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

The year I spent completing the programme has brought me a lot of unforgettable experiences and memories. The informative lectures, inspiring workshop discussions, practical microteaching, intensive literature reading and essay writing, all have helped to build up my confidence in my future teaching and research.

Jia-yuan Meng MSc TESOL 2019
Jia-yuan Meng               MSc TESOL 2019

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 (EFL, ESL, TESOL) in the UK or internationally, as well as 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.

This programme combines theory and practice to equip you with the essential language teaching skills you need to teach English to speakers of other languages. 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 five 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:

  • 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 may include:

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

(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

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 (e.g. 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.

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

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.

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

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 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 2020/21 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 07 October 2019 02 December 2019
2 21 October 2019 16 December 2019
3 21 November 2019 16 January 2020
4 23 December 2019 17 February 2020
5 22 January 2020 18 March 2020
6 17 February 2020 06 April 2020
7 29 May 2020 03 July 2020
8 15 July 2020 12 August 2020

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 and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