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MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Become familiar with English language teaching methodology, and learn about key issues and trends in language learning in a global context

2018/19 entry


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

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The increasing pace of globalisation and the changing ways in which people in different parts of the world connect have contributed to the rise of English as a world language.

The MA TESOL will provide you with the tools and resources you need to develop knowledge of various areas of applied linguistics as well as approaches to English language teaching that will facilitate better teaching practice. You'll reflect upon and evaluate current issues and key trends in language learning and teaching in a range of contexts, and consider their application in classroom instruction, assessment, materials development and the English language curriculum. You'll also learn how to conduct your own research.

The course strengthened the skills I needed to pursue my career as an English teacher by offering me a variety of approaches and methodologies which enhanced my qualifications. I would highly recommend University of York to anyone who is interested in doing a Master's degree in TESOL; it was one of the best experiences in my life!
Elena, MA TESOL, 2015

Leading research

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the Department was ranked in the top ten for the proportion of its research designated as ‘world-leading’.

Global networking

We host the Centre for Research on Education and Social Justice, meaning you will have opportunities to connect with researchers and students from across the world.

Course content

The MA TESOL is designed for home or overseas students who wish to pursue a career teaching English as a second or foreign language, but who have little or no formal teaching experience. It provides a foundation in Applied Linguistics, Approaches to English Teaching and Research Methods on which later training in practical teaching can build. Theories of language acquisition and language teaching are explored, with the emphasis on how such theories may be practically applied; however, there is no teaching placement as part of this course.


You will study five core modules and choose one option module.

Core modules

TESOL Methods: This module is designed to develop your knowledge of and explore the application of the methodology of teaching English as a second/foreign language. You will examine the nature of each of the four language skills from a discourse perspective and develop links between what teachers and learners do in class and what applied linguistic research tells us about how second language acquisition takes place. You will gain an understanding of interactional competence and learn how to develop it among L2 learners. (20 credits)

English Linguistics: For some students this module may act as a review of some aspects of their previous study, for others it will act as an introduction to key aspects of the field of Linguistics. You will be provided with the essentials in the study of the structure of English and get the opportunity to understand the organising principles that unite the various levels of linguistic analysis. You will further learn how to relate the above to language use in a socio-cultural context and gain an overview of how the above theories are linked to the processes involved in teaching English as a second/foreign language. (20 credits)

Evaluating TESOL Classroom Practices: This module will give you the opportunity to reflect on methodology in the ESOL context. It will include tutor-led demonstrations, followed by workshops with practical tasks, allowing you to reflect on the application of practical teaching approaches and techniques. Each two-hour session will contain short demonstrations of classroom activities, or videos of teaching sequences, with in-depth analysis of the classroom techniques and teaching methodology employed. (20 credits)

Research Methods in Language Learning and Teaching: This module will give you an understanding of methods used to research language learning and teaching. You will explore the relationships between research questions, methods, data analysis and subsequent claims. (20 credits)

Planning and Communicating Research: Building on the knowledge and understanding of research methods gained in the previous module, you will engage in planning of a small research project, identifying and managing the different stages involved, from conception to analysis to writing up and disseminating your results. This module will provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for conducting a research study and will allow you to reflect on these to enrich your own experience. (20 credits)

Option modules

Choose one of the following modules:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


You will develop, design, implement and manage your own original research project, supervised by a member of staff with the relevant experience for your topic. To complete this masters, you will produce a 12,000-word dissertation based on your research project.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,580£16,780

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

You will be taught through a combination of formal lectures, seminars, practical exercises and workshops.

  • You will spend time working on your own, reading assigned texts and researching supporting materials, as well as working with others in seminars to discuss and present your work.
  • You will be able to take advantage of additional English language lessons and study skills workshops should you need them.
  • There will also be opportunities to attend seminars from visiting scholars on a wide variety of Language Education and TESOL topics.
  • A member of teaching staff will act as your supervisor throughout the degree to help guide your studies and monitor your progress.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Education on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in Vanbrugh College; the rest of your contact hours will be nearby.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Types of assessments used throughout this course include:

  • Three assessment essays of between 4,000 and 5,000 words in length
  • A ‘closed’ examination in Research Methods
  • An examination in English Linguistics
  • An assessed presentation, dissertation outline and ethics audit
  • To cap your studies, you'll complete a 12,000-word dissertation on an original piece of your own research.

Careers and skills

This masters is an ideal foundation for careers in the language education sector, and for postgraduate students looking to go on to further study such as PhD.

Many of our graduates become English language teachers around the world: in private language schools, state schools, universities and other organisations requiring English language instruction. Others find employment opportunities in areas such as course and syllabus design, and materials writing in large and small scale publishing houses.

This course can be used to complement teacher training/development and voluntary or paid roles which focus on the more practical elements of teaching. However this course is not a teacher training programme.

Career opportunities

  • Teaching and academia
  • Publishing
  • Media
  • Information management
  • Human resources

A number of our graduates go on to obtain research degrees in Education and related topics.

Transferable skills

  • Research methods
  • Data analysis
  • Design and completion of original research
  • Critical reasoning
  • Communication skills (including intercultural communication)
  • Academic and professional language skills in English
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Time-management

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade

You should already have, or shortly complete, an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline such as English language, linguistics or education with a substantial English component. We would typically expect you to have achieved at least a upper second-class in your undergraduate degree.

If you will have at least one year's teaching experience by the time this course starts you should consider applying for our MA in Applied Linguistics for English Language Teaching.

If you're an international student, we would typically expect you to have achieved the equivalent of an upper second-class undergraduate degree, such as:

    • USA: grade point average 3.2 or above
    • PR China: average degree score 80 or above

View postgraduate entry requirements for your country

English language

If your native language is not English, you may need a qualification to demonstrate your fluency. We accept the following English language tests:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing and no less than 6.0 in all other components
  • PTE: 61, with a minimum of 61 in Writing and no less than 55 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 169 in all other components
  • CAE (before January 2015): 65, with 'Good' in Writing
  • CPE (before January 2015): C
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 23 in Writing and a minimum of 21 in all other components
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components

If you have recently completed an undergraduate degree at a UK university you may be exempt from the English language requirements.

You may benefit from a pre-sessional English language course. These courses are designed to help you improve your language, communication and study skills and help you prepare for your postgraduate degree.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

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Dr Bill Soden
  • Dr Bill Soden

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Department of Education

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