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Degree type


Course length

1 year full time, 2 years part time


Durham City

Program code


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Course details

Durham Centre for Academic Development’s MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics course offers excellent opportunities to develop careers in English language teaching for both inexperienced teachers and those starting out in the field, and for more experienced teachers.

The course is designed for anyone with an interest in the wider aspects of teaching English as a foreign language, combining innovative classroom practices with an understanding of issues such as language structure and research methodology.

Course structure

The course offers a core of modules focusing on teaching methods and key ideas and thinking in English Language Teaching, with greater depth provided through additional core and optional modules looking at both theoretical and practical aspects of the English language and on classroom practice. Optional modules are divided into two pathways, TESOL, and Applied Linguistics, You will have the opportunity to broaden your knowledge base by taking three or four of these optional modules covering a wide range of relevant areas and may choose modules across pathways with course director permission. The MA is completed by a 15,000-word dissertation in which you conduct your own empirical or library research.

Core modules

  • Language for Teaching
  • Classroom Methods
  • Research Methods
  • Fundamentals of English Language Teaching
  • Dissertation

Optional modules for those on the TESOL pathway include:

  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Practice of English Language Teaching
  • ELT Management
  • Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • Language Teaching Methodology
  • Teaching Young Learners
  • Technology-Enhanced Language Learning

Optional modules for those on the Applied Linguistics pathway include:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Intercultural Communication and Education
  • Global Englishes
  • Pragmatics and the Language Classroom
  • ELT Management
  • Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching

Please note - Optional module availability is driven by factors including staff availability and student interest. Not all optional modules will run in a given year, and we would not normally run a module if fewer than 10 students registered for it.


The MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics course is delivered via lectures, seminars, and more practical sessions, giving you a solid grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the field. In many cases, contact hours will be a mixture of these approaches (rather than a session consisting solely of a two-hour lecture). The balance will depend on the particular module, with some more suited to a lecture/seminar approach, others being of a more practical nature.

The focus throughout the courses is on independent learning and student engagement, with you being expected to participate in presentations and other practical classroom activities. The average weekly number of contact hours over the first two terms is 12, with you filling the remaining time with reading, class preparation and assignments.

In addition, you will attend a series of dissertation sessions (typically 2 hours per fortnight) culminating in a poster conference in term 2. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor and can expect 3 or 4 meetings during term 3 and the summer.

You will each have an academic advisor, with whom you will meet on average once a term, and may meet with staff who have office hours.

Entry requirements

A good first degree (normally a UK 2:1 or equivalent)

For direct entry we require IELTS 7.0 overall including minimum 7.0 in writing and no component below 6.5, or an equivalent qualification as listed in the University’s English Language Requirements guide (

English language requirements

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2023/24 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Durham Centre for Academic Development

Department information

Durham Centre for Academic Development

Durham Centre for Academic Development provides high-quality English language teaching and language teacher training and development expertise. It caters for students at all levels: pre-university entry,undergraduate and postgraduate. The Centre’s strong provision and expertise in English language teaching, teacher education and academic skills development plays a central role in supporting teaching and learning and enhancing the experience of both UK/EU and international students at Durham. With a large variety of tailor-made programmes to suit the needs of students at all levels, English language teaching, academic development and teacher education courses have a significant role in the University.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

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