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The MA offers a broad introduction to many of the key concepts and theories that lie behind language teaching and learning.  You will be encouraged to think of language as more than a set of rules. Instead, you will recognise it as a complex, constantly evolving process with personal, social and educational consequences.

The practical teaching module provides you with the opportunity to practise and develop your practical teaching and reflective skills in a supportive environment and enables you to apply the knowledge gained during the course to developing your own teaching style.

Northumbria is one of the largest university- based providers of English Language teaching in the UK, with extensive experience of teaching TESOL qualifications.


Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
16 months full-time
2 other options available


City Campus, Northumbria University


January 2020

Book an Open Day / Experience TESOL

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study TESOL at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The course combines exciting subject-specific content with an emphasis on the development of independent analytical and research skills. You will study four subject-specific modules, developed to help you acquire the core knowledge and skills appropriate to the study of TESOL, and a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words.

Our learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver a stimulating, supportive, student-centred environment through a combination of lectures, seminars, group workshops and individual tutorials.

We use a diverse range of assessment methods including written coursework, dissertation, presentations, examinations, portfolios, learning diaries and analysis of transcribed samples of speech.

Book an Open Day / Experience TESOL

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study TESOL at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Our staff have extensive practical experience of both teaching and teacher training and they have strong connections with the professional (English) language teaching community in the UK and overseas.

You will benefit from the vast research experience of the teaching team.  While much of our current research relates to the teaching and learning of language, we also explore a broader range of applied linguistic topics including: discourse analysis and representations of culture; the spread of English and Englishes around the world; educational linguistics and the internationalisation of UK Higher Education; and second language acquisition.

Cutting-edge research undertaken by the Applied Linguistics and TESOL team has been published in leading journals in the field and our lecturers are regularly invited to present their research around the world.

Teaching Staff / Profiles

Book an Open Day / Experience TESOL

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study TESOL at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Using a combination of new technology and innovative teaching methods, the course is designed to offer a progressively challenging and rewarding experience.

You will engage in a range of technology enhanced learning (TEL) activities including a virtual learning environment that delivers specific course and module information, a range of course-related activities and online interactive reading lists. You will have access to scholarly databases and can submit your coursework electronically.

We constantly seek to develop new ways of engaging with technology, including the use of mobile technology, tablet devices, and social media in both directed and independent learning to improve individual and group interaction. Engagement with TEL throughout the course will prepare you for the increasing importance of technology in the teaching of English as a second language.

Book an Open Day / Experience TESOL

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study TESOL at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

From the very beginnings of the course you will learn about the connections between language and research.

You will recognise approaches to primary and secondary research, the importance of critical reflection, and an ability to judge the characteristics of a good piece of research. Assessment tasks for the TESOL core modules are designed to develop the practical and theoretical skills necessary for your dissertation; skills you will draw on throughout your teaching career.

Your research-based learning will be supported by knowledgeable team members who have strong links in the sector including the English Language Teaching Journal (Oxford University Press), British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLA), International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) and the British Council. 

Department Research

Current departmental research projects and interests

Book an Open Day / Experience TESOL

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study TESOL at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Employability is woven into the course at all stages to develop your critical skills and attitudes, communication and presentation skills, and reflective and evaluative abilities.

You will improve skills in motivation, show initiative and learn how to take personal responsibility. You will be capable of making decisions in complex situations and demonstrate a critical awareness of current research within your discipline, helping you to interpret knowledge in a variety of professional fields; all essential skills to get the best out of learners in your future career.

In addition, the course will strengthen your self-management and planning, ethical and professional understanding, as well as developing your research and inquiry skills.

Book an Open Day / Experience TESOL

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study TESOL at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

There is a worldwide demand for highly qualified English Language teachers and teacher trainers, as well as for managers, course planners, material developers and consultants.

The MA has been designed to enhance career prospects and fulfil industry need for graduates with the skills to work across a variety of professions. It will equip you with important practical and transferable skills and offers opportunities for personal and professional development, including further study at doctoral level. As a result, previous graduates have gone on to good careers as English teachers overseas or in their home countries and, in many countries, job prospects for those holding the MA TESOL qualification are excellent.

Book an Open Day / Experience TESOL

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study TESOL at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent.

International qualifications:
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit
English Language requirements:
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £6,990

Full EU Fee: £6,990

Full International Fee: £15,000


There are no Additional Costs

Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.



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How to Apply

How to Apply

Application for most courses is direct to the University via our online application form. Simply click on the 'Apply Online' button you will see on each of our course entries.

