TESOL and Materials Development


Intermediate award(s): PG Dip, PG Cert
Full-Time and Part-Time
Language students
The MA in TESOL and Materials Development has been developed to train local, national and international leaders in language pedagogy, curriculum design and materials writing, all of which are rapidly expanding subfields of applied linguistics.

Since English became a lingua franca, the demand for teachers and TESOL-oriented materials writers has been greater than ever before. For this reason, this course aims to prepare professionals with a solid foundation in various aspects of applied linguistics so that they can later meet the diverse needs of language learners from different ethnic, educational and socio-economic backgrounds.

Professor Kathleen Bailey

Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA

The focus on materials development in this new MA is very exciting. Good materials - grounded in theory and tested in practice - help to bring appropriate input and opportunities for interaction to language learners around the world.

Throughout this course you will:
  • discuss and critically evaluate relevant concepts, theories, principles and research findings in language teaching, materials development and second language acquisition
  • reflect upon current debates in language education and second language acquisition and apply them to the creative process of designing materials for traditional and virtual learning environments
  • design, implement and evaluate relevant, intellectually challenging, inclusive, participatory learning experiences in a range of literary, audio and visual media
  • reflect critically on professional practice and share knowledge and experience with other colleagues in the field
  • identify and efficiently employ appropriate methods for gathering, analysing and evaluating information
  • engage in the process of creative writing of original materials for different purposes, teaching contexts and modes of delivery
  • discuss modern language pedagogies and instructional materials with experts in the field who represent both educational institutions and publishing houses (e.g. Cambridge Assessment, Materials Development Association, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Express Publishing)
  • have an opportunity to trial your materials in the Anglia Ruskin University Language Services Unit.

As a result of completing this course, you will be in a position to supply global publishers with high quality materials for local English as a Foreign Language (EFL) markets, such as China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Nigeria, Mexico, as well as produce materials for the e-learning market within the worldwide education and training industry.
The MA in TESOL and Materials Development consists of four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit Level 7 module (Major Project). Full-time students will take the modules over two semesters (1 year), whereas part-time students will take the modules over four semesters (2 years). The four modules will allow you to accumulate 120 level 7 credits and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma, should you decide not to progress to Masters level.

These modules are:
  • Materials and Course Design
  • Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials
  • Classroom Theory and Practice
  • The Process of Materials Writing

The taught part of this course is followed by a postgraduate Major Project of 15,000 words, worth 60 credits, which will enable you to pursue a topic of your choice in appropriate depth for this level of study.
Core Modules
  • Materials and Course Design - Module Leader: Dr Alicia Peña Calvo

    This module identifies and explores the factors related to the construction of courses and materials. It examines the evolution and bases of syllabus design, studies different types of syllabuses and explores the contribution of second language acquisition research, language teaching and learning theory and practice, and linguistics. These principles are applied in order to analyse recent and current courses, methods and materials, and also to assist you to adapt and create materials for use in specific teaching contexts. The module also explores the nature of language areas (grammar, vocabulary and language skills) within the syllabus and the effects of different approaches and methods on how these may be taught and what materials might be used. The key texts for this module are Language Curriculum Design (Nation & Macalister, 2010) and Designing Language Courses: A Guide for Teachers (Graves, 2000).

  • Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials - Module Leader: Dr Andrzej Cirocki

    This module provides a systematic approach to the selection and evaluation processes of instructional materials. As a result, various criteria in materials selection and principles in materials evaluation will be analysed and discussed. All these theoretical aspects will be supported with a generous collection of tasks, worksheets and checklists from different teaching contexts. The practical component of this module seeks to first combine theory, research and classroom practice and second to encourage future teachers and materials developers to actively and critically promote materials selection and evaluation. Also, this module aims to show that the successful implementation of the two processes greatly contributes to effective teaching and learning in the classroom. The key texts for this module are Materials Evaluation and Design for Language Teaching (McGrath, 2002) and Materials and Methods in ELT (McDonough, Shaw & Masuhara, 2013).

  • Classroom Theory and Practice - Module Leader: Dr Andrzej Cirocki

    This module is intended for students who are seeking to develop their knowledge and understanding of learning and teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). It examines current and recent research and explores key concepts and issues through relevant professional and academic literature. A more practical element is realised through live and filmed observation of teachers in practice. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your teaching and learning experience and analyse and discuss your beliefs and attitudes towards learning and teaching. The key texts for this module are An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching (Johnson, 2008) and A Course in Language Teaching (Ur, 2012).

  • The Process of Materials Writing - Module Leader: Dr Alicia Peña Calvo

    This module provides teachers and material writers with principled frameworks for the efficient production of learning materials. It focuses on both the practical and technical aspects of the process of materials writing. Globally designed course books and materials often enter into conflict with user expectations and the demands of examinations, as well as certain teacher resistance to innovation. The writing process is context dependent and should be modified according to local needs. The module studies, analyses and applies various principled approaches to materials writing such as task-based, problem-based, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), corpora-driven and text-driven approaches to the production of materials for ESP, EAP and English for Young Learners. The key texts for this module are Applied Linguistics and Materials Development (Tomlinson, 2013) and English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice (Harwood, 2010).

