Taught course

Language Teaching/TESOL

Birkbeck, University of London · Applied Linguistics and Communication

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.

We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry


Course content

Our Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Language Teaching/TESOL gives you the opportunity to update and expand your knowledge of the theories of language teaching and learning. You will develop and deepen your understanding of classroom practice through personal reflection and discussion with other practitioners.

Reflecting on your practical experience of language learning and teaching is an important aspect of this programme. You will be asked to draw on examples from your own learning and teaching and are encouraged to maintain contact with the classroom as a way of bridging the gap between theory and practice.

If you are not yet ready to commit to an MA, this programme will help you gain cutting-edge knowledge of language teaching. It is ideal if you have classroom experience of teaching second or foreign languages, including English as a second or foreign language, or have a broadly relevant first degree background and an interest in the theory and practice of language teaching.

Upon completion of the course, you can choose to progress on to one of our two Master’s degrees, MA Language Teaching or MA TESOL, depending on the language you focused on during the diploma/certificate.

  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • You will be part of a vibrant scholarly and research community in the heart of London.
  • The Birkbeck College Applied Linguistics Society, an official University of London society, was formed to bring together students interested in applied linguistics and related fields (for example multilingualism, intercultural communication and TESOL) in the London area.
  • Birkbeck’s Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts visiting scholars from all over the world and runs regular research seminars given by speakers from overseas and other UK institutions. The centre also supports postgraduate training in applied linguistics, bilingualism, intercultural communication and translation.
  • You will gain a broader view of language teaching and learning by drawing on the rich and diverse research in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication.
  • Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700