Master of Applied Linguistics

Application Dates
Applications Open
2 Nov 2017
Course Overview
Masters (Research)
Tuition Fees
New Zealand Dollar 23,965.22
Manawatū, New Zealand
Full Time: 1 - 2 Years Part Time: 2 - 5 Years
Prior Study
Bachelor honours degree
Graduation Results
Not applicable
Study Field

Course outline

The Master of Applied Linguistics provides professionals in all areas of second-language teaching, including Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), with a qualification that meets their specific combination of professional and research needs. This combination is increasingly important in both domestic and international settings.

Get real-world skills

You’ll use theories, methods and problem-based approaches that address real-world language issues. The Master of Applied Linguistics focuses on second-language acquisition and language use in an increasingly globalised and digitally mediated world. 

Explore areas such as contextually relevant teaching of languages, reflective practices to enhance teaching and learning, and the sociocultural demands of language learning and teaching.

Draw on Massey’s research strengths

Massey’s research strengths include:

  1. Heritage language learning
  2. Mother tongue maintenance
  3. Online second-language communities
  4. Distance/online language learning
  5. Sociocultural adjustment of international students and their teachers to their presence in New Zealand universities
  6. Language learning and emotion
  7. Bi/multilingualism
  8. Oral proficiency

Research opportunities

Master’s study includes a research component. On the Master of Applied Linguistics you’ll complete a research report (60 credits) or thesis (120 credits). Recent areas of student research include:

  1. Investigating needs of non-income earning students in community English classes
  2. The development of teacher identity among student teachers in Thailand
  3. Navigating cultural conflict and dissonance in the immigrant ESL classroom
  4. The role of motivational beliefs in self-regulated learning for Kanji acquisition
  5. Vocational tertiary students’ imagined experiences of learning English with native speakers in an Indonesian rural setting
  6. Perceptions of Bhutanese students, parents and teachers of their learning progress in a New Zealand secondary school
  7. A case study of teacher beliefs and student attitudes on L1 use in multilingual classrooms

Careers prospect

With a Master of Applied Linguistics you’ll be prepared for careers in language teaching, research and practice in national and international multilingual contexts. You’ll be supporting those who operate in multilingual contexts, such as migrants and former refugees, and international students in New Zealand. Our graduates are employed as educators, consultants and practitioners.

Course structure

  1. Students must complete Part One (60 credits or 120 credits depending on the pathway selected) in order to progress to Part Two. 
  2. At least a B grade average is required in the Part One courses (120 credits) for progression to Part Two - Coursework Pathway
  3. At least a B+ grade average is required in the first 60 credits of courses completed in Part One for progression to Part Two - Research Pathway 
  4. Students who successfully complete Part One but do not meet the minimum grade average for progression will exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics.

This qualification may be awarded with Distinction or Merit.


  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree or other relevant qualification (eg Diploma in Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy or Nursing) for entry and admission to Postgraduate Study. Application to this university can be very strict therefore, it is advised to contact the school directly for assistance or visit the school offiicla website.

Students require

  1. A Bachelor degree with at least a B grade average across the 200-300 level courses
  2. At least one full-time year of relevant teaching experience (or equivalent)


  • A Postgraduate Diploma in Second Language Teaching


  • A Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics

Note: Students admitted following completion of a Postgraduate Diploma in Second Language Teaching or a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics may be granted direct entry to Part Two. At least a B+ grade average is required for entry to the Research Pathway; at least a B grade average is required for entry to the Coursework Pathway.

English language requirements

  • IELTS - 6.5 (no band less than 6.0)
  • TOEFL iBT - 90 overall (min 20 in Writing)
  • PTE Academic - 58 Overall (min 50 in communicative skills)
  • Cambridge English - 180

Additional notes

  1. Fees are subjected to change, for international student may have to refer to latest exchange rates.
  2. Additional cost my incurred depending on situation (Accommodation, laboratories equipment/materials, etc.)
  3. Encourage to study and research laws in New Zealand, it is advisable for international students to understand the country's strict rules and culture. 
  4. English is used as a teaching medium and a widely spoken language in New Zealand, if the requirements are not stated in the university webpage, advisable to contact the university's authority for further information about English requirements or English Entry Requirements.
  5. For scholarship opportunities, please browse through our webpage to find out local and international opportunities. 
  6. Encourage to visit for deeper and more information.


  • Telephone: 0800 MASSEY (0800 627 739) 
  • Telephone (from outside NZ): +64 6 350 5701 
  • Facsimile: +64 6 350 5618 
  • Text: 5222