Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Study Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and graduate with a university degree

Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc

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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Type Part-time, Full-time
  • Start date September

Tracy Hoggan
TESOL Secretary
University of Stirling
+44 (0) 1786 467934 www.stir.ac.uk/education

1st in Scotland for research in Education in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise

This course offers a thorough understanding of the principles and practice of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at a level appropriate to graduates who already have a sound academic training. The course is taught by staff in the Centre for English Language Teaching, within the School of Education, also offered with:

  • MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Applied Linguistics)
  • MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Computer Assisted Language Learning)

Course objectives

TESOL provides an advanced training and professional qualification for people presently engaged in any area of the teaching of English as a foreign or second language. It also offers professional development to people new to TESOL who are seeking a career change. On completion, you should possess the knowledge and practical classroom skills to be a confident, critically reflective and enterprising teacher.

Entrance requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto year one of this Master's degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (6.0 in speaking & listening; 6.5 in reading & writing).

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Our range of pre-sessional courses.

Modes of study

one year

two years

Course start date


Structure and content

For academic year 2014/15

You will take eight modules from the following, and those marked * are compulsory for students with less than two years’ full-time English language teaching experience in a formal classroom setting. Language Learning Theory and Research is a required module for all students.  Those entering the course with a recent Cambridge DELTA or Trinity College London Licentiate Diploma can apply for accreditation for two of the four pedagogic modules:

Autumn Semester

  • Methodology I*: Presents an overview of current theory and practice in the teaching of listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • Classroom Observation*: Develops critical awareness and theoretical understanding of current classroom practice through observation of experienced English language teachers
  • Language Learning Theory and Research*: Gives an overview of the research necessary for understanding the processes involved in learning a second language, and introduces research methods relevant to the dissertation
  • Description of Modern English: Explores English grammar and use with reference to the needs of learners and teachers
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Concepts and Materials: Comprises a rationale for using CALL; background theory and research on how computers process text, images and sound; consideration of how to choose and exploit general purpose software for EFL purposes
  • Technologies in the 21st Century Classroom: Provides an opportunity for students to create multimedia materials using authoring programs for language teaching and learning

Spring Semester

  • Methodology II*: Provides an overview of current theory and practice in the teaching of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Microteaching*: Develops critical awareness and theoretical understanding of current classroom practice through planning, teaching and reflection on lessons taught to peers
  • The ELT Curriculum: The first part of this module provides an overview of the principles and practice of designing a curriculum and tasks for English Language teaching and learning; the second part focuses on testing and curriculum evaluation
  • Discourse Analysis: Introduces different approaches and techniques for exploring and analysing spoken and written texts
  • Corpus Linguistics in Language Teaching and Research: Explores the ways in which computerised collections of spoken and written texts can be analysed and used in language teaching and research
  • Internet Applications in Language Teaching: Addresses the use of virtual learning environments, multimedia and web technologies in collaborative language learning
  • Teaching English to Young Learners: Focuses on teaching English to primary and secondary aged pupils

The Postgraduate Certificate in TESOL is awarded on the successful completion of four coursework modules. The Postgraduate Diploma in TESOL is awarded on successful completion of eight coursework modules. The MSc TESOL is awarded upon successful completion of eight coursework modules plus a dissertation of 15,000 words.

For academic year 2015/16 onwards

The MSc TESOL programmes are currently in the process of being re-developed for academic year 15/16 and will be updated towards the end of summer when more detail is available.  Students registering for the programme in academic year 15/16 will register on the MSc TESOL programme and will have the opportunity to specialise in the following areas which will be confirmed on your award certificate at the point of graduation:

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

The areas/topics that will be covered within the programme will be:


  1. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching 
  2. TESOL Methodology
  3. Teaching English to Young Learners
  4. Grammar for TESOL
  5. Introduction to CALL


  1. Microteaching
  2. Research Methods in TESOL
  3. Syllabus Design and Language Testing
  4. Corpora in English Language Research and Teaching
  5. Discourse Analysis
  6. Designing and Implementing On-line Language Learning
  7. Technologies in the 21st Century Classroom 

Delivery and assessment

Delivery of modules is carried out mainly through seminars, workshops and video tutorials. Practical teaching skills are developed through classroom observation and videoed peer teaching sessions. Learning and professional development is facilitated by regular guided group work tasks. Progress is assessed by coursework assignments and, for the MSc, the dissertation.

Recommended reading

This will be sent to you once you have completed the application process.

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

This will be available towards the end of the summer.

Module titles

Academic Year 2015/16

  • Methodology II (TESP02)
  • Microteaching (TESP04)
  • The ELT Curriculum (TESP06)
  • Teaching English to Young Learners (TESP10)
  • Discourse Analysis (TESP12)
  • Internet Applications in Language Teaching (TESP22)
  • Corpus Linguistics in Language Teaching and Research (TESP24)

Why study Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Stirling?

Course Director

Anne Lawrie


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

More information

RAE rating

The School of Education was ranked number 1 in Scotland in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Career opportunities

English is regarded as the most widely spoken language in the world and a qualification in TESOL can open up the opportunity of an English language teaching career or, in the case of experienced teachers, can provide access to promoted posts and management positions within English language teaching.

On completion of the MSc in TESOL, overseas graduates will be well prepared to sit all three modules of the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations TKT.

Recent graduates have taken up posts overseas or in the field of ESOL in the UK. For more experienced teachers, the qualification has provided access to positions with the British Council or in the tertiary sector.


The course provides students with a ‘career change’ opportunity enabling them, on successful completion, to confidently seek employment as a TESOL tutor. For experienced practitioners, it enhances their professional knowledge and understanding of the TESOL sector which enables them to adopt greater responsibility and leadership in their own or future work environment.

Industry connections

The course draws on practitioners and best practice from across the TESOL sector, focusing on the development of advanced professional capabilities and knowledge in language learning and teaching.


2016/17 Overseas £13,950
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100
2015/16 Overseas £13,500
2015/16 Home/EU £6,000


You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.


Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS.  More information

Information on possible sources of funding