MA Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language (TEFL/TESL) (Department of English)

This programme is intended for those interested in a career in English language teaching and for teachers of English who wish to upgrade their professional standing. On the programme, we explore different approaches to the teaching and learning of English and study the close relationship between language teaching theory and practice.

We also offer a distance learning programme over 2.5 years – for more information see Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language MA (Distance Learning).

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time, 15 months part-time

Start date: September

Details

You will study four core modules [see full descriptions below]:

  • Introduction to Language
  • Syllabus and Materials Design
  • Second Language Learning and Teaching
  • Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

You will also choose two optional modules from a wide range and complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation.

You will do a total of six assessed pieces of coursework over the year. For assessment purposes, one of the modules you take during the spring term will be ‘linked’ with the Research Methods module – that is, you will produce a piece of work in the field covered by that module, but with a particular focus on research methods.

This programme can be studied full-time over one year (finishing in September 2016), or part-time over 15 months (finishing in December 2016). The full-time mode requires attendance at classes during the autumn and spring semesters, with six months to complete your dissertation. The part-time mode also requires full-time attendance at classes during the autumn and spring semesters (amounting to approximately 14 hours a week) and you will then have nine months to complete your dissertation on a flexible part-time basis.

Please note that the University of Birmingham offers an alternative qualification in English Language Teaching through its School of Education – for more information, see Teaching English as a Foreign Language MA.

Modules

Your four core modules are as follows:

Introduction to Language

This module introduces you to the analysis of English lexico-grammar, with some emphasis on the relevance of linguistic description to language teachers – that is, on applying methods of analysis to the teaching of grammar and vocabulary. You will be encouraged to apply knowledge gained to aspects of your own professional practice.

Syllabus and Materials Design

This module considers the problems involved in reconciling syllabus and materials design with what is known about the process of language learning and the attempts of established approaches to language syllabus design to solve such problems. The module examines a variety of approaches, including some relatively radical solutions, e.g. the establishment of a pedagogic corpus, the use of a task-based methodology, and the development of analytical exercises.

Second Language Learning and Teaching

In this module, the process of language acquisition is examined from a range of perspectives: [a] the linguistic knowledge that learners bring to the task; [b] how learners process input; [c] the kinds of input that help to maximise acquisition. A range of approaches to and methods of language teaching are introduced and critically evaluated in terms of their underlying principles and their efficacy, with some emphasis on the ‘Communicative Approach’. Specific techniques which illustrate the practical application of current theories and research findings in L2 acquisition and pedagogy are examined.

Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

This module includes methods and approaches to research in Applied Linguistics. 

You will also choose your two optional modules from a range which may include the following:

In the autumn term -

In the spring term -

Please note that the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:

  • Home/EU: £6,840 full-time
  • Overseas: £14,140 full-time

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

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

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

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

Learning and teaching

As an English language student, you will be able to benefit from having free access to the 450 million word Bank of English corpus.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support through the English for International Students Unit (EISU).

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Birmingham?s English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, particularly in relation to verbal and written communication. They also develop crucial skills in organisation, time management, analysis and interpretation of information.

Over the past five years, over 92% of English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Some of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has prepared them, such as translation, interpreting or teaching; others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including journalism, marketing, publishing and media.