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Durham University


Q3K207 TESOL MA Postgraduate Taught 2021


Please note: 2021-22 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Degree MA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time)
Start Date October
Location Durham City
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Course Summary


The English Language Centre's MA TESOL course offers excellent opportunities to develop careers in English language teaching for inexperienced teachers or for those starting out in the field. 

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 syllabus design and assessment, with greater depth provided through further required modules focusing on both theoretical and practical aspects of the English language and on classroom practice. You will then have the opportunity to broaden your knowledge base by taking three or four further optional modules covering a wide range of relevant areas. The MA is completed by a 15,000-word dissertation.

Core modules:

  • Dissertation (includes Research Methods programme)
  • Language for Teaching
  • Language Teaching Methods and Practice
  • Fundamentals in ELT.

Examples of optional modules:

Previous optional modules have included: 

  • World Englishes
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • ELT Materials Development and Evaluation
  • Discourse Texts and TESOL
  • Language Teaching Methodology
  • Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives for Teachers
  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Teaching Young Learners
  • Pragmatics and the Language Classroom. 

You can also choose to study an optional module offered to students across the University as one of your four optional modules.

  • Foreign Language. 

MA Streams:

You can choose to further focus your Masters qualification through our programme streams. To qualify, you must choose one of the below as an optional module and complete your dissertation in the same topic area. 

  • English for Specific Purposes (Q3KA07)
  • Teaching Young Learners (Q3KB07).

Course Learning and Teaching

ELC MA courses are delivered via lectures, seminars, practical sessions and micro-teaching 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 micro-teaching. 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, starting in the first term, you will attend a series of dissertation sessions (typically 2 hours per fortnight) culminating in a poster conference in term 3. 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 tutor, with whom they will meet on average once a term, and all staff have office hours.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

A good first degree (UK 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent).

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £20,750.00 per year
Home Student £9,550.00 per year
Island Student £9,550.00 per year
International non-EU Student £20,750.00 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time 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 funding

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


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.


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