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Course overview

This course will deepen your understanding of Chinese language education and set you up for a rewarding international career in this fast-growing area. You will gain the knowledge to successfully prepare, design and deliver Chinese language programmes in local and global teaching contexts. 

Our teaching is informed by leading research, and our range of optional modules reflect the latest in applied linguistics and language teacher education. This will ensure you well prepared to commence a career this field. 

You may also have opportunities to supplement your learning by visiting schools, engaging in teaching practice, attending talks by guest speakers and participating in external workshops.

This course is ideal for current Chinese language teachers keen to develop their current experience, as well as teachers of other subjects wanting to teach Chinese and those interested in course design, management or teacher training.

Why choose this course?

Globally-recognised

masters degree, to help you start your career in TCSOL

Top 50

in the world for education

Learn from experts

who are internationally recognised for their research in this area

200 years

of experience in the field of education

3rd in the UK

with 84% of research considered world-leading or internationally excellent

Course content

This course aims to develop your critical understanding of the developments in TCSOL theory and practice. It will also give you the opportunity to reflect upon your own teaching and preparation in designing and delivering Chinese language programmes in various local and global teaching contexts. 

You will study three core areas consisting of: second language acquisition, applied linguistics for teaching and learning Mandarin Chinese, and developments in language teaching methodology. In addition, a range of optional modules are offered, allowing you to choose topics that fit your interests and career ambitions.

This course is made up of four 30-credit modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation. It can be completed over one year full-time, or two years part-time plus an eight-month dissertation. There are PGDip and PGCert exit points.

Course reading

  • Moloney, R. and Xu, H. L. (2016). Exploring innovative pedagogy in the teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language. Singapore: Springer
  • Richards, J. C. and Rodgers, T. S. (2014) Approaches and methods in language teaching. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Schmitt, N. and Rodgers, M.P.H (2020) An Introduction to Applied Linguistics. 3rd edition. London. Routledge

Course Leader

Dr Xin Gao (contact for academic queries)

Modules

Core modules

Language Teaching: Methodology and Curriculum

The module focuses on topics which have been the subject of recent discussion and research in the field of foreign and second language teaching. These include:

  • a historical review of language teaching methods and approaches
  • content vs process syllabus design in language teaching
  • humanism in language teaching
  • Communicative Language Teaching and Task Based Learning
  • areas of applied linguistics particularly relevant to teaching of productive skills, especially sociolinguistics and pragmatics
  • areas of applied linguistics particularly relevant to the teaching of receptive skills, especially psycholinguistics

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.

Understanding L2 Chinese Learning and the Learner

The module focuses on key areas in Applied Linguistics relating to Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and L2 Chinese learning literature, and explores them from the perspective of both language learners and teachers. These include:

  • the role of pinyin, tones, characters and grammar in L2 Chinese language learning
  • universal features of the L2 learner and the L2 learning process, for example, age, cross-linguistic influences, role of the environment and language learning cognition
  • individual influences related to differential L2 rate of acquisition and outcome, for example, aptitude, motivation, language learning beliefs and strategies
  • social dimensions that influence L2 learning, for example, social identity and socio-cultural context

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.

Exploring TCSOL in Context

This module will examine several crucial questions faced by those working in the field of TCSOL. The actual content will be negotiable, but typical topics will include:

  • teaching learners of Chinese as a heritage language and in complementary schools
  • language learning experience in China study-abroad context
  • the language status (native/non-native) of the teacher
  • teaching Chinese for specific purposes
  • the Confucius Institute and teaching Chinese
  • content and Chinese language integrated learning
  • exploitation of computerised language samples in teaching and learning Chinese
  • classroom-based research

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.

Dissertation

This involves the researching and writing of a substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course.

You will choose a topic in consultation with your course leader and an appropriate supervisor. The topic will normally be based on interests and skills you have developed in the course of the modules already studied.

Optional modules

Assessment in Language Education

This module will look at:

  • purposes of assessment
  • types of assessment
  • communicative assessment
  • assessing the '4 Skills'
  • case studies of key international exams
  • current issues in language assessment
Managing Language Teaching and Developing Teachers

The module covers:

  • organisational structures and management of language teaching organisations (LTOs)
  • issues in marketing, finance and managing change
  • managing staff: staff selection, appraisal and relations, staff development
  • models of teacher learning
  • developing activities and materials for teacher training
  • observation of teachers
  • investigating the discourse of managing, training and teaching
Materials and Technology in Language Education

This module will look at:

  • the role of learning/teaching materials and resources
  • types and models of evaluation of materials and resources
  • the relationship between methodology and materials/resources
  • models of Technology Enhanced Langue Learning
  • mobile langue learning
  • computer mediated communication
  • the implications of materials and technology for teacher education
Teaching Languages to Younger Learners

The module focuses on key areas relating to the teaching of languages to younger learners and explores them from the perspective of both language learners and teachers. These include:

  • profiles and language needs of younger language learnersage-appropriate methodologies
  • multisensory, learner-centred activities, for example, stories, songs, films drama and play
  • cooperation, interactive interpersonal communication and integrated grammar
  • classroom management/organisation and the investigation of critical classroom incidents
  • an overview of theories and research relating to younger learners
  • engaging with culture and community
  • issues relating to bilingualism, multilingualism and translanguaging

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 27 April 2021.

You can view an example PDF timetable, however this is subject to change year on year and your live timetable will be available via the online timetable system.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials

We offer a range of support including interactive and collaborative teaching methods. You will also have access to extensive study materials and free support for developing proficiency in academic English.

How you will be assessed

  • Dissertation
  • Coursework

Each 30-credit module is assessed by a 6,000-word written assignment (or equivalent). You must achieve a pass of at least 50% on each assignment to complete the masters.

Contact time and study hours

Each module requires an equivalent of 30 hours of teaching, plus 270 hours of private study, assignment preparation and tutorial support.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 (or international equivalent), preferably with some experience of classroom language teaching, or a language teaching methodology component in previous course
Professional qualificationApplicants whose first language is not Chinese should also hold a HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi/Chinese Proficiency Test) Level 5 certificate or a degree in a discipline with substantial Chinese language content

Applying

Start dates

Start date Application deadline
20 September 2021 23 August 2021 (International)
6 September (Home/EU)

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MA
Home / UK £8,500
International £20,000

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

We do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you will need through our libraries. However, you may wish to purchase your own copies, which you would need to factor into your budget.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates go on to a varied range of careers within the teaching sector. Example roles include: counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary/secondary teachers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors.

You will also be well placed to commence doctoral studies in applied linguistics, education and social science.

Many of our graduates are already in employment while undertaking part-time study for professional development in their chosen career.

Career progression

94.3% of postgraduates from the School of Education secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £28,280.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" This course offers an opportunity to sensitively investigate the interface between second language acquisition, TESOL methodology and the teaching of Mandarin. It is designed to stretch and challenge our students. I am committed to working in partnership with our students, plus our highly active alumni group. We share an ambition to build a community that is supportive and inclusive and to more become part of a worldwide community of second and foreign language professionals. "
Dr Xin Gao, Course Leader

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Tuesday 27 April 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.