  • Postgraduate Major Project

    In the MA Major Project, you will bring together the strands of the previous two/four semesters and produce a substantial piece of individual work, showing analytical ability and originality of thought. The MA Major Project combines theory, research and classroom practice. It includes the Abstract, the Introduction, the Main Body, References and Appendices (if necessary).

Postgraduate Major Project

During the Postgraduate Major Project you will be assigned a supervisor who will guide you and provide formative feedback on your research. The main body of your project must contain the following three parts:

Part 1 (circa 7,000 words)
A critical review of relevant literature in the chosen area (e.g. teaching English to young learners, learner autonomy, academic writing, extensive reading).

Part 2 (circa 7,000 words)
A collection of original materials produced for a specific context in the area of interest accompanied by a rationale that combines various aspects of language instruction, materials development and SLA research. The collection contains original materials for three or five 50-minute lessons (as agreed with your MA supervisor) and follows the format, structure and presentation that best suit the topic under study.

Part 3 (1,000 words)
A reflection on how the MA in TESOL and Materials Development may or will affect your professional practices and development (e.g. institutional, national, etc.).


This course uses a variety of forms to assess your development and understanding of the core features of the curriculum. In particular, it promotes the principles of assessment for learning by placing formative assessment at the heart of the learning and teaching cycle.

The following assessment instruments will be employed:
  • essays
  • presentations
  • observation reports
  • projects
  • portfolios.
Image of core staff team, l-r: Michael Butler, Dr Alicia Peña-Calvo, Rebecca Rowntree, Dr Andrzej Cirocki

Core staff team, left to right:

Michael Butler, Dr Alicia Peña-Calvo, Rebecca Rowntree, Dr Andrzej Cirocki

Professor Brian Tomlinson

President of Materials Development Association, UK

Focusing on the different aspects of materials development has been shown to be a very effective way of helping postgraduate students to not only develop skills as materials developers but to become much more aware of the principles and procedures of language acquisition and of the potential effectiveness of TESOL methodologies. I am convinced that this would be the case on the MA TESOL and Materials Development at Anglia Ruskin University.


Our campus libraries offer a wide range of publications and a variety of study facilities, including open-access computers, areas for quiet or group study and bookable rooms. We also have an extensive Digital Library providing on and off-site access to e-books, e-journals and databases.

We endeavour to make our libraries as accessible as possible for all our students. During Semester time, they are open 24 hours a day from Mondays to Thursdays, until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and for 12 hours on Sundays.

Our computer facilities provide free access to the Internet, email, messaging services and the full Microsoft Office suite. A high speed wireless service is also available in all key areas on campus. If you are away from campus, our student desktop and its many applications can be accessed remotely using the Internet. Your personal student email account provides free document storage, calendar facilities and social networking opportunities.

Throughout your studies, you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing course notes, reading materials and multi-media content to support your learning, while our e-vision system gives you instant access to your academic record and your timetable.

Associated careers

On completion of this course, you can enter, or accelerate your career, in a range of professions at national and international level. Future careers may include: English as a foreign/second language teaching, materials writing, language consultancy, language curriculum design, language testing, teacher training and EFL/ESL publishing.

Links with industry/Professional recognition

The lecturers who teach on the MA in TESOL and Materials Development course systematically collaborate with well-known publishers. Some of them are: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Express Publishing, Lincom Europa and The Open University Press.
Main requirements:
  • Anglia Ruskin's MA in TESOL and Materials Development is aimed primarily at home and international teachers, teacher trainers, (applied) linguists with teaching experience, English language teaching (ELT) consultants and materials writers who hold: 1) A good honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in Languages, Linguistics, English or Education, plus 300 hours' experience in language teaching. or 2) A good honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in other subjects with CELTA/DELTA (or equivalent) certificates, plus 500 hours' experience in language teaching.
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email admissions@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

Entry requirements listed are for September 2015/January 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

International and EU applicants

We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
If you do not meet the above requirements, then there is an alternative. Consider entry to the course via an integrated foundation year at Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.

How to apply



September starts:
12 months full-time
24 months part-time

Teaching times*

Mon and Thurs

Semesters 1 and 2: Thurs 6-8pm

Available starts


Fees & funding


Arts, Law & Social Sciences


English and Media

Contact us

UK and EU applicants:International applicants:


* Teaching days are subject to change each academic year. Timings are also dependent on any optional modules you chose and are for guidance, so we advise all applicants to wait until they are in receipt of their timetable before making arrangements around course times.

Bookmark this page with: