Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) plus two years of relevant experience.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£11,500 (Total)
International fees
£25,500 (Total)

Course overview

two students walking on campus

MA TESOL is designed for professionals with at least two years of teaching experience who aim to deepen their understanding of the foundations of TESOL, while advancing their knowledge of key areas.

This degree opens doors to diverse career opportunities in English language teaching and education. Our graduates can pursue fulfilling roles as ESL/EFL teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and consultants, among other exciting paths in the global TESOL field. 

Led by academics who are experts in this field of study, you’ll explore how languages are learnt and how the English language is most effectively taught. You’ll consider how to analyse and describe the English language and examine different approaches to teaching languages to different kinds of learners. You’ll also consider the principles behind analysing a learner’s language proficiency and tracking their development. 

This course allows you to specialise in particular areas of TESOL, depending on your own interests and career aspirations. By selecting from a range of optional modules, you can choose to focus on TESOL specialisms such as: 

  • Technology-Enhanced Language Learning 
  • Teacher Education in TESOL 
  • Teaching Languages to Young Learners 
  • Teaching English for Academic Purposes 
  • English Medium Instruction 

If you are not yet a TESOL professional with two years of experience, please see our  MA TESOL Studies programme. 

Course highlights

Academic excellence: Benefit from the expertise of our academic staff who specialise in a range of subjects such as second language teacher education and development, English medium instruction, learning with digital technologies, motivation in teaching and learning, language assessment, corpus linguistics, vocabulary and other areas. 

Academic literacy support: Enhance your academic writing skills through a year-long bespoke academic literacy course tailored specifically for TESOL students.

Networking and knowledge exchange: Engage in regular TESOL Forum sessions discussing current ideas and research and participate in a student-led postgraduate taught conference. 

Supportive academic team: Experience the friendly and supportive environment created by our academic teaching team, who understand the challenges of studying in a new cultural and learning context. 

Dynamic research centre: Be a part of the renowned Centre for Language Education Research (CLER), known for its world-class research and classroom projects. Discover more about CLER  

Awards and competitions: Take advantage of opportunities to enter prestigious awards and competitions, such as the British Council Master's Degree Dissertation Award. Learn more about our recent finalist of the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards   

Course details

MA TESOL is a comprehensive course that allows you to develop both academically and professionally.  

In semester one, you’ll deepen your understanding of the foundations of TESOL, focusing on how people learn languages, how to describe and explain language to learners, and the various approaches to teaching languages. 

In semester two, you’ll expand your knowledge of more specialist areas. You can choose from a range of optional modules to suit your own interests and professional contexts, such as developing TESOL materials, teaching young learners, assessing language learning, technology enhanced language learning, teaching vocabulary and various other topics. 

In the final part of the year, you’ll use your newly acquired knowledge and skills to independently research and write your dissertation. This can be related to your own interests within the field of education. To support your work on your dissertation, you’ll take a non-assessed research methods module. Your supervisor will support you throughout the dissertation writing process. 

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Learning and Teaching in TESOL 30
Research Methods and Dissertation in MA TESOL programmes and MA TESOL Studies 60
Analysing Language 15
Language Development for TESOL 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will study 30 or 60 credits from the below modules:

Module Name Credits
Creative Inquiry, Communication and Learning 30
Education, Language and Society 30
Directed Study in Education 1 15
Advanced Readings in Language Education 1 15
Advanced Readings in Language Education 2 15
Technology Enhanced Language Learning 30
Learning and Teaching Vocabulary 15
Introducing a Task-Based Curriculum in Classrooms and Systems 15
Grammar, Learning and Teaching 15
Teaching Academic English 15
Corpus Linguistics in the Classroom 15
Tasks and Materials for TESOL 15
Current Issues in Second Language Teacher Education 30
Assessing Language Learning 15
English Medium Instruction (EMI) 15
Teaching Languages to Young Learners 30
Students not studying 60 credits from the above will also study 30 credits from the below modules:
Directed Study in Education 1 30
Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder 30

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, student-led discussions and group work complemented by digital technologies.

Independent study is an important aspect of this programme as it allows you to develop key research, analysis and communication skills and develop your own ideas.

The Language Education team in the School of Education is nationally and internationally recognised for its range of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and consultancy work in TESOL, ELT, EFL, ESOL, EAL, Modern Foreign Languages, and Applied Linguistics.

To develop your academic writing, you’ll have the opportunity to join an academic literacy course designed specifically for TESOL students. Additionally, the University of Leeds library offers a range of online resources, workshops, and one-to-one appointments to provide further support.

Throughout your degree, you’ll be supported by a personal academic tutor who will provide academic guidance, offer support and advice, and foster your personal development.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We assess your learning on modules in varied ways, including written assignments, oral presentations, and posters. These assessments will require you to read widely and use relevant literature to support your arguments. You’ll be expected to demonstrate your critical understanding of TESOL debates and the application of theory in classroom contexts.

Clear guidelines and structured support will be provided for all assessments. Module tutors will also offer formative feedback to help you with your assignments.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent plus two years of relevant experience after graduation. We will consider applicants with alternative qualifications or experience on an individual basis.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Please note that meeting the entry requirements of this course doesn't guarantee an offer of a place.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read  Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

International – Friday 28 June 2024

UK – Friday 16 August 2024

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts

  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate

  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Education

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions

Email: pgeduc@leeds.ac.uk


UK: £11,500 (Total)

International: £25,500 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Education usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School's scholarships page.

Career opportunities

This degree helps you stand out in a competitive job market. It opens up new career opportunities either in your home country or in new international settings. 

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work in teaching, materials creation, curriculum design, language translation for commercial organisations, and outreach language support for charities and Non-Governmental Organisations. Our graduates have also gone on to start their own private language teaching business or move from school to university teaching. 

Each year, some international students secure employment in the UK as ESOL teachers or pursue further teaching qualifications such as CELTA. We have a few students each year who apply for postgraduate research degrees in the UK or other countries. 

Our expert careers advisors from the School and Careers Service will support you and help you to market yourself to employers. You’ll be able to get a variety of support including: 

  • individual career guidance 
  • advice on CV writing and interview skills 
  • careers fairs, workshops and presentations 
  • access to online resources including careers and sector insights

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.