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The University of Waikato
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Master of Arts (Applied)

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


Hamilton Campus


Are you interested in a career teaching English as a second language overseas, at University level? Some countries, such as those in Asia, require you to have a Masters level qualification to do this. Waikato's Master of Arts (Applied) provides you with the qualification you need.

You'll complete Waikato's Master of Arts (Applied) (MA(Applied)) by studying papers on specialist topics. Your studies will give you the skills you need to work overseas. You might already be working in a different area of language teaching in New Zealand and are thinking about heading overseas, so you'd like to gain the qualification you need to do this.

By studying Applied Linguistics you'll explore the issues associated with learning a foreign language in a programme that is leading the way in development and use of online learning.

Some of the topics you'll study are specific to Waikato's MA(Applied). These topics include discourse analysis and teacher cognition studies. Another distinctive topic that's increasing in importance is the theory and concepts of English for academic purposes. When you study this topic, you'll learn how to teach students who are doing higher degrees and research, so you'll develop the skills you need to teach International students doing post-graduate education. You'll be completing a degree that was the first of its kind in New Zealand - the MA(Applied) was introduced in 1992, and was the first applied linguistics degree offered here.

Graduate study options

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Career Opportunities

You'll be qualified to teach English in schools and universities in a number of countries. Past graduates have gone on to achieve in many different roles, from managing a language school to being involved in academic administration, from coordinating language courses to teaching in Universities, polytechs and English language centres in New Zealand. Our graduates have taken up opportunities at Universities in China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and Mongolia. Some graduates have managed ESOL units in New Zealand schools or worked in the educational publishing field.

Entry criteria

To be eligible to be considered for admission to the MA(Applied), a student should normally have a bachelors degree or Diploma of Teaching, and have successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Second language Teaching (PGDip(SLT)) (or equivalent). Students generally need to have achieved a B average in the PGDip(SLT) (or equivalent) in order to proceed to the MA(Applied).

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with no band lower than 6.0 or a TOEFL (paper-based) score of 600 including a Test of Written English of 5.

All applications are studied by the Programme and applicants may be asked to attend an interview and/or write an essay.

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