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MScTESOL & Intercultural Communication

Why this course?

This degree programme is designed for students intending to pursue a career in teaching English to speakers of other languages.

The MSc TESOL and Intercultural Communication degree is designed for students intending to pursue a career in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). It is also applicable to those who currently work in this field but wish to enhance professional knowledge and skills, and improve career prospects. 

This masters degree course addresses questions about the learning, teaching and use of English by speakers of other languages from an intercultural communication perspective. It draws on the expertise of educationalists, linguists, and literature/culture scholars.  

Course options allow students to explore issues across these disciplines or to specialise in one area. Recognising that the place of English is evolving rapidly in an increasingly complex multilingual and multicultural world, we equip course graduates with the theoretical and practical skills to teach English to learners with a wide range of social, cultural and communicative goals.

You'll gain a better understanding of language learning and language use in intercultural contexts. You will engage with key issues relating to language teaching and intercultural communication. You will have opportunities to develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills for language-related careers in a linguistically diverse world.  This is an interdisciplinary course combining insights from education, linguistics, and literature. You can take a mix of classes or focus more closely on one of these areas.

What you’ll study

Autumn semester

You'll take two required classes:

  • Language Learning in a Multilingual World
  • Introduction to Intercultural Communication

Students also choose between two research classes:

  • Research Methodologies
  • Reasoning Research Skills in Literature, Culture and Communication

Successful completion of these three classes leads to the award of Postgraduate Certificate.

Spring semester

You will take one required class - Contemporary Issues in Language Teaching - and choose from a selection of options, which may include:

  • Theories and Policies in second language acquisition and bilingualism
  • Practice and Policies in Supporting Bilingual Learners
  • Independent Study
  • Transcultural Fandom and British Popular Culture
  • Narrative processing across languages and cultures

Successful completion of the six classes, over the Autumn and Spring Semesters, leads to the award of Postgraduate Diploma.

Summer semester

Students write a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words (depending on topic) on a topic relating to the course. Successful completion of the dissertation plus the six classes leads to the award of MSc.

Course content

Semester 1

Compulsory classes

Language Learning in a Multilingual World

This class focuses on how languages are learnt. Participants share their own experiences of learning English and other languages, and relate these to theories of effective language learning. These include the literature on learner motivation, language learner identities and social, emotional, cultural and aesthetic aspects of learning another language.

The work involves planning, implementing and evaluating a language learning task to progress your own goals as a language learner and encourages you to reflect critically on this, as a way of informing current or future practice as a language education professional.

Introduction to Intercultural Communication

The class critically applies the linguistic analysis of discourse, conversation and other types of verbal behaviour, in the context of a theoretical understanding of the communication of meaning. We will look at languages in contact, the relation between language, culture and thought, and other theoretical and practical issues in the understanding of intercultural communication. 

Optional classes

Choose between the two research classes below:

Research Methodologies & Reasoning

This module provides an introduction to education and social research methodologies within the context of professional development and practitioner enquiry. The module will offer students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the traditions and approaches of research and their implications for professional development. The module promotes an understanding of the wider social research environment and its role within the professional contexts of policy and practice.

Research Skills in Literature, Culture & Communication

This class develops skills which are essential for postgraduate work, including the dissertation which is part of the MSc. It will be useful for any student who wishes to extend their studies to PhD, or wishes to publish their research. The class examines what it means to do research, how to prepare a research proposal, and what examiners look for in dissertations and theses.

Semester 2

Compulsory class

Contemporary Issues in Language Teaching

This module focuses on contemporary issues and trends in language teaching. It enables students who are prospective or practising teachers to familiarise themselves with a range of topics relating to language teaching so that they can draw connections between research and their own experience. The module has a particularly focus on the impact of digital technologies and a sociocultural approach to second language pedagogy.

Optional classes

Theories and Policies in second language acquisition and bilingualism

The module develops a critical understanding of theory and research concerning second language acquisition and bilingual education and reviews international, national and local legislation, reports and policies which impact on the education of bilingual learners.

Practices and Policies in Supporting Bilingual Learners

The module considers bilingual learners’ language and learning needs, and effective support strategies to meet these. It builds on knowledge and understanding of theory, research and policy to plan effective support for a wide range of bilingual learners, with a focus on the development of both the language of schooling and the other languages that learners know, through collaborative group work, parental involvement and assessment practices.

Transcultural Fandom & British Popular Culture

This class investigates how readers and writers communicate in English-language online forums, using fandom and fanfiction as a case study. We will look the use of aspects of British popular culture and literature, and will reflect critically on how online communities work as forums for reading and writing in English. We will consider how these topics are relevant in the teaching of English.

Narrative Processing Across Languages & Cultures

The cognitive science of narrative processing has revealed that our understanding of stories depends both on our culturally-specific knowledge and also on culturally independent aspects of our psychology. The class explores this interesting problem, and considers its bearing on a person's understanding of stories from outside their own culture, a fundamental issue in intercultural studies.

Independent Study 1

This class is part of our flexible framework for supporting, enhancing and accrediting a wide range of career long professional learning activities. The Independent Study module allows students to negotiate a focus for learning that meets their personal professional needs. 

Learning & teaching

By on-campus lectures, seminars and tutorials, and for one of the research classes by online teaching.


By written assignments, including essays and reflective journals, materials development, and presentation.

Entry requirements

Usually a 2:1 degree or equivalent, but professional experience may be taken into account instead. 

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (with no score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • £6,500

Rest of UK

  • £6,500


  • £14,650

How can I found my course?

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

To recognise academic excellence, the Strathclyde Prestige Award for Excellence in TESOL & Intercultural Communication offers international students a merit-based scholarship of £5,000 for entry onto the full time MSc in TESOL & Intercultural Communication.

Take a look at our scholarship search for more funding opportunities. 

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


Students who successfully complete the course will be in a strong position to start or enhance careers as English language professionals, in their home countries or internationally. You may choose to work as an English language teacher, course designer or course director, with students ranging from young learners or high school students, to college or university students or adult learners.

The course also offers a route into a research orientated career, with options to continue on Doctor of Education or Doctor of Philosophy routes.

Contact us


TESOL and Intercultural Communication

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

TESOL and Intercultural Communication

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

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