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.
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.
Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme
For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.
We usually require an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in TEFL/TESL or TESOL, English Language or another relevant subject (e.g. Linguistics, Translation Studies). Appropriate work experience will also be taken into consideration.
Learn more about entry 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
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