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Postgraduate study
Education & Youth

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MA

This programme is designed for graduates in an English language-related subject who wish to become teachers of English as a second language. The programme provides you with the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and accurate use of the English language, with particular focus on grammar, lexis, discourse, genre and phonology.


Course overview

It also raises your awareness of the varied roles English has across the globe and the current debates around varied ELT approaches, methodologies and assessment strategies when applied to a range of ELT contexts, whilst also developing your academic and teaching skills. Furthermore, the final dissertation project allows you to specialise in an area of TESOL of particular interest and importance to you as well as further developing your research and analytical skills. Teaching is delivered predominantly via seminars which include a mix of tutor-led input and student-to-student activities, which not only focus on presentation and discussion of theories and models but also actually expose you to a range of ELT teaching approaches and methodologies first hand. You will then be encouraged to reflect on these and, perhaps even use yourself, when you are an ELT professional in the UK or overseas.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.

The course has 2 entry points: September and January.For the September intake, the course lasts one calendar year and 2 x 30-credit modules are studied in each of the first 2 semesters, then you focus on your dissertation for semester 3, June – September.For the January intake, the course lasts 18 months: semester 1 runs January – May followed by the summer break, then semester 2 runs September – January and then you will focus on your dissertation in semester 3 (the following January – May).

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Course details

You will study 180 Level-7 credits, made up of four core modules plus a final dissertation module. The modules enable you to develop your knowledge of the English language and your teaching, academic writing and research skills whilst discussing and evaluating theoretical models and current debates within ELT. Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on self-reflection and the application of your studies to your future professional context.

Course structure

Core modules

Approaches in English Language Teaching

You examine the background to and contemporary issues in teaching, learning and assessment approaches in ELT in a range of contexts. You also develop your critiquing, evaluating and debating skills to be able to effectively analyse the efficacy of approaches, so that you can design and adapt teaching plans to suit specific learners and ELT contexts.


You work closely with an allocated supervisor, who is matched to you based on the topic area of your Dissertation, to conduct research into an area appropriate to your course route. You review relevant literature and select appropriate research methodology.

As part of the MA in Education (TESOL) route, the topics explored within the Using the Literature to Inform Educational Research and the Dissertation modules are chosen by you, but they must be around current debates and issues in TESOL.

Educational Research: Practice and Planning

You gain an in-depth understanding of research methods in education, and the knowledge and skills required to develop an independent research study into an area of education which you conduct for your dissertation. The selection of research area and the method of enquiry will be decided in consultation with the module tutors.

English as a Global Language

You focus on the current rise of English as an international communication tool and related contextual and problematic issues. The module wilI stimulate your thinking about the role of languages in society, including your role in teaching English to speakers of other languages.

Language Analysis for English Language Teaching

This module focuses on developing your knowledge of the English language; this includes grammar, lexis, discourse, phonology and genre. In addition you will acquire skills for explaining, examining and analysing language when discussing the relationships between form, function and context and the common challenges learners of English as a second language tend to face.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

A range of learning and teaching methods ensure the learning outcomes can be explored in-depth in a variety of ways. Lectures will provide the information that will be built on in seminars where a more interactive and exploratory approach will be taken. Whereas on some modules, the teaching and learning takes place solely in seminars, which will include a mix of tutor-led input and student-student tasks and debates.

You will also be able to consider your own practice and reflect in groups and individually to apply theory to practice. Tutorials will be available with a member of the highly qualified and experienced lecturers.

In addition, you are expected to engage in independent study and are supported to investigate aspects of TESOL of particular interest to you. There will also be the opportunity for you to work together with other students on the course outside of the face-to-face sessions using the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where there will be additional information and guidance and discussion boards for synchronous and asynchronous dialogue.

How you are assessed

The programme assessments reflect the module aims and require you to work autonomously to develop your subject knowledge, as well as your critical analysis, evaluating, research and academic writing skills by applying these to real contemporary issues or case studies. The assessment includes a range of written assignments, a 90-minute examination and a final 18,000-word dissertation.

You will receive feedback on your ideas during discussions and your contributions to group tasks in the seminars and also during individual tutorials. Academic support is offered throughout the programme to help with your transition to studying at level 7, and possibly to studying in the UK.

This includes help with understanding the requirements of master’s level study, support in developing key academic skills including academic writing and referencing, critical thinking and writing and IT skills, such as literature searching.


Entry requirements

You should have a good honours degree (at least a 2.2) in TESOL, English Language or a related subject.

If you do not have this academic qualification, but possess significant levels of relevant experience you would be assessed case-by-case on your individual merit and potential via your personal written statement, references and a formal interview with a member of the course team.

For non-native speakers of English, there is an IELTS 6.5 English language entry requirement with a minimum of IELTS 6 in each band.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

The TU China office has links with partner institutions in China looking for graduates to teach English at their universities and are offering good packages to our graduates.


Information for international applicants


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2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,710 a year

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Fee for international applicants
£15,000 a year

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  • Length: within 1 year
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

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2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

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    TESOL courses at Teesside University

    Find out more from staff and international students about our course in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.


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