Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)



Course duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years with placement.


Gain an in-depth understanding of language learning and teaching on our full-time TESOL degree in Cambridge, home to key English language teaching businesses. Discover your teaching style in a real ESOL classroom, with ongoing support and feedback from our team of experts. Develop the knowledge and practical skills to begin a rewarding career in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Teaching English to speakers of other languages is a highly versatile and rewarding profession. You could teach in the UK or abroad; you could teach adults or younger learners; you could teach in a language school, in a university or in a business context.

Nowadays, not all teaching has to be done face- to-face either. Online tutoring is becoming increasingly popular, bringing together teachers and learners from around the world from the convenience of their own homes.

You’ll also pick up transferable skills that could be useful in many other careers, including communication, interpersonal, leadership and organisational skills. Our past students have found success in many different fields including teacher training, materials writing, language school management, and speech and language therapy.

Or you might decide to continue on to a Masters course, such as our:

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Revealing English Structure
    In this module you will gain an understanding of the grammar of present-day English, an essential grounding for careers in teaching, speech and language therapy and artificial intelligence. You will begin by considering what is meant by ‘grammar’ and the difference between descriptive and prescriptive approaches to the grammar of English. Then you will learn about functions and basic word classes (e.g. subject, predicate, noun, verb, adjectives) and how to identify them reliably using grammatical tests. You will also study sentence structure and the idea that language is made up of phrases, again developing tools (diagnostics) to help you identify these phrases (constituents) reliably. A crucial aspect of this will be your ability to identify the basic building blocks of sentences (subjects and predicates). Another will be your familiarity with the complexities of the English auxiliary verb system, and your understanding of the grammatical differences between lexical verbs and auxiliaries. By the end of the module, as well as being able to identify basic categories (e.g., verb, noun and auxiliary), you will be able to diagnose the structure of a given sentence using a set of key diagnostics and to draw tree diagrams to represent this sentence structure.
  • Introduction to Linguistics 1
    This module introduces you to some of the key concepts and terminology of linguistics, i.e. the scientific study of language. The focus will be on (i) production of speech sounds (phonetics), (ii) the sound system (phonology), (iii) the structure of words (morphology), (iv) the meaning of words (semantics) and (v) language use in context (pragmatics). You will become familiar with the terminology to begin to explore the various aspects of the study of language. As far as the study of the sound system is concerned, you will learn how speech sounds are produced and organised. As far as the structure of words is concerned, you will learn how words can be analysed into smaller meaningful units. When it comes to semantics and pragmatics, you will be introduced to the inherent meaning of words and other linguistic expressions, their relatedness to other lexical items, the textual environment in which they occur, and the wider context and world knowledge of speaker and listener.
  • Introduction to Linguistics 2
    This module provides an overview of the psychological representation of language, touching upon many areas of linguistics, including the nature of language and languages; animal communication; child language acquisition; the relationship between language, thought and meaning; and language disorders. You will first learn about the way first languages are acquired and how this process and end product differ from animal communication systems. You will then move on to consider the connection between language and thought and how words and sentences come to be meaningful. Finally, you will learn about language disorders, both in terms of how and why language can become impaired and in terms of what this means for our understanding of language more widely. You will also be introduced to the kind of methodology used to investigate the mental representation of language, including the ethical and legal implications of collecting data from human participants. The overall focus will be on the development of l skills including the recognition of what constitutes evidence, the analysis of data to provide it, the critical evaluation of arguments and the identification of underlying assumptions.
  • Intercultural Awareness
    In this module you will gain insights into interpersonal communication in a culturally diverse world which will benefit your social, academic and professional life, where you are likely to meet people from very diverse backgrounds. You will build on your own cultural and general knowledge, sense of identity, and cognitive and communication skills. You will examine your own culture and gain insights into the way in which cultural assumptions affect judgements of the behaviour and communication codes of other cultures. You will learn about the powerful effects of group loyalties on perception and understanding, explore the interplay of language, behaviour and cultural values and examine some theories of cultural comparison. You will learn to recognise the signs of intercultural misunderstanding and culture shock and the need to build common ground, communicating mindfully when necessary. Key employability skills developed in this module are teamwork, cultural sensitivity and written communication (developing a clear paragraph structure, citations and referencing). You will also develop your skills in finding, using and managing digital information.
  • Language and Society
    This module will introduce you to practical and theoretical aspects of the study of language and society and will cover theoretical and methodological issues related to accents and dialects, socio-economic stratification, language, age and gender, linguistic disadvantage and multilingual communities. The key theoretical, analytical and descriptive terms will be introduced and explained in weekly lectures; you will then be given the opportunity to explore the issues in workshops, using a mixture of practical and discussion tasks. We will also focus on essential study skills, such as how to search for and critically evaluate literature pertaining to a particular topic.

