The MA Education in TESOL comprises nine modules and can be taken both on-campus or distance learning.
The MA programme has a compulsory Research Methods module (20 credits) to support your studies and to prepare
you for the Dissertation (60 credits).
In addition, you will take three core compulsory TESOL modules and then choose from two option modules.
Compulsory TESOL modules:
Language Acquisition and Development: Principles and Practice (20 credits). This module
aims to provide you with a thorough grounding in the theoretical models of both first and
second/foreign language acquisition and with psycholinguistic theories of learning and skills
acquisition. By the end of this module, you will have reflected on the relevance of different kinds of
theoretical knowledge of language learning to your own perceptions of teaching and learning in the
classroom, and explored how these theories might have practical impact on learner focused classroom
Descriptions of English (20 credits). We explore the linguistic description of English
with a focus on ‘language in use’. The module looks at how our understanding of the English
language relates to how we apply this knowledge in the classroom: what the teacher should
‘know’ about language, what the learner should ‘know’, and how classroom
materials such as pedagogic grammars and course books approach this.
ELT Changing Methodologies (20 credits). This is designed to give the TESOL
practitioner an engagement with some of the key debates current in the profession, such as World
Englishes, the impact of corpus on language teaching, and current understandings of the learning
process. We draw on the key textbook that has been written specifically for this course by Dr Jane
Spiro Changing Methodologies in TESOL (2013).
Optional modules: two of the following modules:
Teaching English for Specific Purposes (20 credits). This module builds on your
knowledge of ELT, with a more specific focus on accommodating the needs of learners working in specific
contexts, such as learning for academic or occupational purposes. The module covers the techniques
commonly used in ESP for analysing and matching learner needs to the requirements of their target
language context. A variety of ESP approaches to syllabus design, materials development and teaching
skills are discussed, with reflection on how such approaches would best inform the needs of learners in
Multilingual Learners (20 credits) - The module focuses on children in
English-speaking schools whose first language and culture is not English. It draws on current practice,
research and case studies of schools and learners, and examples of current policy and practice in EMI
and EAL contexts. The module is designed for the teacher aiming to enhance the learning experience and
environment of the multilingual child, and make a difference to policy and practice.
ELT Materials Development (20 credits) - This module explores different modes in
which materials are generated for learners, and engages with professional dialogue about the value and
effectiveness of teaching resources. You will engage in small-scale market research and materials
design projects and will connect with real-world projects in the ELT publishing industry.
One Option module can also be taken from the main MA
in Education open pathway - these modules may include:
As our courses are reviewed regularly, the list of modules you choose from may vary from the ones shown
Learn more about our MA
Education students, their backgrounds and what they have enjoyed most about studying the MA Education
Teaching and learning
Learning methods include lectures, directed reading, workshops, discussion forums, student and staff-led
seminars and project work. Teaching, learning and assessment draw on the different backgrounds, experience and
knowledge of students, and encourages critical reflection.
Teaching style is highly participatory, and engages you in workshop activities, online discussion, peer
evaluation, presentations and research projects, with students drawing on their professional experience, home
culture and language.
Part-time and full-time TESOL students study together and sessions combine staff and student led seminars, group
work, shared online dialogue with distance students, reading circles and private study time.
Approach to assessment
All assessment tasks are designed to connect with the teaching contexts of students, so you can draw on your own classrooms and learners, and use your work to improve your practice.
Assessments are supported by online question and answer discussions; presentations of work in progress with tutor and peer feedback; and/or formative tasks with detailed feedback.
Each course module is assessed separately and is based on coursework such as individual essays, seminar presentations, reports, portfolios, investigative research and group work.
There is a resource Developing MA Literacies, designed to support your transition to MA teacher: researcher. This can be taken either as a fully credited module option, or audited as a support resource alongside your academic studies.
The School of Education has a research group in Applied Linguistics to which all TESOL students are invited. This includes talks from MA former students, as well as practitioners and researchers of interest in the TESOL field.
For international students there is a support service to help you with your academic writing.
There is also support for students with special needs such as dyslexia or visual impairment.
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.
The programme can be taken either on-campus or by distance learning. The on campus course is mainly full time
and the distance learning course is usually a 3 year part time course. Teaching is organised on a module-credit
basis, each 20 credit module involving approximately 200 hours of student input and approximately 24 hours of
- On-Campus modules are taught between Tuesday and Friday mornings depending on your choice
of options and the specific semester. These are mainly during the day with some modules running in the
evening (5-8pm). Please ask for further details. The part time route is usually taken over 3 years - this
can be done in two years if you are working part time.
- 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 3 years.
- Semesters are usually 12 weeks long, and in two blocks: September to December, and January to May. For most
part time students the Research Methods module start its run from May to July. For full time students, the
period between May and August is generally dedicated to dissertation supervision and study.
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