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  Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - MA

University of Sunderland    Faculty of Education and Society

Full time & Part time October MA 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

About the course

MA Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) is a cutting edge programme designed to meet the needs of students who wish to be part of the largest global field of teacher education.

You will have hands-on experience practising your teaching and learn in-depth knowledge of contemporary theory and policy in TESOL, from a UK and world perspective.

Our MA TESOL has been successfully running for over 20 years and is highly valued in increasingly diverse and international communities and markets. It opens doors to a world of careers in education and beyond.

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Entry Requirements

We usually require applicants to hold a second class honours degree, however, alternative qualifications and teaching experience can be taken into consideration.

We offer automatic exemption from the certificate phase if you have a full DELTA or Trinity Diploma in TESOL certificate.

If you require proof of your English Language level, we accept an IELTS score of 6.5 with no skill less than 5.5 or an equivalent SELT. If you were educated in English for your degree, diploma or CELTA, this can also be considered.

 Course Content

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Student Profiles

Ksenia Provalennikova

"I have a masters in the field of Computer Aided Design, which I used to work in the industry. After some time however, I did not feel inspired by my work so I decided to expand my English language skills by completing an MA TESOL. I chose to study at the University of Sunderland as the UK was the closest English-speaking country to me and I felt that qualifications from British universities are highly valued within the global teaching job market. I found that the fees were reasonable relative to other universities in the North East and the masters course matched my needs.

There were many positive aspects of the MA TESOL course for me: I communicated on a daily basis with people from different countries who had varying levels of experience, I was taught by highly qualified teachers who shared their knowledge and teaching methods (for example, showing us a master course in real time, with real learners), and we were provided with additional classes for improving English language skills.

I would definitely recommend this course to all English teachers from my home country who still don’t apply new methods of teaching. I am glad to have had this personal experience and it helped me to change my profession. I would suggest that students attend all extra classes available at the University, for example academic English language skills, and seminars and lectures which are delivered by talented professors and philologists.

In my first year after graduation, I successfully passed an interview for the biggest and most popular online English teaching school across all Russian speaking countries. Now I teach seven wonderful long-term adult learners (elementary/pre-intermediate level) who started learning English with me more than six months ago and who always compliment my teaching methods.

My experience of studying at a foreign university was incredible. I met a lot of nice people and I was shown new ways of studying and teaching methods, which were different from universities in my home country – I experienced British university student life from inside. I will always remember this period in my life with warm feelings.”

Thanh Loan Nguyen

"I was working as an English teacher and knew I would need to study a masters degree to upgrade my teaching career. An agent suggested I take the course at the University of Sunderland. I had done some research and even got in touch with some alumni and they also recommended the course to me.

I had originally undertaken a graduate diploma in TESOL at another university; I wanted to learn more about the methodology of language teaching but the course was heavily theoretical. My educational background was neither linguistic nor educational so I struggled. However, the learning experience at the University of Sunderland was quite different. The combination of theories and practical teaching in the curriculum showed me the importance of theories in real-life teaching practice. That’s why, when I’m looking for solutions to teaching problems, I do the research and learn how I could adapt them.

The tuition fee is reasonable and the cost of living in Sunderland is much lower than other places. As well as this, the University facilities and the design of the course have helped prepare me well for the language teaching profession. There was a wide range of services I benefited from at the University. The library service was really useful as you could make an appointment and get help with a range of topics, from study skills revision to advice relating to your future career. There was also the recreational centre where I joined hiking trips occasionally, which were free of charge to students. The free campus bus was beyond my expectations, as I took it not only for university but also for trips to the supermarket and other activities.

I would advise other students to not be afraid to ask for help, especially from the library staff and professors as they are super helpful and friendly.

I am still in the early stages of my teaching career but my aim is to get a job at a university as a linguistics lecturer. My time at Sunderland was enjoyable and less stressful than I had expected. The professors and university staff were lovely and always willing to assist me.”

Thi Thao Suong Nguyen

"I was a teacher of English at a high school and got a full scholarship from my city council to study the MA TESOL course at Sunderland.

The thing I liked the most was the atmosphere of learning. The tutors are very helpful and enthusiastic, and the theory and practice of teaching was the best part of the course. Life at Sunderland is peaceful which is suitable for studying and the living cost is low.

I use the experience I have about the culture and life of the UK as well as the real-life language to teach my students, which makes my teaching periods more effective and persuasive. I am now the vice-principal of Phan Chau Trinh upper secondary school but I am still in charge of a team specialising in English because teaching is, and will always be, my passion.

