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MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (Online)

Our online MSc TESOL course is ideal for those who want to study while continuing to teach.

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration MSc part-time: 30 months (24 months of modules, six months dissertation)
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery online


Our online postgraduate degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) aims to provide an advanced training and professional qualification for people who either work in, or plan to work in, any area of teaching English to speakers of other languages. You will graduate with the theoretical, practical and research-based knowledge and skills to be a confident, critically reflective and enterprising teacher. 

The course provides a thorough grounding in applied linguistics and teaching methodology. You have the option to practise this in micro-teaching classes and a range of other module choices. The content of the course will vary to suit your experience so whatever your starting point, you are challenged to acquire knowledge and skills that you can apply in teaching. 

Key features of the course

The MSc in TESOL (Online) is distinctive because it is delivered completely online, but with the option of attending modules on campus and its balance of theory, practice, and research. In addition, students have a choice of graduating with either a general MSc in TESOL or a specialism in MSc in TESOL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) or MSc in TESOL (Corpus Linguistics).  

You will join a multinational network and benefit from being taught by professionals who have experience of living and teaching all over the world. The course offers an excellent balance among theory, practice, and research using a range of cutting-edge, innovative teaching methods. It also draws on best practice from across the TESOL sector, focusing on the development of advanced professional capabilities and knowledge in language learning and teaching. 


You can work towards our core Masters degree, the MSc TESOL (Online), or opt to specialise in one of the following pathways of study:

  • MSc TESOL (Corpus Linguistics)
  • MSc TESOL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

The MSc TESOL (Online) course aims to give you a strong foundation in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • critically reflect upon, further inform, and develop your own personal and/or professional beliefs about the process of language learning and teaching,
  • demonstrate a thorough grounding in planning and teaching methodology, 
  • critically adapt and develop English language teaching activities and materials, 
  • critically evaluate the evolution and development of the theory and research on second/foreign language learning and teaching,
  • critically assess recent research on language learning to make well-informed judgments in language curriculum development and the management of learning in the language classroom, and
  • develop the skills for a small-scale research project based on your evaluation of different research approaches. 

Work placements

You have the opportunity to apply for placement opportunities with our partner institutions in France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, and Spain, which normally run from September to November. More information on applying for these opportunities will be provided to students undertaking our MSc TESOL (Online) course. 

Flexible learning

Our approach to learning and teaching is both innovative and flexible, using a range of methods and relevant online technologies. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • online lectures and seminars,
  • video tutorials,
  • interactive discussions and activities,
  • critical reflections,
  • microteaching, and
  • independent study.

Likewise, our assessment methods are also varied, giving students with a range of talents and from a range of cultures the opportunities to demonstrate their abilities.

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Research overview

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, Educational research at the University of Stirling was ranked top 20 in the UK for impact and research environment, with 100% of our research impact and environment in Education classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our expert teaching team are on hand to introduce you to cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research in a multi-disciplinary and professional environment.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Applicants are expected to have at least two years full-time English language teaching experience.

Those entering the course with a recent Cambridge or Trinity DELTA will get exemption from TESPD01 TESOL Methodology in year 1 and TESPD06 Grammar for TESOL in year 2.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and 6.0 in speaking and listening.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with a minimum of 62 in reading and writing and 60 in speaking and listening.
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with a minimum of 19 in reading, 24 in writing, 21 in speaking and 19 in listening.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Course details

The goal of this course is to equip you with a solid grounding in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Upon successful completion of this course, you will build the ability to: 

  • engage in thoughtful self-reflection and enhance your personal and/or professional beliefs regarding language learning and teaching. 
  • cultivate a comprehensive understanding of planning and teaching methodologies. 
  • adapt and enhance English language teaching activities and materials with a critical approach. 
  • evaluate the evolution and advancement of theory and research in second/foreign language learning and teaching. 
  • make informed judgments in language curriculum development and classroom management based on a critical assessment of recent research in language learning. 
  • develop the necessary skills to conduct a small-scale research project by evaluating various research approaches. 

MSc TESOL (Online) is a part-time course and includes four 15-week semesters of taught modules and a six-month dissertation period.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2023). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details


How you'll learn online

Delivery of modules is carried out online. Although not essential, should you wish to attend modules on campus, this can be arranged. Learning and professional development is facilitated through a range of methods and materials, including video tutorials, interactive discussions and activities, critical reflections, online microteaching, independent study, and so forth. Our learning and teaching approach aims not only to transfer knowledge to you but also to build your confidence to learn independently while developing a wide range of skills. 

