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Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

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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

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  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
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  • 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.

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Related courses

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

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Master of Arts

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

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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.


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


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Course content

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

Semester one

Compulsory modules


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.


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 seminars, and a different aspect of lexis is discussed each week. The module is assessed by means of a 4,000 word assignment. You will be expected to produce two short essays, which will address a choice of questions related to the module input.

Optional modules


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.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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.

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Supporting your learning

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

An exciting place to study English

  • 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.

Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new 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 tuition fees.

This includes £2,500 if you have a first-class degree, or equivalent qualification, and £2,500 if you’re from a Commonwealth country.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.


  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.


  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HLC Scholarships for Postgraduate Study

  • Home and international students

The competition is open to all students who have applied for a relevant HLC programme by 3 July and commence study in the course in the first semester of 2023.

The HLC School comprises the following Departments:

  • Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
  • History
  • Irish Studies
  • Languages, Cultures and Film
  • Politics

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit:

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Women in STEM
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

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

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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. 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
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Higher Level (Grade 5)

TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, writing 19, reading 19 and speaking 20
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.