TESOL Studies 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) preferably in a subject within English, Modern Languages or Linguistics.
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
£26,500 (Total)

Course overview

Group of students working in a cafe

MA TESOL Studies is specially designed for graduates who are interested in becoming teachers in the field of teaching English as a second or foreign language (TESOL) and have little or no previous experience of English language teaching.

This course offers you an excellent step towards beginning a career in TESOL. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to be a confident and reflective practitioner able to make informed pedagogic decisions in the classroom.

You’ll explore the description and analysis of the English language and gain an understanding of the processes through which children and adults learn languages. A large part of the course focuses on the theory and practice of general and specialist English language teaching, and you’ll have opportunities to learn more about research and current developments in TESOL in global educational contexts.

You’ll join a very friendly, dynamic and multinational language education team in the School of Education, who have a wide range of experience in language teaching and teacher education work in the UK and around the world.

You’ll be taught by practitioners and researchers at the forefront of a diverse range of subjects, who have ongoing projects in areas such as second language teacher education and development, English medium instruction, learning with digital technologies, motivation in teaching and learning, and vocabulary.

Course highlights

  • Gain valuable practical teaching experience through in-class micro-teaching to help you to be a creative, reflective and adaptive English language teaching practitioner. 
  • Advance your knowledge in a range of specialist areas including EAP, digital educational technologies, teaching English to young learners. 
  • Join regular TESOL Forum seminars where you can learn about and discuss current ideas, topics and research in TESOL led by experts from a range of contexts.   
  • Benefit from a year-long bespoke academic literacy skills course specifically designed for MA TESOL Studies students to support their academic writing.  
  • Take advantage of the many awards and competitions we encourage our students to enter, and join our alumni who have been successful in the prestigious British Council ELT Master’s Degree Dissertation Award.    
  • Experience the friendliness and support given by an academic teaching team and School who understand the challenges that studying in a new cultural and learning context may bring.   
  • Be part of a dynamic and renowned Centre of Language Education (CLER), whose researchers carry out world class research and classroom-based projects. Find out more about CLER. 

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Course details

Throughout this course, you’ll study a range of modules that give you a theoretical and practical introduction to the knowledge and skills needed by a professional practitioner starting out in the field of TESOL.

In semester one, you’ll study three core modules exploring the English language, how second languages are learned and, in general terms, how they may be taught.

In semester two, you’ll build on the theoretical foundation in semester one through a core module on the practicalities of teaching English and you will experience planning and teaching lessons through in-class micro-teaching. You’ll be able to specialise in your preferred interests by choosing from a range of optional modules.

Later in semester two, you’ll use the knowledge and skills you gain over the year to carry out a small-scale piece of research related to your own interests within TESOL. To support your work on your research project, you’ll take a compulsory research methods course. Your supervisor will support you throughout the dissertation research 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 TESOL Studies MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

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

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

You will also study 30 credits from the below modules:

Module Name Credits
Creative Inquiry, Communication and Learning 30
Technology Enhanced Language Learning 30
Digital Education in Practice 30
Designing Digital Education 30
Learning and Teaching Vocabulary 15
Grammar, Learning and Teaching 15
Teaching Academic English 15
Corpus Linguistics in the Classroom 15
Tasks and Materials for TESOL 15
Assessing Language Learning 15
Teaching Languages to Young Learners 30

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through a range of teaching methods including seminars, tutorials, student-led discussions and group work, complemented by digital technologies. Independent study, either individually or in groups, is an important aspect of this course, allowing you to develop critical problem-solving, communication and research skills that are relevant for you starting a career in TESOL.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your course, and modules.

The course is informed by research and current global developments in theory and practice in TESOL, and many of your tutors will bring insights from their own research and publications into modular learning activities. The content and activities in seminars and across modules are carefully scaffolded to ensure optimal understanding and learning.

You’ll be encouraged to take part in discussions and problem-solving tasks that involve interaction and collaboration with other students both inside and outside the classroom. You’ll experience innovative teaching methodologies and activities on your modules, which you may later wish to try out in your own microteaching practice.

You’ll have the opportunity to join a specially designed course for MA TESOL Studies students to support your academic writing. Other support is available from the online resources, workshops and one-to-one appointments provided through the University of Leeds library.

Throughout your degree you’ll be supported by a personal academic tutor who you can meet regularly to discuss any study or career questions you may have.

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.


Your learning on modules is assessed in varied ways, including written assignments, oral presentations, posters and reflective portfolios. On some modules you may have the opportunity to choose a relevant topic of interest to be assessed on.

Assessments reflect the kind of skills and knowledge you’ll need in your TESOL career and encourage you to demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving, reflection, communication skills, and practical classroom knowledge around lesson planning and execution.

All your assessments will require you to read widely and use evidence from literature and your own experience to support your arguments and ideas. The assessment tasks will enable you to show a critical understanding of the current debates in TESOL and the application of theory in classroom contexts.

There are guidelines for all your assessments, which provide clearly structured guidance and support. In many modules you have a choice of task and/or topic. To help you prepare, you will have support from module tutors through formative feedback tasks.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent in a subject that shows a strong grounding in English Language and/or Education, Linguistics or Foreign Languages. High grades in these subjects are essential.

This course is designed for students who do not have the two years of experience needed for our MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Beyond a first degree of an appropriate standard and appropriate English language skills, we have no specific requirements. However, we do prefer applicants who can demonstrate an interest in the field of language teaching, for example having been involved in tutoring.

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: £26,500 (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

The majority of our students are international students, who usually return to their home countries to embark on exciting careers in English language teaching in primary, secondary or tertiary education in the private or public sectors.  

We’re proud that many of our graduates are now teaching in university language centres, private language schools or state secondary schools in China, the Middle East, Japan, Vietnam or Korea. 

Each year some international students find jobs in the UK teaching ESOL or do a further teaching qualification such as CELTA. We have a growing number of students each year who apply to study postgraduate research degrees in the UK or other countries.  

The home students we have had often remain in the UK teaching ESOL or EAP, while some go abroad. 

The methodological skills and theoretical knowledge our students develop have allowed some to move into teaching other languages, such as Chinese. 

Careers support

Our friendly Employability team based in the School of Education can provide a range of help and advice about employment or volunteering opportunities in the education sector.

You'll be able to enhance your career prospects and take advantage of the many paid and volunteering positions in schools and other education settings in and around Leeds.

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.