University of Nottingham Malaysia

Education: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA


Fact file

Qualification: MA
Fees: Malaysian – RM48,600 per course, Non-Malaysian – RM58,700 per course
Mode: 1-2 years full-time, 2-4 years part-time
Intake: September
Campus: Malaysia

Course overview

This course is suitable if you are currently or looking to teach English to speakers of other languages, keen to build on your existing knowledge and experience, seeking to improve your career prospects or interested in researching your own teaching practices/context.

It will prepare you to conduct independent research into teaching and learning and provides a pathway to doctoral study. You will meet expert tutors in the field of English language teaching, a major branch of applied linguistics, who have many years' experience teaching at this level and who are committed to providing the best quality study experience.

Our teaching is informed by leading research and we offer optional modules which reflect the latest in applied linguistics and language teacher education. You will learn in a modern, high-tech learning environment with a lively, multi-cultural social experience.

We offer a range of support including interactive, collaborative teaching methods, individual tutorials, opportunities to pursue your professional and research interests, access to extensive study materials and free support for developing proficiency in academic English.

Course structure

The taught element of this course is made up of four 30-credit modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation.

To be awarded a MA TESOL, you need to complete and pass four modules plus a dissertation. 


Each 30-credit module is assessed by a 6,000-word written assignment. To complete the masters, you must achieve a pass of 50 on each assignment.

The 15,000-word dissertation is an original piece of work and should be related to one of the selected modules on an approved topic.


What career opportunities are available after completing the MA TESOL? 

Graduates of this programme can pursue a variety of career paths. Some options include:

  • Teaching positions in language schools, colleges, universities or international schools. 

  • English language curriculum development and materials design. 

  • Administration and leadership positions in educational institutions. 

How long will it take to complete a MA TESOL?

At UNM, this course can be pursued either part-time or full-time. Full-time students take 1 to 2 years to complete the programme, while part-time students typically need 2 to 4 years. 

Can I apply for UNM’s MA TESOL if my bachelor’s degree is in a field unrelated to education or languages? 

Yes, although a bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred, other qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Relevant work experience may also be considered, and individual offers may vary. 

Can I work while pursuing MA TESOL? 

Yes, the part-time option for this course allows students to continue working, as well as accommodate those who have other commitments. However, it is vital that you consult the programme coordinator to understand if there are any restrictions or recommendations with regard to employment. 

Is there financial support for MA TESOL students at UNM?

Yes, there are scholarships and financial aid available for UNM’s MA TESOL students. 

Who should consider doing MA TESOL at the University of Nottingham? 

This course is suitable for individuals interested in teaching English as a second or foreign language. It will benefit

  • Aspiring English language teachers.

  • Current English language teachers.

  • Professionals related to the field of education, language instruction or cross-cultural communication.

  • Individuals interested in educational research and publication.

  • Individuals interested in teaching English abroad.

Is MA TESOL equivalent to a degree? 

No, a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is not equivalent to a degree. Instead, it is a specialised postgraduate degree that follows the completion of a bachelor’s degree. An MA TESOL specifically focuses on teaching English to non-native speakers. A bachelor’s degree provides a broader foundation in the discipline you enrol for.

What are the benefits of doing an MA TESOL? 

This course will positively impact your career development. Some key benefits include:

  • Enhanced teaching skills.

  • Specialised knowledge in teaching English as a second language.

  • Enhances your career prospects.

  • Opportunities to pursue teaching positions abroad.

  • It serves as a foundation for pursuing a PhD in TESOL. 

  • Opportunities to connect and network with professionals in the same field.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A relevant second class honours degree (or international equivalent). Relevant experience may be required for some of the programmes.

Non-UK qualifications will be assessed against this standard.

Malaysians applying as a matured student without the standard entry requirements but with substantial and relevant work experience (and have successfully passed APEL’s assessment through Malaysian Qualifications Agency) may be considered for an entry at the Postgraduate Certificate Level. Admission is at the discretion of the School.

Applicants must have graduated from an approved university. Other equivalent qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Entry requirements in the prospectus and website may not always apply and individual offers may vary.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic): 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each element)

TOEFL (iBT): 87 (minimum 20 in Speaking and 19 in all other elements)

PTE (Academic): 71 (with no less than 65 in each element)

MUET: Band 4

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE (Academic) test results must be less than two years old and all IELTS must be the academic version of the test. MUET results are valid for five years from the date of the release of results. 



Language Teaching: Methodology and Curriculum

The module focuses on topics which have been the subject of recent discussion and research in the field of foreign and second language teaching. These include:

  • a historical review of language teaching methods and approaches
  • content vs process syllabus design in language teaching
  • humanism in language teaching
  • Communicative Language Teaching and Task Based Learning
  • areas of applied linguistics particularly relevant to teaching of productive skills, especially sociolinguistics and pragmatics
  • areas of applied linguistics particularly relevant to the teaching of receptive skills, especially psycholinguistics

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.

Starting from September 2024, this module will become a core module.

Understanding Language Learning and the Language Learner

The module focuses on key areas in Applied Linguistics relating to Second Language Acquisition (SLA), and explores them from the perspective of both language learners and teachers. These include:

  • 'the good language learner'
  • a historical overview of theories of SLA (key insights from applied linguistic research)
  • recent applied linguistic developments in the theorisation of SLA as a dynamic complex system and social process
  • implications of first language acquisition for SLA
  • variability and individual differences in SLA (gender, age, aptitude, motivation, attitudes and beliefs, cognitive styles, strategies, autonomy and self-regulation)
  • the role of grammar, vocabulary and phonology instruction in second language learning
  • trends in applied linguistic research into SLA including the broadening of the field, greater exploitation of computerised samples of language, the growing stature of classroom-based investigation

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics. 

Starting from September 2024, this module will become a core module.

Assessment in Language Education 

This module focuses on a well-rounded perspective on language assessment, blending theoretical foundations with practical applications in designing and implementing assessments in varied contexts. Topics covered in this module include:

  • purposes of assessment
  • types of assessment
  • communicative assessment
  • assessing the '4 Skills'
  • case studies of key international exams
  • current issues in language assessment 

Starting from September 2024, this module will become an elective module.

Materials and Technology in Langauge Education

This module focuses on key aspects related to materials development (both non-digital and digital), principles of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) and their application in teaching and learning. These include:

  • Processes of designing, adapting, evaluating and selecting materials, including those of a digital nature
  • History, Principles and Future of TELL
  • Mobile language learning
  • Evaluating TELL applications
  • TELL resources: Extended reality, AI and other digital tools for language teaching and learning

Starting from September 2024, this module will become an elective module.

Practice-based Inquiry 

Starting from September 2024, this module will become an elective module.

Refer to the module description offered by MA Education


This substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course will normally be based on interests and skills you have developed in the course of the modules already studied. 

You will choose a topic in consultation with your course leader and an appropriate supervisor.  


Meet the tutor

Please note that we offer two to three modules at each teaching time point.

To maximise your study period, we highly encourage that you align your programme start date with the first module of your choice.

Please email the programme coordinator if you need help with module selection.

Programme coordinator: Dr Lee Kean Wah


Find out about scholarships, financial assistance and specific research funding available to all Malaysian and international students.

Apply for this course


School of Education
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Jalan Broga,
43500 Semenyih,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
t:   +6 (03) 8924 8000  
f:   +6 (03) 8924 8005 
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University of Nottingham Malaysia

Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

DULN001(B) (473520-K)

telephone: +6 03 8924 8000
fax: +6 03 8924 8005

course enquiries: +6 03 8924 8686
Monday - Saturday 9:00am - 5:30pm (Except on public holidays)

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