Man working on a laptop
Man working on a laptop

MA English Language Teaching: Online

Enhance your career prospects with the world’s English experts and open up a world of opportunities with an internationally recognised post-graduate qualification in English language teaching from the UK.

The MA in ELT has been developed by the British Council in collaboration with Southampton University and is completely online, offering you an affordable and convenient way to study. It takes 2.5 years and is aimed at experienced English teachers.

Focusing on current theory and practice in applied linguistics and language teaching, the course will help you develop advanced knowledge and skills in English language curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.

Why choose this course?

Developed collaboratively by the University of Southampton and the British Council, it offers postgraduate- level study in key areas of current theory and practice in applied linguistics and English language teaching.

  • This course makes use of the latest developments in technological design and is delivered by an experienced team of e-tutors through an online distance-learning environment.
  • Students engage in online discussion and use interactive multimedia course materials including lectures and podcasts by internationally renowned staff from the University of Southampton.
  • Students have access to the University library and its stock of e-books and journals online.
  • The programme structure involves two years of taught assessed modules and a final semester spent undertaking research and writing a dissertation

Take this course and you will:

  • take part in online discussions with internationally renowned staff from the University of Southampton
  • learn through using interactive multimedia course materials including lectures and podcasts
  • have access to the University library and its stock of e-books and journals online
  • gain the skills and knowledge you need to take on leadership roles in ELT

“…a very challenging and exciting experience that has helped to develop my skills…the main advantage for me is that I can study from home and continue with my professional work” Nat, MA in ELT graduate, 2014

“The MA in ELT: online prepares you during four semesters with ideas to identify your area of interest which in my case was developing the speaking skill of my students. The programme fulfilled my dream of studying in a prestigious British University.” Kenya Melissa Hernández Trejo, MA in ELT graduate, 2015.

“For me the chief benefit of an online degree is convenience; one can work at one's own pace, on weekends and evenings. This program fitted perfectly well for my tight lifestyle.” Celina A. Villegas, MA in ELT graduate, 2015.

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Qualifications and Eligibility

  • Degree: a good first degree (in the UK, upper second class honours) in a language or other relevant discipline, plus two years’ relevant professional experience related to English language teaching (other relevant forms of qualification experience may also be acceptable).
  • International students must meet the English language requirements of Southampton University (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).
  • A university application with transcripts and personal statement must be provided.

Course content

  • Course content includes interactive ‘learning objects’, podcasts and video clips from lectures and seminars. Full reading lists as well as access to Southampton University library and its stock of e-books and journals are provided.
  • Students can expect a weekly commitment of 10 to 12 hours of online study, chat room seminars and online forums, supported by 10 hours of private study. The course concludes with a 15,000 – 20,000 word dissertation. 

Course structure

First year

  Topic Description
Semester 1 Language Analysis for Teaching (LING6018) Covers all language analysis necessary for the teaching and learning of English
  Principles of Communicative Language Teaching (LING6021) Explores the context, methods and approaches of communicative language teaching
Semester 2 A Critical Appraisal of Language Teaching Methodologies (LING6019) A comparison and evaluation of different teaching and learning approaches and methods
  E-Learning for English Language Teaching (LING6020) To understand and develop insight and skills in all aspects of e-learning, tutoring and moderation

Second year

  Topic Description
Semester 1 English as a World Language (LING6026) Exploring the place and role of English as a world language
  Discourse Analysis (LING6024) The study of various approaches to analysing written and spoken language use
Semester 2 Second Language Learning (LING6025) Exploring second language acquisition (SLA) and use
  Research Skills for the Dissertation (LING6027) Introduction to a range of research approaches relevant to dissertation study

Third year

  Topic Description
Semester 3 Dissertation Supervised 15,000–20,000 word dissertation research

How will students learn?

Students complete a core programme of research skills development in relation to a series of personally relevant modules and foci. Each module serves as a starting point

to find out more about the subject. A large part of postgraduate study is independent learning. The Master’s programme develops critical awareness, encouraging reflection on the methodologies employed in further study. 


Students are assessed by written assignments for each module and research reports and also manage a large independent research project: the Master’s dissertation. The dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. The tutor is available to provide regular feedback and advice.

Professional Development

A Master’s degree enables the student to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; teamwork; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, the student learns to communicate ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.

For any queries please contact the British Council Project Manager: or the Programme convenor:  

Price and important dates


£7500 to be paid in three annual installments of £2500




Start Date of the Semester

Open from April- September 2016

September 2016 intake


Open from November 2016- January 2017

January 2017 intake


About University of Southampton:

The University of Southampton is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and is among  the top 20 research universities in the UK, with a global reputation for leading-edge research  and teaching.