Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Language and Intercultural Communication MSc, PgCert, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgCert, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

I wanted to continue my studies at Edinburgh because I knew that its high standards for academic excellence make for a great learning experience and because the programme allows me to explore my research area further. I also really enjoy living in Edinburgh and exploring the city and surrounding area.

Deborah Dunkel MSc Language and Intercultural Communication 2022
Deborah Dunkel               MSc Language and Intercultural Communication 2022

The MSc in Language and Intercultural Communication is an 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. It 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 (20 credits)
  • Language Education for Intercultural Citizenship (20 credits)
  • Critical Topics in Intercultural Communication Studies (20 credits)
  • Sources of Knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature (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 (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 School of Education and Sport students on the languages Masters programmes (MSc TESOL, MSc Language 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) subject to approval by the Programme Director.

Dissertation

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.

These entry requirements are for both the 2024/25 and 2025/26 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2026/27 academic year will be published on 1 July 2025. (Revised 27 June 2024 to show that the entry requirements are also valid for 2025/26 entry.

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 applicants are studying in a Chinese university on our priority list, they must have a minimum overall average of 80% for courses and at least 80% on the dissertation. For applicants at any recognised university not on our priority list, they 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

2024/25 English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

2025/26 English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 73 with at least 65 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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

(Revised 27 June 2024 to publish 20205/26 entry requirements with updated PTE Academic levels.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Moray House Country Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer five £10,000 scholarships to study a Master’s degree programme commencing in September 2024. These will be based on merit and available to applicants from eligible countries.

Moray House Access Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer a scholarship covering tuition fees and living costs for one student. The scholarship is for UK nationals domiciled in the UK, from backgrounds or groups which are underrepresented in our School.

GREAT scholarship: Mexico

One GREAT scholarship will be available to applicants from Mexico who apply for 2024 entry. This award is for £10,000 towards postgraduate taught (Masters) degree tuition. Further details on eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found on the GREAT scholarship website.

India Merit Scholarship

The University is offering a new international scholarship for the most academically gifted Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Masters students applying from India. These awards cover £5,000 towards tuition fees for PGT Masters students studying on campus during the 2024/25 academic year. The Scholarships will be tenable for the first year of study only and will be automatically deducted from your student tuition fee balance. 

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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

(Updated 15 May 2024 to include India Merit Scholarship information)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Michele Saraiva Carilo
  • 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.

Please be aware that applications must be submitted and be complete, i.e. all required documents uploaded, by the relevant application deadline in order to be considered in that round. Your application will still be considered if you have not yet met the English language requirement for the programme.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2024/25:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 09 October 2023 19 December 2023
2 11 December 2023 28 February 2024
3 04 March 2024 16 May 2024
4 06 June 2024 30 July 2024

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Michele Saraiva Carilo
  • Contact: LIC@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