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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK/EU fee

£2,625 (2020/21)

International fee

£2,625 (2020/21)

Course level



PG Cert

Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

If your career involves educating other people and you'd like to improve your professional expertise or progress into a more senior role, our online Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is designed to help you.

The Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) pathway is designed to meet the interests of both novice and experienced teachers of:

It provides students with a strong theoretical and practical foundation, touching on such areas as applied linguistics, language acquisition, ESL/EFL classroom methods, testing, cross-cultural considerations and English as a global language.

Our modules will encourage you to consider ways of understanding language learning processes, and expand your awareness of the approaches and principles, models and pedagogies, alongside policies that support or influence successful English language teaching (ELT) across a range of local, national and international contexts.

Enriching your career

This Postgraduate Certificate is not a teaching qualification but previous students have benefited from this postgraduate degree, helping them to gain more senior roles, enriching their teaching, challenging their preconceptions and boosting their confidence. You may also wish to continue to Masters level and obtain an MA Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

Be inspired by others

Students frequently tell us that they most enjoy hearing the diverse mix of experiences, ideas and opinions brought by others taking the course, especially when that challenges their own thinking. Online discussion forums make this possible, and with such a wide variety of people on the course, from the UK and overseas, that’s not surprising. Our tutors have many years’ experience in the education sector themselves, so they understand your profession and are sympathetic to the pressures of balancing study with a busy teaching job.

You are in control

Studying online gives you the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. The course is divided into modules which are scheduled over fixed trimesters so there will be deadlines to meet; however you can organise your study time around your work and personal commitments in order to complete each module within the set time parameters.

Online class discussions are largely focused on contextualisation of theory to practice, so it’s stimulating, engaging and highly relevant to your day-to-day, professional life.

A talk from our Academic Lead

Our Academic Lead for Education, Lucy Hutchinson, talks about our online Education Postgraduate Certificate course in this video.

Our academic talks about the online Education Masters and Postgraduate Certificate courses

View our Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Postgraduate Certificate course introduction video transcript

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.

To complete the Postgraduate Certificate Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) you will need to complete a total of 60 credits by studying the three core 20 credit modules.

(NB: Pathways and modules run subject to scheduling and student numbers)

Postgraduate certificatePostgraduate certificate

Code: 7PE540

Crafting your Masters study

This module is concerned with identifying and developing the key personal and academic competencies associated with successful study at masters level in a global context of continuous educational change.

C Wright Mills’ essay ‘On Intellectual Craftsmanship’ continues to influence the development of students’ scholarly and academic skills. In the context of newly emerging forms of academic literacies there has been a resurgence in approaches to the craft of scholarship. The module, therefore, aims to engage students in a ‘systematic reflection’ of their developing scholarship at Masters level, facilitating their transition towards independent and autonomous learning.

The crafting of a journal in which students will address what they are doing professionally (and/or academically) with what they are experiencing as a person will encourage the critical reflection and development of their own academic needs. This will include an engagement with established and newly emerging approaches to research and academic writing at Level 7 (including those facilitated by digital technologies). Lectures and seminars provide opportunities to consider the skills needed to study at level 7 and the ways in which these skills can be identified (for example through literature reviews). Seminars and workshops will provide opportunities for students to present their ongoing work. Tutorials provide the opportunity for individual concerns to be addressed.

Formative assessment will be ongoing providing opportunity for students to synthesise their learning to date. Students will be able to take account of tutor feedback, peer review and self-assessment to identify their progress and where essential development areas remain. Summative assessment of the learning outcomes is by construction of a portfolio.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate the development of a reflexive approach to personal and academic competencies required for successful study of education at Level 7
  • apply personal and academic competencies to Level 7 requirements in the study of education

Module content

There are four main areas of focus:

  • reflective thought and practice to develop independence and autonomy
  • skills of academic literacy, including abilities of criticality, evaluation and synthesis appropriate to study at masters level
  • knowledge and understanding of academic numeracy appropriate for study at masters level
  • skills of technological approaches to research appropriate to study at masters level
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7PE547

The Principles of English Language Teaching

This module is for those who are interested in developing an understanding of the practice of English language teaching. It will explore popular methodology and invite students to critique the methods, procedures and techniques used in the language classroom.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches and teaching methods used in the language classroom
  • To reflect on these in order to make recommendations for sustainable pedagogical practice

Module content

This module will draw from a range of theoretical approaches and methods which inform the practice of English language teaching. Popular methodology such as audio-lingualism, Community Language Learning (CLL) and the Silent Way will be critiqued. In recent years, the influence of a number of Approaches; the Communicative approach, Task-based Learning (TBL); the Lexical approach and Content Integrated Language Learning (CILC) will be explored. Other models such as Present, Practice and Production (PPP) will also be examined in relation to how students learn languages.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7PE548

Language Learning: Theory and Practice

This module is for those who are interested in developing an understanding of how learners acquire a second, third or perhaps even a fourth language in addition to their mother tongue. It will explore research and theories on second language acquisition (SLA) and how these might inform practice. The needs of a variety of language learners will be identified within the context of English language teaching. The module will help you develop an appreciation of how the diverse linguistic backgrounds of learners influence language learning. The role of both the learner and teacher in the language acquisition process will also be considered.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate a range of second language acquisition theories
  2. To synthesize the evaluation of second language acquisition theories in order to make recommendations for sustainable pedagogical practice

Module content

The module will draw from a range of theoretical perspectives on how languages are learned. Key thinkers in the field will be explored and critiqued including Chomsky, Krashen and Swain. The module is also designed to cover a range of topics surrounding the language learner and an exploration of critical questions such as:

  • Who are language learners?
  • What sort of English do they need?
  • What sort of English should we be teaching?
  • How do they learn it?
More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Who will teach you

Programme leader

Melody Harrogate

Explore all teaching staff on this course

How you will learn online

Our Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) PG Cert course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster
Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16.00 - 17.00

During this hour-long webinar, we’ll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You will usually need to be currently working within the education arena and have either: 

You will be asked to provide a CV/resume detailing your academic and work experience.

English language qualifications

You will normally need one of the following English Language qualifications:

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:*

*If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5 you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £875 3 £2,625

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


This course can open doors for you in your career. It might make your CV stand out enough to get you an interview for that more senior role you’ve been looking for, or just give you the confidence to apply for positions you normally wouldn’t have considered.

Previous students have also said that they have performed better at work as a result of this course – bringing greater recognition and respect from peers.

To give you an idea of the range of careers this course relates to, some of our graduates have gone on to become advanced skills teachers, nursery managers, assistant head teachers, disability coordinators within universities and national trainers for charitable organisations.

You may also wish to go on to further study such as an MPhil, EdD or PhD.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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