Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - distance learning (PG Cert) 2019/2020 entry

The distance learning Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages gives students the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest, and study four modules which will be of relevance to their career, as part of their on-going professional development.

The TESOL distance learning PG Cert is also available to study with a specialism in one of the following areas:

  • Assessment and Evaluation (Distance Learning)
  • English for Academic Purposes (Distance Learning)
  • English Medium Instruction (Distance Learning)
  • Teaching Young Learners (Distance Learning)
  • Technology for Teaching (Distance Learning)
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Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Course dates

The PG Certificate has two start dates:

  • September start date: 9 September 2019
  • January start date: 20 January 2020

Course duration

Students on a PG Certificate Distance Learning can complete their studies part-time in a minimum of two semesters and a maximum of four semesters.

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours degree in any discipline or significant professional or other relevant experience alongside evidence of prior alternative learning such as professional qualifications or certifications.

If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

Some students may be eligible for recognition of prior learning (RPL) based on their previous studies, such as DELTA. The International Education Institute considers applications for RPL on a case by case basis in line with the University's recognition of prior learning policy. To confirm the exact amount of credit you could be awarded, please forward your relevant transcript to ie@st-andrews.ac.uk.

For direct entry to a PG Certificate TESOL programme, you will need an overall score in IELTS (Academic) of 6.5, with a minimum subscore of 6.0 or the equivalent. Students with a lower score may be eligible for a pre-sessional course. For alternative forms of evidence, 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, EU and overseas: £3,000

Application deadline

Applications will be accepted until shortly before teaching starts. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement (500 words)
  • two original signed references (at least one of which must be academic)
  • 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 distance learning TESOL PG Certificates are part-time courses studied over a period of one to five years. They are run by the International Education Institute. They are designed to be particularly useful to experienced English language teachers as part of their continuous professional development, as well as those considering a career in English language teaching.  

All PG Cert distance learning students take four modules. If you choose to study for the PG Cert without a specialism, you choose any four modules to shape your studies and explore your own interests. If you choose to study for the PG Cert with a specialism in a particular field, you also take:

  • Action Research for Teachers
  • the relevant module for your specialism
  • two other modules of your choice.

Highlights

  • The programme, with two start dates (January and September), allows for flexible part-time study while working, but also provides plenty of opportunities for you to interact with both on-campus and other distance learning students.
  • Focus your studies in your particular area of interest and gain a better theoretical and practical understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing practitioners in the field.
  • Join experienced practitioners and scholars in the English language teaching community, with opportunities to be involved in ongoing professional development events and the annual English for Academic Purposes (EAP) conference.
  • Integrate theory and practice – discuss theoretical concepts and frameworks via online forums and webinars, and apply these through practical assessments and peer teaching sessions.

Teaching format

You will take four distance learning modules over the length of the programme, which are delivered in a variety of ways such as:

  • recorded lectures
  • recorded mini-lectures
  • online chatrooms
  • podcasts
  • guided writing
  • webinars
  • intensive feedback sessions on your work. 

In these distance learning modules, you will integrate theory and practice by discussing and critiquing theoretical concepts and frameworks, and then apply them through a range of practical assessments. Assessments may include:

  • written assignments
  • presentations
  • the development of teaching plans
  • group work with students resident in other parts of the world. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The distance learning 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 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019-2020 entry.

If you study on the TESOL Distance Learning PG Cert, you will choose four modules from the list below. 

If you study on the TESOL Distance Learning PG Cert with a specialism in a particular field, you must take the Action Research for Teachers Distance Learning module and also the distance learning module related to your chosen specialism. In addition, you will choose two other distance learning modules.

  • Action Research for Teachers Distance Learning: provides a learning experience in which you can reflect on concepts and theories you are studying in other modules and connect them with classroom practice. The module explores the combined value of reflection and action research for classroom practitioners, providing a means for language teachers to understand their classroom contexts and to plan responses to challenges in these contexts.

  • Assessment and Evaluation Distance Learning: provides a detailed understanding of the key concepts behind different methods of testing and evaluation in English language teaching and learning.

  • English Medium Instruction Distance Learning: provides you with an understanding of the controversies of English as an international language for academic study, and the complexity involved in the use of English as a language of instruction from the standpoint of both the academic subject instructors and students who are using English as a second language.

  • English for Academic Purposes Distance Learning: preparing and supporting students who come to study for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees through the medium of English is one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs in the field of language teaching. To do this well, an EAP teacher needs to understand the higher education context; the key principles underpinning learning in a university; text and discourse in the communities of the 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 Distance Learning: explores the theories that inform teaching practice and analyses the implications these have in terms of ways of learning, material used, the teacher role and the classroom. This is essential for all those seeking to understand their teaching environment more clearly and for those who have a chance to influence teaching environments.

  • Linguistics for Language Teachers Distance Learning: equips you with the skills required to describe and analyse written discourse. It does not assume prior knowledge of linguistics and seeks to introduce you to selected fundamental concepts, relevant to English language teaching. You acquire appropriate terminology and techniques in the analysis and description of grammatical terms and structures.

  • Second Language Acquisition Distance Learning: focuses on how subsequent languages are learnt after the first language by exploring the development of SLA theory. You will then consider how this theory informs teaching.

  • Teaching and Researching Distance Learning: helps you understand the features of a rigorous research question in the field of TESOL, as well as to consider how to design, pilot and reflect on the effectiveness of different data collection instruments. The module also includes guidance and discussion on the different ethical considerations when conducting classroom-based research, as well as the important stages in writing up a dissertation.

  • Teaching Young Learners Distance Learning: explores theories of child development and learning which are fundamental to the understanding of child second language acquisition, namely children aged 4 to 7, 8 to 11, and 12 to 18. Child psychology has to be taken into account in the development of teaching materials, teaching styles and classroom management.

  • Technology for Teaching Distance Learning: introduces you to the principle theories, concepts and practices of technology in language education. You will be able to critically consider the role and purpose of various modes of technology in education in a wide range of settings to identify and conceptualise problems within your own professional contexts.

Each module is only delivered once in each academic year. The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019-2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Funding

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

Careers

TESOL graduates are equipped with a range of skills and experiences which allow them to take on a variety of roles. The majority of TESOL students work within education, either as teachers or lecturers, as researchers, or as policymakers. Other graduates work in publishing, journalism and management.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and provides a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Contact information

International Education Institute
University of St Andrews
Kinnessburn
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 9DJ

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

International Education Institute website

Policies

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).