Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL) MA


Fact file

MA Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL)
1 year full-time including dissertation, 2 years part-time plus dissertation
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent), preferably with a language teaching theory and methodology focus, plus two months of full-time classroom English teaching experience
Other requirements
Applicants with a degree in any other discipline will be considered on an individual basis providing the applicant has some language teaching experience. Applicants whose first language is not Chinese should also hold a HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi/Chinese Proficiency Test) Level 5 certificate or hold a degree in a discipline with substantial Chinese language content
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course is highly relevant if you are currently or looking to teach Chinese to speakers of other languages.
Read full overview

You will join our diverse and vibrant learning community of second and foreign language education, primary, secondary and higher education and take the journey of developing a career in the fast-growing area of Chinese language education in the UK or wider world.

This course is suitable for Chinese language teachers keen to build on knowledge and experience, and for teachers of other subjects intending to move into this field, as well as those interested in course design, management or teacher training, both in the UK and internationally.

Through this course, you will:

  • gain knowledge and experience of research and current issues in languages teaching and learning
  • develop your critical understanding of developments in TCSOL theory and practice
  • prepare to design and deliver Chinese language programmes in various local and global teaching contexts
  • obtain an internationally-recognised masters degree
  • prepare for a career in Chinese teaching, course design or teacher training in education and relevant professions, in the private or public sector
  • be ready to commence doctoral studies in applied linguistics, education and social science

You may also have the opportunity to attend an  engagement event with alumni who will share their stories about their teaching context, career path, classroom episodes and continuing professional development.


Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent. You could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts


Course details

The taught element of this course is made up of four 30-credit modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation. It can be completed over one year full-time, or two years part-time plus an eight-month dissertation. There are PGDip and PGCert exit points.


Each 30-credit module is assessed by a 6,000-word written assignment. To complete the masters, you must achieve a pass of 50 on each assignment.

The 15,000-word dissertation is an original piece of work and should be related to one of the selected modules on an approved topic.


To ensure your application is considered in time, please note the following dates:

Important dates
RouteStart dateApplication deadline
Full and part-time
UK and EU
24 September 2018 3 September 2018
Full and part-time
24 September 2018 13 August 2018



Language Teaching: Methodology and Curriculum

The module focuses on topics which have been the subject of recent discussion and research in the field of foreign and second language teaching. These include:

  • a historical review of language teaching methods and approaches
  • content vs process syllabus design in language teaching
  • humanism in language teaching
  • Communicative Language Teaching and Task Based Learning
  • areas of applied linguistics particularly relevant to teaching of productive skills, especially sociolinguistics and pragmatics
  • areas of applied linguistics particularly relevant to the teaching of receptive skills, especially psycholinguistics

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.

Understanding L2 Chinese Learning and the Learner

The module focuses on key areas in Applied Linguistics relating to Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and L2 Chinese learning literature, and explores them from the perspective of both language learners and teachers. These include:

  • the role of pinyin, tones, characters and grammar in L2 Chinese language learning
  • universal features of the L2 learner and the L2 learning process, for example, age, cross-linguistic influences, role of the environment and language learning cognition
  • individual influences related to differential L2 rate of acquisition and outcome, for example, aptitude, motivation, language learning beliefs and strategies
  • social dimensions that influence L2 learning, for example, social identity and socio-cultural context

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.

Exploring TCSOL in Context

This module will examine several crucial questions faced by those working in the field of TCSOL. The actual content will be negotiable, but typical topics will include:

  • teaching learners of Chinese as a heritage language and in complementary schools
  • language learning experience in China study-abroad context
  • the language status (native/non-native) of the teacher
  • teaching Chinese for specific purposes
  • the Confucius Institute and teaching Chinese
  • content and Chinese language integrated learning
  • exploitation of computerised language samples in teaching and learning Chinese
  • classroom-based research

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.



Assessment in Language Education

This module will look at:

  • purposes of assessment
  • types of assessment
  • communicative assessment
  • assessing the '4 Skills'
  • case studies of key international exams
  • current issues in language assessment
Managing Language Teaching and Developing Teachers

The module covers:

  • organisational structures and management of language teaching organisations (LTOs)
  • issues in marketing, finance and managing change
  • managing staff: staff selection, appraisal and relations, staff development
  • models of teacher learning
  • developing activities and materials for teacher training
  • observation of teachers
  • investigating the discourse of managing, training and teaching
Materials and Technology in Language Education

This module will look at:

  • the role of learning/teaching materials and resources
  • types and models of evaluation of materials and resources
  • the relationship between methodology and materials/resources
  • models of Technology Enhanced Langue Learning
  • mobile langue learning
  • computer mediated communication
  • the implications of materials and technology for teacher education
Teaching Languages to Younger Learners

The module focuses on key areas relating to the teaching of languages to younger learners and explores them from the perspective of both language learners and teachers. These include:

  • profiles and language needs of younger language learnersage-appropriate methodologies
  • multisensory, learner-centred activities, for example, stories, songs, films drama and play
  • cooperation, interactive interpersonal communication and integrated grammar
  • classroom management/organisation and the investigation of critical classroom incidents
  • an overview of theories and research relating to younger learners
  • engaging with culture and community
  • issues relating to bilingualism, multilingualism and translanguaging

You will be expected to read, understand and engage critically with the research presented on these topics.


Dissertation module


This substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course will normally be based on interests and skills you have developed in the course of the modules already studied. You will choose a topic in consultation with your course leader and an appropriate supervisor.



You can download the timetable for 2017/18, but please note this is subject to change.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans of up to £10,609 for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Career destinations for our graduates include counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary/secondary teachers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors. A number of our graduates are already in employment while undertaking part-time study for professional development in their chosen career.

Employability and average starting salary

99.2% of postgraduates from the School of Education who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £22,797 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £44,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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