In our increasingly superdiverse, multilingual and multicultural societies, it is important to understand the principles, practices and policies governing second language education. This is exactly the goal of this Master’s in Second Language Education: to help you develop knowledge to contribute to these areas.
During your time at UEA, you’ll develop a critical understanding of current issues in Second Language Education. You’ll explore major questions and debates in this field and gain insights into issues related to policymaking, planning and innovation and change. You’ll develop a theoretical and practical understanding of teaching and learning second languages as well as research skills.
Whether you’re new to the field or already a qualified second language teacher and practitioner, this MA will help you develop academically and professionally within the field of Second Language Education and will enhance new career prospects.
In the MA in Second Language Education, you’ll study with students from around the world, bringing a wide range of perspectives to enrich learning. You'll spend time investigating second language education case studies from a range of countries and exploring research related to second language provision, pedagogy, curriculum development and policy making.
Through reading and analysing existing research, you'll develop skills to critically appraise current issues in second language education. This will inform the development of practice within your own national context and enable comparisons across countries. Understanding related international research will support the development of skills relevant to becoming a policy maker, curriculum planner or second language teacher.
Study and Modules
The programme consists of six 20-credit modules and a 60-credit dissertation The modules will provide you with a grounding in second language education and research methods, and you’ll have the chance of choosing an optional module.
Your compulsory modules will include:
Principles and Practice in Second Language Education
Starting with theories of how children acquire their first language, this module will focus on second language learning. You'll consider how different theories contribute to the development of principles and practices in second language education. You'll also consider different approaches and trends in teaching second languages in classrooms globally.
Language Learning in Context
In this module, you’ll examine the role that context plays in determining how second language education (policy and practice) manifests itself. Some of the key questions guiding this module are: why teachers teach the way they do, which second languages are prioritised and what effect this has on learners.
Innovation and Change in Second Language Education
Around the world, teachers and policy makers search for initiatives to improve the teaching and learning of second languages. However, the introduction of new policies can be costly, so careful consideration needs to be given to what is likely to work. Through consideration of case studies and research, this module will prepare you to analyse the factors that can improve attempts to innovate and bring about successful change.
What does it mean to be a 'critical' reader? Why is critical reading important? How can you develop your criticality, both as a reader and a writer? This module will support you in finding answers to these questions and, importantly, help you to become a capable, critical reader of a broad range of academic publications.
Educational Research Methods
This module will provide you with a grounding in the methods employed in educational inquiry as well as equip you with skills to design and conduct your own research. It will offer an introduction to some key research techniques and cover crucial aspects of qualitative inquiry.
You’ll choose a Master’s dissertation topic based on your interests and professional background, with guidance from our internationally experienced team of academics. You’ll then work with an individual supervisor to design, conduct research, and write up your project.
In addition to the compulsory modules, you’ll select one optional module from the range on offer. The modules change every year, but typical examples include:
Corpora in Language Research, Learning and Teaching
Leading Teaching, Improving Learning and Global Education Reform
Literacy, Development and Adult Learning: An Introduction to the Concepts
Optional A Modules(Credits: 20)
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
You’ll experience a variety of teaching methods throughout our modules, which will include a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, group and pair work, and self-directed study. You'll also take part in discussions and give presentations.
You will be taught by experienced specialist lecturers, professors and researchers in the field of Second Language Education.
We place emphasis on interactive activities and problem solving to help you develop effective communication skills. You'll be encouraged to use your initiative, creativity, and originality to analyse case studies, solve problems and synthesize ideas.
You can find further information about our teaching staff by visiting staff profiles available on the School of Education and Lifelong Learning website.
Guest lectures, opportunities to observe teaching and talking to current practitioners form an integral part of the course, providing you with valuable insights and networking opportunities.
All Master’s students in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning have access to enhanced English language tutoring to support the development of their academic writing. In addition, our ‘Critical Reading’ module will offer you focused activities and workshops designed to support critical reading and advanced academic writing skills. You'll also be encouraged to engage actively with your academic advisers and module leaders.
To master independent learning, you’ll spend time conducting your own research. You’ll have access to UEA’s excellent library and online journals and resources as well as the specialist study spaces designated to postgraduate students at UEA.
You’ll experience a range of assessment methods throughout the course. All modules are assessed by coursework.
- Degree Classification
- UK Bachelors degree - 2:1 or equivalent.
- Degree Subject
- Social Science or Humanities. Any subject for applicants with a track record of relevant experience.
- English Foreign Language
We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:
IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
PTE (Pearson): 67 (minimum 64 in all components)
Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.
Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests.
INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact email@example.com.
This course is open to UK, EU and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year.
Additional Information or Requirements
Second language teaching experience is welcome but not essential.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2023/24 are:
UK Students: £9,500 (full time)
International Students: £19,800 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
If you have any academic queries about this Master's course, please contact Professor Nalini Boodhoo, the MA Second Language Education Course Director.
After the Course
Once you successfully complete your MA in Second Language Education at UEA, you’ll be in an advantageous position to seek employment in a wide range of education-related roles within schools, the post-compulsory sector, and not-for-profit organisations.
The skills and knowledge developed during the course will enable you to work within the areas of teaching, planning and policymaking.
The focus on analysing current research in this course will also provide you with a solid foundation for progressing to doctoral research.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Examples of careers you could enter include:
Second language teaching positions in compulsory and post-compulsory public and private education sectors
Second language education policymaking in the public and private sectors
Local government planning, advising, and policy making in second language education spheres
NGOs, not-for-profit and private educational development organisations – teaching, planning and policy making
Think tanks, research organisations and charities