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MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Gain a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Masters from the University of Stirling, ranked 2nd in Scotland and top 10 in the UK for Education (The Guardian University Guide 2020).

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

This Masters will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the principles and practice of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Our course is an advanced training and professional qualification for people who either work in, or plan to work in, any area of teaching English to speakers of other languages. It's suitable for both novice and experienced teachers. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and practical classroom skills to be a confident, critically reflective and enterprising teacher.

You will join a multinational network, and benefit from being taught by professionals who have experience of living and teaching all over the world. The course offers an excellent balance between theory and practice using a range of cutting-edge, innovative teaching methods. It also draws on best practice from across the TESOL sector, focusing on the development of advanced professional capabilities and knowledge in language learning and teaching.

As a TESOL student at the University of Stirling, you'll also have an opportunity to apply for a placement at one of our partner universities in Germany or Hungary, and put your learning into practice.


You can work towards our core Masters degree, the MSc TESOL, or opt to specialise in one of the following pathways of study:

  • MSc TESOL (Applied Linguistics)
  • MSc TESOL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)
  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Educational research at the University of Stirling had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% classed as either world-leading or internationally excellent. Our expert teaching team are on hand to introduce you to cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research in a multi-disciplinary and professional environment.

  • 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.

    Those entering the TESOL full-time programme with a recent Cambridge or Trinity DELTA will get exemption from TESP002 TESOL 'Methodology' and TESPOO4, ‘Grammar for TESOL’.

  • 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 a minimum of 6.0 in speaking and listening and 6.5 in reading and writing
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in speaking and listening and 176 in reading and writing
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in speaking and listening and 180 in reading and writing
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 56 in speaking and listening and 60 in reading and writing
    • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with a minimum of 19 in listening, 21 in speaking, 19 in reading and 24 in writing
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a minimum of Merit in speaking and listening and distinction in reading and writing, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    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.

  • Assessment

    Progress is assessed by coursework assignments and, for the MSc, the dissertation.

    • The Postgraduate Certificate in TESOL is awarded on the successful completion of 60 coursework modules worth 60 credits.
    • The Postgraduate Diploma in TESOL is awarded on successful completion of coursework modules worth 120 credits.
    • The Masters (MSc) TESOL is awarded upon successful completion of coursework modules worth 120 credits plus a dissertation of 15,000 words.
  • Study abroad

    As a student on our MSc TESOL programme you have the fantastic opportunity to gain valuable work experience teaching English to non-English speakers in 33 European countries through Erasmus+ traineeships.

    The University of Stirling has also developed close working partnerships with universities around the world to make finding a placement as seamless as possible and give you tailored teaching and learning opportunities. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a placement with:

    Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany

    Undertake class observation, small group work supervision and teaching assistance in a local high school. During the school holiday, you will have a chance to work with materials development or with writing support at the university.

    Széchenyi István University, Hungary

    Get involved in class observation and teaching at the university or the university’s practice school.

    More information on applying for these opportunities will be provided to students undertaking our MSc TESOL course.

  • Course director
  • Key staff

    TESOL Programme Director, Anne Lawrie, explains more about the courses on offer and why Stirling is one of the leading institutions for education in Scotland.

    Ask an expert in TESOL

    Anne Lawrie TESOL Programme Director

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding

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

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

Graduates will leave with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the TESOL sector, enabling them to take on more responsibility in current or future roles overseas or in the UK.

For more experienced teachers, the qualification has provided access to positions with the British Council or in the tertiary sector.

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

  • Testimonial quotes

    MSc TESOL courses 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

  • Employability skills

    We’re committed to enhancing your employability. Once you register for the MSc TESOL, you’ll have access to the first-class range of services offered by our Career Development Centre. We also provide you with a tailored workshop series entitled “My career in TESOL” aimed at developing your awareness of continuous professional development, your knowledge of job market requirements and your confidence in applying for jobs. 

    You’ll have access to numerous options for further development offered by the Institute for Advanced Studies and by the Faculty of Social Sciences

Yang Liu
The best part of my course is the micro-teaching module. It offers students the opportunity to practice teaching in a simulated class, which is a good way to build confidence and overcome your nerves.
Bo Goldsmit
The University of Stirling has given me the opportunity to connect with so many different people from different continents and cultures, something that would never have happened in my country. Here, I have not only made lifelong friends, but also great connections for my career.
Peerapat Singlong
Studying at Stirling has helped me build my self-confidence and prepared me to be competitive in the jobs market. If I had to sum up my time studying at Stirling in three words then they’d have to be: welcoming, friendly, nature.
Peerapat Singlong
Thailand MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
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