Modules offer a mixture of online content including videos, recorded short lectures, and interactive activities.  You will be encouraged to develop as an independent learner, working through reading and tasks set on a weekly basis. You are expected to set aside a substantial part of your week to complete this work.  

During teaching sessions, you will discuss topics you have been given to prepare in advance, work through tasks in groups and ask questions. This allows you to consolidate your knowledge, delve into the subject and work with your fellow students, who will come from diverse backgrounds. These activities will help you develop graduate attributes including teamwork, communication and time management skills. As well as these sessions, you might have to complete tasks outside classes to help your understanding of the subject and develop your skills.   


Progress is assessed by coursework assignments and, for the Masters, the dissertation. All students who wish to be awarded the Masters in TESOL are required to undertake a dissertation.

  • Students who take the CALL module (TESPD04) and complete the CALL Portfolio (TESP051) will graduate with the named award - MSc TESOL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)
  • Students who take the Corpora module (TESPD05) and complete a corpus-based dissertation (TESP050) will graduate with the named award - MSc TESOL (Corpus Linguistics)

We use a range of assessment methods designed as formative and summative assessments. These assessment methods include written assignments, annotated bibliography, coursework, portfolio, poster, presentation (oral) and artefact (e.g., poster/PowerPoint/report), reflective essay or journal, research proposal, and teaching plan.  

Assessment criteria follow the common marking scheme of the University. They are provided on our VLE (virtual learning environment), and the assessment process is carefully explained. Where criteria vary for a particular module, this will also be explained. 

Classroom hours

All modules taught within MSc TESOL (Online) are delivered online through a range of methods and materials, including video tutorials, interactive discussions and activities, critical reflections, online microteaching and independent study. The Dissertation module includes 6 scheduled hours, 24 supervision hours, and 570 independent hours dedicated to independent study, resulting in a total of 600 hours. 

Course director

Dr Adnan Yilmaz

+44 (0)178 646 6133 /

Dr Adnan Yilmaz currently works as a Lecturer in Education (TESOL) and serves as the director of the MSc TESOL courses at the University of Stirling. Previously, he worked in the English Language Teaching Programme at Sinop University in Turkey and in the Turkish Language Programme at the University of Arizona in the United States. He coordinates and teaches courses both in the campus-based and online MSc TESOL courses at Stirling. His research interests include language teacher education, intercultural communication, social justice language education, and instructional technologies. 

Key staff

Dr Viola Wiegand /
+44 (0)178 646 7746

Dr Viola Wiegand is a Lecturer in Education (TESOL) and Vice Chair of the Scottish Association for the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (SATEFL). Before joining the University of Stirling, she was part of the TESOL teams at the Universities of Birmingham and Bath. At Stirling, Viola coordinates the MSc TESOL (Online) and teaches the on-campus MSc TESOL programme. Her research involves corpus linguistics and discourse analysis – to examine patterns of meaning in texts – and applications of corpora in language education.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Students from the UK and Republic of Ireland£10,500£11,025
International (including EU) students£10,500£11,025

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course. 

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees. 

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £11,500 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £12,167 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,770 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

British Council Scholarship for English language teachers India

British Council scholarship for MSc TESOL (Online) is available for Indian students to study on a part-time, distance-learning basis over 30 months.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

91% of Education students at the University of Stirling felt their course has enhanced their employability.

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2021

Graduates will leave with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the TESOL sector, enabling them to take on more responsibility in current or future roles across the globe or in the UK.

As experienced teachers, the qualification provides access to a wider range of career opportunities and increases the opportunities for promotion to more senior roles.

On completion of the MSc TESOL, international graduates will be well prepared to sit all three modules of the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations TKT.

Employability skills

We’re committed to enhancing your employability. Once you register for the MSc TESOL, you’ll have access to the first-class range of services offered by our Career Development Centre.

We also provide you with a tailored workshop series entitled “My career in TESOL” aimed at developing your awareness of continuous professional development, your knowledge of job market requirements and your confidence in applying for jobs. 

What our students said

Fatma Al-Ghafri
The University of Stirling has provided me with a fruitful yet challenging experience.
Read Fatma's story
Ashley Ji Ye
I undertook the MSc TESOL at Stirling because of the global reputation Stirling has.
Read Ashley's story

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