Manchester Metropolitan University


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

2018 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • Fereshte Goshtasbpour is the subject advisor for the MA Languages programme. A successful graduate, she has subject-specific insight into the requirements of students and offers a range of workshops tailored precisely to the programme.
  • Study in a truly international environment. Recent courses have had students from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Korea, Libya, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Thailand.
  • Benefit from a strong focus on the practical realities of classroom teaching and learning, using a problem-solving approach.
  • Teaching is in small classes, allowing a good balance of individual, team and group work. You will have the opportunity to join in seminars involving discussion, debates, presentations, video-based activities, and practical research projects.
  • Receive guidance throughout your studies, including extensive support in the form of tutorials, feedback on assignments, writing and study skills sessions, dissertation workshops, study group feedback and personal consultations to help you make the most of your studies.
  • Extra support for academic writing available to all students through The Writing Project and also specifically for International students through Coaching for Academic English. 

Key skills developed include:

  • Ability to communicate inter-culturally and across various social groups
  • Development of capacity for community involvement and social responsibility
  • Ability to unveil ideological and power positions embedded and coded in language use
  • Ability to explore notions of correctness and attitudes towards language use
  • Appreciation of the inherent variation within language and the concept of language change over time
  • Understanding how language is used across different social groups and development of skills for successful communication across such sectors
  • Emphasis on in-depth critical analysis of current social data from various social contexts such as media, institutions, private sphere, etc.
  • Development of techniques for collection of data and analysis using appropriate packages where necessary (such as statistical packages, corpus tools, etc.).

Other transferable skills include:

  • Ability to construct, justify and manage an argument
  • Working as a team to achieve common goals
  • Using initiative and working independently
  • Ability to recognise and solve problems
  • Self-management with the ability to carry out personal reflection
  • Time-management and organisation skills

About the course

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. 

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

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 (this unit is available for on campus delivery only)

Core Units
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. 


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 of 15,000-20,000 words.

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. 

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
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 (e.g. data collection and ethics). You will explore the use of language in, and 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).

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.

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 practioners 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.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

Assessment will be through a combination of essays, presentation projects and case studies, or through the preparation of lessons or course materials, and a dissertation.

Typical 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. 

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

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 full- and part-time 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.

Career options after the course

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 field of teaching English, or to become a teacher trainer, school manager, educational adviser, consultant, materials developer, exam writer and more. Graduates from the course are now working in a variety of educational settings including language schools, colleges, primary schools, high schools and government organisations internationally. 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.

Graduate Profile

"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

Course Enquiries

For general enquiries, entry requirements, fees, accommodation and more, please contact the course enquiries team.

Questions about the course content can be directed to,

Confirmation of Regulator

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 and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.