MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Applied Linguistics

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This rich and exciting course blends research into recent developments in the industry with hands on opportunities to develop your practical skills and your employability.

Interactive sessions are delivered by industry experts and key researchers, they include lectures and student-centred learning methodology such as discussions, debates and role-play to stimulate learning and demonstrate modern TESOL practise.

Right now, there’s a demand for skilled communicators ready to work in culturally diverse environments. It’s a demand our graduates are equipped to meet. Study with us and you can follow in the footsteps of former students pursuing careers around the world in schools, language schools and university language centres as managers, teacher trainers and consultants – to name but a few.

Choose to study the course on campus full-time in one year or part-time over two. You could also take this qualification online via distance learning.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is offering scholarships worth £2,000 for graduates with a first class honours or upper second class degree. Excellence scholarships are available to full-time home and EU students for 20/21 entry. Find out more on our postgraduate funding pages.

Features and Benefits

  • Study in a truly international environment – In recent years cohorts have included students from all over the world including, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Korea, Libya, Norway, Pakistan and Thailand to name a few.
  • Increase your Employability – With a strong focus on the practical realties of classroom teaching and learning, many of the assessment tasks on the MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics are designed to enhance your employability. For examples, you may be asked to evaluate materials, design tests or design a course for a group of learners of your choice.
  • Develop your Teaching Skills - If you hold a Trinity Cert/CELTA certificate, as an alternative to the dissertation, you can choose to pursue the Professional Portfolio route where you will be observed teaching by Diploma and MA qualified practitioners and receive constructive feedback on your teaching. You will also be asked to produce a mini-research project of your choice.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning - If you hold a diploma in English Language Teaching, you can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, where you can opt out of up to 50% of course content, significantly reduce the cost of your MA and study time.
  • Gain Teaching Experience at a UK University - As the university has a Language Centre where international students are learning English you have the option to practice your skills in real life contexts. You would help these students with their pronunciation, fluency development and natural expression.
  • Continuing Professional Development - We have close links to NATESOL (Northern Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), a professional development charity organisation. As a Manchester Met student, you will qualify for free entry to all events and a discount to conferences held here where you can learn more about industry developments and network with practicing professionals.
  • Support for students - Receive guidance throughout your studies, including feedback on assignments, writing and study skills sessions, dissertation workshops, study group feedback and personal consultations with course tutors and a postgraduate support tutor.
  • Additional support for International students - The Coaching for Academic English programme is free and includes English for Academic Purposes and Academic Skills classes, 1-2-1 writing consultations and online independent study materials.

Online distance learning:

  • You can participate in the programme through the university online learning platform, this will follow the same course outline as those attending in person (with the exception of Uniwide language units). Teaching and learning is tailored for distance-learning students and includes online discussion groups and tutorials.
"I'm really glad I decided to do the MA TESOL course at Manchester Metropolitan University and I really appreciate everything you have done to help me in the last 12 months. I definitely wouldn't be in the position I am now if I hadn't done the MA TESOL course." John Mandy - EAP Tutor at the University of Groningen / MA TESOL graduate

"As part of teaching on this MA I have been able to meet teachers from around the world, hear their stories and help them with their professional development. Having worked in a couple of different countries myself, teaching English and training teachers, I know what exciting times lie ahead for our MA students!"

Anthony Picot, Senior Lecturer in TESOL

Career Prospects

Our practical MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics provides a global opportunity for career development for new and experienced teachers alike. On completion of this course, you will be well-placed to become professionally involved in the fields including:

Graduates from the course are now working in a variety of educational settings including:

Others have undertaken further studies and training, which have included either a higher research degree or other teaching diplomas. This programme will also prepare students for further study at PhD level.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

You will normally have at least an upper second-class undergraduate UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in TESOL, Linguistics, English Language, English, Education or a related/compatible subject or combination of subjects. Candidates with a lower second-class degree or degrees from unrelated disciplines are however encouraged to apply and will be considered on their merits, as will people with non-traditional qualifications. Some teaching experience is desirable, but not essential, provided applicants can show evidence of sustained interest in TESOL. 

