Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching




Part Time, Full Time

| Admissions status: Open
This MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching is for experienced EFL teachers wanting to learn more about current ELT/ESL research, theory, pedagogy and practice. A great opportunity to develop your career in TEFL/TESOL and develop expertise in specialist fields such as language assessment and testing, materials development, teaching EAP, becoming a teacher educator, management and evaluation and ESOL.

  • An opportunity to expand your knowledge of current theoretical and practical aspects of language teaching.
  • Develop professional expertise relevant to your career development in areas such as EAP, teaching ESOL, materials development, language testing and assessment, teacher education.
  • Excellent tutorial support and extensive programme-specific training in research methods and academic writing.
  • Exchange ideas with other experienced language teaching professionals from many different contexts.
Student destinations
This programme is especially popular with UK-based and international students who are at a point in their career when a master's degree is helpful in professional advancement. Our graduates have found that their promotion opportunities have been greatly enhanced by this advanced qualification. More recently, some of our graduates have returned to take up MPhil/PhD studies.
Programme leader/s
Dr Martin Dewey
Awarding Institution
King's College London
Credit value (UK/ECTS equivalent)
UK 180/ECTS 90
One year FT, two years PT. Fast track four terms attendance plus dissertation. Starts September.
Waterloo Campus.
Year of entry 2015
Offered by
Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
Centre for Language Discourse & Communication
Department of Education and Professional Studies
Closing date
1 July 2015 deadline for all applications. Applications are considered on a rolling basis and are subject to the availability of places. Please apply as soon as possible so that we can assess your application for a place for 2015.
No set number
PT Home: £3,150 (2015). Students on the fast-track programme will pay 2,625 (fee adjusted to 5 sixths) (2015). Please note that the fees given are for year 1 only of this two-year part-time degree.
PT Overseas: £6,750 (2015) Please note that this fee is for year 1 only of this two-year part-time degree.
FT Home: £6,300 (2015)
FT Overseas: £13,500 (2015)
Contact information
King's Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2979

Postgraduate Taught Programmes Officer
Department for Education & Professional Studies
Tel +44 (0) 20 7848 3168
Email Website

For experienced language teachers who want to reflect upon and further develop their understanding of the various theoretical and practical issues that impact on the field of language learning and teaching.

The programme provides opportunities to explore recent research in the field and find out more about specialist areas such as teacher education, materials development, teaching English for academic purposes, management and evaluation in ELT and intercultural studies.

Core modules deal with language teaching methodology and curriculum design, linguistic analysis for language teaching, issues in language acquisition and use (sociolinguistics, social & psychological aspects of second language learning) and research methods. The programme also places particular emphasis on the notion of informed teaching and the need for teachers to mediate between theory and practice in constructing pedagogies according to specific teaching-learning contexts.

More information about the programme, lecturers, and experiences of students can be found on the Department of Education and Professional Studies' MA Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching study page. Offer holders can also find the timetable, key contacts, recommended reading and enrolment information via the departmental Welcome to King's pages.

Core programme content
  • Principles & Practice in Language Teaching
  • Linguistic Analysis for Language Teaching
  • Sociolinguistics: Language in its Social Context
  • Social and Psychological Aspects of Second Language Learning
  • Research Methods

Indicative non-core content
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • Materials Development in  English Language Teaching
  • Teacher Education
  • Language Assessment
  • Principles & Practice 2: Issues in Communicative Language Teaching
  • Working With Texts 

Students on the standard programme follow all the core modules and choose two optional modules. Students who have the Cambridge ESOL DELTA or Trinity House Diploma in ELT may be eligible for the fast track version of the programme which gives them exemption from Principles & Practice in ELT, and one of the optional modules. Assessment is by coursework assignments and dissertation. There are no examinations.

More information about the programme, lecturers, and experiences of students can be found on the Department of Education and Professional Studies' MA Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching study page. Offer holders can also find the timetable, key contacts, recommended reading and enrolment information via the departmental Welcome to King's pages.

More information on typical programme modules.
NB it cannot be guaranteed that all modules are offered in any particular academic year.

