TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) MA

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Why Surrey?

We have combined our practical, intercultural, applied approach to language teaching with our expertise in linguistics to create a TESOL Masters programme that will help you to realise your full potential as a top-quality teacher of English as a second or foreign language.

Programme overview

Studying for your Masters in TESOL is the key to unlocking international career opportunities in a sector that is enjoying impressive sustained growth.

We will help you to master the main theories and principles of language learning and teaching so that you can apply them with confidence and imagination in your own teaching practice.

A range of optional modules will allow you to specialise, while the dissertation will enable you to undertake in-depth research into a topic of particular interest to you.

This course is a great complement to a teaching qualification, opening up opportunities to become an active member of the international academic and professional English Language Teaching community.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

This programme is designed for students who have little or no previous language teaching experience or training but who have a strong interest in English language teaching and who are planning a career in the sector.

It's main aim is therefore to provide a sound academic basis in English language teaching through the exploration of major issues in language teaching and learning, including how practice is informed by theory, thereby determining the methods/approaches as well as the materials teachers use and their impact in ESOL classrooms.

The programme thus combines the study of the major principles of, and scholarly approaches to, TESOL with opportunities for application and practice. Specifically, the programme aims to:

  • Advance students’ knowledge and understanding of the grammatical, lexical and phonological structures and stylistic registers of English and how they work together in producing effective communication
  • Introduce students to theoretical issues in TESOL through an exploration of scholarly writing in the field and to the application of these theories within the ESOL classroom
  • Promote critical engagement with concepts, theories and practices associated with English language teaching through reflection and evaluation
  • Provide a theoretical and methodological framework within which students can take responsibility for their own learning and formulate and address their own research questions
  • Provide opportunities for students to create and carry out a project of significant complexity in the field of TESOL
  • Foster reflective practice

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Describe and explain the underlying grammatical, lexical and phonological structures of the English language
  • Demonstrate understanding of the way communication is constructed, maintained or repaired through English
  • Evaluate theoretical issues relevant to second language acquisition and learning
  • Critically assess the principles underpinning curriculum design, language teaching methodology and materials selection
  • Demonstrate understanding of the main issues relevant to testing and assessment of language learning
  • Apply the principles which underpin the design and implementation of research projects in English language teaching

Intellectual/cognitive skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate high level learning and problem-solving skills
  • Reflect upon the knowledge gained and incorporate this into independent learning strategies and practical classroom practice
  • Formulate and address research questions relating to the field of study
  • Create and carry out a project of significant complexity in the field of TESOL
  • Critically appreciate and evaluate theories of language acquisition and learning, curriculum design, teaching methodologies and apply this

Professional practical skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Apply theoretically informed understandings to various contexts in TESOL
  • Critically assess the appropriate approaches for applying teaching and learning strategies within various TESOL context
  • Apply appropriate English language teaching methodologies in various TESOL contexts
  • Evaluate and apply appropriate methods of assessment and testing in language teaching
  • Display competence in a range of skills at postgraduate level, including advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments, presentation, conducting independent research

Key/transferable skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Work both independently and with others in order to achieve common goals
  • Manage learning self-critically
  • Critically evaluate research using appropriate theoretical and/or methodological frameworks
  • Organise and manage a research project of significant complexity

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2017 £6,000 £14,500
Part-time Sep 2017 £3,000 £7,300

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Mrs Cathy Howard

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

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Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
MA Full-time 12 months Sep 2017
MA Part-time 24 months Sep 2017

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a UK 2.1 honours degree, or equivalent, in English Language or Modern Foreign Languages or Linguistics or relevant subject. Non-native speakers of English will also have to meet the English language requirements specified for this programme.

No previous teaching experience is required.

Candidates may be invited for interview, either in person or by Skype.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, 6.5 in each component (or equivalent)

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Loans, scholarships and financial support

There are many streams of funding for postgraduate students including awards, scholarships and loans. Learn more.


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Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

Find out more


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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