Year two, core modules

  • Teaching Practice
    This module will introduce you to the Cambridge CELTA component of the BA (Hons) TESOL degree. You'll attend weekly assessed teaching practice sessions during which you'll be supervised by qualified CELTA tutors, as well as weekly non-assessed sessions, lesson-planning sessions during teaching practice, and occasional lectures related to classroom practice. You'll plan and teach a series of lessons at different levels and use a wide variety of published materials for teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. Your teaching practice will be supported and accompanied by guided observation of experienced teachers of English as a Foreign Language. If you successfully complete this module, along with Teaching English as a Foreign Language 1 & 2, you'll receive an internationally-recognised EFL teaching qualification.
  • TESOL - Teaching Language Skills
    You may want to choose this module if you are considering a career in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) though also relevant if you have a more general interest in the practice of teaching. In this module, you will focus on how to help learners develop their reading, listening, speaking and writing skills and you will look at a wide range of materials and resources that you can usefully apply in your lessons including authentic materials and technology. In addition to looking at the theory, you will be asked to analyse video clips of teaching, debate the value of different techniques and approaches, and experiment with teaching techniques and skills such as selecting and adapting material for specific learner needs. The module is taught in a way that is intended to model an interactive approach to teaching: both the lectures and the seminars will involve you working alone at times but mostly in pairs and groups, contributing to discussions and participating in practical activities. By introducing you to digital tools and platforms, supporting you in researching language teaching methods and approaches, and fostering principled creativity in lesson design, this module not only develops your understanding of and practical skills in TESOL but also develops valuable skills for the wider employment market. This module contributes to the professional CELTA qualification for students taking BA (Hons) TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
  • TESOL - Teaching the Language System
    You may want to choose this module if you are considering a career in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) though also relevant if you have a more general interest in the practice of teaching. In this module, you will reflect on what makes good language teaching. You will learn how to analyse language items in a way that is useful for language learners. You will be introduced to the main approaches for presenting and practising both grammar and vocabulary and learn how to write lesson plans that capture these approaches within the time limits of a typical lesson. In addition to looking at the theory, there will be considerable time spent on analysing video clips of teaching, participating in mini demonstration lessons, debating the value of different techniques and approaches, and experimenting with teaching techniques and skills such as drilling and lesson plan writing. The module is taught in a way that is intended to model an interactive approach to teaching: both the lectures and the seminars will involve you working alone at times but mostly in pairs and groups, contributing to discussions and participating in practical activities. By introducing you to digital tools and platforms, supporting you in researching language areas, and fostering principled creativity in lesson design, this module not only develops your understanding of and practical skills in TESOL but also develops valuable skills for the wider employment market. This module contributes to the professional CELTA qualification for students taking BA (Hons) TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
  • Contemporary Issues in Stylistics
    In this module, you will look at different types of written and spoken texts, or genres, and how they are structured linguistically. You will learn to use different analytic tools and approaches to explore how different text types work, and how they interact with their ‘users’ in particular contexts. You will look at how language is used to convey not only overt but also hidden meanings, such as ideologies, and how such hidden meanings can be systematically analysed. For this, you will learn to use a variety of both traditional and modern digital techniques. The module will develop your understanding of key concepts such as concordance, collocation and semantic fields to help us to answer questions such as ‘What do texts of a particular genre have in common?’ You will also reflect on the effectiveness of digital tools and know-how with regard to the analysis of textual data.
  • Research Methods for English Language, Linguistics and TESOL
    This module will prepare you for the Undergraduate Major Project in English Language, Linguistics or TESOL the following year; you will produce a research proposal for your major project. You will choose a focus from suggested topics or specific projects, although you may also propose your own topic, provided a member of our teaching team has the necessary expertise to supervise it and considers it appropriate. You will learn how to structure a research proposal, how to formulate a research question and hypothesis, and how to undertake a preliminary literature search to frame your question. You will go on to consider various types of data collection and analysis methods, and how these can be used to address different types of questions. The objective is to clearly formulate both your own research question and how you plan to find an answer to it.

