New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Programme list > Master of Applied Linguistics > Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Master of Applied Linguistics (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)


Boost your TESOL career

Massey’s Master of Applied Linguistics (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) provides in-service development for practising teachers of English as a second language.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Duration

  • 1.5 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

The Master of Applied Linguistics (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) offers you flexible study pathways. You will improve your ability to teach English to speakers of other languages.

Incorporate your professional experience into your study

The qualification offers extensive opportunities to engage with curricula from a teaching English as a second language (TESOL) perspective. You can also try out new approaches in your practice and reflect on your experience as a TESOL professional.

Get real-world skills

This programme will prepare you to contribute to research and professional understanding in a range of TESOL-related educational levels and research contexts.

Courses and assessments

Your assessments offer options to work on TESOL-specific issues and contexts as part of both the taught and research pathways.

The compulsory course 272.705 Advanced TESOL for Diverse Learners and Contexts, will deepen your TESOL-specific knowledge and skills. It examines a range of teaching approaches for integrating English language and content. It looks at the development and evaluation of TESOL-specific curricula. It also includes a critical reflection on TESOL-related theory, practices and current trends, including digital technology and assessment.

Draw on Massey’s research strengths

You’ll complete a research report or thesis as part of this qualification, supported by leading TESOL researchers.

Want to become a registered teacher?

This programme is not a pathway to becoming a registered teacher in the New Zealand primary and secondary school setting. If you want to become a teacher, explore your options in our education pathways tool.

Careers and further study


Teaching English as a second language (TESOL) is a fast-growing area internationally. You’ll gain skills and experience that will prepare you for careers in language teaching and other areas related to language teaching research and practice.

You’ll learn how to support those who operate in multilingual contexts in New Zealand and abroad (for example, teachers, learners, migrants and refugees).

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers throughout the tertiary sector, and hold positions of responsibility in institutions including:

  • Auckland University of Technology
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Canterbury
  • Massey University
  • IPU New Zealand Tertiary Institute
  • universities in Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific, including Danang University (Vietnam), Naresuan University (Thailand), American University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), University of Putra Malaysia and University of South Australia.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Master of Applied Linguistics (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor degree with at least a B grade average across the 200/300-level courses, and
  • have at least one full-time year of relevant teaching experience (or equivalent), or a
  • have been awarded or qualified for a Postgraduate Diploma in Second Language Teaching or  a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics. You will require:
    • at least a B+ grade average for entry to the research pathway
    • at least a B grade average for entry to the coursework pathway

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

180 credits

From the Schedule to the Degree including:

  • Completion of Part One and Two

Choose a

  • Research pathway (including a 120 credit thesis) or
  • Coursework pathway (including a 60 credit research report).



A specialisation (subject) is optional, requiring 180 credits from the subject.

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree in 120 credits.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.

Courses for this specialisation

Part One Coursework Pathway (120 credits) or Research Pathway (60 credits)

Compulsory course

30 credits
272705 Advanced TESOL for diverse learners and contexts 30

Subject courses

272702 Second Language Learning Theories and Processes 30
272703 Contemporary Approaches to Language Teaching Methodology 30
272704 Contextualising Curriculum and Materials Design 30
272715 Current Issues in Applied Linguistics 30

Part Two Coursework Pathway

60 credits
272873 Research Report 60

Part Two Research Pathway

120 credits
272816 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60
272817 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60
272899 Thesis 120

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

All courses are 30 credits each unless otherwise indicated.

The Master of Linguistics is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part before moving to the second, etc.

Coursework pathway

At least a B grade average is required in the Part One courses (120 credits) for progression to Part Two - Coursework Pathway

Research pathway

At least a B+ grade average is required in the first 60 credits of courses completed in Part One for progression to Part Two - Research Pathway

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.

A good fit if you:

  • are a TESOL professional
  • want to deepen your TESOL-specific knowledge and skills
  • need an explicit TESOL qualification.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey