Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (online)

MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


The MSc TESOL (Online) is being relaunched for the academic year 2016/17.

Delivered completely online, but with the option of attending modules on-campus if you so wish, this newly draughted and improved programme will satisfy the needs of those who seek to gain a masters qualification whilst continuing to teach.

The MSc will enhance your teaching skills and open up new opportunities for you to advance your career in a wide range of language teaching positions in the UK and overseas.

Key information

  • Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Part-time, Online
  • Duration: 30 months (2 years modules, 6 months dissertation)
  • Start date: September 2016
  • Course Director: Anne Lawrie

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

View fees and finance
  1. You will gain a Master’s level qualification in teaching from a school of Education that is ranked 4th in the UK, The Times Good University Guide, 2015.
  2. We specialise in training both novice and experienced teachers.
  3. The course offers an excellent balance between theory and practise using a range of innovative teaching methods that facilitate engagement with new and complex ideas.
  4. This online qualification is designed for those who wish to gain a Master’s in TESOL that will fit around their professional and personal lifestyle
  5. You will be taught by professionals who have combined experience of living and teaching in all continents of the world

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.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic 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.

Please note: If you are a student from overseas and applying with a Tier 4 student visa, we unfortunately can not accept your application for this course as it falls into the category of being part-time, delivered online or a distance learning course.

Applicants who hold a DELTA or equivalent awarded within the last 5 years will normally be given credit for prior learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with at least 6.0 in speaking and listening and 6.5 in reading and writing
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with a minimum of 60 in reading and writing and 56 in speaking and listening
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with minimum 23 in reading and writing and minimum 20 in speaking and listening

For more information go to English language requirements

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. View our range of pre-sessional courses.


2016/17 Overseas £1,500 per 20 credit module
2016/17 Home/EU £670 per 20 credit module
2015/16 Overseas £2,250 per 30 credit module
2015/16 Home/EU £1,005 per 30 credit module


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.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Scholarship finder

Scholarships & funding

information on possible sources of funding

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

You must complete six modules to gain the MSc.

Those entering the course with a recent Cambridge DELTA will get exemption from TESPD01 'Methodology' in year 1 and TESPD06 'Grammar for TESOL' in year 2.

Year one
TESPD01 Methodology (Core) (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
This module presents an overview of current theory and practice in the teaching of the skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing and of the elements: grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
TESPD02 Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (Core) (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
This module 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.
TESPD03 Discourse Analysis (Core) (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
 Introduces different approaches and techniques for exploring and analysing spoken and written texts.
Year two
TESPD04 Technologies in the 21st Century Classroom CALL (Optional) (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
Provides an opportunity for students to create multimedia materials using authoring programs for language teaching and learning.
TESPD05 Corpora in English Language Research and Teaching (Optional) (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
Explores the ways in which computerised collections of spoken and written texts can be analysed and used in language teaching and research.
TESPD06 Grammar for TESOL (Core) (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
Explores English grammar and use with reference to the needs of learners and teachers.  
TESPD07 Research Methods in TESOL (Core) (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
This module provides an orientation to quantitative and qualitative approaches to research in TESOL and will enable students to critically evaluate new theory and research arising in their field
TESPD050 Dissertation  (60 credits at SCQF level 11)
TESP051 CALL Portfolio (60 credits at SCQF level 11)

*All students who wish to be awarded the Master's (MSc) in TESOL are required to undertake a dissertation.

Students who take the CALL module (TESPD04) and complete the CALL Portfolio (TESP051) will graduate with the named award - MSc TESOL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)

Students who take the Corpora module (TESPD05) and complete a corpus-based dissertation (TESP050) will graduate with the named award - MSc TESOL (Corpus Linguistics)

Students who want MSc TESOL as their named degree can take either the CALL or the Corpus module but can choose to write their dissertation on anything TESOL related, not specifically CALL or Corpus.

Delivery and assessment

Delivery of modules is carried out online, although not essential, should you wish to attend modules on-campus, this can be arranged. Learning and professional development is facilitated by regular guided group work tasks online. Progress is assessed by coursework assignments for each module and, for the MSc, the dissertation.

Recommended reading

Before the MSc TESOL course starts in September you may find it useful to do some preparatory reading, particularly if you have no background in language studies.

We recommend the books in the list below. You should find them useful for the particular Pathway you may follow.

For MSc in TESOL; MSc in TESOL and CALL; MSc in TESOL and Applied Linguistics:
Harmer, J. (2007). The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th ed.). Harlow: Longman

For MSc in TESOL and Applied Linguistics:
Parrott, M. (2010). Grammar for English Language Teachers (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

For MSc in TESOL and CALL:
Walker, A. and White, G. (2013). Technology Enhanced Language Learning: Connecting Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England


A further reading list will be provided to you once enrolled to the programme.

Modes of study

Part-time: 30 months (2 years modules, 6 months dissertation)

Study method


Why Stirling?



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.

In The Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF), the School of Education had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish University, with 100% of research impact activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


The School of Education regularly features as one of the highest ranking Education course providers in the United Kingdom, with a consistent showing across all ranking tables. Displaying our commitment to achieve a high level of; Satisfaction with Course, Satisfaction with teaching, Satisfaction with Assessment Feedback, Student/ Staff Ratio, Value Added, Career after 6 months, and research in Education. In the most recent study by QS, staff from the University of Stirling received 5 out of 5 star rating for teaching

Currently, the School ranks as: 4th in the UK, The Times Good University Guide, 2015; 8th in the UK, The Independent Complete University Guide, 2016; 14th in the UK, The Guardian University Guide, 2016; within the top 50 in Europe, QS Top Universities.


MSc in TESOL and Applied Linguistics graduate, Ben Dickson, made the national news in November 2015 when his dissertation examined the use of national identity in sports reporting by analysing UK press reports on Andy Murray’s Wimbledon matches from 2005 – 2014. His studying debunked the long-held belief that Murray is referred to Scottish only when defeated, and British when victorious.

Read more:

STV - Andy Murray's nationality reporting 'not linked to success'

The Guardian - Andy Murray: British or Scottish? How do the press describe him?

ESPN - New study busts Andy Murray's 'Scottish when he loses' myth

The Courier - British or Scottish? — Academic smashes Andy Murray theory

The Scotsman - Andy Murray “Scottish / British” myth dispelled

Our staff

Studying, working and chatting together enables the MSc TESOL students to explore each other's cultures. What a bonus for their future teaching careers!

Anne Lawrie, Programme Director

Anne Lawrie Crop

MSc TESOL programmes at Stirling provide participants with a fantastic opportunity to engage with experts in the field of language education and the opportunity to consider the relevance of cutting edge research to their own learning and teaching context.

Fiona Copland, TESOL Professor

Fiona Copland crop

Careers and employability

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.

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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