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Postgraduate taught courses – University of Reading

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Postgraduate taught courses

The University of Reading has been known for decades as a centre of excellence in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. Our MA programmes have more than 1500 graduates in over 40 countries, many of whom have gone on to become world-renowned teachers and scholars.

Distinguished graduates from Reading's MAs include Professor Penny Ur OBE (Haifa University), Professor Roger Nunn (Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi), Professor Scott Thornbury (The New School New York), and Professor Barry O'Sullivan (British Council).

 These highly competitive programmes are suitable for high-calibre candidates who:

  • have already been working as language teachers or are just starting a career in language teaching, and wish to develop professionally and academically;
  • are interested in language in use in society, business or other professional fields, and want to develop their career in language-related industries (media, publishing, translating, language technology, international marketing, public relations);
  • may also be interested in pursuing PhD studies in the future.


Read our MA brochure here.

Features of the Programme:


You will be taught by top researchers in Applied Linguistics, who are known for cutting edge research in their fields. Their work is regularly published in important international journals, and they are often invited to speak at major international conferences. At the same time, nearly all of them also have backgrounds in English Language Teaching and understand how to apply research to addressing practical issues in the classroom.

Individual attention

Students on Reading's MA programmes receive considerable individual attention. All students have regular meetings with personal tutors. They also have the chance to become a part of a thriving intellectual community with regular research talks and social events with academic staff and PhD students. See our latest list of talks by prominent visiting speakers here.

Variety and Flexibility

We offer programmes to suit every type of student:

  • Our TESOL and MA in  Applied Linguistics programmes are suitable for those who teach English, or who teach other languages, or are translators, publishers or work in other applied linguistics fields.
  • In our MA TESOL programme we offer different tracks for those with, and without, English language teaching experience.
  • Students can pursue a research-focused degree with a dissertation, or a teaching-focused degree with a portfolio. Both MA programmes include a wide choice of option
    modules in which students can gain specialised training in particular areas of TESOL or Applied Linguistics.  

Substantial course content

The taught element of our courses offers:

  • a thorough grounding in language description and analysis;
  • key core modules in Second Language Acquisition, Curriculum Design (TESOL), Sociolinguistics (Applied Linguistics) and research design (both);
  • a wide range of option modules including Language Testing, Discourse Analysis, Language Learning and Technology, Teaching Young Learners, Corpus Linguistics


The University of Reading has one of the best collections of books and journals in TESOL and Applied Linguistics in the United Kingdom, including an excellent electronic collection that allows students to access many online books and articles off campus. Many MA modules are supported by specialist article collections. There is also a self-access learning centre, access to language corpus facilities and several computer laboratories.

Career prospects

Graduates of Reading's MA programmes in Applied Linguistics and TESOL are among the most successful language specialists in the world. Graduates have no difficulty finding employment in education, government or industry.

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