Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

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

Awards: MSc, PgDip, PgCert

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Seize the opportunity to pursue your MSc TESOL at the University of Edinburgh, and you can be confident that you will be supported, challenged, and inspired throughout your educational experience.

Sehriban Al Issa MSc TESOL 2022

Suitable for both experienced teachers and newcomers to the field, this Master's degree is designed for students who plan to teach English as a second, foreign or additional language (ESL, EFL, EAL) in the UK or internationally. It is also suitable for students who plan to work or do research in the contexts of:

  • teacher education
  • teacher training
  • management
  • course design
  • materials development
  • policy design
  • language analysis and/or assessment

The programme combines theory and practice to equip you with cutting-edge teaching skills to teach English to speakers of other languages. It will lead you into an exploration of evidence-based research at the frontiers of language learning, methodology and curriculum design. It will investigate learning-centred ‘learnscapes’, enabling you not only to practise but to contribute to knowledge in these areas.

You will learn to:

  • design, implement and evaluate substantial research or development tasks
  • adapt your planning and teaching approaches to the 21st-century demands of rapidly changing teaching and learning contexts and circumstances

You will graduate with expanded minds and hearts; with professional knowledge, understanding and enhanced confidence in your ability to teach the English language across widely differing contexts.

This programme can be studied full-time or part-time.

To graduate with a Master's (MSc) degree, you will complete five compulsory courses and two option courses, plus a dissertation.

The Diploma (PgDip) comprises similar combinations of compulsory and optional courses. For the Certificate (PgCert) you will complete four compulsory courses.

Teaching mainly consists of lectures, which include interactive input sessions, followed by workshops, consisting of smaller discussion groups, where you will benefit from being the centre of the activity and receiving individual attention.

Compulsory courses:

  • Language and the Learner
  • Second Language Teaching Curriculum
  • TESOL Methodology
  • Sources of Knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature
  • Conceptualising Research: Foundations, Assumptions and Praxis

Option courses are subject to change each year but may include:

  • Bilingual Education
  • Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching
  • Critical Literacies and Critical Pedagogies in L1 and L2 Contexts
  • Evaluation and Design of TESOL Materials
  • Intercultural Language Learner Identity
  • Investigating Individual Learner Differences
  • Language Testing
  • Language Awareness for Second Language Teachers
  • Online Language Learning
  • Second Language Teacher Education
  • Teaching Languages to Young Learners
  • Teaching Texts Across Borders
  • Text, Discourse and Language Teaching

(Not all options run every year.)

With a strong foundation in teaching and research, our students are employed worldwide in all areas of the English language teaching profession.

Examples roles include:

  • training other TESOL teachers
  • management of TESOL education
  • teaching English at primary, secondary or tertiary level
  • teaching English in specialised fields (for example, business English)
  • designing TESOL curricula, materials and policies

Representatives from international teacher recruitment agencies visit our campus every year to talk to our students and conduct on-campus recruitment interviews with shortlisted candidates for TESOL-related posts.

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.

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 entry requirements are also valid for 2025/26 entry.)

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.

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 Admissions Office via email: cahss.pgadmissions@ed.ac.uk

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:

Application fee

None.

Deposit

You will need to pay this deposit within 28 days of receiving your offer of admission (either unconditional or conditional) for the MSc programme.

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Deposit Refunds

All requests must be made no later than two weeks following the start date of the degree applied for.

Additional programme costs

You may incur additional costs for fieldwork, if taking Environmental Education option courses.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

Moray House Country Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer 5 £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 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 Isobel Kai-Hui Wang
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6232
  • Contact: tesol@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 Isobel Kai-Hui Wang
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6232
  • Contact: tesol@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