Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) MA/ Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate (School of Education)

This Teaching English as a Foreign Language programme (TEFL, also known as TESOL in some countries) based in the School of Education, offers a unique opportunity to study for a qualification which links teaching English to wider issues of school-based education. 

The modules will provide you with a strong grounding in theoretical literature as well as appropriate classroom methodology, course design and an introduction to the key research tools. The programme is designed to be practical and you will have opportunities to create bespoke teaching and learning materials as well as visit British schools to observe classroom teaching.

The TEFL programme is aimed at individuals with knowledge and understanding of current debates relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a Foreign Language. The aim is to support you in becoming a reflective TEFL practitioner, a competent educational researcher and an active member of the international academic and professional TEFL community.

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Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: MA - 1 year full-time, 3 years part-time; PGDip - 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PGCert - 1 year full-time/part-time

Start date: September

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk

 El gazette: UK University Centre of Research Excellence

Details

This programme is aimed at individuals with knowledge and understanding of current debates relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a Foreign Language. Some teaching experience is an advantage but not essential. The aim is to support you in becoming a reflective TEFL practitioner, a competent educational researcher and an active member of the international academic and professional TEFL community. 

Recent graduate Julia, talks about the TEFL programme.

Programme content

There are three core modules for the Teaching English as a Foreign Language programme:

  • Communicative Language Teaching, Syllabus Design and Assessment
  • Language, Discourse and Society
  • Second Language Learning

These modules give you a strong grounding in appropriate classroom methodology, and course design with the opportunity to create your own teaching and learning materials. Other modules provide opportunities to visit British primary, secondary and language schools, and prepare you for your dissertation. The MA Education TEFL Dissertation Prize is awarded annually to the best TEFL dissertations in the School of Education whose work demonstrates significance, originality and methodological rigour.

Ai from Japan (speaking in Japanese)

We offer a wide range of options to choose from, including Curriculum Design in Global Contexts, Leadership for School Improvement, Personal and Professional Skills for Education Management, Online Learning, ICT in Education, Education as an International Issue, and Special Educational Needs of Children with Autism. You will have the chance to participate in events organised by our research centre MOSAIC, such as conferences and popular seminar series with renowned international TEFL researchers.

Please note that the acronym TEFL is mainly used in the UK, whilst TESOL is often used as an acronym in Australia or the USA. TESL is another term you may hear.

For an alternative qualification in a different College in the University of Birmingham, please view the Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language MA within the Centre for English Language Studies. 

Why study this course

Zohra from Pakistan talks about why she decided to join the TEFL programme

Xiao Xiao from China (speaking in Mandarin)

Many of the tutors teaching on the core modules of the programme have won awards for their work - a new book from Dr Maggie Kubanyiouva has recently been shortlisted for the prestigious HRH the Duke of Edinburgh English Language book awardand Professor Adrian Blackledge is the current Poet Laureate of Birmingham. All of the tutors on the programme are involved in research projects concerning classroom interaction, second language learning and teaching, teacher collaboration, teacher development, bilingualism and multilingualism, literacy, academic discourse, gender and identity, digital literacies and learning through IT amongst many others and this research is fed back into the TEFL programme.

The MA Education TEFL programme was also ranked 4th in the country in the Education category in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results, as reported by El gazette (April 2015)

The School of Education also has a vibrant community of research students (MPhil/EdD/PhD), who are researching a range of topics, including bilingual education, second language motivation, second language learning in virtual environments, intercultural communication, complementary schools, and many others.
 
All of this will make studying TEFL at the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, England, UK an exciting and rewarding experience.

Modules

Foreign Languages in Education: Communicative Language Teaching, Syllabus Design and Assessment

Language Discourse and Society

Second Language Learning

There are 2 core Education Modules.

Education Observation, Evaluation and Supervision

Practitioner Inquiry in Education

There are also several optional modules.

Optional Modules

Students may choose one optional module from the options offered across the School, for example:

Dissertation

In the School of Education, the 'Practioner Inquiry in Education' module prepares the ground for this choice. This module is completed in the first semester and the MA programme is designed to get you to make an early choice and help with planning. This means you have more time to read around topic and organise data collection. Many overseas students return to their home country to collect data. Others stay in UK and find an suitable research focus here. The TEFL team will help you make this choice. Each student has an individual supervisor who is there to offer advice and support along the way.

The actual dissertation is 15,000 words long. It usually contains a description of the research or teaching context, a section on research methodology, a literature review, analysis and discussion, as well as evaluation. Although it sounds like a large number of words, the main problem students usually have is cutting their work down to the word limit! Students have nearly six months (between April and September) to complete the research and writing.

To see examples of TEFL dissertation projects, view the Learning and Teaching Tab. 

Fees and funding

Fees Home/EU 2015-2016

  • Code 6146 PGCert full time £2,070
  • Code 6150 PGDip full time £4,140
  • Code 4399 MA full time £6,210
  • Code 6374 MA part time £2,070

Fees for part-time programmes are based on students studying 60 credits per year.

The fees shown above are the annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2015. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Fees overseas 2015-2016

  • Code 6146 PGCert full time £4,714
  • Code 6150 PGDip full time £9,427
  • Code 4399 MA full time £14,140
  • Code 6374 MA part time £4,714

Fees are based on students studying 60 credits per year on part-time programmes. 

The fees shown above are the annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2015. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Please view our Fees for International Students  page for further details 

Learn more about fees and funding  

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the international scholarships page

For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries

Entry requirements

Please refer directly to the School of Education entry requirements web page.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

VISA Requirements

Obtaining a visa can be a lengthly process. Please allow sufficient time to obtain your visa. Find out more about the visa requirements and process

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk

 El gazette: UK University Centre of Research Excellence

Learning and teaching

The course participants will experience a range of teaching and learning styles, including lectures and group discussions, practical demonstrations and microteaching, group presentations, school observations, journals and group projects.

The MA Education TEFL Dissertation Prize

The MA Education TEFL Dissertation Prize is annually awarded to best TEFL dissertations in the School of Education whose work demonstrates significance, originality and methodological rigour.

Prize winners 2013-2014

Prize winners 2012-2013

Prize winners 2011-2012

Prize winners 2010-2011

Assessment methods

Modules are typically assessed with a 4,000 word written assignments in which students are asked to explore a topic of their choice, review relevant literature and collect and analyse some data in a small-scale research project. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of an aspect of the teaching and learning process and suggest practical implications. For some modules, assessment will take the form of a design and evaluation of curriculum or teaching materials. There will be an early opportunity to submit a short piece of written work and receive constructive feedback from the tutor.

The dissertation is 15,000 words in length, and encourages students to explore an aspect of TEFL which is personally relevant to them and their teaching contexts. It usually includes a description of the context, a literature review, a methodology chapter and the discussion of findings. Students will have an individual supervisor to offer advice and support. The MA Education TEFL Dissertation prize is annually awarded to the best TEFL dissertations in the School of Education whose work demonstrates significance, originality and methodological rigour

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk

 El gazette: UK University Centre of Research Excellence

Employability

Our graduates typically find work as EFL teachers in schools and universities in countries around the world, return to their English teaching jobs in their home countries, are promoted to more senior roles within their teaching contexts, or pursue a research qualification (usually a PhD degree). Graduates from the MA Education TEFL are consistently successful in winning prestigious PhD scholarships and awards and present their MA TEFL work at international conferences and in publications.

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk

 El gazette: UK University Centre of Research Excellence