of the language (eg syntax, lexis, pragmatics, with a focus on language in use)
  • an introduction to systemic functional linguistics 
  • discourse analysis: spoken and written
  • genre theory
  • pronunciation
  • applying descriptions of English in the classroom.

ELT Changing Methodologies (20 credits)

As an experienced ELT practitioner, you can use this module to extend your practice and bring yourself up to date with cutting-edge professional dialogue and research. You’ll engage with current issues in ELT by asking: what is changing in the English language profession and why?

We’ll aim to answer this question through:

  • debates
  • talks with practitioners and specialists from the ELT field
  • exchange of experience and expertise from the student cohort
  • fieldwork
  • small-scale research enquiry
  • critical engagement with professional literature.  

You’ll be encouraged to review your current practice, and form your own critical responses to professional debates.


Optional modules

English for Specific Purposes (20 credits)

You’ll build on your knowledge of ELT, focusing on the needs of learners working in specific contexts (ESP) – such as learning for academic or occupational purposes. You’ll learn about techniques commonly used in ESP for analysing learner needs. We’ll discuss a variety of ESP approaches to syllabus design, materials development and teaching skills. You’ll reflect on how such approaches can meet the needs of learners in specific contexts.


Multilingual Learners (20 credits)

Drawing on current practice, research and case studies, you’ll focus on children who are studying in school in a language that is not their first language. Your learning will include:

  • analysing the development of children in second languages settings
  • theories of bilingualism, translanguaging and dynamic multilingualism
  • the links between first and second language, identity and self-esteem
  • evaluating responses to the multilingual child from teachers, teacher assistants, parents and the whole school
  • evaluating, adapting and creating resources and materials for their fit with the needs of the EAL child.

ELT Materials Writing (20 credits)

You’ll evaluate ELT materials and develop skills in materials writing in this hands-on module. You’ll engage with the latest professional dialogues about the nature and value of materials and their impact on learners, teachers and the learning culture. You’ll strengthen your critical skills in evaluating materials, from their role in learning to aspects of design. 

You’ll gain practical experience through scoping, researching and developing your own cycle of activities, which you’ll also trial and pilot. You’ll do this with an understanding of the real-world constraints that are involved in the ELT materials writing industry. You’ll also have considered the relevant research on materials writing design and practice.


MA in Education open pathway

One Option module can also be taken from the main MA in Education open pathway - these modules may include:

  • Developing MA Literacies

  • The Inclusive Curriculum

  • Mind and Brain

  • Diversity and Achievement

Final project

Compulsory modules

Dissertation (60 credits)

In your dissertation or project, you’ll carry out a sustained piece of educational research. You’ll analyse and report your findings at a high critical level, justifying and supporting them with detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts. This work will comprise one third of the work for your degree.  

If you’re writing a dissertation, you'll focus on a research problem of particular interest. If you’re enrolled on a named route of the MA Education, your topic will be relevant to your route (e.g. childhood and youth, L&M, SEND, TESOL, higher education). 

If you’re working on a project, you’ll undertake a shorter piece of independent investigative or literature-based research. You’ll also produce a creative piece or artefact.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

We encourage you to reflect critically by drawing on your background, experience and knowledge.

Teaching methods are:

  • lectures
  • directed reading
  • workshops
  • student and staff-led seminars
  • project work.

Our teaching style is participatory, you will engage in:

  • workshop activities
  • online discussion
  • peer evaluation
  • presentations
  • research projects

Teaching is organised on a modular basis, each module involves approximately 24 hrs of staff contact as follows:

  • Part-time on campus TESOL module classes are between 5pm and 8pm. You can access the online materials and discussions if you cannot make a class.
  • Full-time on campus classes are between 5pm and 8pm - Thursdays are key study days. 
  • Distance learning - an MA Education TESOL can be achieved by part-time online learning through the use of our Moodle platform. For each module this usually requires about 12 hours a week plus time spent on assessment. The online route is usually taken part-time over 2 to 3 years.

Field trips

There is the option of a one-week, self-funded study visit to the Gambia in June of the study year. This trip can be included as a case study for one of the optional modules.


Assessment methods used on this course

You will improve your practice through the course assessment tasks.

Assessments are supported in a number of ways:

  • online question and answer discussions
  • presentations of work in progress with tutor and peer feedback
  • formative tasks with detailed feedback.

Each coursework based module is assessed separately, in the following ways:

  • individual essays
  • seminar presentations
  • reports
  • portfolios
  • investigative research
  • group work.


The School of Education is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

We hold two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. All students are invited to attend our annual Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers). We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

The School’s six research groups exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View all staff profiles for School of Education

Female student working in library

After you graduate

Career prospects

Recent students graduating with an MA Education (TESOL) have moved from teaching into teacher professional development, management of language schools and language businesses, materials and test writing.

Others have gone from school to university teaching and from general English to specific English teaching for academic purposes, business and law.

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.