Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages - MA
An MA TESOL programme with overseas Teaching Practice placement.Take a look
In this section
An MA TESOL programme with overseas Teaching Practice placement.
An MA programme with overseas Teaching Practice placement.
The MA in TESOL is the only Master's level TESOL programme in the United Kingdom which offers an overseas teaching practice placement. Students spend eight weeks in Hungary teaching in state primary or secondary schools and are supervised by University of Ulster staff. Part-time students spend 4 weeks in Hungary in year 1 and 4 weeks in Northern Ireland in year 2.
The programme offers an exciting opportunity to teach English as a second language. It will be of interest to those who have no teaching experience and also to those who wish to update their classroom skills. The course takes place on the Coleraine campus and aims at excellence in practical teaching as well as preparing students to proceed successfully to the Master’s degree by dissertation.
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About this course
In this section
- The Master's in TESOL features a eight-week teaching practice in Hungary where you will work in state schools either at primary or secondary level; part-time students do 4 weeks in Hungary and 4 weeks in Northern Ireland.
- There is a systematic programme of Microteaching to help you develop pedagogical skills.
- The module on Research Methods prepares you to undertake the research for the dissertation.
- Full-time students can complete the MA in one calendar year.
- Peer support among students on this programme is normally very strong and has been the subject of positive comments by the External Examiners.
- The course in Hungarian language, culture and education given by the visiting Hungarian Teaching Fellow prepares you for life in Gyor, Hungary.
MA full-time: normally 4 days per week in semester one; 3 days per week (6 weeks) plus 6 weeks teaching practice in sem 2; followed by independent study for the dissertation during semester three (summer semester). This can be done at a distance.
MA part-time: Year 1: normally, 2 days per week in semester one, 4 weeks teaching practice semester 2. Year 2: normally, 2 days per week in semester one, and 4 weeks teaching practice in semester two. This is followed by independent study for the dissertation during semester three (summer semester) and during semester one and two of year 3. This can be done at a distance.
- September 2019
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
English Language Teaching Methodology
This module focuses on the practical tools and strategies needed for creative language teaching. It features a series of lectures and practical exercises which support a programme of peer teaching sessions in which students design and deliver lessons in small groups. Challenges to effective language teaching are explored through critical reflective practice on peer teaching sessions. Additionally, the module prepares students for EDU710, the Teaching Practice module in semester two.
Teaching Practice I
This module gives an authentic opportunity to teach English to non-native speakers of English who are monolingual. Students teach in Hungary for 4 weeks. They teach in state schools, and there is a choice of focus on either primary or secondary age groups. The key objective of the module is that graduates will move towards becoming competent candidates for posts as English language teachers and will continue in year two of their part-time programme to complete EDU703 Teaching Practice 2, in order to be fit for purpose.
Knowledge About Language
This module introduces the students to different theories about English grammar teaching and teaching of English pronunciation as well as diverse means of teaching grammar and pronunciation, including the application of digital technologies in transmitting knowledge about English language in classroom teaching. Students are expected to develop their skills in critically reflecting on their teaching performance and student learning, innovating new techniques in teaching grammar and pronunciation.
Teaching Practice II
This module gives an authentic opportunity to teach English to a multilingual group of non-native speakers of English. Students teach in Northern Irish educational institutions/schools for 4 weeks. The key objective of the module is to build on EDU702 Teaching Practice one, so that graduates leave the module fit for purpose and as competent candidates for posts as English language teachers.
Language, Learning and Acquisition
The module develops students' conceptual competences, by giving them a solid theoretical underpinning regarding key English language acquisition/learning concepts. By doing so, it offers an opportunity to apply the theory to their practice and to explore research critically, either as a resource for their own teaching or for their own research. It will offer the opportunity to identify and clarify theories in relation to second language teaching.
Research Methods for TESOL
This module introduces the students to basics of academic writing conventions, including identification and avoidance of plagiarism, appropriate referencing and citing and bibliography compiling. This module also introduces the students to the ways in which technologies are impacting on designing and conducting research. Students are expected to show conceptual and practical skills to draw up a research proposal and produce a series of feasible instrument tools.
This module will allow students to undertake a sustained piece of independent work. Working under supervision, students are guided to prepare a research proposal relevant to the TESOL field, to research a selected issue affecting professional life and to prepare and present a 18,000 word submission for examination.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
A second class honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; and evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent).
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Exemptions and transferability
You can make an APEL application (accreditation of prior experiential learning). However, you cannot apply to be exempt from the teaching practice module.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Graduates of this programme have gained work as English language teachers in private language schools, further education colleges, universities and schools in the UK, Ireland and in many countries all over the world. Some have progressed to doctoral study whilst others have got jobs as on-line English language teachers. Students have gone on to work in teaching related areas: for example, the Inclusion and Diversity Service and developers of online English language teaching materials; whilst some of the students use their qualification to work for charities abroad in developing countries.
Our TESOL graduates have rewarding careers all over the world:
- Llceo Europa primary school in Zaragoza, Spain
- Belfast Metropolitan College
- Kanda University of International studies, Chiba, Japan
- Centre for English Studies: University of Southampton, University of Ulster, Queens University Belfast
- Sohar International School, Oman
- Foyle International School; North West Academy, Londonderry
- Baku English School, Azerbaijan
- Dublin Emerald Cultural Institute, Ireland
- School of Foreign Languages, University of Zhengzhou, China
- Salerno Cambridge School, Italy.
Work placement / study abroad
TESOL student teachers go to teach in Gyor, Hungary for 8 weeks (full-time) or 4 weeks (part-time). They depart in February and return in April. Gyor is a beautiful central European city located midway between Budapest and Vienna. Our students teach in primary or secondary schools and are supported by Hungarian host teachers and staff of the university who stay in Gyor for that purpose. The module gives an authentic opportunity to teach English to non-native speakers of English.
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- £14,060.00 Scholarships available
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Each year the student who gains the best overall mark in the taught modules which make up the Postgraduate Diploma will receive the Pritchard Prize.
Additional mandatory costs
Part-time students complete a four week Teaching Practice module in Hungary in year 2. Unfortunately students cannot apply for ERASMUS funding for this placement, as the full-time studnets do, because the placement does not meet Erasmus' minimum requirement of being 8 weeks long. Due to this, part-time students need to cover costs of accommodation and subsistence whilst they are there, although the University will pay for flights.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
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- If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
- The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
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Comments from External Examiners
'The main strength of the course is the teaching practice in
Hungary. This provides an invaluable experience for both the
new teachers as well as the experienced teachers….I was also
particularly impressed by the way in which the experience in
Hungary was integrated into other modules of the course'.
‘The students were highly complimentary about the course
and commended the team spirit that had been generated, as
well as the commitment of the teaching staff.’
Comments from students
‘The teaching practice course in Hungary is organised
extremely well, and links between the various schools there
and the University are strong and mutually beneficial’.
‘We are all aware of the fact that it is people who make up
Departments within a University. I am in no doubt that all
students stand to benefit from the high standard that has
already been set. Sincere thanks to all involved in making the
course of studies so enjoyable’.
‘I’m in my fourth year working as a lecturer at Kanda
University of international Studies in Chiba Japan. It’s an
amazing job which hired me right after I graduated. We
get over three months holiday per year and there are lots
of opportunities for professional development. There are
over 60 English lecturers here so that adds to the sense of
community and the students are angels. During the interview
process my boss was impressed by the placement in Hungary
that you sent us on! They accepted me while I was still
finishing off my Thesis. Thanks so much for looking after us
so well Barbara – That was a really special year’.