MA English Language Teaching: Online

Introducing the course

Enhance your teaching capabilities as an excellent teacher of the English Language with the MA English Language Teaching: Online degree, delivered by the University of Southampton. This online masters degree offers key modules through online learning, allowing you to develop your skills with a range of interactive media such as podcasts and video clips. Over the course of 2 and a half years, this part-time masters course can teach you all the teaching aspects needed such as language analysis to become an inspiring English Language teacher.

Programme overview

This entirely online Master’s programme studied part-time by distance learning has been developed by the University of Southampton in collaboration with the British Council. The programme provides postgraduate-level study in a number of important areas of current theory and practice in applied linguistics and language teaching. It provides English language teaching professionals with a route to advanced knowledge and skills in the English language curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. It also gives the opportunity to update knowledge in a flexible and supported learning environment.

Duration: taught components of the Master’s programme take place over two years (four semesters). The dissertation is written during semester five.

Start date: January and September.

Programme structure: this programme is divided into 180 credits with 120 credits obtained from taught modules and the remaining 60 credits from the dissertation.

Course fee: £8,400GBP to be paid in three annual instalments of £2,800GBP.

Qualifications and eligibility

  • Degree: a good first degree (in the UK, upper second class honours) in a language or other relevant discipline, plus two years’ relevant professional experience related to English language teaching (other relevant forms of qualification experience may also be acceptable).
  • International students must meet the English language requirements of Southampton University (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).
  • A university application with transcripts and personal statement must be provided.

Course content

Learning and teaching

Course content includes interactive ‘learning objects’, podcasts and video clips from lectures and seminars. Full reading lists as well as access to Southampton University library and its stock of e-books and journals are provided.

Students can expect a weekly commitment of 10 to 12 hours of online study, chatroom seminars and online forums, supported by 10 hours of private study. The course concludes with a 15,000–20,000 word dissertation in Year 3.   

Course structure

Year 1

  Topic Description
Semester 1

Language Analysis for Teaching


Covers all language analysis necessary for the teaching and learning of English

Principles of Communicative Language Teaching


Explores the context, methods and approaches of communicative language teaching
Semester 2

A Critical Appraisal of Language Teaching Methodologies


 A comparison and evaluation of different teaching and learning approaches and methods

 E-Learning for English Language Teaching


To understand and develop insight and skills in all aspects of e-learning, tutoring and moderation



Year 2

  Topic Description
Semester 1

English as a World Language


Exploring the place and role of English as a world language

Discourse Analysis


The study of various approaches to analysing written and spoken language use
Semester 2

Second Language Learning


Exploring second language acquisition (SLA) and use

Research Skills for the Dissertation


Introduction to a range of research approaches relevant to dissertation study

Year 3

  Topic Description
Semester 3 Dissertation Supervised 15,000–20,000 word dissertation research

How will students learn?

Students complete a core programme of research skills development in relation to a series of personally relevant modules and foci. Each module serves as a starting point to find out more about the subject. A large part of postgraduate study is independent learning. The Master’s programme develops critical awareness, encouraging reflection on the methodologies employed in further study. 

A sample from the ‘English as a World Language’ module is available here: Interview with an ‘English as a Lingua Franca’ researcher

A sample from the ‘Discourse Analysis’ module is available here: Social interaction and face


Students are assessed by written assignments for each module and research reports and also manage a large independent research project: the Master’s dissertation. The dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. The tutor is available to provide regular feedback and advice.

Professional Development

A Master’s degree enables the student to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; teamwork; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, the student learns to communicate ideas and enthusiasm to a wide rang of audiences.

For any queries please contact the British Council Project Manager: or call +44 (0)23 8059 8062.  

External links