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Past Questions

  1. Hi Ranta, hope you are well. Can you kindly talk about the process of choosing topics in each module, the length of time is quite short to be able to do three assignments in?


    Firstly, I read all the materials given from the lecturer. From my reading (or sometimes the explanation from the lecturers) I knew what main topic which is interesting for me. Then, I search for the recent research and issues regarding that topic. From that, I could choose the specific topic of my assignment. From my experience, the lecturer would be happy to help you in discussing the topic for your essay.

    I hope it helps.

  2. Hi, I feel so confused about deciding whether to take an MSc in TESOL Education or MA in TESOL. When applying for the scholarship (LPDP, I bet you knew) I chose MA in TEFL, however after getting the scholarship this year the course MA TEFL has been withdrawn and changed to MSc TESOL Education. First of all, I would like to hear from you about the difference between these two courses? Secondly, if it is possible, can you give me any advice on deciding whether to choose an MA in TESOL or MSc in TESOL Education? Thank you so much :)


    Sorry our mentor has not yet replied. I would suggest contacting Dr Petra Schoofs who teaches on the course and will able to offer you some advice. Her details are here:

    Best wishes, Tom

  3. Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

    I chose the University of Birmingham because it is one of the top universities in the UK for its education sector, a part of the Russell Group, and a founding member of Universitas 21. It offers its TEFL students with the modules which provide a strong grounding in theoretical literature and appropriate classroom methodology and course design to encourage deep engagement with the world of practice, with additional opportunities for professional development. Since it recently got award as university of the year of graduate employment from Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016, it means that investing in a degree here ensures me have the best academic and career support.

  4. How have you funded your postgraduate studies?

    When considering a postgraduate degree, funding was a concern of mine. However, there are a number of available scholarship opportunities which are well worth looking into. I was lucky enough to receive a full scholarship from the Indonesian government called Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). This scholarship is targeted for Indonesian citizens with excellent academic achievement and strong leadership quality who wish to continue pursuing studies on master or doctoral programs in top universities. It covers university fees (tuition fees, books, dissertation, seminar, graduation) and other supporting fees such as living allowance, transportation fees, etc.

  5. Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

    Yes. I was chosen as Student Rep from my programme to empower my cohorts to make better changes in the academic life. I also joined the university debating society and represented the university as a debater in a debating competition held in the University of Manchester. Besides, I took part in the Access project as a volunteer tutor to teach disadvantaged student to achieve better grades and progress to top universities. Therefore, my best piece of advice for the prospective postgraduate students is to join a society and take part in any opportunity, make lifelong friends, and gain various skills.

  6. Do you have anything lined up for once you have completed your degree?

    After finishing my Masters degree I would love to persuade a career as a lecturer. Besides it is an incredibly rewarding job and encourages a life of learning, I can do research which has always been my passion and contribute to knowledge in my field. Related to this, I also plan to pursue a PhD. Fortunately, the University of Birmingham has an amazing program called PhD Café to talk to current doctoral researchers and get their candid account of what doctoral study is really like, expert advice on the application process, and information about the various sources of funding.

  7. What, for you, are the best things about the course?

    The modules are well structured and very compassionate to successfully deepen my knowledge and understanding of current debates in the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language as well as further develop my practical language teaching skills. Also, the tutors are expert and very supportive in providing help and guidance so that I can effectively contribute to the classroom activities and successfully work on the assignments. I love the most about the feedback given to me because it can make me aware of important aspects that I missed and further develop my knowledge and skills.

  8. What are you writing for your dissertation?

    My dissertation is about investigating whether, and how, a collaborative computer-assisted language learning (CALL) task can support learning English as a second language (L2). It explores the learning potential of an online discussion task as a computer-mediated communication (CMC) activity in learning English as an L2. The research emphasises the learning opportunities enabled by text-based synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) from an interactionist perspective. This study also examines to what extent learners can acquire L2 in online discussion.

  9. What courses did you take? And did you tailor them by yourself? What is your favourite one?

    In two semesters, I took four compulsory modules and two optional module. The compulsory modules were: (1) Second Language Learning; (2) Practioner Inquiry in Education; (3) Communicative Language Teaching, Syllabus Design and Assessment, and (4) Language, Discourse and Society, while the optional ones were Personal and Professional Skills in Educational Management and Curriculum Design in Global Context. For the optional modules, I chose them based on my personal preference related to my interest at the beginning of the first semester.

    Honestly, I like all of the modules because of the course design and the tutors' supports. But if I have to choose, my favourite module is Second Language Learning. This was the only module that gave a weekly task to write a reflective journal. I found this task very helpful for me to make me think further about the materials, find a topic for my final assignment, and practice writing because the tutor always gave a constructive feedback. Besides, the tutor's way of teaching also left a very good impression on me.

  10. Hello kak, good afternoon in Indonesia. I am a fresh graduate student from Borneo University of Tarakan. My questions: 1. Is there any conditional issue to joining the TEFL department? For example do we need to have at least two years job experience? 2. Is the LPDP scholarship still available for Birmingham University? How to apply for them both between LPDP and University of Birmingham? Thank you. Your information is really helping for me.