Teaching staff: Dr Nick Andon, Professor Guy Cook, Susan Maingay
Module code: 7SSEE005
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 30
Semester:  Semester 1 (autumn) 
Assessment:  coursework 
1 project analysis of language and 1 essay of 3,500 words

The aim of this course is to examine in detail specific areas of linguistic analysis relevant to language teaching. The course will provide students with an overview of key concepts, terms and models in the following areas, and relate these to syllabus, methodology, materials and other aspects of the second language curriculum. The course consists of an in-depth study of lexis, morphology, syntax, discourse analysis, and phonology.
Teaching staff: Dr Nick Andon
Module code: 7SSEE009
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  Semester 1 (autumn) 
Assessment:  coursework 
3,500 word assignment

This course looks at principles and theories which develop from and underpin the practice of language teaching. Its aims are to provide students with an advanced level understanding of how key theories of language (such as communicative competence) and key theories of learning (such as the behaviourist theory of learning) are related to approaches to language teaching; provide students with a critical overview of different approaches and methods in the field of language teaching, and conceptual frameworks for analysing, comparing and evaluating approaches and methods; provide students with a theoretically-informed understanding of the concept of a language education curriculum and how it relates to language teaching in different contexts; enable students to critically evaluate the following dimensions of the curriculum with reference to established perspectives: Syllabus Design, Learning Activities, Materials Design, Classroom Management, Roles of teachers and learners Curriculum development and renewal processes.
It will also enable students to use current theoretical frameworks to critically analyse their own professional practice, and identify areas and directions for development.
Teaching staff: Dr Jo Lewkowicz, Dr Martin Edwardes, Dr Martin Dewey
Module code: 7SSEE017
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 30
Semester:  Semester 1 (autumn) 
Assessment:  coursework;  presentation/s; 
1 report of 4500 words on a language learning experience (65% of the assessment), plus 15 minute oral presentation (35% of the assessment)

The module will explore the nature of language acquisition and learning primarily from a second language perspective, but it will also look at aspects of first language acquisition in order to better understand the challenges of learning a second language. It will introduce students to key concepts in psycholinguistics and the role of the brain, the mind and memory in language learning. It will provide insights into how languages are learned by both children and adults.

The module will provide students with an extensive overview of SLA theory and research, identifying key trends and principles relevant to both classroom-based and informal pedagogies. It will explore the individual and social processes involved in the development and use of a second language, highlighting how in contrast to more conventional approaches to the field, SLA can be framed within a bi/multilingual development perspective. It will explore the ongoing debate between theorists adopting a psycho-cognitive perspective and those adopting sociolinguistic perspectives.
Throughout the module students will be encourage to evaluate critically established psycholinguistic and SLA theories in light of their own experience of language learning and teaching, and to apply these to a range of contexts in order to describe and explain the key issues involved. They will undertake a language learning experience which they will report on as part of the assessment for the course.

The course will cover the following key issues:
  • The relation between the brain, cognition and language;
  • How language is produced, both in spoken and written from, and how it is understood;
  • Similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition;
  • The roles of explicit and implicit learning of language;
  • Input and output hypotheses;
  • Form and meaning focussed learning;
  • Task-based interaction;
  • Socio-cultural theories in SLA;
  • Motivation in language learning;
  • Learner identities
Teaching staff: Dr Martin Dewey
Module code: 7SSEE012
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  Semester 2 (spring) 
Assessment:  coursework 
One 3,500 word assignment

This module aims to provide English Language Teaching professionals with an overview of the field of sociolinguistics, both micro- and macro-, along with an opportunity for the in-depth study of those areas within the field that have particular relevance to their professional lives. The module embraces both traditional variationist approaches to sociolinguistics and more recent socio-political approaches, and includes the following:
  • Key concepts and issues in sociolinguists
  • The difficulty in defining ‘standard’ English
  • The global spread of English
  • World Englishes, English as a Lingua Franca and implications for ELT
  • Pidgin and Creole language
  • Language, thought and culture
  • Gendered language
  • Politeness theory
  • The role of sociolinguistics in ELT

Teaching staff: Dr Chris Tribble
Module code: 7SSEE002
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  summer session 1 
Assessment:  coursework 
3,500 word assignment

