Moray House School of Education and Sport

Programme structure

The Language Education programme can be studied full time or part time. You will study a number of compulsory and option courses and complete a dissertation to be awarded a MSc in Language Education.

This programme will enable you to become a ‘future thinking’ language educator, empowered to respond to transnational migration flows, digital developments, and various models of language education policy. The MSc Language Education programme is distinctive – it is positioned in our global world and seeks to develop Language Educators that are agents of change, ensuring their learners are equipped to become multilingual, pluriliterate citizens. It is a programme that celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity, and has a robust theoretical foundation, while bridging the link between theory and practice.

MSc structure

Masters degrees at the University of Edinburgh comprise 180 credits. The first 120 credits make up a Postgraduate Diploma and assuming an average mark of 50% or more is achieved, then students can continue to the final 60 credits of the programme which is known as the dissertation component. Successful completion of the 180 credits leads to the award of MSc.


For the MSc, you will complete five compulsory courses and two option courses, plus a dissertation.  You may choose option courses that match your personal interest in the field of language education. Your dissertation will further develop your research skills and knowledge of a specific field of interest. 

For the Postgraduate Diploma, you will complete five compulsory courses and two option courses.

Compulsory courses:

Option courses:

You will choose two option courses. Option courses may include:

Please note that courses and course content may change each year.

Course descriptions (2024-25)

The MSc Language Education offers a variety of assessments including essays, presentations, and reflective diaries to name but a few. Students receive regular verbal feedback from their tutor and their peers throughout the course, and written feedback at the end of the course on a piece of assessment. We also value students’ insights on all of our courses, which help us improve our programme year after year.


The curriculum covers many aspects of language education, which provides the direction for me to continue my studies.

Hao Zhang, student on the 2015-2016 cohortNow PhD candidate at The University of Edinburgh


On successful completion of these taught courses, you will produce an independently researched dissertation. You will be able to choose the area you want to specialise in and you will be allocated a supervisor who has expertise in that area.

Examples of previous dissertation topics include:

  • Bridging the gap between theory and practice? English teachers’ attitudes towards global Englishes at a Chinese Middle School
  • Young learners’ attitudes towards Mandarin teaching activities in a Scottish primary school
  • A study investigating the value of visual aids in language learning in relation to the learners’ use of language learning strategies (LLS) in the context of Japanese vocabulary acquisition at beginners’ level
  • An Investigation into the Attitudes of Polish Tutors Towards Their Instructional Materials for Teaching Polish as a Foreign Language
  • Selling Core French in Ontario: Practitioner Perspectives of L2 Motivation

متون ادبی انگلیسی که به قلم نویسندگان مهاجر است، معمولا با نگاهی باز و میان-فرهنگی به تجربه مهاجرت می نگرد. اینمتون می تواند در کلاس های آموزش زبان برای معرفی فرهنگ مقصد بکار برود.

The literary texts written in English by diaspora (migrant) writers usually have an open and cross-cultural perspective towards the experience of migration. These texts can be used in language classes to introduce the host culture.  

Zandian 2015:115

Part-time study

Please contact the programme director to discuss structure and courses should you wish to study part time.

Contact the programme director

Teaching and learning

We aim to create an inclusive teaching and learning environment that sees linguistic and cultural diversity as a resource. Core and option courses usually include:

  • Lectures - when a member of the teaching team presents key theories and practices on a given topic. Lectures are attended by students from the whole programme and remain interactive.
  • Workshops - where students meet in a smaller group with a tutor to check their understanding of key theories and principles as well as to explore creative ways of applying these theories to practice.
  • Pre-workshops - where students meet prior to workshops, without a tutor, to engage in independent learning with peers.
  • Autonomous learning - the weekly schedule allows students to read critically course materials and journal articles as well as prepare tasks relevant to each course.

Support for learning

We are a friendly and supportive team. Here is the kind of support you will get from us:

  • Weekly sessions to introduce you to fundamental academic skills (such as reading critically, searching for literature using databases etc.), University services (the career service, the counselling service, the Institute for Academic Development etc.) and offer you general support on any issues that may arise.
  • A Student Advisor who can give you both academic and pastoral support tailored to your needs.

A vibrant research community

We also invite Language Education students to join our vibrant research community by attending regular events hosted by the research thematic hub for Language(s), Interculturality and Literacies, where staff as well as invited researchers from other institutions in the UK and beyond, come to discuss their research with us.

Language(s), Interculturality and Literacies events

Staff are also active members of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL), which is also open to post-graduate students who wish to become members.

British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)

The University of Edinburgh is an international University in an international City. Students on the MSc Language Education  programme benefit from:

  • The University of Edinburgh's long and internationally recognised experience in Language Education and Applied Linguistics. The courses are taught by Moray House staff in collaboration with English Language Education.
  • Cutting edge teaching, informed by the latest research developments in the field: staff are actively involved in research in the field of Language Education (eg Professor Do Coyle). We publish in high ranking journals and present our work at national and international conferences.
  • Applying theory to practice: the programme offers you the opportunity to observe real language classes and visit schools in Scotland in order to identify and critically reflect on how education works. We also encourage students to volunteer as language assistants in various language educational environments and we are able to share a wide network of contacts to facilitate this.

An MSc in Language Education is also a helpful start to pursue a PhD at Moray House.

Related Links

PhD studies

English Language Education

Linguistics and English Language