University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


The MA TESOL is suitable for all with a bachelor degree who wish to pursue TESOL as a new career or enhance their current prospects in the field of English language teaching, or working in a related profession.

The MA TESOL will develop your critical understanding of recent developments in TESOL theory and practice.  It also prepares you to conduct independent research into teaching and learning and provides a pathway to doctoral study.  You will meet expert tutors in the field of English language teaching (ELT), a major branch of applied linguistics, who have international reputations in their own area of research, and who are committed to providing the best quality study experience.  The course is co-taught with highly experienced colleagues in the Centre for English Language Education, one of the largest English language teaching operations in the world.

Advantages of studying the MA TESOL at the University of Nottingham

  • whole course taught in English, with the aim to widen your international horizons.  
  • teaching informed by leading-edge research in the field.
  • internationally reputable and approachable tutors who are practicing language teachers and researchers
  • solid foundation in core areas of TESOL theory and practice
  • elective modules which reflect the latest in applied linguistics and language teacher education
  • stylish, modern, hi-tech learning environment in an internationally reputable university
  • lively, multi-cultural social environment  

The programme will help you:

  • gain an advanced critical understanding of key issues, theories and practices in the field of English language teaching
  • acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of language in context
  • explore the implications of language analysis for teaching purposes
  • develop understanding of current methodology as it is embodied in classroom practice
  • engage with theories underlying current views on language learning, including the importance of individual differences amongst learners in their abilities and learning preferences
  • appreciate and view critically the connections between theory and practice in the field of English language teaching
  • foster the ability to conduct academic research.


Graduates may pursue TESOL as a new career or enhance their current prospects in the field of English language teaching. In China, a postgraduate qualification in TESOL is increasingly sought- after by educational institutions. The programme will also equip those interested in pursuing an academic career in the field of English language teaching and applied linguistics by preparing them to conduct research at EdD and PhD level.

Our Careers Development Service will work with you to explore your options, invite you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

Fact File

  • Qualification: MA
  • Qualification name: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Duration:
    • 12 months full-time;
    • 24 months part-time.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Requirements: Applicants should normally hold an approved first degree with at least second class honours (or equivalent) or an approved professional qualification deemed to be equivalent to a second class honours degree.
  • Teaching Experience: Applicants to the MA TESOL are not formally required to have prior teaching experience, although such experience is naturally considered useful, and can help in providing students with a more immediate and practical context when reflecting on the course content. All applicants accepted onto the MA TESOL with less than nine months’ full-time experience of English Language Teaching will be required to complete a 20-credit Teaching Practicum module in the second semester (those who are able to provide evidence of previous teaching experience can claim exemption from this).

All applicants should therefore include a full CV as part of their application. Applicants should also provide a sample of their academic writing in English. A Skype, telephone or face-to-face interview is normally required as part of the acceptance decision making process.

  • Language Requirements: If English is not your native language, you are required to achieve IELTS 6.5 overall or above with a minimum of 6.0 in all elements, or TOEFL IBT  87 (no less than 20 in speaking and 19 in other elements), or an equivalent in other tests. If you miss the English language requirements by 0.5-1.0 of an IELTS band, or a similar number for other English language exams, you can be admitted to the programme after successful completion of our four- or six-week intensive English pre-sessional course at our Centre for English Language Education (CELE).

Start date: September 2017

Campus: University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC)

School: School of Education


Core Modules: 

*Core Modules are compulsory for all taking the 12-month full-time or 24-month part-time courses

Elective Modules (20 credits each) (Select three from the following)

*There are Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma exit points.


Each 20-credit module is assessed by a written assignment of 4,000 words (or equivalent).  To complete the Masters programme successfully, a pass of 50 must be achieved on each assignment.  For award of the MA, you must also complete a 60-credit dissertation (12,000-15,000 words) on an approved topic.


  1. Domestic (including mainland China, HK, Macau and Taiwan) - 12-month full-time course RMB 80,000 (2015 equivalent subject to minor adjustment in subsequent years);  International applicants with 9 months or more work experience - 12-month course RMB 90,000 (2015 equivalent)
  2. Domestic (including mainland China, HK, Macau and Taiwan) - 24-month part-time taught course RMB 40,000 per annum (2015 equivalent subject to minor adjustment in subsequent years);  International applicants with 9 months or more teaching experience - 24-month part-time course RMB 45,000 per annum (2015 equivalent). 


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Academic Contact:

Prof. Douglas Bell

Head of School of Education


Faculty Office Contact:

Faculty Office of Humanities and Social Sciences

University of Nottingham Ningbo China