All students need to be able to meet the linguistic demands of a course of study and this need is critical if they are studying in a second or foreign language. This course focuses on the central problem of written communication in academic contexts, and gives participants an opportunity to develop an understanding of the language and teaching issues that are central to EAP programmes. The course draws on a range of important theoretical and descriptive frameworks in building an account of how best we can help EAP students in particular functional systemic linguistics, genre analysis, and corpus linguistics. It also give practical insights into how to use this understanding in preparing practical courses for students studying in English. Apart from this focus on teaching writing, this course gives students the chance to focus on important issues in EAP in particular: preparing for the IELTS test, study skills, needs analysis and the management of EAP courses.
Teaching staff: Melanie Cooke
Module code: 7SSEE003
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  summer session 1 
Assessment:  coursework 
3,500 word assignment

This module scrutinises the 'standard' principles and theories of language teaching against the backdrop of the socio-political context of ESOL/ESL in the UK, and other English dominant settings such as the USA, Canada and Australia. It places the teaching of migrants in the broader contexts of globalisation, 'superdiversity' and public policy, with particular reference to the backgrounds of adult migrants and ESOL/ESL teachers. We will explore some key social theories, eg theories of identity, Bourdieu's theory of capital, which have been applied to English language teaching and learning in English dominant settings.
Teaching staff: Dr Nick Andon 
Module code: 7SSEE007
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  summer session 1 
Assessment:  coursework 
3,500 word assignment

This course will give participants a better idea of the role of materials within the ELT curriculum, and provide them with tools to investigate learners' needs, plan courses for ESP and General English classes, and analyse, design and adapt tasks and materials for their students. The course builds on work already done in all the previous courses, especially on task-based instruction and SLA, descriptions of English, curriculum design and pedagogy. Participants will have the opportunity to apply theory and principles from these earlier courses and put them to practical use.
This is a theory-informed practice oriented course and quite a large part of class time will be used for workshops where participants will work together in pairs and groups, evaluating, adapting and designing materials, and planning courses based on the needs of their students, with the help of the tutors. Some of the outputs from these workshops may be included in participants' assignments. Participants will be expected to find time between sessions to do further work on materials development tasks that they start in the workshop sessions, in addition to reading the key texts. It is also recommended that during the course participants spend some time looking carefully at published materials as a source of ideas on content, topics, task types, layout and design, methodology and syllabus. The assignment for this course can be in the form of a piece of professional work in materials design or materials evaluation, rather than a traditional academic essay.
Teaching staff: Melanie Cooke
Module code: 7SSEE008
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  summer session 1 
Assessment:  coursework 
3,500 word assignment

Students will be required to draw on their experience reflexively in order to relate ideas from the course and from their reading to the practice of CLT in the various contexts that they are familiar with. Research on the nature of the skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking in a second/foreign language, will be critically examined together with research into the processes and strategies involved in acquiring these skills. Students will have the opportunity to relate current issues in teaching the language skills to their own contexts, through discussions and tasks in class as well as through the assessed coursework essays. Students will be able to choose an assignment title which focuses on one or more of the key topics covered, or they can negotiate their own title relating principles to practice in a specific context.
Teaching staff: Dr Martin Dewey
Module code: 7SSEE013
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  summer session 1 
Assessment:  coursework 
3,500 word assignment

For teachers who have little or no experience of teacher training, this course will provide a thorough overview of the field and introduce participants to the key issues. For those who are already teacher educators or responsible for teacher development in a managerial role the objective will be to extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the central issues in teacher training, education and continued professional development in English language pedagogy. The course will familiarize participants with the relevant literature and encourage critical evaluation of this in the light of individual experience in order to develop awareness of the key choices available to a teacher educator in terms of approaches, methods and materials. This will involve the development of teacher training skills through collaborative workshops and through simulated teacher supervision and evaluation.
In addition to discussion of teacher education literature, there will be consideration of recent developments in applied linguistics. This will involve reflection on the implication of these with regard to the nature of curricula in existing teacher education programmes, and in relation to the planning and implementation of training/education/development initiatives in different teaching contexts.
Teaching staff: Dr Chris Tribble
Module code: 7SSEE014
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 15
Semester:  summer session 1 
Assessment:  coursework 
3,500 word assignment

Professionals with an interest in genre analysis, discourse analysis, cultural studies, materials development, ESP course development, or the study of literature need to understand how to work with texts.

This module is designed for students who are interested in developing analytic skills which will enable them to engage with texts for use in language teaching, applied linguistics or literary research. Drawing on techniques drawn from corpus linguistics, students will learn how to make practical use of commercial and open sources text analysis programs in linguistic and social research, or materials development in language education.

