Institution / Ulster University Coleraine
City scape

Teaching English to Speakers of Other languages - TESOL


An MA TESOL programme with overseas Teaching Practice placement.


Study Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

An MA programme with overseas Teaching Practice placement.

The MA in TESOL is the only Master's level TESOL programme in the United Kingdom which offers an overseas teaching practice placement. Students spend eight weeks in Hungary teaching in state primary or secondary schools and are supervised by University of Ulster staff. Part-time students spend 4 weeks in Hungary in year 1 and 4 weeks in Northern Ireland in year 2.

The programme offers an exciting opportunity to teach English as a second language. It will be of interest to those who have no teaching experience and also to those who wish to update their classroom skills. The course takes place on the Coleraine campus and aims at excellence in practical teaching as well as preparing students to proceed successfully to the Master’s degree by dissertation.


Special Features

The Master's in TESOL features a eight-week teaching practice in Hungary where you will work in state schools either at primary or secondary level; part-time students do 4 weeks in Hungary and 4 weeks in Northern Ireland.

There is a systematic programme of Microteaching to help you develop pedagogical skills.

The module on Research Methods prepares you to undertake the research for the dissertation.

Full-time students can complete the MA in one calendar year.

Peer support among students on this programme is normally very strong and has been the subject of positive comments by the External Examiners.

The course in Hungarian language, culture and education given by the visiting Hungarian Teaching Fellow prepares you for life in Gyor, Hungary.

Work placement / study abroad

TESOL student teachers go to teach in Gyor, Hungary for 8 weeks (full-time) or 4 weeks (part-time). They depart in February and return in April. Gyor is a beautiful central European city located midway between Budapest and Vienna. Our students teach in primary or secondary schools and are supported by Hungarian host teachers and staff of the university who stay in Gyor for that purpose. The module gives an authentic opportunity to teach English to non-native speakers of English.

Entry requirements

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements. For general entrance requirements go to:

Entry Requirements

A second class honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; and evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

You can make an APEL application (accreditation of prior experiential learning). However, you cannot apply to be exempt from the teaching practice module.



MA full-time: normally 4 days per week in semester one; 3 days per week (6 weeks) plus 6 weeks teaching practice in sem 2; followed by independent study for the dissertation during semester three (summer semester). This can be done at a distance.

MA part-time: Year 1: normally, 2 days per week in semester one, 4 weeks teaching practice semester 2. Year 2: normally, 2 days per week in semester one, and 4 weeks teaching practice in semester two. This is followed by independent study for the dissertation during semester three (summer semester) and during semester one and two of year 3. This can be done at a distance.

Careers or further progression

Career options

Graduates of this programme have gained work as English language teachers in private language schools, further education colleges, universities and schools in the UK, Ireland and in many countries all over the world. Some have progressed to doctoral study whilst others have got jobs as on-line English language teachers. Students have gone on to work in teaching related areas: for example, the Inclusion and Diversity Service and developers of online English language teaching materials; whilst some of the students use their qualification to work for charities abroad in developing countries.

Our TESOL graduates have rewarding careers all over the world:

Llceo Europa primary school in Zaragoza, Spain

Belfast Metropolitan College

Kanda University of International studies, Chiba, Japan

Centre for English Studies: University of Southampton, University of Ulster, Queens University Belfast

Sohar International School, Oman

Foyle International School; North West Academy, Londonderry

Baku English School, Azerbaijan

Dublin Emerald Cultural Institute, Ireland

School of Foreign Languages, University of Zhengzhou, China

Salerno Cambridge School, Italy.

Further enquiries

Course director: Dr Barbara Skinner
T: +44 (0)28 7012 4662

Mrs Angela Graham (Faculty Office)
T: +44 (0)28 7012 4595

Assessment method

Teaching and learning assessment

Interactive workshops and lecturesare a key element in teaching on the programme. Students engage in a diverse range of interactive activities including role-plays, simulations and micro-teaching reviews. Group work is an important element too. It is used to help students integrate learning from a variety of sources, to provide opportunities to apply knowledge or case studies for class work. Individual and group tutorialsare used to build student University teacher relationships and to promote the concept of the reflective learner. Course work assignments are used as an essential part of students’ learning process and as a means of assessment. The teaching practice placementprovides trainees with challenging, high-impact encounters with the world of professional English language teaching; the feedback tutorials which follow teaching practice allow TESOL trainees to reflect on what they have encountered in the classroom.

A wide variety of course work is completed during the programme; such as, assignments, presentations, case studies, class tests, teaching practice performance and portfolios.

Application date

Application is directly to the University via an online system.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!