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

This programme is aimed at those interested in Applied Linguistics and the exciting and challenging profession of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). It is suitable for those at an early stage in their careers, those who are looking to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the area, and those interested in going on to PhD studies. Lectures and seminars are delivered by motivated, dedicated expert lecturers with many years of experience in both English Foreign Language teaching and postgraduate supervision. Assessment patterns are varied, practical and enjoyable. The teaching is engaging and learner-centred, and we make full use of the latest teaching and learning technology and techniques. 

Core units -

• Language Teaching
• Second Language Acquisition and Learning
• Sound, Structure, Meaning: Describing Language
• Assessing Second Language Learners
• Course Design and Academic Management
• Research Methods
• Dissertation

Indicative option units -

• Language in a Globalised World
• Learning and Teaching Vocabulary
• Multimodality, Technology and Language Teaching
• Forensic Linguistics
• Social Psychology of Language
• Educational Linguistics
• Independent Study
• Uniwide Language 

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Language Teaching

This unit focuses on English language teaching from both theoretical and practical perspectives, dealing with the principles underlying approaches to and procedures for teaching the language systems and language skills. 


This unit is an opportunity for you to use your developing research skills to produce an extended piece of writing at postgraduate level. You will select a topic of interest to you, devise a research question or a set of related questions, do extensive reading in primary and secondary sources, design and carry out an appropriate investigation into the research - and write up the results in the form of a dissertation.

Assessing Second Language Learners

For this unit you will explores various ways in which second language learners can be assessed as both an integral part of class teaching and in more formal tests.

Course Design and Academic Management

The unit focuses on the main principles in the design and academic management of a wide range of English language courses. 

Research Methods (Languages)

You will critically review research paradigms methodologies and design aspects of published research, and practise conducting research and reporting findings.

Second Language Acquisition and Learning

This unit covers research-based theories and principles of second language learning and acquisition, including individual differences and contextual factors.

Sound, Structure, Meaning: Describing Language

This unit will provide you with the terminology and techniques needed to describe and analyse language in relation to its sounds, structure and meaning.

Likely Optional Units

Independent Study (Languages)

This unit allows you to pursue an area of interest which is not covered by the other units usually on offer, yet which falls within the area of expertise of one of the teaching team. The specific focus of the unit, the content of the unit, and the precise nature of the assignment will be negotiated between the student, the tutor and the programme leaders. This will be an appropriate topic area within TESOL or Linguistics, perhaps relating to a language other than English, or a specialism not covered by one of the other units.

Educational Linguistics

This unit examines the roles of language and linguistics in a range of educational settings and practices.

Forensic Linguistics

Forensic linguistics explores the interface between language and the law, and draws on all levels of language. Through consideration and analysis of forensic data, you will be introduced to key issues specific to forensic linguistic analyses (eg data collection and ethics). You will explore the use of language in linguistic issues arising from key stages of the criminal justice system (including, for instance, during emergency calls to the police, police interviews, and during various stages of courtroom trials).

Language in a Globalised World

The course engages with and responds to contemporary issues pertinent to language and globalisation, drawing on current debates on the status of English in the world.

Learning and Teaching Vocabulary

The unit examines theories and principles underlying vocabulary teaching, and a range of techniques and approaches to teaching, learning and assessing vocabulary.

Multimodality, Technology and Language Teaching

On this unit you will engage with the importance of using technology, media and digital media in language learning and teaching. You will be trained to use digital resources for your classes. You will also develop your digital literacy and online presence so as to become independent, networked practitioners and researchers.

Social Psychology of Language

This unit examines social-psychological factors and language-based evaluations across social contexts. It covers theories and methodologies for investigating language features, attitudes, and perceptions.

Uniwide (campus-based only)

You can add a foreign language to your portfolio of skills. Enhance your employability by learning Classical Latin, English (as a foreign language), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Modern Standard Arabic, Spanish or Urdu alongside your main degree. Whatever your language knowledge, from Beginners to Advanced, these classes will take you to the next level of proficiency. Visit UNIWIDE for more information.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Languages, Linguistics and TESOL

Our Languages, Linguistics and TESOL section has a diverse community of international staff and students, and boasts strong local and global links to further enhance the quality of learning and opportunities available to its students.

The department’s Language Centre provides a wide range of development courses and is accredited by the British Council. It provides teaching in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Linguistics and TESOL with these subjects also available with Business and International Relations.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Professional Costs

No costs. However, DBS certification is very occasionally required for projects requiring research students to work with children the cost is £44 (in 2016).

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.