One year full-time or two years part-time
Two to three evenings a week, October to September
Other entry years for this course2017
This programme is designed for people who are already English language teachers and 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 your understanding of both classroom practice and key areas of research that inform practice. 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 focuses on the multilingual and multicultural contexts of language learning and teaching. It allows students from all over the world the opportunity to share their experiences with locally based teachers, thus gaining insight into a range of language teaching contexts in the UK, including the state education system. In addition, you will be studying alongside students on the MA Language Teaching programme, thus benefiting from an exchange of experiences and perspectives with teachers of languages other than English.
The MA TESOL 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 TESOL is an essential qualification for those who wish to teach English at university level, whether for general or more specific purposes. For those with less teaching experience, an MA TESOL will give you a competitive early career advantage as you gain more experience in teaching posts.
- 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 be part of a vibrant scholarly and research community in the heart of London.
- You will enhance your career prospects by gaining a highly valued qualification in a profession that is in constant and growing demand.
- The Birkbeck Applied Linguistics Society, an official University of London society, was formed to bring together students interested in applied linguistics and related fields (for example multilingualism, intercultural communication and TESOL) in the London area.
- Birkbeck’s Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts visiting scholars from all over the world and runs regular research seminars given by speakers from overseas and other UK institutions. The centre also supports postgraduate training in applied linguistics, bilingualism, intercultural communication and translation.
- Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.
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.
This programme is designed for candidates with recent and relevant experience of, and/or professional training in, classroom language teaching. However, candidates with limited classroom language teaching experience may apply if they have an excellent academic record in a field related to language teaching/TESOL and can demonstrate a strong interest in, and the ability to reflect critically on, key issues in language learning and teaching.
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.
Fees (2017/8)Part-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 include:
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, the media and public relations, marketing and publishing, and lexicography and translation. Possible professions include language teacher (TESOL), special educational needs teacher, or careers advisor. This degree may also be useful in various roles within local government, the media, or tourism and hospitality, as well as becoming a higher education lecturer, youth worker, or community development worker.
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
Your application will only be considered if you have completed initial training as a language teacher and if you have relevant classroom language teaching experience. Please give full details of your training and experience in your application.
Application deadlines and interviews
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
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.