About the course
The MSc Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching is a degree aimed at professionals of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or modern foreign languages. It is taught primarily via distance/online learning. This innovative two-year part-time course offers a cutting-edge introduction to the linguistic and pedagogic knowledge needed for teaching language.
While the concepts covered in the course can be applied to all languages in most contexts, there is a strong opportunity for students to specialise in the teaching of English language in university settings.
A low-residency course, it is characterised by intense online interaction and feedback, using a range of communication media. Its small-group teaching format pursues the Oxford tradition of demanding much of students and giving them much in return.
The course is taught over two academic years, preceded by a week’s induction module in Oxford. Numbers on the course are kept low, to ensure quality of teaching and learning.
The course consists of six summatively assessed modules, two in Term 1 and one in Term 2 of each year, and a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words submitted at the end of the course. Beginning in Term 3 of the first year of the course, students work on their dissertation projects under the supervision of a member of the applied linguistics research group.
In addition to these summatively assessed modules, students take a formatively assessed module on Research Methods in Term 2 of the first year, to help prepare them for their dissertation projects. In the induction module, students' academic writing is also formatively assessed.
Students are expected to spend up to 20 hours per week on the course during term time, engaging in independent reading, online discussions, group work, listening to webinars, and writing review and reflection papers.
The course consists of the following modules:
- Induction (formatively assessed residential module)
- Learning and teaching vocabulary
- Materials and assessment in language teaching
- Sociolinguistics and language teaching
- Individual and group differences in language teaching
- Listening and reading processes in language learning
- Developing second language speaking and writing
- Research Methods (formatively assessed module)
In addition, students are given access to recorded lectures from the Department’s graduate modules on Research Methods in Education and Statistics. These are non-compulsory and non-assessed.
As a part-time student you will be required to participate in online weekly classes, seminars, and other academic tasks during term time. With the exception of the induction module, all coursework is delivered in an asynchronous format. Materials are made available on the University’s virtual learning environment two weeks in advance of the expected completion date for the associated activities. There is, therefore, flexibility in the dates and pattern of participation each week to fit into your work schedule. Attendance, either in-person or online, will be required for a one-week induction module, which is held prior to commencement of the course, usually in late August. Supervision meetings for the dissertation project are held in person or online, depending on circumstances.
For this course, the allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Department of Education and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department of Education.
Students may expect 10 hours of contact time with their supervisors over the course of the programme. The specific timing and number of meetings may vary somewhat according to the nature and requirements of a student’s dissertation project. Indicatively, it is usual to have three supervision meetings in Term 3 of the first year and two in each of Terms 1 and 2 of the second year. In Term 3 of the second year, students work independently on their projects, though maintain email contact with their supervisors.
Students will complete six modules, each assessed by submitted assignments (usually taking the form of a 2,500-word take-home essay), and a dissertation topic selected by the student and approved by the supervisor.
Past students from the Department of Education have gone on to doctoral study and academic and research careers at universities in the UK (eg Oxford, Edinburgh, Warwick, UCL, King's College, St. Mary's, Liverpool) and across the world (eg Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Hong Kong, Chile). Many have gone on to be employed across a wide range of other sectors, such as government policy, NGOs, international organisations such as OECD, think tanks and administration at local and national levels. The department’s ‘Conversations with Alumni’ feature includes interviews with two DPhil alumni on their career paths after Oxford.
Changes to this course and your supervision
The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.
Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.
Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25
Proven and potential academic excellence
The requirements described below are specific to this course and apply only in the year of entry that is shown. You can use our interactive tool to help you evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive.
Please be aware that any studentships that are linked to this course may have different or additional requirements and you should read any studentship information carefully before applying.
As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:
- a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in any discipline.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.
If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.
GRE General Test scores
No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.
Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience
- Publications are not expected.
English language proficiency
This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.
|Minimum overall score
|Minimum score per component
|IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713)
TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'
(Institution code: 0490)
*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
†Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.
Declaring extenuating circumstances
If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.
You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.
You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.
Performance at interview
Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.
Candidates will be shortlisted based on academic ability, potential and fit of interests with the course content. Interviews for shortlisted candidates are normally held two to six weeks after the closing date of the admissions round. They are conducted by two interviewers, in person or using Teams video-conferencing, and will focus on candidates’ academic and professional background. Candidates may be asked to outline their research interests and how these might be developed during the dissertation element of the course, although students are not expected to already have a fully developed research plan. This will be developed in discussion with successful applicants’ supervisors once they have started the course. Candidates may also be asked why they want to study in this area and the reasons why this particular course is of interest.
How your application is assessed
Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements described under that heading.
References and supporting documents submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.
An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about how applications are assessed.
Shortlisting and selection
Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:
- socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of the University’s pilot selection procedure and for scholarships aimed at under-represented groups;
- country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
- protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.