Year two, optional modules

  • History of English
    This module will introduce you to aspects of the spelling, phonology, syntax and morphology of English from its earliest attested form, tracing how they have changed over time and why. You will begin by investigating the origins of language and the Indo-European language family of which English is a member. You will then learn about the history of the language, including the arrival of the Germanic tribes, the Viking and Norman invasions and the arrival of the printing press, as well as how these events map onto the various stages of the history of English. The remainder of the module will focus on analysing aspects of English grammar which have undergone significant changes through the language’s history, including: word order, pronouns, auxiliary, modal and lexical verbs and negation. The assessment for the module is an open-book exam in which you will be asked to answer questions on the history of English and write an essay in relation to (previously seen) texts from different historical periods. Discussions in seminars will focus on how to analyse historical data, applying skills and knowledge that you have acquired in other course modules and using a diverse range of resources.
  • Language, Gender, Identity
    In this module you will explore the question of gender, one of the major concerns of contemporary scholarly fields including discourse analysis, media studies, philosophy, cultural theory, queer theory and feminist criticism. You will investigate the ways in which a variety of modes of expression, through language, semiotic representation and the body, create and challenge gender and identity. Your exploration will highlight the importance of gender as an analytical category for comprehending a range of issues, such as language acquisition and expression, language and gender as performance, the body in society, power, desire, agency (a capacity to act), intersectionality (between gender, race, species and the environment) and understandings of the human and post-human. You will consider gender from a variety of perspectives, for example with reference to systems of knowledge and power, the organisation of social relations, lived experience, representations and readings of the gender, sexuality and identity, and challenging gender norms. You will explore these different perspectives through the theories of key scholars, cutting-edge linguistic debates and critical theory, as well as the ways these theoretical perspectives are seen in everyday life. Your developing awareness of gender will also shed light on a series of further questions and approaches, which include sexuality, feminism, trans/intersex modes of being, queer studies, and critical masculinity studies. Overall, you will approach gender as a multi-faceted phenomenon, a highly useful, even experimental concept, and a set of linguistically learned and expressed practices - expressions, experiences and experiments - that are central to our existence and to identity.
  • Regional Varieties of British English
    The British Isles are well known for their diversity in terms of accents and dialects of English. In fact, among all the English-speaking regions of the world, Britain has the highest number of regional dialects. Many of these dialects vary so much that they seem to be virtually unintelligible to English speakers from other regions. In this module you will explore why regional dialects of English in Britain vary so much. You will look at the linguistic properties of different dialects, including phonological and syntactic variation. You will also consider socio-cultural, political and educational variables that influence the shape, form and use of these dialects. In class, you will work extensively in small groups and be expected to give short presentations based on your preparatory reading. You will also provide peer feedback to your classmates and reflect on your own performance. The assessment consists of a portfolio of coursework, including descriptions of the development of specific varieties of British English and analyses of the phonology and syntax of these varieties. To help you prepare for this final assessment, you will be required to submit a short written piece of formative assessment, i.e. you will receive constructive feedback but no mark for it. In your final portfolio you will be required to include reflective comments on how you have addressed this feedback. The formative assessment has to be submitted during the semester at a date specified by your module tutor. Key employability skills developed in this module are teamwork and project management. Key academic skills developed in the module are qualitative data analysis at the level of phonetic and phonological structure and syntactic structure. You will also develop your skills in finding, using and managing digital information.
