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Course overview

The development of globalisation brings with it increased importance on the ability to be able to speak English. This in turn provides more career opportunities for those who can teach it.

If you are involved in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and keen to build on your existing knowledge and experience, this course will enable you to reflect on your own teaching practice/context and improve your career prospects.

Our teaching is informed by leading research and expert tutors. Their work informs the topics you will cover which provide flexibility to explore areas and specialisms of interest to you.

The course is designed to develop your critical understanding of recent developments in TESOL theory and practice. It will prepare you to conduct independent research into teaching and learning. It provides a pathway to doctoral study.

You may be also able to take part in a community-based project to provide language teaching to refugees who need general and functional English language to survive and adapt to life in the UK.

The course is also available as an online course.

See what our previous students say about their experience on the course.

Why choose this course?

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

We offer a range of support including interactive, collaborative teaching methods, individual tutorials, opportunities to pursue your professional and research interests, access to extensive study materials and free support for developing proficiency in academic English.

The taught element of 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 period.

There are PGDip and PGCert exit points, and it is also available at the University's Malaysia Campus, or via online study.

Course reading

  • Richards, J. C. and Rodgers, T. S. (2014) Approaches and methods in language teaching. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Lightbown, P. and Nina M. S. (2013). How Languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Schmitt, N. and Rodgers, M.P.H (2020) An Introduction to Applied Linguistics. 3rd edition. London. Routledge

Tutors

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 Language Learning and the Language Learner

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

  • 'the good language learner'
  • a historical overview of theories of SLA (key insights from applied linguistic research)
  • recent applied linguistic developments in the theorisation of SLA as a dynamic complex system and social process
  • implications of first language acquisition for SLA
  • variability and individual differences in SLA (gender, age, aptitude, motivation, attitudes and beliefs, cognitive styles, strategies, autonomy and self-regulation)
  • the role of grammar, vocabulary and phonology instruction in second language learning
  • trends in applied linguistic research into SLA including the broadening of the field, greater exploitation of computerised samples of language, the growing stature of classroom-based investigation

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.

Teaching English for Academic Purposes: Context, Language and Pedagogy

This module considers:

  • current status of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes
  • academic communities and contexts: knowledge creation, critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning
  • genre: communicative purpose, rhetorical organisation and stance
  • academic grammar and vocabulary
  • text processing and production
  • EAP learner identity, backgrounds and expectations
  • types of EAP courses based on needs, contexts and constraints
  • EAP classroom practice
  • EAP teachers: beliefs, identities and professional development
  • research philosophies and methods
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 Wednesday 24 March 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

  • Tutorials
  • Lectures
  • Discussion group

Your learning will be supported by:

  • tutors with a breadth and depth of knowledge, understanding and skills developed through experience in the field
  • Interactive and collaborative teaching methods promoting shared enquiry
  • access to extensive study materials from libraries and online sources

How you will be assessed

  • Dissertation
  • Coursework

Each 30-credit module is assessed by a 6,000-word written assignment or equivalent. To complete the masters, you must achieve a pass of 50% on each assignment.

The 15,000-word dissertation is an original piece of work and should be related to one of the selected modules on an approved topic.

Contact time and study hours

Each module requires an equivalent of 30 hours of teaching, plus 270 hours of independent 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 level (or international equivalent)
Work experience

A minimum of two years full-time classroom English language teaching experience (or equivalent part-time hours).

If an applicant has a first degree that includes a significant focus (approximately one third) on language, teaching or linguistics theory and methodology OR has successfully completed a substantial, approved TESOL methodology course, the experience required can be reduced to a minimum of one years full-time classroom English teaching experience (or equivalent hours part-time experience).

The teaching experience calculation should NOT include a teaching practicum taken as part of a course. Applicants should show how hours for part-time English teaching experience have been calculated. Applicants who have online teaching experience will need to show how their hours have been calculated, and provide written evidence from employers (to be submitted at the time of application). 

The teaching experience calculation should NOT include a teaching practicum taken as part of a course. Applicants should show how hours for part-time English teaching experience have been calculated. Applicants who have online teaching experience will need to show how their hours have been calculated, and provide written evidence from employers (to be submitted at the time of application).

A personal statement is required that demonstrates both a clear understanding of the course and relevant motivation for pursuing studies in TESOL plus, if possible, details of any relevant professional or work experience in an educational setting.

 

Applying

Start dates

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

Recognition of Other Learning (ROL)

If you have prior learning or experience at an appropriate level, you may apply for exemption from some of the credit requirements of the course.

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

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MA
Home / UK £8,500
International £22,000

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

There are very few extra costs that you need to factor in. We provide an extensive e-library (books and journals), comprehensive study materials and dissertation guidance.

However, you should budget on buying a maximum of two core texts for each of the four taught modules – even when core texts are available through the library, we recommend students get their own copies to keep and refer to. These titles are all widely available, but the costs may vary depending on the format.

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

Career destinations for our graduates include counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary/secondary teachers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors.

A number 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
" Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages provides such diverse and rewarding career opportunities for people from all over the world. Working with these people to help them improve education in their own contexts is both very rewarding, and incredibly interesting as we get to share experiences and perspectives on language education "
Paul Knight, 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 Wednesday 24 March 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.