About the course
This is a Masters course that can take you into employment anywhere in the world.
If you are enthusiastic about teaching English as a foreign or second language, then our course offers you vocationally-relevant, research-led training of the highest quality, taught by academics known for their teaching excellence.
You explore teaching methods and the description of English used in the investigation of language learning and teaching, and study additional topics according to your needs. These might include:
- How second language learners acquire vocabulary, and how vocabulary can be taught
- Computer-assisted language-learning
- Literature and language-learning
- Materials design and evaluation
- Teaching Writing in EFL/ESL
You also gain hands-on teaching experience through our Teaching Practice I and Teaching Practice II modules.
Whether you have no prior teaching experience or are already an English language teacher, this course can be adapted to suit you. If you have little or no previous teaching experience, you receive ‘hands on’ teaching practice throughout the course via TEFL, while if you already have more than two year’s full-time teaching experience, you can undertake specialist study through TESOL instead.
You'll be part of our Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi), a unique research centre specialising in all aspects of language learning and development.
We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet according to the QS World [University] Rankings  for linguistics.
If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.
This course is also available on a part-time basis.
Our expert staff
Our staff are internationally renowned. Florence Myles authored the best-selling Second Language Learning Theories, and Bob Borsley wrote both Syntactic Theory: a Unified Approach and Modern Phrase Structure Grammar.
Other teachers on this course include Christina Gkonou, who has conducted extensive research into the effects of individual factors like anxiety on success in language learning, and Julian Good and Tracey Costley, who have taught English in Europe, the Far East and South America for many years before coming to Essex.
Karen Roehr-Brackin is a leading expert on the relationship between metalinguistic knowledge (conscious awareness of the rules of language) and language learning ability, and Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez is a leading expert on the use of computers and the role that interaction in the classroom plays in language learning.
Takers of our MA TEFL and other courses in English Language Teaching come with the specific intention of entering the ELT/TESOL profession, which they duly go on to do.
Students on these courses often join us after a career in English teaching, to update their expertise and return to the classroom with a career enhancement.
The specialist knowledge you gain enables you to take senior or specialist roles (for example in computer-assisted language-learning, ESP or teaching young learners), not necessarily only in the classroom but also in educational advice and management, programme evaluation, syllabus design and teacher education.
We also work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
UK entry requirements
A degree with an overall grade of 2.2.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.0 in writing
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.