Education Studies and TESOL

Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc


The MSc in Education Studies and TESOL combines a broad exploration of educational issues, practical experience of observing local schools, and training in TESOL theory, practice and research. On the TESOL side, the degree will provide you with a solid grounding in the principles of language learning and teaching and an understanding of research methods in TESOL, as well as giving you the opportunity to pursue an interest in teaching young learners, computer-assisted and online language learning, or English grammar and discourse analysis. In education studies, you will join a programme of visits to local schools and learn about the wider pastoral role of being an educator in a professional context. You will engage in discussions around the issues of difference and diversity and consider critically some of the wider theoretical and policy-based contexts for professional practice. You will also explore different approaches to educational research and their underlying assumptions.

Who is this course for?

This degree is particularly appropriate for teachers (with at least one year’s experience) who want to study for a post-graduate degree with a strong education element as well as a focus on TESOL. You may be attracted by a broader qualification than the MSc TESOL, or you may want to extend your teaching experience with knowledge about TESOL. You may be planning to teach in a local school or in an international school, and you may teach other subjects as well as English. The degree will also be relevant to you if you wish to go on to study for a PhD or to work in teacher education or school management.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: 1 year, full time. 2 years, part time.
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr David Bowker
  • Location: Stirling Campus
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Room 2T1
R G Bomont Building
University of Stirling

  1. You will gain a Masters level qualification from an Education centre for excellence that is ranked 5th. in the UK by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.
  2. The qualification combines a focus on TESOL with a broader understanding of educational theory and practice.
  3. It involves visits to local schools, which will give you a first-hand experience of the pastoral role of teachers in schools.
  4. You will have the opportunity to work with home and international students from a wide range of backgrounds.
  5.  You will be taught by TESOL professionals who have combined experience of living and teaching in all continents of the world

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.

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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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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally, 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.

You will also need to demonstrate familiarity with the school context from a professional point of view, either through having a year’s teaching experience or having taken a teaching degree in your home country.

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 Masters degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you should usually have one of the following minimum qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 in speaking and listening; 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 (56 in speaking and listening; 60 in reading and writing)
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 (20 in each of the four skills)

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the official entry 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.

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.

Flexible Learning

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

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £6,300

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

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

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Autumn Semester
The Nature of Educational Enquiry (EDRP001) Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)

Drawing upon specific research projects and debates, this module will introduce you to the differing ways of conceptualising the purposes of education, and the theories informing knowledge claims in research. It will enable you to engage with the different traditions of ideas informing research into education, and their strengths and weaknesses. The module therefore involves a critical examination of different approaches to and traditions in educational research and their underlying assumptions.

Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (TESP001) Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)

This module will introduce you to key principles in language learning and teaching, and the research that informs them. It will enable you to approach TESOL research and teaching methodology from an informed and critical point of view.

TESOL Methodology (TESP002) Optional module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)

This module is designed to give you practical solutions to the teaching of language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) and systems (grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation), and to understand some of the current issues and debates in these areas.

Teaching English to Young Learners (TESP003) Optional module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)

This module is designed to give you an understanding of English language teaching theory, practice and materials in relation to young learners.

Grammar for TESOL (TESP004)  Optional module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)

This module provides an introduction to the grammar of spoken and written English for English language teaching. We will explore areas of difficulty for learners from different language backgrounds, and discuss principles of sequencing and clarifying grammar. As well as this pedagogical focus, the module will also demonstrate principles and practices of descriptive and corpus-based language analysis which are central to a wide range of research into the use of language and discourse.

Introduction to CALL (TESP005)  Optional module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)

The aim of this module is to provide participants with an understanding of the potential and limitations of information and communications technologies in language teaching and learning and to enable participants to identify, select and critically evaluate online resources to enhance their teaching of English.

Spring Semester
Difference and Diversity (EDUPE6)  Core module (40 credits at SCQF level 11)

 In this module you will work together with students who are in their final year of training to be teachers in Scotland. The module aims to help you to understand the wider pastoral role of being an educator in a professional context. You will learn about issues of difference, diversity and inclusion, and discuss how relevant principles can be applied in practice. The module will include a programme of school visits.

Research Methods in TESOL (TESP007) Core module (10 credits at SCQF level 11)

This module will familiarise you with research methods that you will be able to use in your dissertation.

Discourse Analysis (TESP010) Optional module (10 credits at SCQF level 11)

This module introduces different approaches and techniques for analysing and exploring written and spoken texts.

Designing and Implementing On-line Language Learning (TESP011) Optional module (10 credits at SCQF level 11)

This module addresses the use of virtual learning environments, multimedia and web technologies in collaborative language learning.

Delivery and assessment

The taught modules delivered on a face-to-face and blended basis.  The delivery types (e.g. lectures, workshops and student presentations) are carefully selected to suit the module content and your needs. 

Summative assessment for the taught modules will vary depending on their respective learning outcomes (e.g. presentation, annotated bibliography, essay, research proposal).  For each 20-credit module, you will be asked to produce a piece of work which is equivalent to a 3,000-word essay. 

Modes of study

Full time: 1 year

Part time: 2 years

Study method

Face-to-face and blended classes as well as self-study

Example timetable

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

Full-time example
Autumn TESP001 EDRP001

TESP002 or TESP003 or

TESP004 or TESP005

Spring TESP007 EDUUPE6 TESP010 or TESP011 
Part-time example
Autumn TESP001 EDRP001
Spring EDUUPE6
Autumn TESP002 or TESP003 or TESP004 or TESP005
Spring TESP007 TESP010 or TESP011
Summer - Autumn TESP50

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), Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish University, with 100% of research impact activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Currently, Education Studies ranks as:

  • 1st in Scotland and 12th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide, 2018) 
  • 7th in the UK (The Complete University Guide, 2018)
  • 5th in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2017)

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.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Study abroad opportunities

As one of our TESOL students, you will be able to avail of fantastic opportunities to gain valuable work experience in teaching English to speakers of other languages in 33 European countries through the Erasmus+ traineeships, or through our partnership with the São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil.  These traineeship/placement opportunities also provide you with a chance to network with colleagues in other institutions and/or to collect data for your study. 

Please check the overseas placements page for additional information.

Careers and employability


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16

The University of Stirling is committed to enhancing your employability.  Once you register for the MSc Education Studies and TESOL, you will have access to the first-class range of services offered by the Career Development Centre, which you can avail of even after your graduation.  Within TESOL, we additionally 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. 

Industry connections

The programme is taught by experienced researchers who have extensive connections in the field of TESOL, including publishers and governmental organizations such as the British Council.  You will have a chance to network with a range of other key players in the field who are invited to deliver workshops and seminars in our ELTR (English Language Teaching and Research) event series.

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