I would recommend the University of Sunderland to other students. It is a good environment to study in with enthusiastic tutors and nice friends. It was interesting to experience a different corner of England - if you like peace and friendliness, then come to Sunderland.”


We are offering 20% off (for Overseas students) OR a 20% bursary payment (for Home and EU students) of the full course fee for University of Sunderland alumni (graduates) who return to study with the University of Sunderland and enrol on a postgraduate Masters or Doctoral programme. Please note for doctoral students the discount is not applicable to additional fees (bench fees).

When applying for an MA, MSc, LLM, MBA, MPhil or PhD, Professional Doctorate, DBA, EdD the application form will ask you for your previous student number if known. Alternatively, applicants can produce evidence of their University of Sunderland graduate status at enrolment.

Value of Scholarship(s)

20% off the course fee


Alumni who enrol on a postgraduate Masters/Doctoral course; MA, MSc, LLM, MBA, MPhil and PhD or Professional Doctorate, DBA, EdD starting in July and September, October November 2018 and 2019 and Jan/Feb/May 2019 and 2020. PGCE students are not eligible for this Scheme.

The scheme is open to ALL Level 5 -8 graduates (Alumni) of the University of Sunderland, including students who studied at a Partner College (Bishop Auckland College, East Durham College, Gateshead College, Tyne Coast College-South Tyneside College site, Sunderland College & Tyne Coast College -Tyne Metropolitan College site)

Application Procedure

You don’t need to apply for this Scheme; if you are eligible then you will automatically receive it.

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£1,000 tuition fee reduction for international postgraduate students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,000 tuition fee reduction


All international students studying on-campus undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Application Procedure

Contact: / 0191 515 3000

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1. Care Leaver status - (on 1 September of your year of entry)
You must be aged under 25, a home student studying full time, undergraduate course or full-time taught Post Graduate programme and at least one of the following: spent 13 weeks or more in the Care of the Local Authority between your 14th and 16th birthday, were privately fostered until the age of 16, were 'looked after' until you were subject to a Special Guardianship Order.

2. You must be a (i) full-time undergraduate student or full-time postgraduate student on a taught programme.
You must be anyone who is aged 25 or over by 1 September 2019 and applying for, or currently studying, full-time at the University of Sunderland. You must be either studying for an undergraduate degree (includes Foundation degrees, Extended degree programmes and Top-Up degrees) which will start in 2019, applying for, or currently studying, a full-time University of Sunderland postgraduate degree.


1. Estranged students - (on 1 September on your year of entry)
Studying a full-time, undergraduate or taught postgraduate course, UK (Home) student, you are irreconcilably estranged from both parents/carers.

This means that either: You have had no contact at all with your parents/carers for at least 12 months and this is unlikely to change OR
You can demonstrate on other grounds that you are irreconcilably estranged from your parents (e.g. in exceptional circumstances, or assessed as independent by Student Finance England or by a local authority because you are estranged from both parents/carers).

2. You must be a full-time undergraduate or full-time postgraduate taught programme student.
You must be aged 25 or under by 1 September 2019. And either:
a) Applying for, or currently studying, a full-time University of Sunderland undergraduate degree (includes Foundation degrees, Extended degree programmes and Top-Up degrees) which will start in 2019.
b)Applying for, or currently studying, a full-time University of Sunderland postgraduate degree.

*You must be a 'Home' student
If you are classed as an ‘EU’ or ‘International’ student, you are not eligible for this scholarship.

*If you are applying for or studying one of the following courses then you are not eligible for this scholarship:
• Continuous Professional Development (CPD) course.
• English for Academic Purposes (EAP) language course.
• PHD students

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 cash scholarship for each year of study (including placement year) for care experienced or family estranged students.


For full-time home undergraduate and postgraduate students under the age of 25 on 1 September 2019 for care experienced or family estranged students.

Application Procedure

If you indicate that you are a Care Leaver on your UCAS application form you will automatically be sent a letter and an application form, once you have an unconditional offer with us. This is usually at the end of August. Alternatively, if you inform us that you are an Estranged Student via online enrolment you will also automatically be sent a letter and an application form.

For students who apply directly/via clearing, if they inform us during online enrolment that they are care experienced or estranged we will send them an email outlining how to apply.

We will request confirmation from local authorities or Student Finance England of your eligibility for this Scholarship. If you choose not to disclose your care experienced or estranged status at enrolment stage you can inform the Access to Higher Education team directly by emailing

You may apply for this Scholarship at any point throughout your course; however, payments will not be backdated for previous years’ study. If you are eligible for the We Care Scholarship you may also qualify for an additional support package.

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