  • Using Linguistics: An Introduction to Forensic, Clinical and Computational Linguistics
    In this module you will develop an understanding of careers involving the application of core areas of linguistics to aspects of speech and language therapy, forensic linguistics and language technology. The module, which has been created with input from industry partners, will help you gain insight into how linguistics is used in clinical, legal and commercial settings. You will get a basic introduction to technical aspects of these professions as well as a more general awareness of the kinds of roles available in these sectors. You will develop an understanding of how linguistics can be applied to non-academic contexts in clinical, legal and commercial settings. You will investigate relevant job opportunities and prepare an application for one such position, highlighting how your degree prepares you for the role.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • Language Acquisition: Topics and Issues
    In this module you will explore how we acquire a first language, as children, and the processes subsequently involved in learning a second language. All humans share the first experience; increasingly, people across the globe are experiencing the second too as the need to function in more than one language grows, as communities operate in more than one language and as monolingualism becomes relatively rare. With more people needing to learn languages, or live a bilingual experience, it is essential to understand better the mechanisms that operate in language-learning, so that ultimately the learning experience can be better facilitated, either for ourselves or for others. Language acquisition is still not fully understood, but this module aims to develop your awareness of what is and what isn't known. It lets you examine some of the raw data of learner language, introduces you to various explanatory theories of language acquisition (native and second language), and helps you to begin to assess their relative merits. It also looks at bilingualism and what can be learnt from the experience of bilinguals.
  • Methods and Development in TESOL
    In this module you will build on and develop the practical classroom methodology of TESOL: The Language System and TESOL: Language Skills by analysing and evaluating the nature of language teaching methodology and syllabus design. You will consider the effect theories of language have on teaching methodology and be introduced to theories of language learning such as behaviourism and cognitivism. You will analyse and evaluate past and current language teaching methods and their practical application for the learner, teacher and language classroom. You will examine a number of different teaching approaches including grammar translation, Audiolingualism and Communicative Language Teaching as well as considering practical applications such as task-based language teaching, and the Lexical Approach. You will explore a wide range of current approaches, methods and techniques as well as contexts for language teaching, such as CLIL, using technology, teaching young learners and teaching online. You will be encouraged to discuss and evaluate a range of approaches and methods in order to inform your own teaching techniques, to broaden your awareness of a wide range of methodologies, and to develop the ability to approach past, current or future methodology in an informed and critical manner. You will attend a combined lecture and seminar, participating in small and large group discussions, as well as doing some preparatory reading and considering materials and lesson plans. You will be assessed by means of a portfolio of work including an essay, for which you will be required to integrate aspects from multiple areas of the course. The overall focus will be on developing your transferable intellectual skills, including the critical evaluation of arguments and the identification of underlying assumptions.

