1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

English Language Teaching

This course is for you if you’re an experienced language-teaching professional or have a language- and linguistics-based degree but little or no teaching experience.

Our options, seminars and teaching practice are tailored to reflect your previous experience and interests.

You’ll focus on the theoretical and practical issues that impact on the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and English as a Second Language (TESL/TESOL).

You’ll develop your knowledge and critical understanding of current theories and research in language acquisition. And you’ll gain confidence in relating these to the practice of English language pedagogy.

“Having classmates from all over the world with experience of different classroom settings gave me a great perspective on English language teaching in other countries.” Hye In (‘Zoe’) JungELT professional

Key facts

  • The Sussex Centre for Language Studies is concerned with all aspects of language teaching and learning, including teacher education and language classroom research.
  • This course focuses on the practical application of theory and research to boost your career prospects in English Language Teaching (ELT) and related fields of work.
  • The Centre also offers teacher training (including courses externally validated by Trinity College London) and professional development courses for international teachers of English.

How will I study?

You take four taught modules from the English Language Teaching (ELT) MA.

You learn through taught modules in seminar groups and there are a number of career-focused options. You can also study a new language as a way to broaden your understanding of how key theories relate to classroom practice.

You are assessed by term papers, essays and portfolios.

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. 

For details about the part-time course, contact the ELT course convener Dr Andrew Blair at

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Language Analysis

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      On this module, you will introduced to the study of formal linguistics. The aim is to familiarise you with the main sub-branches of the discipline and relevant applications to language pedagogy. The following areas are covered:

      • sounds and sound patterns (phonetics and phonology) 
      • word and sentence structure (morphology, syntax)
      • linguistic meaning (semantics and pragmatics).

      Emphasis is placed on using the theories, methods and techniques from each of these sub-disciplines to examine real language data. You will carry out practical analysis of spoken and written texts. 

    • Second Language Acquisition and Research

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      On this module, you will compare theoretical perspectives on what is involved in language acquisition, as well as exploring some of the controversies that exist in the field and implications for second language teaching and learning. Theories of language learning and bilingualism are analysed and aspects of research methodology explored. Contemporary perspectives on SLA in relation to English as a global language in a multilingual world are also reviewed. In addition, you will take one of the Open Language Courses on offer, and reflect on your own learning processes and beliefs in connection the theoretical frameworks for SLA.

    • Principles and Practice in English Language Teaching

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module focuses on the development of English Language Teaching from the traditional Grammar-Translation Method to the Communicative Approach, and beyond to the current 'post-method' era. Techniques employed in the teaching, testing and evaluation of the four skills, as well as grammar and vocabulary, are discussed in relation to different learning contexts and contemporary ELT issues. These are evaluated with regard to theories of language learning studied on previous courses. In addition, specialist areas of ELT may be included, such as the teaching of young learners, the use of technology, and English as an International Language.


    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Advanced Practical Teaching

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This is a practical and experiential module, designed to give students with appropriate previous teaching qualifications and experience TEFL-Qualified status recognised by the British Council. You will undertake a minimum of 5 hours’ supervised teaching practice (TP), and critically evaluate teaching methodology and classroom techniques through peer observation, feedback and discussion. You will keep a TP journal and undertake reflective tasks, and the module is assessed through the observed teaching practice and journal.

      The opportunity is presented to relate pedagogical theory to practice, experiment and develop teaching skills. The learners are adult, multilingual groups of ‘free students’ arranged by the University, organised into approximate ability levels. Key skills are lesson planning and pedagogical aims, designing and implementing appropriate lessons, adaptability and flexibility, using a range of teaching techniques and approaches, the ability to reflect on progress, giving and receiving constructive feedback. You will be expected to show a high degree of autonomy in preparing lessons, with support from your TP tutor and peers. A mixture of authentic, home-made, and suitably-adapted published materials should be used, appropriate to the lesson aims.

      Note: It should be stressed that the Advanced Practical Teaching course is generally only suitable for students with significant previous ELT experience with adult learners.

    • ELT Management

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module examines the main skills involved in managing an ELT operation, including strategic planning, teacher development and managing educational change. You will be introduced to theoretical frameworks for key management issues and will be expected to write a project at the end of the module. The module is intended both for academic managers and those intending to move from an academic into a managerial position.

    • Practical Teaching Techniques and Observation

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This practical module explores and critically evaluates teaching methodology and classroom techniques and includes observation of experienced teachers. You will have chance to observe and discuss a range of different teaching styles, and supervised teaching practice will enable the development of their teaching skills as well as understanding of the different methodologies and techniques. You will normally be grouped according to previous teaching experience. They will also be expected to keep a reflective learning/teaching journal.

    • Teaching English for Academic Purposes

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The aim of the module is to enable teachers with a standard qualification in and experience of Teaching English as a Foreign Language to develop in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of current theories and research in Teaching English for Academic Purposes, and an understanding of the linguistic, theoretical and practical issues of classroom practice in that area. The content is based on the BALEAP* Competency Framework for Teachers of English for Academic Purposes and comprises four strands: academic practice; EAP students; curriculum development; and programme implementation.

      The module comprises four strands within the framework:

      1. Academic Practice
      This strand includes a consideration of the way in which contexts of academic language use, disciplinary differences in the way that knowledge and discourse are constructed, and the development of learning autonomy affect the learning, teaching and assessment of EAP.
      2. EAP Students
      This strand considers student needs and how to respond to them, as well as autonomy and critical thinking.
      3. Curriculum Development
      Curriculum development comprises syllabus and programme construction, text processing and text production.
      4. Programme Implementation
      Programme implementation includes forms of assessment and some teaching practice (peer teaching).

      (*BALEAP: British Association for Lecturers of English for Academic Purposes)

    • Teaching Young Learners

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module will examine the difference in approach between teaching adults and teaching children, as well as the differences between teaching young learners below the age of 12 and teenagers. The importance of content-based teaching and task-based learning, educating the whole child, bilingualism, and second language learning and literacy will be considered and factors such as age, creativity, motivation, learning difficulties and discipline will be explored. Different young learner materials will be analysed and evaluated, as will different methods of assessment.

    • World Englishes

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The module aims to address some of the current and significant issues concerning the growth and use of English around the world, the implications for pedagogy and teacher education. The increasingly international profile of the language, its learners and teaching contexts is reflected in the breadth of nationalities of students on the ELT course, studying, researching and working in this complex field. This area of English language teaching is attracting growing academic attention in terms of journal, book and conference publications, and raises challenging questions for both researchers and practitioners.


Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in a linguistics, English language or a modern languages degree involving a significant linguistic component. Alternatively, a first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in any subject plus substantial work experience (two years full time or equivalent) in a language-related profession (eg language teacher, language support assistant, translator).

English language requirements

Higher level (IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?


Home: £5,100 per year

EU: £5,100 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £5,100 per year

Overseas: £9,900 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Meet the people teaching and supervising on your course.


You’ll gain the teaching expertise and the ability to evaluate conceptual and practical frameworks relevant to your future professional role.

 Our graduates have gone on to careers around the world in:

  • public- and private-sector language teaching
  • universities and research
  • teacher training
  • management roles
  • publishing.

TEFL qualification

If you have appropriate previous teaching qualifications and experience, and successfully complete the Advanced Practical Teaching option, you’ll be deemed TEFL qualified at UK Diploma level, as defined by the British Council Accreditation Scheme.

Graduate destinations

100% of students from the Sussex Centre for Language Studies were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our students have gone on to jobs including:

  • English language lecturer, Pearson
  • instructor of English, An-Najah National University
  • teacher, The London School of English.

(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Contact us