English Language Teaching (MLitt) 2018 entry

The MLitt in English Language Teaching provides an overview and critical understanding of the theory and practice of teaching English to speakers of other languages.

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Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 September 2019

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 English Language Teaching MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £8,500
Overseas: £17,600

Application deadline

Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement (500 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MLitt in English Language Teaching is designed to be useful to both experienced English language teachers as well as those considering a career in English language teaching.


  • Experience small group teaching in a supportive yet challenging environment. 
  • Observe a variety of language classes and reflect on your own teaching and learning contexts.
  • Explore the use of current teaching technologies and electronic resources.
  • Consider the variety and complexity of English language teaching contexts globally.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the theory of second language acquisition and be familiar with current thinking on second language teaching methodologies.

Teaching format

In the first semester, the foundations of applied linguistics, language acquisition theory and English language teaching in current global contexts are studied and then developed through teaching-specific modules and applied to classroom observations and practice during the second semester. 

You will take seven taught modules over the first two semesters of the programme. Classes are delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars. 

You will spend the summer months focusing on researching and writing a final dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.

  • Assessment and Evaluation: provides students with a detailed understanding of the key concepts behind different methods of testing and evaluation in English language teaching and learning.
  • English for Academic Purposes: provides an understanding of the higher education context, the key principles underpinning learning in a university, text and discourse in the communities of different disciplines, theories and practice of assessment, and the most effective methods and materials to motivate students and help them into a discourse community.
  • Language Teaching Methodology: explores the theories that inform teaching practice and analyses the implications these will have in terms of ways of learning, material used, the teacher role and the classroom.
  • Linguistics for Language Teachers: equips students with the skills required to describe and analyse both spoken and written discourse.
  • Research Methods in English Language Teaching
  • Teaching Young Learners: explores theories of child development and learning which are fundamental to the understanding of child second language acquisition.
  • The Context of English Language Teaching: examines both the local and broader global contexts of English Language Teaching and provides a broad introduction to sociolingusitics.
  • The Language Learner: focuses on how subsequent languages are learned after the native language.

Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching team. Supervisors will provide guidance throughout the research process, helping you to formulate a suitable research hypothesis and offering advice on relevant literature and how to plan your time effectively.

The completed dissertation of no more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a specified date in August. 

If you choose not to complete the dissertation required for the award of an MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2018 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 14 November 2018

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Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

Contact information

English Language Teaching
University of St Andrews
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 9DJ
Scotland, UK

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2255
Email: elt@st-andrews.ac.uk

ELT website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).