Study  ›   Postgraduate Taught courses

Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Apply for this course

UK students

Apply for this course by:

There is no fee to apply for our courses.

What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

  • Sign into our online portal, Apply Yourself, and start your application
  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

Already a University of Liverpool student?

Apply faster with the quick apply form for current University of Liverpool students.

Need help applying?

Our how to apply pages provide further information about applying online for our taught postgraduate courses.

If you are unable to apply via our online form, or need further support, please contact the postgraduate enquiries team.

Related courses

There are ten courses related to Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages that you might be interested in.

Change country or region

We’re showing entry requirements and other information for applicants with qualifications from: United Kingdom.

Commonly selected...

Change to the United Kingdom


Not on the list?

If your country or region isn’t listed here, please contact us with any questions about studying with us.

Get a master's guide

Our master's guide gives you an overview of what studying a master's course at Liverpool is like and why you should join us.

Complete form

Master of Arts

A Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the arts.

Return to top

Course overview

Explore contemporary approaches to language learning and insights into second language acquisition on an MA that opens the door to career opportunities around the world. You'll develop a deeper understanding of language and discourse analysis on this master's for English, linguistics and education graduates with professional teaching experience.

Introduction

From current trends in language teaching to a comprehensive understanding of second language acquisition, this MA immerses you in all aspects of language learning and linguistics.

We’ll introduce you to the latest approaches to linguistics research and reveal how these methods are being applied in the classroom. Developing a deeper understanding of every facet of language, you’ll analyse spoken and written discourse and gain experience of developing and refining language learning materials and assessment strategies.

The skills you develop will demonstrate your suitability for senior positions teaching English to speakers of other languages, as well as a variety of educational administration roles, in the UK and overseas. Your command of language could open the door to a career in publishing or journalism too.

You’ll learn from a friendly and supportive team of active researchers who have international teaching experience. Our students consistently praise the support they receive. Social visits to local places of interest will be arranged to help you to get to know your peers and the programme team.

Read about some of the recent successes of our students and teaching staff.

Who is this course for?

The programme is designed for teachers, teacher trainers, materials writers, researchers and administrators. If you’ve got at least 12 months’ professional teaching experience, we’ll prepare you to teach English in educational settings across the globe.

If you have limited or no professional teaching experience, you’ll not usually be eligible for this MA but can apply for our MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

What you'll learn

  • Recent developments in approaches to language learning and teaching
  • Theories and research in second language acquisition
  • How vocabulary shapes language structure and contemporary language learning
  • How to analyse spoken and written discourse
  • Critical thinking, academic writing and research design skills
  • Key differences between spoken and written language
  • The principles and practices of teaching English to young learners
  • How to test and assess language skills in learners
  • The role of digital technologies in language learning
  • How to develop, evaluate and adapt language learning materials

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Semester one

Compulsory modules

Methods of English Language Teaching (ENGL641)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Methodology is a key aspect of language teaching. It is therefore vital that teachers keep up to date with changes in methodology and also critically evaluate their own approaches to teaching. This is an essential part of being an engaged and effective language teacher, whichever context you work in.

Second Language Acquisition (ENGL661)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is fundamental to any study of language learning. This module provides an overview of SLA theories and research that are relevant to Applied Linguistics and TESOL and which will underpin students’ future teaching practice. The module will introduce students to theoretical and practical areas which they could further explore in their dissertation.

Lexis and Vocabulary Teaching (ENGL670)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will enable you to understand the role of lexis and the teaching of vocabulary in contemporary approaches to language learning and teaching. You will survey and analyse current approaches to lexical description. You will analyse lexical systems in spoken and written communication. You will learn how to identify and evaluate current practice and discuss how learners are enabled to practise and remember new vocabulary. You will explore corpus/corpora and learn how to use corpus tools to analyse data. You will examine implications for applied linguistics, TESOL and language teaching. Sessions are delivered through interactive workshops and seminars, and a different aspect of lexis is discussed each week. The module is assessed by means of a 3,000 word assignment.

Optional modules

Speaking and Listening (ENGL645)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Many learners study second languages with the main purpose of speaking to other people. For this reason, it is vital that teachers at all levels of experience understand how spoken language differs from written language and also the processes involved in listening to second languages. This module aims to help teachers to understand these aspects and also how they relate to established methodologies, including their own.

Reading and Writing (ENGL644)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module aims to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in Reading and Writing relevant to language teaching and research. Students will learn about recent insights into language theory and use which have been offered by research into corpora, genre and register. Implications of the insights to language teaching and learning will be explored throughout the course.

