The usual qualifications for newcomers to TEFL are a BA degree and a TEFL certificate such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate.
However, after a few years experience, some teachers will want to go for further study.
The two main options here are a TEFL Diploma or a Masters Degree (or MA).
The MA is considered a higher qualification than a Diploma and is often a requirement for university or college level jobs teaching English. It is normally a residential course at a university. As well as various modules there is often a 10,000+ word dissertation on a relevant chosen topic. Courses are typically 12 months full time or 24 months part time.
These courses are often highly specialised, for example:
- MA in Language Learning & Technology
- MA in ELT Management
- MA in Applied Linguistics
Entry qualifications vary, but a typical MA course will want to see a good BA degree in a relevant subject plus 2 years or more experience teaching. Of course there is also a need for a high level of English and for non-native speakers this will mean something like a 6.5 IELTS score or 580 TOEFL score.
TEFL Diplomas – the alternative to an MA
Essential Qualifications to Teach English – an overview of qualifications to teach English