Applied Linguistics (Testing and Assessment) MA

About the course

This course is ideal for you if you wish to develop your career in language testing and assessment – whether or not you already have experience in this area – and is the only full-time, face-to-face course in the UK specialising in this area.

The cutting-edge theory combined with practical experience will give you the expertise you need, and you will enjoy the opportunity to pursue your research interests in our world-leading research centre in language assessment.

Applied Linguistics (Testing and Assessment) - MA - Bedford Campus

  • Apply Via - DIRECT ENTRY
  • Course level - Postgraduate
  • UCAS Code -
  • Campus Location - Bedford Campus
  • Start dates -
  • Duration - 1 Years
  • Attendance - Full time
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

  • Study a mix of cutting-edge theory and practical real-world applications, building your knowledge and experience of classroom testing, assessing learning outcomes, course evaluation, and institutional tests and exams
  • Explore your research interests with CRELLA, our world-renowned Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment; recognised as a leading UK-based centre for research with 100% rating for research impact in the 2014 REF
  • Gain from access to the expertise of the English Language and linguistics team with an excellent track record of high-quality teaching
  • Benefit from a course which opens up opportunities in organisations, universities and ministries worldwide; to work with exam boards like Cambridge Language Assessment, Edexcel, or Pearson; for an education authority as tests and assessments specialist; or for further doctoral study with CRELLA.

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

  • Exploring Research: Concepts and Methods
  • The Language System
  • Statistics in Language Testing
  • Principles & Practice in Lang Assessment
  • Testing Language Knowledge & Receptive Skills
  • Testing Productive and Integrated Skills
  • L2 Materials Development
  • Professional Practices
  • Assessment and Accreditation
  • Issues in Second Language Acquisition (SLA)
  • Dissertation in Testing and Assessment

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods is used throughout the course with the main emphasis on summative assessment but with also some focus on formative assessment. They include: academic papers, oral presentations, test materials and procedures evaluation, production of tasks and tests, in-class tests and examinations and portfolios of practical tasks. Assessments aim to develop independent, critical thinking and serve to reinforce our research culture.

You can expect to produce a critique of theory and current practices, and to evidence your ability to make informed decisions. Feedback plays an important role in the course and you will engage in self-assessment and peer feedback, especially in formative and presentation assessments.

Research Ethics is an integral part of the course and together with training in statistics provides the foundations for the final dissertation:  the culmination of the course which entails managing the research project from start to finish.

Entry requirements

  • For non-native speakers of English IELTS 6.5 overall, or equivalent, with no score lower than 6.0.
  • A good first degree, a background in ELT/language education.
  • Teaching/ testing experience desirable.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

Given the highly specialised focus of the course, we anticipate that students will progress onto a position that involves language testing or assessment. 

This may involve working with one of the well-known exam boards like Cambridge Language Assessment, Edexcel, or Pearson, or perhaps for an education authority as the specialist on tests and assessments. 

Some graduates whose background includes language teaching may secure a position within an educational establishment as the authority on course evaluation and assessment. 

Tutors are happy to advise those who are considering a further academic qualification such as doctoral research with the industry experts in CRELLA - Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment

This course enables students to gain an exceptional background as experts in testing and assessment. It offers an opportunity to experience real-world research projects undertaken at CRELLA, a leading centre for research in English Language Learning and Assessment in the UK, rated as internationally excellent in the 2014 REF study (100% for research impact). The highly specialised experience offered with this course enhances students’ career prospects to work at a senior level with worldwide language testing organisations and exam boards.
Quote from a lecturer

Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and funding

  • Fees are £6,800. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees and living costs. Visit

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Fees are £12,000

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.


See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.


A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.


Physical Education and Sports Science Centre

Sports Hall

The sports hall is an integral space in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, complementing discipline leading Sport and Exercise Science and modern muscle cell and molecular biology laboratories, all co-located on the Bedford campus.

The sports hall is a major teaching facility for the University's Sport and Physical Education degree courses which have trained physical educators in the UK for over a century.

Together with its associated facilities it provides our trainee teachers and coaches with a superb environment in which to coach and teach pupils from local primary schools who are also benefiting from this new facility.

The sports hall is proud to host all Bedfordshire Bulls students' sports matches as well as national standard sporting events including British University College Sports championships – one of the few indoor sporting venues in the county to host prestigious tournaments all year round.

The facility also plays host to a number of University promoted Get into Sport activities which are open to all University students and staff.

Specialist labs

Our specialist labs give students a fantastic environment to develop their research skills and expertise, where a student can explore the genetics of an elite athlete who could be performing simultaneously within the sports hall.

Few Sport Science courses in the country offer students such unique discipline leading research experience and skills, alongside intimate access to world leading researchers within their field. Students are regularly offered the opportunity to be involved within discipline defining Sport, Health and Exercise Science research

Our state-of-the-art laboratories are purpose built for research and teaching in the fields of exercise and nutrition science. This includes specialised equipment and facilities for assessing human health risk and delivering exercise and diet interventions for health promotion.

This includes:

  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for assessing bone density and body fat content
  • BodPod and underwater weighing tank for body composition assessment
  • Environmental chamber that controls temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels in the air
  • Wet lab for assessing metabolic and hormone markers in blood

Our £8m Physical Education and Sport Science Centre was used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics.

Theatre and dance studio facilities

  • 280 seat theatre
  • 80 studio theatre
  • Four fully-sprung dance studios
  • Dance studios equipped with ballet bars, mirrors, audio playback, internet and projection
  • Large dressing rooms with en suite showers
  • A scenery workshop reserved solely for student productions
  • Large 6m by 12m white Cyclorama screen for projection and lighting
  • State of the art HD projectors
  • Full backstage comms system with audio and video relay
  • Extensive lantern stock including Led fixtures, strobes and moving lights
  • State-of-the-art, industry-standard lighting and sound consoles
  • Built in media desk and roll-down screen

Gateway Building

Opened in January 2015 the Gateway is an impressive building featuring high-quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres (including a Harvard style lecture theatre); as well as a new student services centre.

Campus Centre

Campus Centre featuring a 280-seat professional theatre, dance studios, a fairtrade café and social space for students.

Accommodation at Bedford

For on-campus student accommodation choose from luxury living at Liberty Park's modern en-suite study bedrooms or the Student Village which offers standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities, and en-suite rooms with a private shower. All have fully-equipped kitchens. Our rooms are on-campus and have easy access to the town centre and train station.

Subjects studied at Bedford campus

  • Primary Education
  • Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education
  • Education Studies
  • Physical Education and Sport Studies
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Tourism and Leisure
  • Accounting and Business Management
  • Performing Arts and Dance
  • Social Work

Bedford town location

The Bedford campus is a 20-minute walk from the town centre. The University offers a free bus service for staff and students that runs between Bedford town centre and the campus.

Directions to Bedford campus

Bedford offers excellent transport links to the rest of the UK as it sits between the M1 and the A1. The town connects by train to Luton (20 minutes) and London (40 minutes).

How to Apply

  • UK students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form

  • EU students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or apply online

  • International students applying for a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country.

    You can also apply online

    Find out more about how to apply

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