Although written texts will be the major focus of the option module, students will also be able to use the the tools and techniques they have learned how to use in the analysis of spoken texts.

General entry advice

Academic requirements: A 2:1 class honours degree (or international equivalent) is usually required in a relevant subject (including, but not limited to, a modern foreign language, English, Education, Linguistics etc).
If you have a lower degree classification, or a degree in an unrelated subject, your application may be considered if you can demonstrate significant relevant work experience, or offer a related graduate qualification (such as a Masters or PGDip).

Professional requirements: All applicants should also have experience equivalent to three years' full-time in language teaching or a related post.

Note:  if, in addition to the above, you also have the Cambridge ESOL DELTA or Trinity House Diploma in ELT, then you may be eligible for the "fast track" version of this programme. The "fast track" gives you exemption from Principles & Practice in ELT, and one of the option courses. See the 'Structure' tab for further details.

Enhanced criminal conviction check
Occupational Health clearance required?

To apply for graduate study at King's you will need to complete our graduate online application form. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.
King's does not normally accept paper copies of the graduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online graduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.

Applications should include one professional and one academic reference as well as details of teaching experience. All applications are considered by the Admissions Tutor and one other member of staff. Home students may be invited for interview and both home and international students may be asked to complete a short academic writing task. We endeavour to process all applications within four weeks of receipt in the department.

The personal statement should describe your teaching experience so far and discuss how you feel this MA will build on your experience, as well as how it might contribute to your future career plans.

Some students are funded by their employers; others are self-funded. Applicants are encouraged to explore financial assistance from their employers, national governments and other international educational grant providers.

Student profiles

Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA
King's is a resourceful college as it teaches all aspects of English language teaching from a variety of angles. Both academic staff and my fellow classmates are comfortable dispensing their practical teaching experience in the UK and the location of the school itself is prime considering how close it is to the heart of London. It has been very easy making friends and settling into life here. My friends are a good mix of international students and local professionals. The participation in Learn to Lead program 2008 in London also widened my scope with 20 potential leaders round the world.
Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA
I did the MA because I had been teaching English for several years and knew I wanted to continue, but I had no background in linguistics. I thought the MA looked like a good way to “fill in the gaps” in my knowledge and become a more serious professional. It actually turned out to be much more than that! The quality of the teaching and tutorial support far exceeded my expectations, and I relished being part of such a diverse and intellectually engaged cohort. A year later I landed my dream job teaching at a university, where I have continued to grow professionally and reflect on the ideas we explored on the MA.
Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA

I did the MA in ELT and Applied Linguistics at King’s because I wanted to take my career to a higher level, both academically and professionally. I chose King’s for its world- renowned reputation and its location right in the heart of London. This MA gives students access to a wealth of resources, together with highly knowledgeable teachers, boasting a diversity of English language teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. Thanks to this programme, I have been offered a number of exciting teaching positions in Chile, at school and university level.

Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA

I chose the MA in Applied Linguistics & ELT because of its articulate and integral course structure, its fundamental yet challenging modules, and, as an international student, I was impressed King’s College London’s outstanding reputation as a leader in continuing education. The choice was simple.

Once the MA began, I found myself completely immersed in the program, surrounded by like-minded students, and loving my experience. The courses themselves were rich with theory and all of us were able to find ways of making connections to our own classroom experiences.

Choosing to pursue the Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA at King’s College London was one of the smartest things I’ve done. It has helped me on my path to education and provided me with the necessary skills I need to further my career as an educator. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Staff profiles

Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA
I have previously taught English as a second language in Italy, Mexico and the UK, and have trained language teachers on several pre-service and in-service programmes of teacher education, including the CELTA and DELTA schemes, as well as a number of projects on continued professional development in language teaching.

Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA
Applied Linguistics is a thriving research area at King’s with over 25 members of staff belonging to the Language Discourse & Communication research group and a large number of students from BA level to PhD and beyond. Staff who teach on this programme have extensive experience of English Language Teaching programme evaluation, assessment, teacher education and curriculum design in EFL, ESOL, ESP and EAP. Based on this we have designed an MA programme which provides a thorough introduction to theory and research in the field, as well as a range of professional option modules in practical areas such as language testing, materials, teaching EAP and teaching ESOL. We feel that a good balance of theory and its practical application allows teachers to develop their careers in a number of different directions, and many teachers who have taken this programme have progressed to senior positions.