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MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Why choose Herts?

  • Teaching Excellence: You will be taught by highly respected TESOL academics who have published research within various journals and publications including The British Council, The Qualitative Report, and the International Student Experience Journal
  • Work Experience Opportunities: You will have the opportunity to teach small groups of overseas students throughout the taught part of the programme
  • Employment Prospects: TESOL graduates are currently teaching worldwide, including EAP/ESP at universities, FE level in colleges, and for the Refugee Council (UK), as well as progressing onto senior teaching positions and starting their own businesses.

Alumni Stories

Rianne Vervuurt

Meet Rianne. Rianne moved to the UK from the Netherlands and chose postgraduate study at Herts to help her gain employment.

Read more stories MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Current job roleCustomer Experience Executive at a vegan food company
Year of graduation2020
Course of studyMA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Selfie of Rianne Vervuurt

Looking for a new challenge 

Rianne moved to the UK from the Netherlands in 2018. Despite having a postgraduate qualification, she found it difficult to get a job in the UK. She says, ‘The postgraduate course I completed in the Netherlands was a mixture of education sciences and child psychology, and a comparable course did not exist in the UK. I think employers found it difficult to understand.

‘I got a job working as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant for a year or so and even though I enjoyed it, it was a massive change in salary compared to my previous job and I wanted more of a challenge.’

Rianne decided to do another postgraduate course in the UK and chose to enrol at Herts. She was able to commute from her home in Stevenage and Herts offered the course she wanted to do, MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She says, ‘I attended an open evening and spoke with the Programme Leader of the course. They took the time to answer all my questions and made me feel at home.’

Gaining practical experience

Rianne chose TESOL as she had always been interested in other languages and cultures, and she liked that the course included opportunities to learn about teaching practices. She says, ‘The course didn’t just focus on theory. I had the opportunity to gain practical experience by getting the chance to teach small groups, which was a great addition to my CV. I was also in a small class cohort, which meant I got to know my lecturers well. Nothing was ever too much for them, and they made me feel comfortable even when things became stressful.’

Using those transferable skills

Not long after she finished her course, Rianne was contacted by a vegan food company, and she is now working for them as a Customer Experience Executive. She says, ‘I am part of their learning and development team, where I focus on training and improving the quality of service we provide. Training and quality have a lot of overlap with teaching, and the skills I learnt on my course come in handy.’

Her main advice for current and future Herts students is to enjoy their time here, but always be prepared. She says, ‘Doing a postgraduate course isn’t easy, there is a lot of work to get done. Make sure you plan your coursework and manage your time well, and there are various resources at Herts to help you with this.’

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 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 students throughout the taught part 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
  • Receiving an exceptional learning experience. We're proud to have ranked 10th for teacher training in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES, Advance HE, 2023)

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.

  • Level 7
    Linguistic Analysis for Language Teaching15 CreditsCompulsory
    Teaching English as an International Language15 CreditsCompulsory
    Course & Syllabus Design in English Language Teaching15 CreditsCompulsory
    Research Methodology and Dissertation Skills15 CreditsCompulsory
    The Practice of English Language Teaching 115 CreditsCompulsory
    The Practice of English Language Teaching 215 CreditsCompulsory
    Methods and Materials in English Language Teaching15 CreditsCompulsory
    Approaches to Teaching & Learning Languages15 CreditsCompulsory
    Dissertation60 CreditsCompulsory
  • Key staff

    Dr Gwyneth James

    Find out more about Dr Gwyneth James

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Download
    MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Download
    Programme specifications
    MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Download
    MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    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.

    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.