TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, MSc, PgCert or PgDip

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, MSc, PgCert or PgDip


Did you know that any discipline at undergraduate level can kick start a career in teaching English to speakers of other languages? Our conversion programme can be completed in a single year giving you a master’s level qualification. With a strong commitment to global standards for excellence, our MSc reflects a refreshingly practical approach to acquiring expert knowledge in linguistics to flourish academically and professionally. We also run a 5-week intensive Summer Postgraduate Certification programme in TESOL.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc, PgCert or PgDip
4 months, 9 months, 12 months, 21 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study

The ability to teach English as a foreign language is a skill highly valued worldwide making native English-speaking teachers high in demand. The MSc in TESOL aims to equip you with the knowledge and practical skills required to help learners grow the confidence to speak English fluently and confidently.

Our programme offers a range of innovative courses to develop your critical and creative thinking skills while giving you a solid grounding on relevant themes in language teaching. Deepen your understanding of language teaching by exploring our optional courses in curriculum and materials development, the psychology of wellbeing in language teaching, key concepts and TESOL-orientated theories of learning and more.

You also have the option to write a dissertation that provides great preparation to study for a PhD or build a Focused Teaching Portfolio showcasing a valuable record of your growing knowledge, skills, and experience, thereby adding depth to your CV.

The programme attracts a cultural mix of students worldwide and draws upon a range of specialist knowledge from our Departments of Language, Linguistics and Education, creating a dynamic environment to appreciate different perspectives and engage in stimulating discussions.

Available Programmes of Study


TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen More
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £11,100
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Candidates undertake the following:

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5506)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

TESOL Methodology: Teaching English as A Second or Other Language (LN5511)

30 Credit Points

English Structure and Academic Writing (LN5543)

This course opens up new ways for students to think about language by introducing them to the fundamentals of English linguistics. Students will learn how to identify and analyse the major "building blocks" of language in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Examples for illustration and discussion will be drawn from varieties of English spoken in the British Isles and worldwide, with lectures and tutorials geared to providing students with an active vocabulary with which to discuss language, and essential tools with which to analyse its structure and function.

Qualitative TESOL Research (LN5537)

15 Credit Points

This course will explore ways of collecting qualitative data in the TESOL context, including classroom observations, questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. There will also be some focus on analysing the structure of academic articles.

Optional Courses

Plus ONE of the following:

Peer Teaching in TESOL (LN5516)

15 Credit Points

Through a process of observation, delivery and reflection, learners will develop the ability to plan and teach coherent and structured lessons which meet stated aims and objectives. This will consolidate content covered in the TESOL methodology course.

Quantitative TESOL Research (LN5533)

15 Credit Points

This course is a core course for the Dissertation route and an optional course for the TESOL Focussed Teaching Portfolio route. The course will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of quantitative research in TESOL.

Semester 2

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following:

TESOL Focussed Teaching Portfolio (LN5906)

60 Credit Points

This course leads to the production of a portfolio of reflective and informed pieces analysing both the student's own and others' teaching practice in line with what has been learned throughout the programme. Students will gain hands-on teaching practice under the supervision of highly qualified personnel; the experience will then be analysed and related to relevant theory and methodology. Students will gain a sense of what planning and executing a programme of TESOL teaching will involve. This portfolio is a unique feature of the Aberdeen MSc in TESOL and gives a strongly practical flavour to the degree as a whole.

Dissertation for MSc in TESOL (LN5908)

60 Credit Points

If you want to carry out in-depth research on a single topic within the field of TESOL, this is the course for you. You will be given regular support and supervision from experts in their fields on how your research should be carried out.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Second Language Acquisition (LN5036)

15 Credit Points

This course on the processes that are involved in the learning of second language vocabulary, morphosyntax, collocations, formulaic language, language functions and phonology. In addition to critical analysis of theory and research, students will have an opportunity to engage in designing EFL (English as a Foreign/Second Language) classroom activities that address areas of difficulty for English language learners from different linguistic backgrounds.

Theories of Learning (LN5023)

15 Credit Points

This course will focus on key concepts, hypotheses and models related TESOL-oriented theories of learning, including behaviourist, cognitive and socio-cultural perspectives. The structure of this course will facilitate development of and reflection on teaching beliefs and teaching philosophy. Strengths and weaknesses of common learning theories will be identified and their applicability to the English language teaching context will be examined.

Optional Courses

Select TWO of the following:

Creativity and Innovation in Language Teaching & Learning (LN5031)

15 Credit Points

In this course, students will learn about the relevance of creativity in both language teaching and learning. Students will be asked to think more deeply about what creativity means, how it relates to teaching and learning strategies and outcomes, and how they, as teachers, can better enact creativity in their classroom practices. Further, with an ever-growing emphasis on enriching creativity and thinking skills in ESL/EFL education, the course will also consider how language teaching has changed, and indeed continues to change, and the possible reasons and implications for innovations in the field that are happening around the world.

Curriculum and Materials Development (LN5032)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the concepts and practices involved in the design, planning, and implementation of ELT curriculums and materials. It will discuss how to carry out an effective ‘Situation’ and ‘Needs’ analysis, how to target specific language and content objectives, and how to set realistic and attainable goals. Students will learn to systematically evaluate, adapt, and create contextually-appropriate lessons and make informed decisions about curricular matters. The primary aim is to empower teachers with the pedagogical knowledge to analyze different learning situations and to be able to devise programs and materials that best suit the needs of their learners.

Psychology of Well - Being in Language Teaching (LN5030)

15 Credit Points

The course aims to help students develop a theoretical and practical understanding of psychological, physiological and environmental factors that influence the well-being of language teachers and learners. Course is an elective course for the MSc in TESOL.

