MA TESOL, Leadership and Management (Distance Learning) - University of Portsmouth

TESOL, Leadership and Management (Distance Learning)

Part Time Distance Learning3yrs

Professional development in the TESOL sector

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course is ideal for practising ELT/EFL/TESOL teachers who wish to continue developing their careers by taking on leadership and management roles. The course is also ideal for language school managers/directors in different parts of the world. As well as thoroughly reviewing developments in the fields of TESOL and Management, this flexible course develops expertise in areas of personal professional interest. Overall, it offers a way to extend your knowledge and understanding of leadership, management, language learning and teaching, as it develops the skills and attitudes that will help you work successfully in a fast-developing global society.

What will I experience?

On this course you will:

  • Gain an understanding of how theory underpins effective practice, and how this will support you in developing your professional identity.
  • Develop the entrepreneurial mind-set that will prepare you to succeed in educational management.
  • Understand the needs of learners in their educational contexts. 

What opportunities might it lead to?

Graduates will be able to progress to management and leadership jobs in higher and language school education in own country or elsewhere, or continue on to doctoral research in teaching, management and related fields. Possession of a Master's qualification in this area is often viewed as a requirement for promotion to a more responsible position in either the private or public sectors. Other possibilities include diversifying into a career in areas such as teacher education or external assessment.


Linda Sterne, course leader

We have a great team, including experts in TESOL who have mentored teachers in many countries, developed curricula for language (teacher) education, conducted workshops and published widely, producing textbooks and articles in international peer-reviewed journals. We look forward to engaging interactively with you through the course.

Linda Sterne, course leader

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Structure & Teaching

Core subjects currently include:

  • Leadership, Policy and Strategy: The Management of Educational Change
  • Theory and Practice of TESOL
  • Dissertation

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Theory and Practice of Applied Linguistics
  • World Englishes
  • Using Technology and Corpora in Learning, Teaching and Research
  • Decision Making in Education
  • Human Resource Management
  • Education and Development

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and Assessment

Typically each taught unit runs for twelve weeks and has the equivalent of four hours of teaching per week. Teaching takes place online in our virtual learning environment, where groups of students analyse arguments, contribute ideas and ask questions. Tutors are also available to offer guidance to students on an individual basis.

How are you assessed?

Most units are assessed through at least two pieces of coursework (typically essays), amounting to 6,000 words in total for the unit.

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Facilities & Features


On your Master's, you will be studying with members of CEISR, one of the UK's largest research centres of its kind. These active researchers in the field of linguistics and the teaching of English as a foreign language will ensure that your study is connected to the latest developments in the area.

Student support

We aim to provide the best possible support for our students. We have a dedicated postgraduate EAP class, a team of Learning Support Tutors, as well as providing a wide range of pastoral care.   

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online e-journals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Flexible learning options

This course is offered in a distance learning model, which means you can fit the course around your commitments wherever you are. If you are a practising teacher, you can tailor your dissertation to explore questions directly relevant to your role. 

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

Other costs to consider

There may be travel costs for internships/placements. These will vary depending on the nature of internship/placement and can range from £50 - £1000.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Graduates will be able to progress to management and leadership jobs in higher and language school education in their own country or elsewhere, or continue on to undertake doctoral research in teaching and related fields. Possession of a Master's qualification in this area is often viewed as a requirement for promotion to a more responsible position in either the private or public sectors. Other possibilities include diversifying into a career in areas such as teacher education or external assessment.

For postgraduate students who feel they would benefit from the help, considerable support is provided students at Portsmouth in career planning through our careers and recruitment service, Purple Door. Postgraduate students and alumni are offered an online service of one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser; advice is tailored to needs.

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.

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Apply now or visit us

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Postgraduate Open Evenings

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Other opportunities to visit

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We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.

Find out more about our self-guided walking tours.

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If you would like to speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email and we will arrange this for you.

Staff from the University of Portsmouth Global office also regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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