Postgraduate study

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time, Full-time Part Session

Funding opportunities

Whether you are a new or experienced teacher, this dynamic programme's challenging combination of theory and practice will provide you with the essential language teaching skills you need to teach English to speakers of other languages.

Designed primarily for EFL, ESL and TESOL teachers, teacher trainers, head teachers and materials/curriculum/policy designers, it allows you to upgrade your knowledge of language, methodology and curriculum design, and shows you how to focus on the needs of the learner.

You will learn to design, implement and evaluate substantial research or development tasks, and adapt your planning and teaching approaches to changing contexts and circumstances.

You will graduate with greater professional knowledge and enhanced confidence in your ability to teach the English language to any student.

For the Masters (MSc) you will complete three compulsory courses and two option courses, plus a dissertation. The Diploma (PgDip) and Certificate (PgCert) comprise similar combinations of compulsory and optional courses.

Compulsory courses:

  • TESOL Methodology
  • Language and the Learner
  • Second Language Teaching Curriculum
  • Research Methods (Part 1) Sources of Knowledge
  • Research Methods (Part 2) Conceptualising Research: Foundations, Assumptions and Praxis

Option courses may include:

  • Evaluation and Design of TESOL Materials
  • Language Testing
  • Online Language Learning
  • Teaching Text Across Borders
  • Theory and Practice of Second Language Learning
  • Language Awareness for Second Language Teachers
  • Investigating Individual Learner Differences
  • Language and Culture Pedagogy

(Not all options run every year.)

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScTeaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
MScTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDip (ICL)Teaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCert (ICL)Teaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCertTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages4 MonthsFull-time Part SessionProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDipTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages9 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

This qualification can lead to a variety of roles in the TESOL field such as:

  • training other TESOL teachers
  • management of TESOL education
  • teaching English at primary, secondary or tertiary level
  • teaching English in specialised fields (e.g. business English)

The MSc is a good introduction to an advanced research degree. You will also develop a range of highly transferable communication and professional skills which can be applied to roles in any field.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline. Previous teaching experience is not required.

Alternatively, you may be considered on the basis of employment or relevant experience; please contact us to check.

If you are studying at a Chinese 211 institution, you must have a minimum overall average of 80% for courses and at least 80% on the dissertation. For non-211 institutions, you must have an average of 85% for courses and 80% on the dissertation.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

If you have received a Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (DELTA) from a Cambridge English Teaching Qualification centre within the last 5 years, you may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and exemption from the following two core modules in semester 1:

  • TESOL Methodology
  • Second Language Teaching Curriculum

The fees for the MSc TESOL will be reduced accordingly.

Applications for RPL must include a copy of your diploma and should be sent to:

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Postgraduate Office - Education, 55-60 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JX

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 08/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScTeaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MScTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Teaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Teaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCertTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages4 MonthsFull-time Part SessionTuition fees
PgDipTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Maria Dasli
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6611
  • Contact: tesol@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Maria Dasli
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6611
  • Contact: tesol@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