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Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) - MA/PGDip/PGCert

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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    MA - 1 year full-time, 3 years part-time; PGDip - 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PGCert - 1 year full-time/part-time

  • Course Type

    MA, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    10 August 2018

This Teaching English as a Foreign Language programme (TEFL, also known as TESOL in some countries) based in the School of Education, offers you the opportunity to study for a qualification which links teaching English to wider issues of school-based education. 

The modules will provide you with a strong grounding in theoretical literature as well as appropriate classroom methodology, course design and an introduction to the key research tools. The programme is designed to be practical and you will have opportunities to create bespoke teaching and learning materials as well as visit British schools to observe classroom teaching.

The TEFL programme is aimed at individuals with knowledge and understanding of current debates relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a Foreign Language. The aim is to support you in becoming a reflective TEFL practitioner, a competent educational researcher and an active member of the international academic and professional TEFL community.

Programme content

There are three core modules for the Teaching English as a Foreign Language programme:

  • Communicative Language Teaching, Syllabus Design and Assessment
  • Language, Discourse and Society
  • Second Language Learning

These modules give you a strong grounding in appropriate classroom methodology, and course design with the opportunity to create your own teaching and learning materials. Other modules provide opportunities to visit British primary, secondary and language schools, and prepare you for your dissertation. The MA Education TEFL Dissertation Prize is awarded annually to the best TEFL dissertations in the School of Education whose work demonstrates significance, originality and methodological rigour.

We offer a wide range of options to choose from, including Curriculum Design in Global Contexts, Leadership for School Improvement, Personal and Professional Skills for Education Management, Online Learning, ICT in Education, Education as an International Issue, and Special Educational Needs of Children with Autism. You will have the chance to participate in events organised by our research centre MOSAIC, such as conferences and popular seminar series with renowned international TEFL researchers.

Please note that the acronym TEFL is mainly used in the UK, whilst TESOL is often used as an acronym in Australia or the USA. TESL is another term you may hear.


Modules are typically assessed with a 4,000 word written assignments in which students are asked to explore a topic of their choice, review relevant literature and collect and analyse some data in a small-scale research project. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of an aspect of the teaching and learning process and suggest practical implications. For some modules, assessment will take the form of a design and evaluation of curriculum or teaching materials. There will be an early opportunity to submit a short piece of written work and receive constructive feedback from the tutor.

The dissertation is 15,000 words in length, and encourages students to explore an aspect of TEFL which is personally relevant to them and their teaching contexts. It usually includes a description of the context, a literature review, a methodology chapter and the discussion of findings. Students will have an individual supervisor to offer advice and support. The MA Education TEFL Dissertation prize is annually awarded to the best TEFL dissertations in the School of Education whose work demonstrates significance, originality and methodological rigour


Our graduates typically find work as EFL teachers in schools and universities in countries around the world, return to their English teaching jobs in their home countries, are promoted to more senior roles within their teaching contexts, or pursue a research qualification (usually a PhD degree). Graduates from the MA Education TEFL are consistently successful in winning prestigious PhD scholarships and awards and present their MA TEFL work at international conferences and in publications.

Visit the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!






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