Postgraduate study

Language Education MSc, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Language Education

I really enjoyed this programme and loved being surrounded each day by my amazing classmates from all around the world. Not only were courses interesting, but I felt that through invaluable collaboration with classmates, I learned a lot about language education in many different countries. This programme also improved my time management skills and increased my confidence and capacity for hard work.

Maggie Mroczkowski MSc Language Teaching 2017

The Language Education programme is for teachers of ALL languages. Come with an expertise in one or more language(s) and receive training in how to best teach these languages based on the latest research in the field of language education.

The programme is designed to develop the professional knowledge and skills of those with an interest in language and/or the teaching of languages. We welcome current and future teachers of all languages including English as a foreign or additional language, European languages, Mandarin and other world languages, Sign Languages, as well as any heritage, community or regional languages.

The programme will develop your knowledge and critical awareness of how we teach languages, how we learn languages and how we use languages, in order to enable you to best teach the languages you know. 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 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.

You will learn through a combination of fundamental theory and practice, including classroom observation. You will benefit from resources and expertise offered by English Language Education at the Centre for Open Learning and the Moray House School of Education and Sport: leading centres for the studies of language and teaching.

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 an MSc in Language Education.

For the Masters (MSc) you will complete five compulsory courses and two optional courses, plus a dissertation. The Diploma (PgDip) comprises a similar combination of compulsory and optional courses.

Compulsory courses:

  • Language and the Learner
  • Languages, Society and Education
  • Professional Practice
  • Sources of Knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature
  • Conceptualising Research: Foundations, Assumptions and Praxis

Option courses are subject to change each year but have previously included:

  • Bilingual Education
  • Critical Literacies and Critical Pedagogies in L1 and L2 contexts
  • Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching
  • Evaluation and Design of TESOL Materials
  • Global Englishes for Language Teaching
  • Investigating Individual Learner Differences
  • Language and Intercultural Communication Pedagogy
  • Language Awareness for Second Language Teachers
  • Language Testing
  • Online Language Learning
  • Second Language Teacher Education
  • Teaching Languages to Young Learners
  • Teaching texts across borders - from picture books to teenage fiction and film
  • Text, Discourse and Language Teaching
  • Theory and practice of second language learning

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
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
PgDip9 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

Graduates of the MSc Language Education can:

  • Show understanding of seminal as well as recent concepts and theories in the field of language education.
  • Critically review and engage with key principles underlying the field of language education.
  • Plan and execute a significant piece of research of your choice relevant to the field of language education.
  • Creatively apply theory to practice in a context-sensitive manner.

This programme will develop your love of language and its teaching, giving you the knowledge and professional skills you need to enter the challenging field of language education or to extend your current career. Whether you are a newly qualified or experienced teacher, or you are involved in a related area of language teaching, such as curriculum development, you will benefit from the blend of educational and linguistic foundations on offer.

This qualification will allow you to pursue opportunities in foreign or second language teaching, either as a newly qualified teacher looking to enter the profession, an experienced practitioner seeking to diversify or reinforce your current career, or a non-qualified teacher with an interest in foreign language tuition.

You will also gain a host of valuable transferable skills that you can carry into any career situation.

The MSc Language Education is led by a team of language professionals and researchers with expertise in a wide variety of areas. We are a multilingual and multicultural team with professional experience gained all over the globe in the field of language education.

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

We may also consider your application if you have relevant employment or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

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.

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

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements
  • 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 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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgDip9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees
PgDip21 MonthsPart-timeTuition fees

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 Farah Akbar
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6445
  • Contact: langteach@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 29 July 2021

Due to high demand, the School operates a number of selection deadlines.

We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2021-2022 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 21 October 2020 10 December 2020
2 16 December 2020 4 March 2021
3 17 February 2021 15 April 2021
4 28 April 2021 10 June 2021
5 16 June 2021 29 July 2021

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Farah Akbar
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6445
  • Contact: langteach@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