Postgraduate study

Language and Intercultural Communication MSc, PgCert, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgCert, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

The MSc in Language and Intercultural Communication is interdisciplinary degree programme that aims to provide a pedagogically grounded and practical understanding of issues surrounding the study of language and intercultural communication.

It is based on the premise that, to help learners develop into multi-lingually and multi-culturally aware world citizens, language teachers must work for maximum integration between language and culture teaching.

While this is now a desired goal of foreign language courses in the European context, and also in Asia, Australia and the USA, a growing body of literature suggests that the study of language and intercultural communication is not approached in a critical and engaged manner in the classroom. This lack of critical engagement may have a detrimental effect on deep culture learning.

Building on existing strengths and developments in intercultural language education, this programme will introduce specialised theories, concepts and principles that see intercultural communication as a form of social practice embedded in potentially shifting global processes, and contributes to the creation of autonomous and reflectively thinking practitioners, who are able to deploy their teaching skills in rapidly changing contexts of intercultural language teaching provision.

Why Edinburgh

The programme is designed with a strong research focus across its courses and is taught by internationally recognised experts in the field.

Who this programme is for

It is designed for both pre-service and in-service language teachers interested in developing and enhancing the skills necessary for a professional career in language and intercultural communication.

The programme is also suitable for individuals working in intercultural language education policy, as well as graduates interested in undertaking further postgraduate research at PhD level.

The programme (a total of 180 credits) is divided into two semesters with a dissertation following at the end of the year.

It is made up of taught core and option SCQF Level 11 courses totalling 120 credits. The dissertation carries 60 credits.

Course breakdown

Semester 1

You must complete four core courses in semester 1 (September - December):

  • Language and Intercultural Communication Pedagogy EDUA11413 (20 credits)
  • Language Education for Intercultural Citizenship EDUA11415 (20 credits)
  • Language and the Learner EDUA11248 (20 credits)
  • Sources of Knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature REDU11046 (10 credits)

Semester 2

You must complete one core course and two option courses in semester 2 (January - April).

Core course:

  • Conceptualising Research: Foundations, Assumptions and Praxis REDU11045 (10 credits)

Each option course is worth 20 credits. One of the options must be from the list of SCQF Level 11 courses below.

These courses are offered to all students on the languages masters programmes (MSc TESOL, MSc Language Education) in the School of Education:

  • Bilingual Education (20 credits)
  • Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching (20 credits)
  • Critical literacies and critical pedagogies in L1 and L2 contexts (20 credits)
  • Evaluation and Design of TESOL Materials (20 credits)
  • Global Englishes for Language Teaching (20 credits)
  • Intercultural Language Learner Identity (20 credits)
  • Investigating Individual Learner Differences (20 credits)
  • Language Awareness for Second Language Teachers (20 credits)
  • Language Testing (20 credits) • Online Language Learning (20 credits)
  • Second Language Teacher Education (20 credits)
  • Teaching Languages to Young Learners (20 credits)
  • Teaching Text Across Borders (20 credits)
  • Text, Discourse and Language Teaching (20 credits)
  • Theory and Practice of Second Language Learning (20 credits)

The second option can be either:

  • one further course from the list above, or
  • one course from the wider Moray House or University masters courses (20 credits at SCQF Level 11)

This must be approved by the Programme Director.

You must complete a 12,000-word Dissertation in semester 3 (May – August):

  • Dissertation: MSc Language and Intercultural Communication (60 credits)

On completion of the degree, you can expect to be employed worldwide in all areas of intercultural language education.

Example roles include:

  • teaching language and intercultural communication in primary, secondary and tertiary levels
  • training other intercultural language teachers
  • designing intercultural language curricula, policies and materials
  • undertaking empirical research into the development of democratic competencies for intercultural citizenship

Every year we have the pleasure to accommodate representatives from large teacher recruitment agencies, who talk to our students about the benefits of becoming an intercultural language teacher, in addition to conducting interviews with candidates who are short-listed for language teaching posts.

The MSc in Language and Intercultural Communication is also a good introduction to undertaking further research at PhD level.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline.

Applicants do not need to have language teaching experience to enter this programme. Applicants may also be considered on the basis of employment or relevant experience.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

If you are studying in a university on our Priority List, you must have a minimum overall average of 80% for courses and at least 80% on the dissertation. If you are studying in another Ecctis verified university, you must have an average of 85% for courses and 80% on the dissertation.*

*(Revised 7 July 2021 to provide more accurate information for applicants for China.)

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:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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

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

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: LIC@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