Oxford Advanced Diploma in TESOL Research

Course duration: 12 months

Guided learning hours (GLH): 15 hours per week (720 hours in total) 

Study method: online learning with tutor’s guidance and support

Course description:

The Oxford Advanced Diploma in TESOL Research is a non-regulated professional qualification for experienced English language teachers who work with speakers of other languages in language centres or in private settings and who would like to keep abreast of the latest developments in applied linguistics. 

The teacher training materials for this course cover the current issues, concepts, and debates in the TEFL/TESL/TESOL field to help candidates consolidate advanced linguistic knowledge and refresh research skills necessary for successful continuing professional development and effective teaching practice today. While investigating a topic relevant to their own professional interests, candidates will draw on their own experience and appropriate literature to develop their understanding of the role and limitations of research in informing educational practice.

The course is particularly suitable for ELT professionals with postgraduate degrees who are planning to apply for a PhD/EdD scholarship elsewhere as it allows candidates to construct an initial theoretical basis for a dissertation in TESOL methodology and publish several research articles in our School’s magazine and research journal for a proven record of recent academic publications. The authors of ELT books can also benefit from the course by improving their research skills, engaging in extensive reading and writing on their chosen themes, conducting polls among ELT professionals, and publishing articles about their work in our School’s publications. There is also an opportunity for successful candidates to publish their conducted research as a book with our School’s publishing house upon the completion of this course.

Course syllabus:

  • Current issues and debates in English language pedagogy and practice
  • Key topics in linguistics applicable to English language teaching and learning
  • English language teaching and learning theories, principles and models
  • Approaches, methods and strategies in English language teaching
  • Reflective teaching practice and continuing professional development
  • Nature of linguistic research and its role for society, culture and educational policy-making
  • Research methods, strategies and design in applied linguistics
  • Ethical issues in educational research
  • Developing academic literacy skills
  • Conducting a research project on a chosen theme in applied linguistics, psychology and education
  • The peer review process and practice
  • Constructing a portfolio of publications for a wider ELT community and further studies

Optional courses:

Candidates will also be able to select two optional courses* from the list of our short TESOL courses to complete their qualification. We encourage you to study those courses that suit your research interests and professional needs most.

* The optional courses are free as they form part of this qualification. You will be sent details about registration for the optional courses after you start your studies with us.

Set books:

Brown, J. D., and Coombe, D. (eds.) (2015). The Cambridge Guide to Research in Language Teaching and Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Burns, A., and Richards, J. C. (eds.). (2012). The Cambridge Guide to Pedagogy and Practice in Second Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Davison, J. (2020). Debates in English Teaching. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

Hall, G. (2018). Exploring English Language Teaching: Language in Action. London: Routledge.

Hall, G. (ed.) (2020). The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching. London: Routledge.

McKinley, J., and Rose, H. (2020). The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge.

Richards, J. C. (2015). Key Issues in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C., and Schmidt, R. (2010). Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. 4th ed. London: Routledge. 

Thornbury, S. (2017). The New A-Z of ELT: A Dictionary of Terms and Concepts. London: Macmillan Education.

Recommended reading:

Carter, R., and Nunan, D. (eds.) (2001). The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., and Snow, M. A. (eds.) (2014). Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Harmer, J. (2015). The Practice of English Language Teaching. 5th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. (with DVD)

King, K. A., Lai, Y., and May, S. (2017). Research Methods in Language and Education. 3rd ed. Cham: Springer.

Larsen-Freeman, D., and Anderson, M. (2011). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Riazi, A. M. (2016). The Routledge Encyclopedia of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge.

Richards, J. C., and Rodgers, T. S. (2014). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scrivener, J. (2011). Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan Education. (with DVD)

Any other books in applied linguistics, psychology and education relevant to one’s chosen research theme

Online study materials:

Online study materials for the course are available via a dedicated virtual learning environment (VLE) which includes:

  • a module guide
  • an interactive week-by-week study planner
  • key critical and theoretical readings related to linguistics and ELT methodology
  • a glossary of ELT terms
  • a compendium of ELT research approaches, methods and strategies
  • an online forum for discussions and group work
  • an assessment guide
  • a referencing style guide
  • access to our online library databases with resources in linguistics and ELT methodology

Course work includes:

  • 7 tutor-marked assignments
  • end-of-course assessment (a qualification paper of 50-70 pages and a portfolio of publications on your research theme)

Course participants will be encouraged to relate the content of the course to their own professional experiences when working on their assignments and qualification papers. Therefore, access to formal or informal educational settings will be needed to apply the ideas in practice and carry out observations. Alternatively, candidates may opt out for desk research based on a review of models and theories and the analysis of secondary data derived from official educational sources and relevant academic literature.

Course participants will work alongside the research team at our School’s Centre for TESOL Research and Education. Candidates’ articles will be published in our School’s Oxford Journal of Advanced TESOL Studies and TESOL Practitioner’s Magazine.


On successfully completing this qualification, you will be awarded our Oxford Advanced Diploma in TESOL Research. You will be entitled to use the letters OxTESOLResDip after your name.

Alumni research scholarships:

Applications for fully funded research scholarships are now open for our School’s alumni holding advanced diplomas who wish to continue their studies with us and obtain the Oxford Advanced Diploma in TESOL Research. If you are interested in carrying out research in the TESOL field, apply for a fully funded research scholarship by 31 July 2024 via Student Home to join our research team in September 2024.

Further research opportunities at our School:

After completing the course, you may be awarded a scholarship for continuing to work on your research theme and publishing the results of your study with us. Find more information about research at Oxford School of Advanced TESOL Studies here.

Course fees for the 2024/2025 academic year: £4,320

Course fees cover registration, course materials, tuition and assessment. Students are required to buy set books.

Next term start date: 1 October 2024

Register by: 20 September 2024

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