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

London, Bloomsbury

The TESOL MA programme has two routes: in-service and pre-service. The TESOL (Pre-Service) aims to enhance the employment prospects of graduates, who hope to become English Language Teaching practitioners, but who have no professional experience of teaching English to speakers of other languages. Students will explore the latest developments in the theory, policy and practice of TESOL, working with leading experts in the field and a large cohort of MA students.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in English language or TESOL. Applicants should have no professional experience of English language teaching.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa – study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

This programme will give students both a theoretical and a practical introduction to the language and discourse systems required for teaching English to speakers of other languages as well as current theories of second language acquisition. Students will also explore the methods and approaches currently used in English language teaching, the place of English and English language teaching in the wider world, as well as the concept of multilingualism and its place in education. There will also be an opportunity to carry out a small piece of guided TESOL research for the MA Report.

Who this course is for

This programme is for graduates who wish to work in the field of teaching English as a second or foreign language (TESOL) and who have no professional experience of English language teaching. Although this degree is not a teaching qualification, it may be used in conjunction with a qualification appropriate to the country in which our alumni wish to teach.

What this course will give you

The Department of Culture, Communication and Media is committed to excellence in teaching, research and consultancy across a range of areas including Applied Linguistics and TESOL.

You will become part of one of the oldest and most well-known centres for English language teacher development, and will have the opportunity to work with leading researchers from the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics as well as a large cohort of MA students.

The foundation of your career

The programme provides graduates with a rigorous, research-based education focused on the latest developments in the area of TESOL. This gives them anadvantage when applying for teaching or other TESOL-related posts. We also help students focus on employability skills whilst they are here, for example, through departmental talks and other networking opportunities within the department and the wider UCL community.

The programme helps us learn a solid foundation of theories in the field of second language learning and teaching. Teachers are very supportive and always answer our needs with patience, they often invite world famous professors and researchers to share some of the latest academic research, which definitely kindles a spark of ideas inside of us.

UCL Portico building with welcome sign between columns.

Qingqing Liu

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


The programme offers a unique module focused on language teaching in international schools and many of our students taking that module pursue careers in international schools.

We are keen to stay in touch with graduates, who are ambassadors for our programme throughout the world, and to hear about their professional trajectories and how their degree and training prepared them for career opportunities post-degree.


Students will have many opportunities to engage in networking activities with scholars, researchers and students in the field of TESOL and related areas. The Centre hosts regular talks which allow students not only to broaden their understanding of issues in the field, but also to be part of a collegial community of scholars and educators. Students can join the British Association for Applied Linguistics, or participate in several activities conducted by the UCL Applied Linguistics Society. All students will have Student Union membership, and can participate in the many networking activities available through a range of student-led clubs and groups.

Teaching and learning

Students will have the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of teaching methods and strategies, all sensitive to learning needs and cultural orientations.

This programme is delivered as a campus-based programme. It is assessed by coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words per module and a report of 10,000 words.

Each module typically has 30 hours of contact time, made up of 10 x 3-hour sessions. On average it is expected that you spend approximately 300 hours studying for each 30 credits (including contact time, private study during the term and working on coursework assignments). It is therefore essential that you plan your time as Master's level study requires a high degree of self-direction.


The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a report (30 credits).

Over the two years, students undertake three core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a report (30 credits). You must take 3 modules (90 credits) per year. Ideally you would take one 30-credit module per term in order to balance your workload. An example of a part time structure would be:

  • Year 1: The English Language Learner (core module) in term 1 plus two optional modules in terms 2 and 3.
  • Year 2: Teaching English: Theories and Approaches (core module) in term 1, Researching Second Language Learning (term 2) and the MA Report (term 3).

Over the five  years, students undertake three core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a report (30 credits). The report would be taken in the final year, with the compulsory research methods module just before it. You can discuss and agree a suitable study pattern with the Programme Leader.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Pre-Service.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £12,700 £6,350
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

All full time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £2,000 for this programme.

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their report.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees, return flights and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised that we will prioritise applications that provide all the required documentation at the point of application.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Pre-Service at graduate level
  • why you want to study Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Pre-Service at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Students in this programme should be independent, critical thinkers, able to work within a large cohort of MA students who may have similar backgrounds.

Due to the popularity of this programme, the application period will close when the programme is full.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

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