However, there are some courses where the application method is not directly to the University. These are:


Postgraduate Research
If you wish to apply for postgraduate research then please submit a research enquiry.

Application Deadlines 

Whilst most of our courses do not set an exact deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship or funding. Overseas students should submit applications to us by no later than 31 July for courses starting in early September or 1 December for courses that commence in January. This allows sufficient time to process our decision, for you to obtain visas and to organise your accommodation and travel arrangements.

Graduate Teacher Training Courses
Equal consideration is given to all applications received by UCAS Teacher Training by the main application deadline, details of all deadlines can be found on the UTT website.

Law professional courses
For details about the selection and allocation process for the full-time Law Professional courses please see the relevant website. For the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Common Professional Examination and the Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses, and for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC and BPTC LLM)

 Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Art (MFA) We encourage all applications to the MFA programme for entry in September 2017 to apply prior to our guaranteed application review date of 1st June 2017. After this date, we will review applications subject to there being remaining spaces on the programme.


Decision Making Process

Most courses require at least one reference, but some may need two. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure Northumbria receives a satisfactory academic reference. If you have not been in education for a number of years, then a reference from your employer may be acceptable.

We try to reply to applicants as soon as possible but you should receive a response within 10 working days, and this will be one of the following.

  • Conditional offer which will normally be upon the completion of your undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and achieving a particular classification or grade. You will be required to send us a confirmation that you have passed your current degree course as soon as you receive notification to enable us to confirm your offer. 
  • Unconditional offer is made if you have already met the entry requirements of your chosen course 
  • Reject your application 

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing of any offer made.

Fairness and Transparency
The University is committed to a system of admissions that ensures fairness, transparency and equal opportunities within the legal framework of the UK and best practice. All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is unreasonably treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

Tuition Fee Assessment
Tuition fees are set at different levels for Home/EU and International Students. Before you begin your course the University must establish your tuition fee status. In many cases, the University will be able to make this assessment without requiring any additional information.

Guidance can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to help you understand how Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) make an assessment on your fee status.

Selection Process 

Applicants who may not have the standard entry qualifications are welcome to apply and may be interviewed. Some courses will interview as part of the selection process. This applies particularly to courses in art and design, teaching and health.

Health Screening
Applicants for Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Primary (Early Years) and Social Work will be required to complete a health questionnaire. They may be required to attend for doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning their programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from their own GP. In addition, Midwifery applicants must provide evidence before they commence training that they are immune to Hepatitis B or have Hepatitis B non-carried status.

Applicants to these courses who have had contact with MRSA in the previous 6 months may be asked to provide evidence that they are not colonised by submitting negative swabs results prior to commencement of training. Alternatively, they may be screened on commencement of the programme.

All applicants will receive vaccination screening at the University Health Centre on commencement of their programme.

Disclosure of Criminal Background
To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to any member of its community caused by the criminal behaviour of other students, it must know about any relevant criminal convictions an applicant has.

Relevant criminal convictions are only those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking. Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and you should not reveal them.

If you are applying for courses in teaching, health, social work and courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, you must complete the section of your UCAS application form entitled 'Criminal Convictions'. You must disclose any criminal convictions, including spent sentences and cautions (including verbal cautions) and bindover orders. Further information on how to complete this section is available from the UCAS booklet 'How to Apply'. For these courses, applicants are required to undergo police clearance for entry and will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure form. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Access to the DBS checking service is only available to registered employers who are entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions - also known as asking 'an exempted question'. The University is such a 'registered employer' and will send you the appropriate documents to fill in if you are offered a place in the course.

If you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence after you have applied, you must inform the university immediately. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks
Please note that the University follows anti-fraud procedures to detect and prevent fraudulent applications. If it is found that an applicant supplies a fraudulent application then it will be withdrawn.

The University reserves the right to cancel an application or withdraw any offer made if it is found that an application contains false, plagiarised or misleading information.


Disabled Students

Northumbria welcomes enquiries and applications from disabled students whether disability is due to mobility or sensory impairment, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues or a medical condition. Applications from disabled students are processed in the usual way, but applicants should declare their disability at the application stage so that the University can contact them to assess how to meet any support needs they may have. Disabled applicants may be invited to visit the University so that this can be done in person.