Processing your data for shortlisting and selection
Admissions panels and assessors
All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).
Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.
Other factors governing whether places can be offered
The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:
- the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the About section of this page;
- the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
- minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.
Offer conditions for successful applications
If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about offers and conditions.
In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:
If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.
Disclosure of criminal convictions
In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.
The University of Oxford 's Department of Education has been making a major contribution to the field of education for over 100 years and the department has a world class reputation for research, for teacher education and for its master's and doctoral programmes. The department combines international standing as a research-intensive department with the highest quality teaching.
In the 2021 evaluation of research quality in UK universities, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Department of Education had the highest overall percentage of research judged to be 4* (ie world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour) in Education in the UK. The department has ESRC recognition for its graduate training, and its teacher training was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED) in its most recent inspection in 2019.
Research in the department is organised around three major themes:
- Language, Cognition and Development
- Policy, Economy and Society
- Learning: Pedagogy, Learning and Knowledge.
Within each of these themes there are several research groups and centres. All staff and doctoral students belong to one or more of these research groups, each of which has its own seminar programme to which graduate students often contribute. In addition, the department sponsors regular seminars and public lectures which attract distinguished national and international speakers. These seminars are often provided online as well as in person, and recordings are made available for students unable to attend due, for example, to time differences.
The Bodleian Education Library, located at the centre of the Department of Education, specialises in material on education and related fields. As well as a print collection of books, journals and statistics, the library provides access to a wide range of electronic resources. The library also houses a collection of teaching resources, primarily in support of subjects covered by the department's secondary PGCE course. The Social Sciences Library provides valuable additional resource to students pursuing programmes in the Department of Education.
Oxford has been a major contributor to the field of education for over 100 years and today the University’s Department of Education has a world class reputation for research, for teacher education and for its graduate courses.
The department offers one of the strongest graduate studies programmes in the UK with a range of full- and part-time MSc courses and a lively doctoral programme (DPhil) which is recognised for national funding by the ESRC.
The department's masters' courses are delivered by academics and research experts, the majority of whom are permanent staff engaged in their fields of research. The department's DPhil in Education has excellent facilities for the large number of full-time research students who are well integrated into the research of the department.
The department has an outstanding research profile. In the 2021 evaluation of research quality in UK universities, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), Oxford University Department of Education had the highest overall percentage of research judged to be 4* (ie world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour) in Education in the UK. A wide range of funded research projects are based in the department and many of these projects have had a major impact on national policy.
Oxford’s PGCE course has an international reputation for the quality of its work, undertaken in close collaboration with local Oxfordshire secondary schools. Over many years, it has consistently received the highest possible designation (Outstanding) from Ofsted in inspections.
The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential.
For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.
Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:
Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.
Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.
Annual fees for entry in 2024-25
Annual Course fees
Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.
Information about course fees
Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.
Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.
You will be required to cover your own accommodation costs in Oxford the induction week. The department estimates that accommodation costs can start at around £70 per night in a college or around £150 in a hotel (single rate). Students should also factor in costs for meals during your stay. As part of your course requirements, you will need to choose a dissertation topic. Please note that, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs yourself, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your college to help you cover some of these expenses.
In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.
For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.
If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.
Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs).
If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief introduction to the college system at Oxford and our advice about expressing a college preference. For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.
The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching:
Before you apply
Our guide to getting started provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. You can use our interactive tool to help you evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive.
If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines in our Application Guide.
Application fee waivers
An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:
- applicants from low-income countries;
- refugees and displaced persons;
- UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and
- applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.
You are encouraged to check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver before you apply.
Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?
You do not need to make contact with the department before you apply but you are encouraged to visit the relevant departmental webpages to read any further information about your chosen course.
Completing your application
You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents.
For this course, the application form will include questions that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/résumé. You should not upload a separate document. If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application.
If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.
Three overall, academic preferred
Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.
Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation and ability to work in a group. Professional references may be accepted from applicants who are returning to study after considerable time in the workplace.
Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.
More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.
A maximum of 750 words
Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific components of the course that interest you.
If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.
This will be assessed for:
- the reasons why you are applying to this particular programme of study
- the areas of study in the subject which interest you
- relevant academic, research, or practical experience
- what you want to achieve from the programme you are applying for
- your future aspirations, ie where you will take what you have learnt from the programme.
Two essays, a maximum of 2,000 words each
Academic essays or other writing samples, written in English, are required. Excerpts of the requisite length from longer works are also permissible.
You may submit written work previously completed for a prior course of study if the topic is relevant ie an assignment or chapter of a dissertation, provided it meets the requirements. If you do not have any existing material that fits this requirement, you may like to critique an article or write a book review based on the course subject.
The written work should be on two separate topics. The word count should not include any bibliography or brief footnotes.
If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.
This will be assessed for understanding of the subject area, an ability to construct and defend an argument, and proficiency in academic English.