Teaching English to Young Learners (ENGL664)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Teaching English to Young Learners has become a major career field for MA TESOL and MA Applied Linguistics graduates. Also in the Chinese primary and secondary education systems, more focus is being given to starting learning English at younger ages, for which teachers will need to be familiar with the principles and practices of teaching English to Young Learners.

Pedagogical Grammar for TESOL and Applied Linguistics (ENGL665)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

If you are, or if you want to become, a teacher of English to speakers of other languages, you’re almost certainly going to have to get to grips with English grammar. Grammar still plays a key role in most published coursebooks, as well as in foundational and more advanced ESOL teaching qualifications. In this optional module for both MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics and TESOL programmes, we essentially want to do two things: (1) to build up your language awareness (see, e.g., Garrett, P. & Cots, J. M. (eds.). (2017). The Routledge handbook of language awareness. Routledge.). This will involve surveying some of the traditional elements of English grammar (e.g., word classes, the structures and functions of clauses); but we will also consider some more recent developments of and challenges to these traditions (e.g. that no absolute distinction can be made between grammar and vocabulary; the existence of an informal, spoken grammar which does not fit neatly into traditional categories); (2) to enable you to analyse and evaluate various ways of teaching and learning grammar (e.g. in coursebook activities).

A student who successfully completes the module will have a clearer grasp of the different levels of grammar (e.g. in words, groups of words, utterances, clauses and longer stretches of text), and of how it can be taught. The module will be delivered in workshops and seminars (2 hours in total per week), and students will be expected to supplement these contact hours with their own reading. The module will be assessed by means of a written assignment of approximately 3,000 words.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

The Department of English, based in the School of the Arts, is committed to small group teaching and encouraging a more rewarding learning experience, with ideas shared and explored amongst peers and tutors. You’ll have access to extensive library facilities, special collections and Liverpool’s renowned museums, libraries and galleries.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place to study English

  • The Department of English is in the top 100 English Language and Literature departments in the world according to QS Top Universities rankings
  • We are internationally renowned for advancing the study of language, literature, and creative writing and have a strong research ethos
  • Our programmes offer opportunities to study creative writing and literature from a wide range of periods, as well as a range of approaches to understanding the way in which the English language works
  • We have a reputation for radical thinking, as exemplified by our success rate in the BBC and Arts and Humanities Council’s ‘New Generation Thinkers’ scheme. In total, five members our academic staff have been selected since the scheme was established in 2010
  • We are committed to small group teaching. This encourages a more rewarding learning experience, where ideas are shared and explored with peers and tutors
  • Ranked 10th in sector for research impact classified as outstanding (4*) (REF 2021)
  • We are host to Europe’s largest collection of science fiction materials which includes the John Wyndham Archive and home to the annual Liverpool Literary Festival.

Careers and employability

The programme provides a platform to develop your career in teaching, educational administration and other areas. You’ll be well placed to pursue new opportunities both in the UK and internationally.

The key transferable skills you’ll develop, especially in spoken and written communication, are highly sought after in publishing, journalism and marketing, for example. Clarity of expression, independent study and effective time management will also prepare you for further academic study and research.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Our alumni have gone on to teach English in elementary and secondary schools, as well as tertiary education settings, around the globe.

You’ll graduate well placed to secure a senior teaching post in state or private education in the UK and overseas. A Masters degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages is a pre-requisite for securing a long-term teaching post in many countries worldwide.

This MA is also a key qualification if you want to transition from classroom teaching to teacher training, higher education, or roles shaping educational policy and practice.

Potential career paths include:

  • Teaching
  • Teacher training
  • Lecturing
  • Research
  • Leadership
  • Educational administration
  • School inspections
  • Consultancy
  • Curriculum design
  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Human resources.

A significant number of MA graduates in the Department of English continue their studies to PhD level.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,800
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here


Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree or above, or equivalent, in English, Linguistics or Education, as well as at least 12 months of professional teaching experience.

Other degree subjects may be considered on an individual basis.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 6.0
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, writing 19, reading 19 and speaking 20
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 105
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 65
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit in all bands
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 6.0 6 weeks On campus
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.0, and no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 6.0, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

More about life in Liverpool

Discover more about the city and University.

Why study at Liverpool? Victoria Gallery & Museum

Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

Accommodation Postgraduate students walking through the campus.

Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

Fees and Finance Image of the outside of the Management School building

Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.