To find out more contact:
Disability Support Team
Tel +44 (0)191 227 3849 or
Minicom +44 (0)191 222 1051


International Students

The University has a thriving overseas community and applications from International students are welcome. Advice on the suitability of overseas qualifications is available from:

International Office
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel +44 (0)191 227 4274
Fax +44 (0)191 261 1264

(However, if you have already applied to Northumbria and have a query, please contact or telephone 00 44 191 243 7906)

Provision of Information
The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

Modules Overview 2019/20


Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

EL7001 -

Issues and trends in English language teaching (Core,30 Credits)

This 30 credit module aims to explore English language teaching (ELT), and language teaching and learning more generally, from an applied linguistics perspective. It provides a broad overview of some of the key questions and dilemmas within ELT, focusing on the implications of these debates for ELT practitioners and for classroom practice.

On this module, therefore, you will engage critically with current key debates in second language pedagogy, linking your own teaching and learning experiences to theory and the research literature. Areas examined include classroom interaction and management; language teaching methods and the emergence of a Postmethod era within ELT; the attributes and attitudes which learners bring to the language learning classroom; and the social and institutional contexts for English language teaching.

You will thus reflect critically upon social and historical trends within applied linguistics and English language teaching, recognising the complexity and diversity of ELT classrooms around the world, establishing your own ‘sense of plausibility’ about pedagogic practice and theory in relation to your own (current or future) professional context.

Your studies during this wide-ranging module may also help you identify aspects of the language learning classroom which you find particularly interesting. This may form a basis for studying them further during your MA dissertation.

More information

EL7002 -

Investigating Language for TESOL (Core,30 Credits)

This module will provide you with a range of descriptive, critical, and analytical tools that will enable you to examine the English language. You will acquire the skills required for analysing key aspects of formal language. You will also be equipped with the necessary skills for examining the relationship between language and meaning in a range of contexts. The module highlights phenomena which present difficulties for learners of a second or foreign language and shows how a detailed understanding of language in context—using linguistic data from a wide range of sources, such as narrative, classroom discourse, figurative language, and corpora—can be used as an effective tool in the teaching and learning of English as another language. You will also engage with current debates in linguistic theory and you will develop the skills necessary for discovering patterns in language theory and data.

More information

EL7003 -

TESOL Syllabus and Materials Design (Core,30 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the principles of both TESOL materials and syllabus design, and give you practical experience of developing materials and courses for TESOL students. The experience that you gain through participating in the course and completing the assignments will be of both practical and theoretical use for career development, through further training and potential employment in the TESOL field.

You will consider a variety of learning materials and course designs, tying these in with pedagogic and methodological approaches as far as possible. You will also look at how courses and materials have developed historically, and how linguistic and pedagogic elements are accounted for.

Throughout the module, you will be encouraged to develop a working knowledge of the principles behind designing classroom materials and course syllabuses, and a critical stance towards the examples presented to you. You will also develop the skills necessary to design and critically evaluate a set of language learning materials, and a short course for TESOL learners.

More information

EL7004 -

Professional Practice of TESOL (Core,30 Credits)

This module will introduce you to current TESOL methodology, trace its development and map its possible future. You will be exposed to current debates in the TESOL profession including issues around the use of native and non-native English teachers. The module also has practicum sessions which require you put theory into practice. The experience that you gain will be of both intellectual and practical value for career development and your potential employment in the TESOL field.

The areas of grammar, pronunciation and lexis, receptive and productive skills and lesson planning will also be considered. You will gain wide ranging experience in planning appropriate lessons and delivering them during the practicum sessions. You will also learn through observing others in practice as well as gain useful feedback from your classmates.

Through engaging in the module, you will be expected to develop, 1) familiarity with a variety of methods and approaches, 2) awareness of appropriate methodology for delivering language lessons, 3) practical skill in using appropriate methodology in the delivery of lessons.

At the end of this module, you will 1) have further experience of TESOL methodology, 2) be able to take a critical stance with regard to classroom practice, 3) have experience of planning and delivering appropriate lessons, and be able to justify the pedagogical choices made.

More information

EL7005 -

Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

The module will give you the opportunity to complete an independent research project of your choice on an English language, linguistics or a TESOL topic.
You will be working under the supervision of one member of staff to plan, undertake and write up a small research project. You will learn how to plan, manage and organise a relatively large scale research project. To successfully carry out your research project, you will need to draw on skills and knowledge acquired during your program. Throughout your dissertation project, you will learn how to identify interesting research questions and how to apply different data collection and analysis techniques to answer these questions.

The module will equip you with transferrable skills that are highly valued by employers such as management and organizations skills and analytical skills.

You will be expected to submit 3 formative assessments totalling 5000 words (a research proposal, a critical bibliography and a research timeline/plan), and a 15000 word final dissertation. As well as individual tutorials with the supervisor(s), there will be four two-hour research lectures to support you in your work.

More information

No module Data

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at

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