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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MA

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Our Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MA will provide you with a thorough introduction to current research, teaching theory, principles and practices in English language teaching. You will have the opportunity to observe actual language classes, plan and teach real lessons and carry out research on language learning and teaching. (If you have at least three years’ experience as a language teacher, please see our MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching). 

Find out more about this MA including what you will study, life at King's and career opportunities.

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Key benefits

  • Develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills for teaching English in different contexts.

  • Four weeks of supervised teaching practice.

  • Gain a professional certificate in TEFL at the same time as your MA in TESOL.

  • Observe lessons and learn from experienced teachers at International House London.

  • Excellent tutorial support and extensive course-specific training in research methods and academic writing.

  • Staff have extensive experience of teaching and training teachers in a wide variety of contexts.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year full time September to September.

Study mode Full-time

Credit value UK 180-200/ECTS 90-100

Programme accreditations Cambridge English CELTA

Course intake 48

Course leaders

Programme Director: Dr Joe Fagan
Deputy Programme Director: Dr Ursula Wingate

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000


Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department School of Education, Communication & Society



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Course detail


This MA in TESOL will provide you with a thorough introduction to current research, theory, principles and practices in English language teaching. It will enable you to acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English as a second/ foreign language, and will prepare you to engage independently and critically with current language teaching and research issues. It will give you the research skills you need to investigate language learning, and tools help you to reflect on your practice and develop your individual pedagogic.

The core modules will allow you to develop in-depth knowledge of approaches to second-language teaching, theories of second-language learning, research methods, and ways to analyse the linguistic systems of English for teaching purposes. This will give you a solid foundation of professional knowledge and expertise in preparation for a teaching placement and provide skills to continue your professional development. Our optional modules and dissertation module will allow you to connect this knowledge to specialist areas such as language assessment, the development of teaching materials and teaching English in a variety of contexts. You will also have four weeks of supervised teaching practice through our collaboration with International House London, the leading provider of the initial teacher training certificate. If you are successful in the placement you will gain an additional qualification through International House, either the Cambridge English CELTA or the IH Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Course purpose

This course was designed to enable you to acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English as a second/foreign language, and to prepare you to engage independently and critically with current language teaching and research issues. It will also give you the basic research skills you need to investigate language learning, and to help you to develop your individual pedagogic style by reflecting on practice.

Course format and assessment


We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

You will typically have 40 hours of teaching for every 30-credit required module. 

We also expect you to undertake 260 hours of independent study per 30-credit required module. Contact hours for optional modules may vary slightly. During your dissertation we will provide you with seven hours of support from a supervisor, which will include one-to-one contact (face-to-face and online) and providing feedback on your research plans and your writing (outlines, drafts of parts of your dissertation chapters, etc.). In addition we will provide you with 20 hours of tuition on research skills to complement your 573 hours of independent study. 



Lectures, seminars and feedback 


Per 30-credit module 

Typically 40 hours of contact time for each 30-credit required module. Contact time for optional modules may vary, depending on the modules you choose. This will include lecturing, teacher-led class discussions and student-led group work. Group discussions will focus on core readings in the field, and other practical, analytical tasks carried out in class time. 

260 hours per 30-credit required module. 

Variable for optional modules, depending on the number of contact hours. 

Dissertation module 

7 hours of one-to-one dissertation supervision. 

Research methods lectures which involve an additional 20 hours of contact time. 


Teaching practice 

Students also have 4 weeks of supervised teaching practice through our collaboration with International House. 

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work. 



We will assess your performance on our required modules through essays, language analysis tasks, oral presentations and lesson planning tasks. We assess most of our optional modules through one 3,500-word essay per module, although assessment methods may vary depending on the optional modules you choose. You will also write a 15,000-word dissertation. 


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will take modules totalling 180-200 credits.

King's College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Required Modules

Courses are divided into modules. You will take modules totaling 180-200 credits.

You are required to take the following modules:

Optional Modules

In addition you are required to take two modules (30 to 45 credits) from a range of optional modules. Optional modules may typically include:


Entry requirements & how to apply

TESOL MA Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements 2:1

A 2:1 undergraduate degree is usually required in a relevant subject (for example: a foreign language; English; Linguistics/Applied Linguistics/Language and Communication; Psychology; a social science subject). Alternative qualifications may be considered. In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

Work experience:

No previous experience of language teaching is required although any experience including informal tutoring or volunteer teaching  and/or observation of teaching will be taken into account in assessing your application.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £100 applies.

Applications should include two references. At least one should be an academic reference. The second reference can be either professional or academic, but if you have some teaching experience, it would be helpful to include a professional reference from someone who knows about your teaching skills. Both home and international students will be asked to complete a short academic writing task and may be invited to be interviewed via Skype. We endeavour to process all applications within four weeks of receipt in the department.

All applicants are required to complete an English language awareness task. The instructions on how to access and complete the task will be detailed on King’s Apply once you begin your application for this programme. Please upload your completed task to the personal statement section of the application form before submitting it to us for consideration.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

TESOL checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). The personal statement should describe your reasons for choosing to study this subject and discuss how you feel this MA will contribute to your future career plans. You should describe any teaching experience you have.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £10,710 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £20,280 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London, to International House and between King’s campuses 
  • Graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

The skills and knowledge that you develop over the course of our MA will prepare you for a career in English language teaching, a research- oriented career, or a mixture of the two. 


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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