    Hello, thank you for your questions.

    For all the entry requirements you can refer to the information on the university website here. You can apply for MA TEFL even without teaching experience. Of course, your teaching experience will be beneficial, but it is okay if you are fresh graduate and do not have any related experience.

    Yes, you can get LPDP scholarship for applying to the University of Birmingham. You have to apply for LPDP scholarship and the university separately. Both of them can be applied online. For the scholarship, you can refer to the guideline at the website here. For the university, it can be found on the previous website above, by clicking 'Apply Now'. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages.

    All good wishes Ratna

  11. Hello kak Yunita. Here is my simple question; What is the specific difference of the taught course and the research course? Which is better to take as Indonesian Student?

    Hi there!

    Thank you for the question. The difference between a taught course and a research course is on the portion of the study. A taught course usually contains more teaching than research or the same portion between both (kindly check the course description). For a research course, most of the time is for doing research. It is commonly known as preparation if you wish to continue your study (PhD).

    Each programme is unique, so the decision will be different for each individual. It can be based on your learning style. For example, in a research course, you are expected to be able to work independently as you will receive less tutor support than that provided on a taught course. However, you will still be granted support from your supervisor. In another hand, if you enjoy studying a wide range of topics and love learning through lectures, then a taught degree is the right one for you.

    Hope this help. Good luck!

  12. Hello, I am an English teacher at a Junior High School in Bandar Lampung, Lampung Province. I had just got my EILTS Score few days ago. The overall band score is 7(listening: 6.0, reading: 8.5, speaking: 6.5 dan writing 6.5). Do you think that I can follow the lectures at Birmingham University with that EILTS qualification? What activities did you do during your study to improve your English skills? And where did you stay while studying in Birmingham University? Thanks for your kind reply.

    Hello! Thank you for your questions.

    Many congratulations for your IELTS result. Yes, you would be able to follow the lecturers well. The University of Birmingham also offers programmes to improve your English skills (via Birmingham International Academy).

    For me, I joined the programmes offered by BIA, for example, a three-day programme to train me in synthesising. I also followed a debating society which have a regular practice every week and joined a debating competition. Besides, I read books and articles about academic writing to help me with the assignments and dissertation.

    I lived in a shared house with 3 Masters students in Selly Oak.

    I hope this helps. All best wishes, Ratna

  13. Hello, how did you succeed in the LPDP selection?


    Perhaps I successfully showed that I fit the mission of the Scholarship by my commitment to using my academic skills and leadership capacity to improve education in Indonesia.

  14. Hello, are both TEFL and TESOL MA the same? Does the course also provide lecturing about educational technology such as CALL?

    Hi! Thank you for the questions. In the University of Birmingham MA TEFL and TESOL are different. MA TEFL is under the School of Education while MA TESOL is under the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. You could see more details on the course descriptions here:

    MA TEFL:


    There is no specific course focusing educational technology such as CALL. However, my dissertation is about CALL and there is a supervisor who is expert in this matter.

    I hope this helps. Best wishes, Ratna Yunita

  15. Hello I am from Indonesia. I'd like to ask you, why did you choose the UK for your Masters degree? I just wanted to know your experience when you studied in the UK because I have a plan to pursue my Master degree in the UK too.

    Hi, thank you for your question.

    There are four major reasons why I chose UK for my Masters degree. First, it is because of its education system. UK has shorter duration but intensive education. The distinct advantage of the fact that the duration of the Master courses is just one year is that I will get a head start in working life when I graduate earlier. Second, the environment stimulates the students to think effectively, creatively, and independently. Many scientists and educational institution had seized for mostly 100 Nobel prizes. Third, a UK qualification is recognized and respected globally. Many ambassadors of UK education return to their countries with different qualification and move on to successful careers. Last of all, UK offers comprehensive support system in place for international students. It gives academic support, counselling support, and personal tutors.

    In addition, my personal preference of choosing UK is because the process of admission which is easier than other countries. Moreover, UK is one of high-tolerant countries. Not to mention, Birmingham is one of cities in UK with the high Indonesian population so that Indonesian community support will be enormous.

    I enjoyed my time in the UK, especially in the University of Birmingham and I am sure you would get the same experience. Best of luck!

    Ratna Yunita

  16. Hi, what was your timetable like during the Masters? How many scheduled hours per week did you attend university?

    Hello! There were 3 modules in a semester with 3 hours weekly for each module. Each module had 10 meetings. I am so sorry for responding late. Have a good day!

  17. Hope you're doing well! I want to put this course as one of my choices for the Chevening scholarship. But, I was a little confused about the difference between TESOL and TEFL. Is there any difference in this specific case? I'd greatly appreciate your replies to help my confusion. Have a good day.

    Hello, at the University of Birmingham, MA TEFL is under the School of Education while MA TESOL is under the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. As you can see in more details on the course descriptions here:

    MA TEFL:


    each of them has different courses. You may reflect on your interest and needs for your choice.

    I hope this help. Have a good day!

    Best wishes Ratna Yunita