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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Combined BA/BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Combined BA/BSc (Hons)

Course overview

English is the top language of the internet and the world’s third most widely spoken language. So it’s no surprise that TESOL can open up job opportunities around the world.

Modules within the subject of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages include ‘Principles and Practice of TESOL’, ‘Psychology of Language Learning’ and ‘Language Learning and Intercultural Competence’.

A number of modules provide structured opportunities for gaining practical experience. The ‘Students as Tutors’, for example, requires you to spend time teaching in the local community. 

A popular combination is TESOL and a modern foreign language. This will help you function comfortably in a non-English speaking country where you are teaching English.

Another popular combination is TESOL and English language and linguistics. This will allow you to develop your broad knowledge of language while simultaneously developing your capacity to teach English to others.

A further possibility is to combine TESOL with tourism. This helps you to be internationally mobile with transferable skills that are useful across the world.

You can combine TESOL with any other subject in the Combined Subjects programme. You can choose to spend a third, half, or two thirds of your study time on it.

Our tutors provide a very supportive learning environment. As experienced language teachers, they are experts in motivating people to learn and in making the subject as relevant as possible.

Course content

A major/minor combination involves taking two thirds of your credits in the major subject, and one third in the minor subject. With a dual combination you take an equal number of credits in both subjects.

If you take a dual combination with one subject that is a BA and one which is a BSc, the award of a BA or BSc is determined by the subject in which you complete your final project or dissertation.

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

Core modules for all routes

  • Principles and Practice of TESOL (The context) (20 Credits)
  • Language and Childhood (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

Core modules for all routes

  • Principles and Practice of TESOL 2 (UK Perspective) (20 Credits)
  • Psychology of Language Learning (20 Credits)

Additional core modules for major and dual routes

  • Students as Tutors (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

Core modules for all routes

  • Principles and Practice of TESOL (International Perspectives) (20 Credits)

Additional core modules for major and dual routes

  • Language Learning and Intercultural Competence (20 Credits)
  • TESOL Dissertation (40 Credits) (if taking dual route with TESOL dissertation)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, workshops, projects and online learning.

Assessment methods include essays, presentations, case studies and the evaluation of practical skills.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

The majority of our courses display the KIS directly on the course information page, as an animated image. However, because there are so many possible Combined Subjects combinations, the KIS for these courses are held on another page - click here to see the KIS for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Combined Subjects.

Facilities & location

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on topics related to teaching, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Relevant resources for your course include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.

You will also be able to make full use of the University's Language Centre and digital language laboratories as well as a range of text books.

When it comes to IT provision at the University you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.


Forster Building

City Campus, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements


Our typical offer is 120 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.


Our typical offer is 300 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 300 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 300 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 300 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Full-time fees

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £8,750 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,500 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Our modules in TESOL are designed to prepare you for teaching English in many countries. The mix of academic rigour and practical skills will help you stand out to potential employers.

Work experience

As part of the ‘Principles and Practice of TESOL’ modules, you will work with students at Sunderland who use English as just one of their languages.

In addition the 'Students as Tutors' module involves teaching English to people in the local community.

These structured opportunities to plan and micro teach English will give you the opportunity to gain, and learn from, real-world experience.

Study Abroad

You can switch your studies in Combined Subjects to another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). This gives you an opportunity to get an international perspective on both subjects that you are studying.

University Language Scheme 

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


Support from staff

You can expect stimulating contact time with teaching staff as well as significant amounts of time when you will be studying on your own. If you have queries or difficulties, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

Students who are taking Combined Subjects have Personal Tutors. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development, monitor your progress and act as a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues that require more specialist services. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

In addition, the Combined Subjects team provide a high level of personal help and support. We offer a daily face-to-face drop in service and we can also arrange out-of-hours appointments where necessary. If you send us a query, we commit to responding to it promptly.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"The University offered a lot of help and support throughout my three years."

Katie Tomlinson - Combined Subjects, English and TESOL Case Study

Katie Tomlinson

Graduate, English and TESOL

"From a young age I always knew I wanted to become a teacher and so the choices I made revolved around this career path. I was attracted to the University of Sunderland because they offered Combined Subjects, offering two subjects that I loved, English and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The University offered a lot of help and support throughout my three years.

"Going to China has brought me to a crossroads in my life. Having this challenge can take me down two paths for the future. Teaching English abroad or becoming an English teacher in the UK."

“I chose to study the combined MFL French and TESOL course because I would like to be a teacher one day, and I would also like to live in France."

Fabienne Loveder - CSP French and TESOL

Fabienne Loveder

Student – Combined Subjects MFL French and TESOL

“I chose to study at the University of Sunderland because the combination of subjects that I wanted to do (French and TESOL) was not widely available so there was limited choice. Sunderland was my top choice of 5 universities though, and that was because the teaching staff were friendly when I came to an open day and the modules looked interesting. I also really wanted to go on the Year Abroad programme that Sunderland offered.

“I chose to study the combined MFL French and TESOL course because I would like to be a teacher one day, and I would also like to live in France. One of my secondary school teachers suggested TESOL to me when I was about 16 as a way to live in France and teach something that I was good at (being a native English speaker). It really appealed to me and I even spent my Year Abroad as an English Language Teaching Assistant in France.

“What I like most about the course is that I got to meet a lot of likeminded people who have a thirst for travelling and love to learn languages, not just French. I get on really well with my tutors because they treat you like an adult and they are very engaging.

“When I graduate I’m planning on doing the CELTA qualification which allows me to teach worldwide, and then I’m going to take another gap year to save some money to do a PGCE and a Masters of Education.

“My advice to potential students is to look around at different universities and choose a course that fits what you’re interested in. I would also suggest that when they get there to really work because if you don’t start or try to do your work properly in first year, second year will be a big shock!

“My favourite thing about university life is the societies I’m in: this year I’m part of the Trampolining, Pole Fitness, and Swimming societies and I love getting to know people and spending time with them while doing things I love. I also really like spending time with my language friends.”

"Combined Subjects means I don't have to compromise; I can do two subjects which I love."

Rachel Sheldon - Combined Subjects, Psychology and TESOL Case Study

Rachel Sheldon


"All the lecturers are so approachable; I know I can go to them for help if I need any advice or support. Combined Subjects means I don't have to compromise; I can do two subjects which I love. You get to know so many more people and friends than just one subject. It's just brilliant being able to combine two subjects in different ways like looking at learning styles from a psychological point of view, or how extroversion could affect learning styles."

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Read our 7-step guide to applying to university, find all of the University of Sunderland's combined courses on UCAS and apply straightaway.


The UCAS Code will change depending on the combinations of subjects you choose to study. Download the UCAS codes combined subjects (.pdf) to see the offer from the University of Sunderland.‌

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Download your personalised prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jane Johnson

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Combined
UCAS Code See 'Contact & apply' page
Classification BA/BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 September 2016
UK/EU Fee £8,750
Intl Fee £10,500

Entry requirements

2016 entry: 300 points

2017 entry: 120 points

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