MSc/PgDip/PgCert TESOL & Intercultural Communication

Apply now for January 2022 entry

Key facts

  • Start date: September & January
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
    PgDip: 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time

Study with us

  • gain the theoretical and practical skills to teach English to learners with a wide range of social, cultural and communicative goals
  • benefit from the expertise of educationalists, linguists, and literature/culture scholars
  • an interdisciplinary course combining insights from education, linguistics, and literature
  • take a mix of classes or focus more closely on one areas

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

Covid-19: information & FAQs
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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.

Check out our upcoming monthly postgraduate taught and Professional Graduate Diploma in Education drop-in sessions.

Register for drop-in session

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.


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.
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Course content

Compulsory classes

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.

This module is delivered on weekdays. Available in semester 1.

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. 

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

This module is delivered on weekdays. Available in semester 1.

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.

Optional classes

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.

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. 

TESOL & Intercultural Communication student Wang Zisu
TESOL provides me with a brand-new view about education nowadays, including the tools of teaching and the methods of teaching.
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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.

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.

Yue Lin MSc TESOL student
The course, TESOL & Intercultural Communication, was quite well-designed and challenging, which made my learning experience both interesting and stimulating.
Yue Lin
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.

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Scotland, England, Wales & Nothern Ireland


Full-time: £7,100
Part-time: £3,550


Full-time: £4,733
Part-time (Year 1): £2,367*

*Please note second year will be subject to increases



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.

Strathclyde Alumni

We are delighted to offer our Strathclyde graduates a 15% tuition fee discount on postgraduate taught courses running in September 2021 and January 2022. All alumni will be eligible for the discount, including those who have studied at Strathclyde on an exchange or study abroad programme. Terms and conditions apply.

Find out more about our alumni discount

Scholarship opportunity - January 2022 programmes

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award - Postgraduate Taught - January 2022 offers all qualified international postgraduate students a merit-based scholarship of £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. This is available for programmes starting in January 2022 only.

Apply for January 2022 scholarship
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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 in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

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.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow
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Start date: Jan 2022

TESOL and Intercultural Communication (January intake)

Start date: Jan 2022

Start date: Sep 2022

TESOL and Intercultural Communication

Start date: Sep 2022

Start date: Sep 2022

TESOL and Intercultural Communication

Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

Register your interest and find out more about the programme

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak our team are working from home and can be contacted via our online enquiry form.

Have you considered?

We've a range of postgraduate taught and Masters courses similar to this one which may also be of interest.