Postgraduate online open day, 2 March 2023

MSc TESOL & Intercultural Communication

Due to high demand, we are currently closed for applications for January 2023 entry.

Key facts

  • Start date: September & January
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time

Study with us

  • gain the practical knowledge and skills to teach English to learners with a wide range of social, cultural and communicative goals
  • benefit from a highly personalised professional learning programme which enables you to be an autonomous and reflective ELT practitioner
  • take a mix of classes in our interdisciplinary course developed by research-active educationalists, linguists, and literature/culture scholars
  • become a member of a global TESOL community where you can work with students from the UK, France, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Vietnam, Nigeria etc.
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Why this course?

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

The 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 enable you 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, you'll be equipped 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'll have the opportunity engage with key issues relating to language teaching and intercultural communication. and develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills for language-related careers in a linguistically diverse world.

Two students studying together

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

Interested in postgraduate study?

At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, our friendly and knowledgeable team will be available to provide you with all the information you need to kick-start your postgraduate journey at the University of Strathclyde. Register for upcoming events below:

What you’ll study

Semester 1

You'll take two compulsory classes and choose between two research classes.

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

Semester 2

You'll take a further compulsory class and choose from a selection of options.

Successful completion of six classes over Semesters 1 & 2, leads to the award of Postgraduate Diploma.


Summer semester

MSc 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 six classes leads to the award of MSc.

Learning & teaching

You'll attend on-campus lectures, seminars and tutorials; one research class is available by online teaching.


Methods of assessment include written assignments–  essays and reflective journal – materials development, and presentations.


Our students

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
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Course content

Compulsory classes

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. 

Research Methodologies & Reasoning

This module runs over both semesters and 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.

Optional classes

Contemporary Issues in Language Teaching

Level 5, 20 Credits

This module offers students the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of key issues related to second and foreign language education. Students will reflect on their own language learning and/or teaching experiences, and debate the prevalent ideas in the field of language teaching. Students will also develop the practical skills of analysing, evaluating and designing innovative language teaching materials. The module has a particular focus on exploring the impact of sociocultural theory on language education.


  • Communicative language teaching & lesson planning
  • Task-based language learning and teaching
  • Content and language integrated learning
  • Sociocultural theory and language education
  • Developing listening and speaking skills
  • Developing reading and writing skills
  • Material development
Language Learning in a Multilingual World

Level 5, 20 credits

The class is based on our shared reading of one important recent journal article* which reviews key ideas relating to second language acquisition (SLA). Each week we will look at a different set of issues raised in this article and consider how these help us to think about contexts for language learning, learning processes, goals and outcomes. Lectures will introduce these issues and in the seminars we will explore them in more detail, through discussion and through reflections on our own experiences in blog format.


  • What is multilingualism? Becoming bilingual. Social multilingualism. Multilingualism and superdiversity.
  • What is second language acquisition? A short history of the field. Range of interests and approaches. Language acquisition and language learning. Issues of age and time.
  • A model of language development. Micro, meso and macro levels. Five constructs: community, norm, choice, identity, agency.
  • Meaning-making. Complex, dynamic and holistic language competences. Semiotic resources.
  • Contexts for learning and using languages. Situated learning. Multimodality. Change.
  • Classroom learning. Language Instruction. Literacies.
  • Motivation and investment. Identity. Agency. Ideology.
  • Neurobiological mechanisms. Cognition. Emotion and affect.

*Douglas Fir Group (2016). A transdisciplinary framework for SLA in a multilingual world. The Modern Language Journal, 100 (Supplement 2016): 19-47.

Curriculum Development in TESOL

This module focuses on how TESOL can be organised at different levels of formal education (classroom, institution, official educational policies). The module provides theoretical and practical tools for evaluating, adapting, and designing a culturally responsive TESOL curriculum which is research-informed and context-situated. In this module, teachers are seen as agents of change who participate in and contribute to top-down as well as bottom-up approaches to curriculum design and enactment. The module offers room for analysing coursebooks and policy among other materials.

Digital Technologies in Language Teaching

Level 5, 20 credits

This class explores the use of digital technologies for language teaching. It gives students an overview of the key theories and pedagogical principles which underpin our current understanding of digital education. Students will develop the knowledge and practical skills of creating and working in a digital environment for language education. The module also considers ways to develop students’ 21st Century skills both as a language user/learner and as a language teacher. The class develops practical skills as well as skills in research, analysis and critical thinking which are relevant for a broad range of careers.


