TESOL: Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages MSc

Students and teacher in class

This programme is for those interested in entering the TESOL field to follow or develop a career as an English language teacher but who at present have limited or no teaching experience.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • You will be provided with ‘hands-on’ opportunities to deliver supported, mentored teaching practice.
  • There’s a focus on collaborative learning, drawing on your own experiences and those of your academic colleagues.

Programme structure

Initially, you are introduced to the principles of teaching and learning. The emphasis is on relating theory to practical applications through lecture input, workshops and seminar discussions. As the programme progresses you also have the opportunity to specialise through your choice of two optional courses. With the support of your supervisors you will also explore a TESOL topic in depth and complete a dissertation.

Core courses

  • Classroom processes
  • Descriptions of language
  • Developing professional practice
  • Introduction to social and educational research.

Optional courses

  • Advanced educational research.
  • Developing literacy
  • Inclusive classrooms - inclusive pedagogy
  • Language proficiency, assessment, & feedback
  • Modern educational thought
  • Social emotional & behavioural difficulties
  • Teaching English for academic purposes
  • The education of highly able pupils
  • Which English? Sociolinguistics and language teaching.

Background and aims

The MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is specifically designed for students who would like  to enter the field . The programme explores classroom processes, practical applications of theory to lesson design, approaches to classroom research and provides a foundation in descriptions of English. It can be taken over one-year full time or over two to three years part time.

The programme is delivered by the English for Academic Study unit and the School of Education. 

Is this programme for you? 

This programme is suitable for students with a degree in English language or education who would like to enter the field of English Language Teaching. Please note: This is not a teaching qualification in Scotland.

What will you get from this programme? 

You will build a solid foundation in the processes of teaching and learning English to speakers of other languages. Specifically you will:

  • explore teacher and learner roles in the classroom
  • develop  your understanding of methodology
  • focus on applying theory to classroom teaching and lesson planning
  • develop an understanding of how descriptions of language (e.g. grammar and vocabulary) can be applied in the language classroom
  • explore approaches to investigating  the language classroom
  • develop comprehensive skills to conduct research in the field
  • develop your knowledge of different contexts  by working with students  from different educational and language backgrounds. 

Introductory Reading 

We recommend reading the following before your programme begins

an introduction to learning a second language, for example:

  • Lightbown, P.M. & Spada, N. 1999. How Languages are Learned. Oxford University Press
  • Saville-Troike, M. 2006. Introducing Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge University Press (especially chapters 1, 2, & 3).

an introduction to principles underlying teaching and learning a second language, for example:

  • Carter, R. & Nunan, D. (eds). 2001. The Cambridge Guide to Teaching Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge University Press
  • Brown, H.D. 2000. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall
  • Johnson, K. 2001. An introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching. Longman
  • Richards, J.C. & Rodgers, T.S. 2001. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press (especially parts I and III)

an introduction to descriptions of language, for example:

  • Yule, G. 2006. The study of Language. Cambridge University Press

a basic practical teacher's introduction to English Language Teaching (ELT), for example:

  • Harmer, J. 2007. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Longman
  • Scrivener, J. 2011. Learning Teaching Heinemann. Macmillan

What our students say

Tafoul Al-Shafari (Oman), 2013-14

'I really enjoyed my programme. At first, I was worried since my BA is English literature and does not have any links with the educational aspect of teaching English, but the programme leader and the instructors made the programme adaptable for such cases. They gave me advice and suggestions of what to read in order to keep up, not to mention, their handling of the courses facilitated the learning process and made it more pleasant. Some courses offered teaching practice and enabled me to teach real students, which was an experience I will remember for a long time. Such courses taught me how to handle unexpected situations that occur in a classroom, a crucial skill that can be only learned through first-hand experience.


Moreover, the programme was flexible in that I had the opportunity to choose two courses that are interesting to me which gave me the opportunity to focus in more than one aspect of the teaching methods. It is true, that at the beginning of the programme, I faced some difficulties such as keeping up with the reading list and writing assignments, but it is those difficulties and overcoming them which made this year for me invaluable.

The time I have spent at the University of Glasgow was an interesting experience. I have only spent one year there, but for me this year was exceptional. The staff were helpful and always wore a smile which is the best greeting a new student could get. During Freshers’ Week I had the chance to know the different clubs the University has to offer.

As an international student at Glasgow, I really had fun. In addition to it providing all the necessary facilities such as transportations from and to university, canteen that has various cuisines and Halal food for Muslims and a library that opens for long hours (19 hours!), it also provides trips around Scotland in the weekends which are affordable for students. So it is a two in one experience, learning in the University and sightseeing of the country. I enjoyed living in the city of Glasgow; the people are friendly and helpful, shopping has become one of my favourite activities and most importantly I felt safe. It is a beautiful and peaceful city, though the weather is a bit unexpected. Umbrellas have become my best friend!

The year I spent here, had made me more eager to learn more about TESOL and adopt new teaching pedagogies in my country. It also made me realise that I have to conduct more research regarding the development of teaching English in my country. If I have the chance, I would like to do my PhD at Glasgow, because I’m sure I will experience more than the learning process.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2017

Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent (eg GPA of 3.0 or above) in English, education or similar subject.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.5
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 23
    • Listening:23
    • Speaking: 23
    • Writing: 24
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 64 overall;  no sub-test less than 62
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Home and EU
Full time fee£7250
Part time 20 credits£806
Full time fee£16000

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only


The University requires a deposit of £1000 to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme.

Deposits terms & conditions

The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programmes and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.

If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant decides to go to another institution.
  2. Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
  3. Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
  4. Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
  5. Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry. 

Refund requests must be made by 30th October, 2016: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MSc. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

The programme is specially designed for those wishing to enter the field of teaching English as a foreign language.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
  • A two-page personal statement highlighting:
    • How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
    • Why you want to study this programme
    • How you think this programme will help you in your future career development

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now