University of Cumbria

Program Description


University of Cumbria

MA TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Why study with us?

If you are a graduate, and interested in teaching English to speakers of other languages, but have done little or no teaching, this course is made for you. Our aim is to engage you in the academic and professional study of TESOL so that you emerge with the capacity to operate with considerable expertise.

Our course tutors are well qualified and experienced and have a strong track record in running successful courses for language learners and pre-service and in-service teachers in the UK and abroad. Sessions are task-based and interactive, building on the individual experiences and needs of our students.

First we put language teaching into its theoretical and cultural context. This gives you the principles and the framework that you need before you can understand, evaluate and construct aspects of pedagogic theory, practice and research in different professional settings. Alongside this, two more modules provide a sound, up-to-date coverage of theories of language and language learning.

What can this course lead to?

Added to other appropriate qualifications an MA TESOL qualification will enhance your career prospects as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), though it will also be useful if you are considering textbook writing or publishing, English language programme administration or jobs connected with international student welfare.

This course leads to an academic qualification, not a professional one. If you are from the UK and you do not already hold a professional teaching qualification, you may wish to consider taking one of the many short courses available (leading, e.g., to a CELTA or Trinity College Certificate) before or after this MA course.

Resources and facilities

You will have access to the full range of university resources and facilities, including the library, the computer network and our e-learning environment. In our taught sessions we use a variety of media resources and you will have an opportunity to observe English language classes.

Our course tutors are highly qualified and have extensive experience of working with students and teachers from all over the world. We are very aware that on a course concerned with teaching, the medium is the message! Therefore, we see our own teaching as a chance to model the attitudes and skills we like to encourage in our students. We attach particular importance to fostering a happy and purposeful atmosphere, where people feel they count as individuals.


Language Teaching, Cultures and Contexts

This module will develop your understanding of how contextual and theoretical factors affect decision-making in ELT, thus enabling you to build frameworks for analysing and critically evaluating the theoretical validity and contextual appropriacy of aspects of language pedagogy throughout the programme and beyond.

Investigating Language for TESOL

The aims of this module are to develop your understanding of the English language systems that contribute to communicative competence and to enable you to apply this to the description of learners’ errors and to the critical evaluation of the linguistic validity of English language teaching materials designed for use in a variety of contexts.

Language Learning and the Learner

Through this module, you will develop your theoretical understanding of, and a critical awareness of issues within, the field of second language acquisition, and a practical understanding of how techniques of research and enquiry are used to create knowledge within this discipline, thus providing you with a foundation for the critical evaluation and selection of language pedagogy and for the undertaking of original enquiry.

The Principles and Practice of TESOL

Here, you will build a critical understanding of the principles, techniques and materials associated with a broadly communicative approach to English language teaching, thus equipping you critically to evaluate aspects of professional practice in this area and to make and enact your own principled and contextually appropriate pedagogic choices.


This 60-credit module enables you to undertake and write up in dissertation form an extended research-based enquiry that demonstrates originality in the application of knowledge, a practical understanding of appropriate research techniques, and is designed to contribute to knowledge creation in the field of English language teaching. You will be supported throughout the research process via a series of year-long workshops which will introduce you to important aspects of research design and methodology, as well as develop your knowledge of common academic writing conventions associated with a dissertation.

Course summary

The four taught modules are spread over two semesters. You begin your dissertation in semester two and conclude it over the summer period.

The various types of assessment (e.g. essays, case studies, materials design, peer teaching and lesson planning) are designed not just to test you, but also to help you to develop a range of academic and professional skills.

Case studies

As this is a new programme, your cohort will be our first graduates! However, we have had excellent feedback from students and teachers on other courses.

Entry requirements

1st or 2nd class honours degree.

Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course via APL procedures.

Credit and UCAS requirements

Credit: 180 credits

Selection criteria

  • Candidates are normally required to have a good 1st or 2nd class honours degree, preferably in a language or a subject related to language or education.
  • Non-graduates may exceptionally be admitted if they have a diploma-level teaching qualification or equivalent in-service teaching qualifications, or appropriate professional experience.
  • All entrants must meet English language proficiency standards - Grade C in GCSE English (or equivalent) or a minimum overall band of 6.5 on the IELTS test, with no sub-test band below 6, or TOEFL paper-based test 580, computer-based test 240, TWE 4.5.

Teaching experience is not essential, but it will be useful if you can show that:

  • you have familiarised yourself with the field of English language teaching
  • you are aware of what an academic TESOL programme will consist of and can demonstrate your capacity to handle this kind of study
  • your reasons for doing the course are focused.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 6, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
1 year
Full time
Start date Sept. 2016
United Kingdom Lancaster, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
United Kingdom Lancaster, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price Request Info

University of Cumbria - MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)