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £11,100
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £15,865
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
UK £7,385
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
PgCert 4 months or 9 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £7,935
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £3,700
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

You will develop the ability to apply appropriate teaching techniques and assess situations from different viewpoints with support from highly qualified and committed academic staff. Using a combination of learning methods and assessments such as experimental teaching sessions, seminars, and peer language teaching observations, you will find meaningful ways to teach as an individual.

  • Lectures and seminars designed to enhance individual and teamwork skills and group discussion.
  • Peer review and critique.
  • A variety of learning styles.
  • Language teaching.
  • A focused teaching portfolio.
  • Written dissertation with practical work in teaching.

Instead of writing an academically oriented dissertation, you can compile a Focused Teaching Portfolio as the final element in your studies, an offering unique in the field. Preparing and presenting the Portfolio involves the same research skills as producing a dissertation but with the added benefit of involving practical work aimed towards the goal of becoming a teacher of TESOL.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment is by a combination of coursework, written and oral examinations and by preparation of an acceptable portfolio of documents on language acquisition and language teaching methods and practice.

Why Study TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages?

  • Excellence with relevance.
  • A 'conversion' programme that can be completed in a single year from any background, any discipline at undergraduate level to kick start a career teaching English to speakers of other languages.
  • Master a very marketable set of skills as you embark on your career.
  • Excellent balance between theory and practice using a range of innovative teaching methods.
  • We draw upon the range of specialist academic knowledge from our Departments of Language and Linguistics and Education.
  • High-quality teaching through face-to-face communication.
  • Observe and take part in language teaching in the University’s well-established Language Centre.
  • Practical assignment projects with constructive tutor feedback.
  • Having a wide choice of learning formats, courses and seminars helps give you a broader platform to gain greater knowledge.
  • Strong international flavour - students come from a range of countries. This adds a multicultural perspective. Surround yourself with students and teaching staff whose diversity of ideas and interactions become part of the learning experience.
  • Develop a Focused Teaching Portfolio showcasing your credentials, sampling evidence of your teaching and reflections on that evidence, adding depth to your CV.
  • We examine CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), CMC (Computer-Mediated Communication), Young Learners, Discourse Analysis and ESP (English for Specific Purposes).
  • Excellent career prospects, get a job anywhere in the world.
  • For English Language and Literature 'research outputs’, we rank number 1 in Scotland and Number 2 in the United Kingdom.
  • Learn from practitioners who are experts in their field.
  • Benefit from a strong international and multi-cultural mix. You will study in a group that mixes students from Europe to Asia and South America.
  • As a world centre for the energy industry, Aberdeen is the perfect cosmopolitan city, full of people from all over the world, working in Europe's energy capital with links to tourism and global business. Here, there’s a constant flow of new people and ideas from all over the world. It’s a perfect place to enjoy your international learning experience.
  • Our Alumni network of 82,500, spanning 192 countries, provides valuable peer-to-peer networking for years to come.

What Our Students Say

Zhewei Zha (Aurora)

Zhewei Zha (Aurora)

Zhewei Zha (Aurora)

The TESOL programme has been an incredibly meaningful journey for me. The lecturers’ innovative and student-centred teaching styles as well as their patience in mentoring students equipped me with confidence in both teaching and academic writing.

Sharmin Akter Shimu

Sharmin Akter Shimu

Sharmin Akter Shimu

The TESOL programme provided me with a thorough understanding of language learning, the ability to apply it on my own, and an increased interest in TESOL research. I appreciated the effort and mentoring of the extremely knowledgeable instructors.

Faraj Alharbi

Faraj Alharbi

Faraj Alharbi

I acquired vast knowledge in the field of TESOL and Linguistics through different teaching methods led by highly qualified staff. I liked the diverse aspect of this programme as I studied and worked collaboratively with multicultural cohorts.

Entry Requirements

Prospective students requiring a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early as possible to secure a place. Submitting a CV with your application is optional.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Students are required to have a good 2.1 degree (or its equivalent) in a related discipline, such as English or Linguistics, and/or sufficient English Language Teaching experience as approved by the admissions officer.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded post graduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships


The English language is in ever-increasing demand throughout the world. Knowledge of the English language and the ability to use this language is a valuable global commodity.

There are opportunities to observe and engage in language teaching in the University’s well-established Language Centre and master a very marketable set of skills. A selection of students on the programme have previously taught English to real learners at local language charities, allowing them to put their skills and knowledge into practice

  • Employment anywhere in the world.
  • Native English teaching, English as second language advisors, lecturers.
  • Teaching TESOL up to professor level at specialist colleges and institutes.
  • Centre Directors.
  • Language specialists, assessment specialists.
  • Continuation to a PhD by research from this degree.

Travel Globally With TESOL

TESOL offers you a 'career change' opportunity to travel and teach around the world, as demand is high globally

6th in the UK for Linguistics

We ranked 6th in the UK for Linguistics by the Complete University Guide 2024.

1st in Scotland for Linguistics

We are ranked 1st in Scotland for Overall Student Satisfaction in Linguistics by the National Student Survey 2023.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Ms Julie Bray
Dr Vincent Troy Greenier
Ishrat Rehman-Feltell
Programme Coordinator
Dr Agni Connor

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.


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Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more

Virtual Learning environment MyAberdeen

This the University’s virtual learning environment. This is where you will find learning materials and resources associated with your courses and where you will be notified of any announcements about your courses or the University.

University Language Centre

Home to state-of-the-art comprising audio-video facilities.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX