MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

About the course

Are you interested in a career in English Language Teaching? Studying an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at the University of Hertfordshire will give you an in-depth knowledge of this global language and the skills to teach it, opening up opportunities for you to become part of the growing international academic and professional English Language Teaching community.

Our MA TESOL is a one-year full-time, or two-year part-time, course for graduates in English or related subjects such as Education or Languages, with little or no teaching experience, who want a practical preparation in English Language Teaching at postgraduate level.

A key feature of this MA TESOL is its practical teaching element. Supported throughout by our experienced staff, you will first observe and then participate in practice teaching sessions right from the start of the two taught semesters, teaching international students who are studying at the University of Hertfordshire.

Teaching these volunteer students in small groups, you will build your skills in lesson planning, preparing case studies and delivering and receiving detailed peer and teacher feedback.

Alongside your guided classroom teaching you will follow a comprehensive range of modules that link language teaching theory and practice, enabling you to develop academic research skills while gaining a strong foundation in English Language Teaching.

Our small group teaching ensures you’re fully supported by your tutors, with opportunities to reflect on your teaching practice from theoretical and research-based perspectives, appropriate for Masters-level study.

The module Linguistic Analysis for Language Teaching will provide an in-depth analysis of the phonology, grammar and pragmatics of spoken and written English to enhance your knowledge of the language. Teaching English as an International Language will enable you to explore how English has been used around the world, how it continues to develop to meet localised needs, and the implications of this for English Language Teaching.

Course & Syllabus Design in English Language Teaching will equip students interested in setting up language schools or tutoring businesses with key skills. 

Research Methods and Dissertation Skills will help prepare you for your dissertation in the final semester.  The dissertation will allow you to explore your choice of subject – located within the field of TESOL – in depth, bringing theory and practice together.

Why choose this course?

Top reasons to study MA TESOL at the University of Hertfordshire

You will be:

  • Teaching overseas students right from the start of the course
  • Gaining both teaching skills and in-depth subject knowledge
  • Learning about research-informed practice and developing your own research skills
  • Equipped to choose from many career options including teaching English in different countries; teaching English for Academic or Specific Purposes (EAP/ESP) at university level; progress to a more senior teaching position such as Director of Studies or teacher trainer; set up an online tutoring business; marketing; publishing, materials design; examining; PhD study

What will I study?

One day a week is spent on teaching practice, including supervised lesson preparation, and discussing and receiving extensive feedback. Lectures are supplemented with workshops, seminar discussions and out of class reading. Free English Language support is offered through English for Academic Purposes courses run through the University library.


As a graduate of this MA TESOL you will be qualified for jobs teaching English at a range of levels in most countries of the world. You will be able to take on positions of responsibility at course design and course management levels.

This MA opens doors to senior level posts in language schools, including Director of Studies positions, as well as university teaching (i.e. EAP/ESP) for UK-based students. The wide range of careers available also include materials writing, TESOL examining or teaching English to refugees (ESOL).

Recent Herts MA TESOL graduates have set up online tutoring businesses, while other graduates are working for the Refugee Council in Hertfordshire and in local Further Education colleges. 

The lecturers are outstanding, with a vast professional background in EFL teaching as well as academic research. Their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm brought a thought-provoking, motivating and inspiring atmosphere to the course. The invaluable mixture of practical and academic input sessions was conducted in an interesting, engaging and highly interactive way, where all students were pushed and challenged to express and share their own opinions and insights.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.