TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) - MA

This Master's degree covers the fundamentals of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at postgraduate level. The MA TESOL offers high quality and employability-focussed modules, which combine theory and practice in the discipline of TESOL.

The curriculum offered is distinctive, international, and challenging. You will examine key issues in areas, such as English Language Teaching Methodology, Second Language Acquisition (SLA), Teaching English to Young Learners, or Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP), including English for Academic Purposes (EAP).

The aim of the postgraduate programme is for you to develop your criticality, imagination, voice and creativity, as well as your professional skills. Upon completion, you will become a more flexible, proactive, culturally sensitive, and digitally literate person who can apply for teaching posts in a variety of contexts that teach English to speakers of other languages. These include private language schools, training departments in professional contexts and university based English language departments.

​Course Content​​

The Masters is offered on a one-year, full-time basis, though you can undertake this degree part-time should you wish. The MA TESOL is a level 7 Master's level course. Study comprises 180 credits at this level. All taught modules bear 20 credits and the Dissertation bears 60 credits.

The MA TESOL includes the following core modules:

Description of English for Language Teachers (20 credits)
This module explores the characteristics of the English language and will equip students with key linguistic concepts, terms and tools necessary for describing language for pedagogical purposes. More specifically, the module introduces students to the areas of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse, as well as sociolinguistics, and helps students describe and analyse learner errors.

Second Language Acquisition (SLA) (20 credits)
This module introduces key topics, theories, concepts, and research in the study of second language acquisition, and extends this knowledge to critical evaluation of the implications for language teaching. The module focuses on key areas, such as: the development of a second, but also of the first, language; the impact of age in SLA; the role of input, output and interaction on the success of language learning etc. Also, it explores different theories (psychological, linguistic, sociolinguistic etc) regarding the acquisition of a second language.

Introduction to TESOL Methodology (20 credits)
This module is aimed at students with little or no previous teaching experience and provides an introduction to Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL). The module discusses various teaching methods and materials which are typically used in English language teaching contexts, and shows students how to use teaching textbooks and materials effectively. Also, students will learn how to plan and teach lessons. The module provides opportunities for observing experienced English teachers at work.

Teaching English to Young Learners (20 credits)
This module provides an introduction to teaching English to young learners. It presents current popular methods used in teaching young learners, and introduces the main principles of materials design for this age of learners. Students will gain an understanding of children's reading, writing, and spelling development in English as an L2. Also, students will have hands-on practice in developing teaching materials for young learners.

Teaching English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESP) (20 credits)
This module introduces relevant theories of teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, and examines key research in the area. It introduces students to practical concepts in English for Specific Purposes, including designing appropriate curricula to meet the needs of learners and their assessment. Students will explore the tension between content and meaning in English for Specific Purposes and the module will provide students with the skills and knowledge to conduct meaningful needs analysis in topics as diverse as engineering, medicine, business and English for Academic Purposes.

MA Dissertation (60 credits)
Students are required to conduct an original piece of research under the guidance of a supervisor. Students will be required to apply knowledge in original and innovative ways drawing upon research at the forefront of their academic field and must demonstrate critical evaluation of current research literature in the discipline. This level and quantity of work reflects research and dissertation requirements at Master's level.

Optional Module

Students will need take one optional module from a choice of modules offered in the other postgraduate programmes in Education, such as:

  • Education, Diversity and Equality (20 credits)
  • Specific Learning Difficulties (20 credits)
  • Leadership in Education Settings (20 credits)
  • Multi Agency Working (20 credits)

Learning & Teaching​

The MA TESOL programme will be delivered via a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, peer teaching sessions, both face-to-face and online; there will also be individual and group work.

Apart from the taught sessions which will make up the majority of the face-to-face delivery on the MA TESOL programme, students will be required to engage fully in the University's Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle, which serves as a tool for independent learning. In addition to the timetabled delivery, there will be elements of self-study and independent learning which will reinforce the content delivered in face-to-face contact sessions.

Cardiff Metropolitan University has an excellent Student Services department which provides pastoral support to all students as well as a dedicated International Welfare Team based in our International Office. Also, all students are allocated their own Personal Tutor for academic support.


Assessment will be in a variety of forms, from more traditional methods such as coursework and written assignment to oral presentations.

Our library offers academic support for assessments and assignment writing. Also, the International Office offer free of charge academic support for International Students.

Employability & Careers​

Graduates from the MA TESOL programme will be able to find employment in various contexts:

  • Teaching posts
    • in English language in schools (General English, or English as a Second Language (SLA), or English as a Foreign Language (EFL)),
    • in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in university-based English language teaching departments (Pre-sessional courses, In-sessional courses etc),
    • in English for Specific Purposes in professional settings (Business English, Medical English, English for Law etc).
  • Materials designers for publishers in the area of English Language teaching.

Moreover, opportunities for further study for graduates from the programme are to progress on to PhD level study.

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

Applicants should have a good honours degree or equivalent.

Selection Procedure:
Students are selected on the basis of an application form and a well-written personal statement. An interview may also be requested.

International Applicants:
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS overall score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on the Writing paper. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the University via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Information

Partner Employee Discount

There is a fee discount of 25% available to part-time students who are employed in one of Cardiff Metropolitan University’s partnership schools for Initial Teacher Education and Training or partnership employer community. Eligibility criteria and terms apply. For further information please contact Admissions.​​

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email directapplications@cardiffmet.ac.uk.

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme director, Dr Nikolaos Konstantakis:

Email: NKonstantakis@cardiffmet.ac.uk
Tel: 029 2020 ​5677

We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Course Length:
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course Disclaimer
We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary.

Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

From Vietnam to Cardiff Met: My experience on the MA TESOL course

“As a result of what I am learning at Cardiff Met, I now have more confidence in my teaching style, and I am learning to adapt to different styles of teaching practice. Throughout my MA TESOL, I have developed a better understanding of the importance of research, and how it can help me improve my teaching practice. I firmly believe that what I am learning today will qualify me for any teaching role in the world.”
Son Tung Bui, MA TESOL
Read more.