Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


Postgraduate degree

Key facts

Institute for Education
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full-time. Two years part-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent. Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Develop your TESOL career prospects with our MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

  • One of the few TESOL programmes in the UK which incorporates a placement component.
  • Designed for both experienced teachers and those with little or no teaching experience.
  • Blends the theory of language and linguistics teaching with practical skills development.

We aim to develop confident, well informed, resourceful language teaching practitioners who are capable of designing and teaching comprehensive language programmes. You’ll extend your knowledge base by engaging in independent research into your own practice and setting.

We recognise and value professional, cultural and life experiences; you’ll develop and explore these experiences during the programme. This will enhance your professional knowledge and understanding through reflection, aided by theoretical input and practical application.

Context specific professional development is an important element in the programme. We prepare you to return to your previous work context, or even move to a new one, with an adaptable knowledge base for your particular setting.

“Since completing the course in 2011 I have taught EFL with Young Learners and adults on short courses in the UK, Austria, Italy, Poland, Switzerland as well as a year abroad in China.”

– Rachel Grove, MA TESOL, graduated 2011

What you'll learn


We’ll aid your understanding of the key theories and principles in TESOL, providing a balance of academic and professional content and experience. You’ll develop your ability in language analysis and understanding, as well as furthering your knowledge on how to incorporate this appropriately in class materials.

We have a flexible and supportive learning programme that develops your current understanding and knowledge in TESOL, while providing you with the necessary research and reflection skills to continue on your academic or professional career path.

Throughout the programme the amount of independent study gradually increases, both within and across modules, in order to build your confidence and self-reliance. As your future continuing professional development is also important to us, reflection, as a key skill, is interwoven into all modules to nurture your ability to continue learning beyond the MA TESOL.

Course structure

The MA TESOL is available both full and part-time, and for international students there is a low residency option. There are two entry points in the year, September and February, with just one entry point in September for the low residency route.

Trimester 1
In this first trimester your studies will include a mix of a practical and theoretical elements. You’ll have your first placement opportunity which you will be encouraged to reflect on in class. The development of your independent study skills begins in this trimester also.  

Trimester 2
We’ll continue developing your practical teaching skills through detailed discussion of relevant theories alongside your second placement. Your independence as a learner develops through being involved in leadership roles in weekly discussions on related theoretical topics. You’ll begin to prepare for your dissertation by strengthening your knowledge on research methodology and developing a dissertation proposal.

Trimester 3
This trimester sees the culmination of the skills you’ve developed as you gather and analyse data, and write up this research in your dissertation.

Part time students follow the same sequence of modules, but do so over two years.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is built into each core module. There are no written exams. You’ll submit a portfolio of tasks which may include: oral presentations; reflection on module learning and teaching practice; essays; and analysis tasks. Assessment is supported by: discussions with tutors and colleagues; feedback on presentations and assignment drafts; journal reflections; and class activities.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through lectures; seminars; workshops; directed classroom-based activities; and discussion. Peer-teaching opportunities, presentations and student led workshops are also employed throughout the programme. You’ll be given a dedicated tutor to support your development.

We encourage you to keep a journal during your placements, this enhances and supports reflection on your experiences. This aids continuation of discussions linking theory to practice which begin in class and continue throughout the programme on an individual self-reflection and peer reflection basis. Your fellow course participants are an important resource to draw on through shared experience and stories as you build a community of practice.


List of current alumni careers

Students who complete the MA TESOL will have many career opportunities including: English language teaching (general or specialised), language teacher trainer, materials writing, curriculum development, language textbook editor, Director of Studies/Assistant Director of Studies, PhD studies.

Low residency

We offer a low-residency option for international students. You will attend Bath Spa University twice a year for one or two intensive weeks of teaching input (usually September and January). This is followed by a period of study in which assignments are completed and submitted before the next face-to- face teaching block. There is no placement opportunity for this programme route. Completion of the MA TESOL will take one or two years depending on the number of modules taken during the face-to-face blocks.

If you are interested in the low residency mode of study, please contact admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) can be offered if you have successfully completed previous Level 6 or 7 modules at another university. We will require a full transcript from the awarding university. Applicants with a Cambridge ESOL Delta or a Trinity College London Diploma in TESOL (DipTESOL) gained within the last 6 years can receive 60 credits, equivalent to the credits from the first trimester, so can therefore join the programme in the second trimester.

It is also possible to gain accreditation for other kinds of professional development by compiling an independent study portfolio of professional development (APEL - Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning).

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You may be taught at our Newton Park or Corsham Court campuses.


You'll be able to make use of a range of facilities including:


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £6,995
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

UK and EU students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 price by credit(cr) module: £585.00 - 15 cr, £1170.00 - 30 cr, £2340.00 - 60 cr
Year 2 Published Jan 2019

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £12,900
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Students will typically have a good undergraduate degree (at least a 2:1) in an appropriate specialism from a recognised higher education institution. Teaching experience is welcome but not essential.

Students wishing to take the Independent Study module in the first trimester must supply evidence of teaching experience in the form of a letter from an employer. International students, whose first language is not English, are required to have a minimum language level of IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in each component) or equivalent.

In the UK a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required to work with children and vulnerable adults. All course participants will need to complete the necessary paperwork before starting their placement for the programme. There is an additional fee required for this process.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Applicants for the low residency mode of delivery are advised to contact the University in the first instance via admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: r.nimhochain@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk