Taught course

Language Testing (Distance)

Lancaster University · Linguistics and English Language

Entry requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in a language/linguistics related degree or one with a number of language/linguistics-related subjects. We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for details.

Additional Requirements

You will need to have three years of teaching experience and a current post with responsibility for language test design, construction and evaluation. We may consider alternative language teaching or testing backgrounds.

Months of entry

January, October

Course content

Our programme aims to meet the needs of professionals who have responsibilities for language testing and evaluation at institutional, regional or national level. The programme gives you the opportunity to develop a solid grounding in language test design, construction and evaluation, and in research design. Through the programme, we aim to support you in creating testing and evaluation policies within your own context that conform to international standards of validity and reliability.

The programme is also available as a Postgraduate Certificate - see details below.

With a short orientation seminar to launch the course, five online modules, and a dissertation, our programme is designed for part-time study over two years. We also offer opportunities to base your coursework and dissertation project on issues within your own educational or professional context. Programme content considers the major developments in language testing in recent years and reflects current thinking and good practice.

The programme starts with the orientation seminar in late September and runs over two academic years, ending with submission of dissertations in September two years later. Each taught module lasts one academic term.

The five modules are usually taken in this sequence:
1. Language Test Construction and Evaluation
2. Exploring Language Constructs for Language Testing
3. Issues in Language Testing
4. Research Issues in Applied Linguistics
5. Statistical Analysis for Language Testing

The part-time, web-based programme aims to provide flexibility so that you can study alongside work and personal commitments. We follow sound pedagogical principles for the provision of distance education and provide individualised support and feedback to each student.

Join our webinar!

Learn more about this programme by attending one of our free webinars.

You'll learn how the course is run, hear about our latest research, and have your questions answered by our expert teachers and former students.

Register now:

Wednesday 15 March 2023, 1:00pm - 2:00pm GMT

Thursday 22 June 2023, 1:00pm - 2:00pm BST

Taught by experts

Lancaster has a worldwide reputation for excellence in language testing. We are ranked 12th in the world for Linguistics in the QS World Rankings 2020. Staff members have led and contributed to numerous language testing projects, including national test development projects in many countries and international test development and assessment projects in English and other languages.

Online learning

The course is delivered via Lancaster’s high quality virtual learning site. You will have access to the University’s extensive online library resources, and there will be plenty of opportunities to interact with peers and your tutors.

Career prospects

Former students on the Lancaster MA in Language Testing programme are now leading test development and research projects in many parts of the world, in language testing organisations, ministries of education and defence, curriculum development centres, schools, colleges and universities.

Postgradulate Certificate option

The first year of this programme is also offered as the Postgraduate Certificate in Language Testing. As a one-year programme, this option is likely to be attractive to professionals who seek training in language testing but are unable to commit to a longer period of study or a dissertation project. Students taking the Certificate programme can easily transfer to the Masters programme should they so wish. In addition, students who graduate with the Postgraduate Certificate may subsequently re-join for the second year of the Masters programme (surrendering the Certificate).

Information for international students

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and 6.0 in listening and speaking. We also consider other English language qualifications.

Fees and funding

Find out more at our fees and funding page

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Linguistics Postgraduate Coordinator
+44 (0)1524 592099