  • Introduction to digital technologies in language teaching
  • Theoretical models in digital education
  • Digital storytelling
  • Blended learning & flipped classrooms
  • Computer assisted language learning & computer mediated communication
  • Digital game based language learning
  • Augmented reality
  • Wrapping up & assessment

This module is delivered on weekdays. Available in semester 2.

Contemporary Scottish Cultural Studies

The class will allow you to engage with materials from Scottish, cultural, historical and literary studies. You'll read a range of primary literary and cultural materials in a historical and theoretical context and will develop skills in textual analysis and critical engagement. In doing so, the class will provide you with a knowledge of some of the main developments in Scottish literary and cultural studies throughout the 20th Century. 

You’ll gain an understanding of the relationships between literature, culture and theories of nationalism. You’ll also develop an awareness of a range of major issues in contemporary Scottish culture and become capable of applying sophisticated theoretical approaches to these.

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.

Re-imagining TESOL in the 21st century

Sociolinguistics of English as a Global Language:

  • Where has English come from?
  • Where and how has it spread?
  • What World Englishes have emerged?
  • Why is English called a ‘global’ language?
  • What ‘standards’ of English are there?
  • What English(es) should be taught in TESOL?
  • How do people interact in multilingual contexts using English as a lingua franca and other languages in their repertoires?
  • And to what extent is being a ‘native speaker’ of English of any relevance as a badge of TESOL identity?

These are controversial but important questions students will explore in this module. It aims to connect the sociolinguistics of English as a global language with the ‘politics’ of TESOL today.

The module invites teachers, teacher educators and researcher-practitioners to initiating change in ELT and reimagining TESOL in the 21st century. The overall purpose of this class is to analyse a learning/teaching context in relation to Global Englishes, examine relevant research and the pedagogical implications for ELT in your students' local contexts. Based on this evaluation, students will be able to recommend changes for ELT practice.

Transcultural Fandom and British Popular Culture

Fan studies is a very rapidly growing new discipline, and fan cultures are becoming increasingly visible both in academic scholarship and in wider popular culture. For young English language learners internationally, fanfiction and fan culture can often be an entry point into informal reading and writing in English.

For teachers of English language, a knowledge of the writing and reading practices of fanfiction communities - practices that very often include transforming or translating works from English into multiple other languages, and vice versa - can feed directly into classroom engagement with new uses of English in intercultural communication.

Moreover, by focusing on internationally known British cultural properties, and their global circulation and adaptation, this class will enable critical reflection on the use of British culture in teaching English language and the ways in which ideas of ‘Britishness’ are disseminated.


  • Introduction: Fan Studies and Fan Communities
  • Genres and Tropes 1: Regency Romance
  • Genres and Tropes 2: The Rise of Gothic
  • Genres and Tropes 3: Victorians and Neovictorians: Class and Gender
  • Genres and Tropes 4: Imperial Adventures and the Tomb-Raiding Tradition
  • Reading Week and Essay meetings
  • Case Study 1: Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
  • Case Study 2: Sherlock Holmes
  • Case Study 3: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and British Fantasy
  • Case Study 4: Harry Potter and the School Story
  • Transcultural Fandom from East to West
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. 

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements/experience

Degree or relevant professional qualification, or a combination of qualifications and experience demonstrating capacity for postgraduate study.

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 Visas and Immigration (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 Visas 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'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat to a student ambassador

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Please note, for courses that have a January 2023 start date, 2022/23 academic year fees will apply. For courses that have a September 2023 and a January 2024 start date, 2023/24 academic year fees will apply.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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  • Full-time: £7,750
  • Part-time: £3,875*

*Please note Year 2 will be subject to increases

England, Wales & Northern Ireland


  • Full-time: £7,750
  • Part-time: £3,875*

*Please note Year 2 will be subject to increases

  • MSc: £17,400
Visa & immigration

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships

  • EU Transition Scholarships are available to EU applicants who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status
  • Full-time international (non-EU) students applying to postgraduate study may be eligible for a scholarship worth between £3,000 and £5,000
View all Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships
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Graduates 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.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Start date: Sep 2023

TESOL and Intercultural Communication

Start date: Sep 2023

Start date: Sep 2023

TESOL and Intercultural Communication

Start date: Sep 2023

Start date: Jan 2024

TESOL and Intercultural Communication (January intake)

Start date: Jan 2024

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Contact us

Register your interest and find out more about the programme

Have you considered?

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