Year three, optional modules

  • Working with English
    You should take this Employability module if you have had employment, want employment, need a CV, or have ever wondered how to connect what you do at university with what you have done in the workplace. If you have been on an international exchange, you can use that experience for this module too. English literature connects with every aspect of human activity, including the workplace. In addition to being a subject that provides you with a great range of transferable skills, it also engages in deepening a person’s social and cultural capital. Literature is about every part of the human experience and this makes it one of the most valuable degrees to possess - it help shapes your identity, as a broad range of ideas are examined through a thousand years of English Literature. Literature necessary engages with the world of paid work and this module helps you examine those links as well as gain credit for any work that you do. The CV and covering letter you will create can be used, and reused, after your degree, adapting to the needs of the jobs you apply for. This module requires you to complete 35 hours of work in any field, full or part time, by the end of your degree. The 35 hours worked do not have to be consecutive and might be excerpts from periods with various employers. Students with more limited CVs are encouraged to aim for work experience in areas that will aid disenfranchised people or are at prominent companies. Doing well in this module will be achieved through ambition; evidence of analysis in your work journal and having a tight and interesting covering letter and CV. This is potentially the most useful module that you will take as it will help you earn money and to apply for employment after university.
  • New Media Discourse
    In this module you will explore the importance and significance of computer mediated communication, digital media and more modern ways of communication in a rapidly changing world. It explores how new technologies have changed the way we communicate with others. You will be introduced to a wide range of theories and theoretical as well as analytical frameworks. These include not just critical sociolinguistics and critical discourse analysis but also more pragmatic approaches to the study of digital communication. You will also learn how these approaches could be meaningfully used to analyse real and authentic digital texts.
  • Languages in Contrast
    This module gives you the opportunity to explore the relationship between English and other languages. You will discover how human languages differ, and which properties they share, across the full range of linguistic systems: lexis, syntax, morphology and phonology. You will also learn about the number and distribution of the world’s languages and how they are thought to be related to one another. The course is delivered through a weekly lecture and one-hour seminar. The lecture will introduce you to the main concepts involved in linguistic typology and historical linguistics, using examples from a range of human languages.
  • Language, Flesh, Philosophy
    In this module you will focus on language as a symbolic system and practice where meaning is produced and reproduced under specific cultural conditions and is characterised by fragmentation and conflict as much as by cohesion and consensus. You will relate the study of language to issues concerning, for example, identity, cultural power and domination, representation, and real life, examining the social corpus, the individual body and the radical/transgressive body. You will explore post-structuralist critiques of linguistics, which may include theories of language as a means by which identity is produced through the interconnectedness of language and ideology. In addition, you will encounter the physical body not as ‘natural’ but as a linguistic phenomenon: where the body is a text to be read. Challenging binaries such as mind/body and biological/textual, you will query the role of language in creating bodies and the ways in which the flesh has been historically created through discourse. You will also look at the ways the body has transgressed these discourses. In examining the relationships between language, power and bodies, you will explore the links between language, power, knowledge, ‘truth’ and identity, especially in reference to difference (gender, race, sexuality, ability) and extend these links to ecological concerns and the connectedness of the human to the nonhuman and nature. You will learn to question how truth and knowledge are challenged in post-structuralist/ deconstructionist projects, and how this challenge can lead to what is known as posthuman ethics and the ecological revolution: currently known in linguistic philosophy as ‘ecosophy’.
  • Global English
    More than a billion people world-wide speak English; however, only a fraction of them are native speakers. Rather, English is used as a second or even third language, its use ranging from official language to the language of only occasional use. This inevitably raises the question whether there is only one English or several 'Englishes'. In this module, we will analyse the numerous varieties of English spoken around the world. The module will look at the linguistic properties, including phonological, lexical syntactic variation, as well as the socio-cultural, political and educational variables influencing the shape, form and use of English. The module starts with an overview of English in the British Isles, before moving across the Atlantic to look at variation within American English. Then, English varieties in the Commonwealth and former colonies are being looked at. In the final part of the module, we will explore the language of diasporas in English speaking countries and emerging hybrid languages. In the module, you will learn how to analyse linguistic variation from a typological point of view by looking at real speech data from a variety of sources, and how to explain variation.

Optional modules available in years two and three

  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme gives you the opportunity to study a foreign language as part of your modular programme. You'll be taking one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. It's important that you select a language you've never learnt before. The languages offered are: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.


Modules are subject to change and availability.

You’ll show your progress on the course through a combination of assessment methods, including unseen examinations, in-class assessments, essays, portfolios, and assessed presentations. Most of our modules also include practical elements or exercises such as non-assessed discussions, presentations and language laboratory work.

If you take the CELTA component, your teaching practice assessment will be based on classroom-related written assignments and the continuous assessment of your lesson plans and teaching.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

At the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe in thinking critically about the past, present and future to challenge perceptions and better understand communities and people.

With expertise from gender issues to literary analysis to exploring how the past has shaped our modern world, all our staff members are active researchers. This is reflected in our teaching, allowing us to support our students with the latest theories and practices, as well as essential employability advice.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Study abroad

You’ll have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner universities for one or two semesters during your degree. We encourage you to make use of this opportunity – as a job applicant, experiences like this can help you stand out from the crowd.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


Placement year


How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK students (and EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021) can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Apply now

UK and EU students

Apply for 2021

UCAScode: XQ13

Apply through UCAS

International students

Applicants from outside the UK and EU, apply to ARU

Apply direct