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 also welcome applicants from other subject backgrounds with linguistic knowledge commensurate with an undergraduate degree

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.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

Months of entry

January, October

Course content

Take your Master's in Language Testing in one of the best Linguistics Departments in the world. We are placed 3rd in the QS World Rankings 2024.

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 orientation 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 compulsory orientation 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:

  • Language Test Construction and Evaluation
  • Exploring Language Constructs for Language Testing
  • Issues in Language Testing
  • Research Methods for Language Testing
  • 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 group-level and individualised support and feedback.

Taught by experts

Lancaster has a worldwide reputation for excellence in language testing. Our department ranks highly in international and national rankings for Linguistics. 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. Several of our MA students have won international awards for their dissertations and have published their research in academic journals.

Postgraduate 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 who are successful on the certificate programme can easily transfer to the master's programme should they so wish. In addition, students who graduate with the postgraduate certificate may subsequently re-join for the second year of the master's programme (surrendering the certificate).

Information for international students

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

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.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email pgadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

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