Year of entry2017
Start dateOctober 2017
One year full-time or two years part-time
Two to three evenings a week, October to September
Other entry years for this course2018
Birkbeck's specialist MA Language Teaching is designed for people who are already experienced foreign or second language teachers who want to develop their career opportunities, or those with less experience but a strong interest in pursuing a career in this field.
The programme will develop both your understanding of classroom practice and of key areas of research that inform practice. This is a course on which the importance of bridging the gap between theory and practice is valued and it is structured to reflect the fine balance between the two.
Through your acquaintance with current literature and the research you carry out in completing course assignments, you will be able to engage critically and constructively in debates relating to a wide range of aspects of language teaching.
The programme has a number of unique features. One of them is its focus on the multilingual and multicultural contexts of language learning and teaching. Another unique feature of the programme is that locally based teachers of languages other than English have the opportunity to share their experiences with students from all over world, thus gaining insight into a wide range of language teaching contexts internationally.
In addition, you will be studying alongside students on the MA TESOL programme, thus benefiting from an exchange of experiences and perspectives with teachers of English as well as a range of other languages.
The programme is also unique in offering you a choice between two dissertation pathways: an empirical research investigation of an aspect of language teaching and learning or an independent library-based project on a topic of your choice.
MA Language Teaching will enhance your career prospects in a number of ways. If you are an experienced teacher it will help you to progress to a more senior or specialised position in language teaching, such as a senior teacher, director of studies, teacher trainer, consultant or materials developer. An MA Language Teaching is an essential qualification for those who wish to teach languages at university level, whether for general or more specific purposes. For those with less teaching experience, MA Language Teaching will give you a competitive early career advantage as you gain more experience in teaching posts.
As an MA Language Teaching student, you will join a vibrant and diverse community supported by the Birkbeck College Applied Linguistics Society, which is student run. An annual Postgraduate Student Research Conference is organised by the Society every summer. In addition, the Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts a lecture series given by international visiting scholars. Birkbeck also actively collaborates with the larger community of applied linguists throughout University of London colleges, including the Institute of Education (IoE), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and University College London (UCL), which are all next door to Birkbeck in Bloomsbury, while King’s College London (KCL) is a short walk away.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
- You will gain a broader view of language teaching and learning by drawing on the rich and diverse research in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication.
- You will have the opportunity to share experiences with, and learn from, colleagues from all over the world and the UK, and be part of a vibrant scholarly and research community in the heart of London.
- Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.
- If you are interested in an academic career, MA Language Teaching can allow you to progress to .
You take two core modules (worth 30 credits each) and two or three option modules (worth 30 credits each), and complete a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation (worth 60 credits) or a 4500-5000-word independent literature review (worth 30 credits).
Note: please check with the programme office for availability of the modules listed.
- Language Teaching and Learning in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts
- Research Methods and Design
- Corpus Linguistics
- International Management Communication
- Introduction to Applied Linguistics
- Introduction to Intercultural Communication in Business Contexts
- Language, Culture and Communication
- Marketing Communications: A global perspective
- Second Language Acquisition
Dissertation/Independent Literature Review
Sample timetableALC Masters Timetable 2017-18.pdf — PDF document, 72 KB (74743 bytes)
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Usually an upper second-class honours degree or above, or overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject and/or relevant professional training and language teaching experience.
You may be called to interview and you may also be asked for a lesson plan and post-lesson reflection of no more than 500 words.
You must also provide one academic reference.
If you have been awarded the Cambridge Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA) in the last five years, you may apply for credit for one option module (please indicate this in your application).
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Lectures, seminars, workshops and student presentations.
Key teaching staff on this programme
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
For your coursework, you complete a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words or an independent literature review of 4000-5000 words.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go in to careers in education, local government, the charity sector, public relations and the media, marketing, and lexicography and translation. Possible professions include secondary/further/higher education lecturer, publisher, or translator. This degree may also be useful in a variety of roles within local and national government, tourism/hospitality, or the media, as well as in becoming a speech and language therapist, community development worker, youth worker, or special educational needs teacher.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
Application to all September/October-start programmes at Birkbeck closes on Monday 16 October.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Financial support and postgraduate loans
Birkbeck offers advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay loans by interest-free direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students. Find out about the support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
Professor Bill Bowring awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences
Professor Bowring is a leading expert in the UK on legal and human rights issues in Russia and the countries of the Former Soviet Union, and Eastern and Central Europe.
Professor Martin Paul Eve awarded Medal of Honour in the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Medal of Honour is awarded to laureates of exceptional academic or social distinction, who make a unique contribution to the mutual relationship between faculties and universities.
Public engagement with research
A grant from Research Councils UK will enable Birkbeck to build upon existing public engagement initiatives and enrich our culture of engagement.
Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love
Peltz Gallery, 43 Gordon Square
The Centre for Research on Race and Law - Strategic litigation: Anti-racism in the courtroom?
CLO B01, Clore Management Centre, Tavistock Square, London, WC1E 7JL
Murray seminar - Kim Woods on Speaking Sculptures
Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43-46 Gordon Square
Quest for justice
A quest for justice leads Marie Hydara to a law degree at Birkbeck.
Trailblazing in Maths
Professor Sarah Hart marks International Women’s Day.
Podcast: Advice from an elder
Dan Reagan studied at Birkbeck in 1969. Now aged 84, he offers advice to today's students.