Course Overview

The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course is designed to give students the necessary skills for effective TEFL teaching for a range of levels and student populations. It provides theoretical information in TEFL methodologies and language learning, practical language teaching skills through classroom activities, peer-teaching and observed teaching practice sessions with English as a foreign language (EFL) learners.

The course is delivered part-time, through blended learning. Teaching and learning methodologies consist of a broad range of activities, including: classroom-based lectures, practical workshops, online discussion groups, e-tivities, directed study, microteaching, project based learning, assignments and portfolio development. Throughout the course the methodologies of adult education are employed and emphasis placed on an integrative approach to both teaching and learning. All classroom activities take place on the NUI Galway campus.

The course is designed to comply with ACELS* requirements for English language teaching.

*The Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services


Applications and Selections

Apply Online

Online Applications will reopen in April 2019

Applicants will be informed in mid September if they are accepted on the course, which will be subject to sufficient student numbers.

The following information must be submitted with your application:

  • A copy of the transcript of the primary degree taken and the results obtained
  • A copy of birth certificate or passport
  • All applicants, whose first language is not English, or who have not been educated through the medium of English language during their two most recent years of study, must present one of the following qualifications in the English language: IELTS: 6.5 or TOEFL (IBT): 92. Please see the relevant webpage for further information:

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Attendance and Teaching Practice Requirements
In addition to complying with educational requirements, applicants must demonstrate that they are in a position to undertake the attendance and teaching practice requirements of the course. Attendance and teaching practice requirements include:

  • Attendance: a minimum of 120 hours of classroom-based learning (typically 2 evenings per week)
  • Teaching Observation: minimum of 6 hours, 6 classes at a minimum of 2 different levels
  • Teaching Practice: 6 hours supervised, observed and assessed

Teaching observation and teaching practice are organised by NUI Galway.

Assessment includes written assignments, online activities, practical projects, teaching practice, teaching observation and teaching portfolio completion.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a primary degree and proficient in the English language (spoken and written). Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section.

Additional Requirements


1 year, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended Learning

ECTS weighting



Postgraduate Certificate in TEFL


Course code

Course Outline

Classes are in the form of lectures, discussions, microteaching and supervised teaching practice. Teaching practice is arranged by, and takes place in, NUI Galway during the course. Each student must design a portfolio of relevant material to be submitted at the end of the course. Classes are held two evenings a week from October to May (7-10pm).

The course covers Basic Teaching Skills, Teaching Practice, Language Analysis, Theories and Approaches to Language Teaching, English as a Foreign Language Methodology, Grammar Presentation, Syllabus Design, Testing, Evaluation, Introduction to Linguistics, English for Special Purposes, Portfolio Preparation, Microteaching, Teaching Young Learners, Assessment of Young Learners, Teaching Adults, Multicultural Education, Modern Developments in English as a Foreign Language and Teaching Overseas.

The course aims to:

  • Provide participants with the skills necessary to teach English as a foreign language, effectively plan lessons and manage students in a classroom environment
  • Provide  an introduction to the theories underlying the teaching of English to non-native speaking students
  • Develop analytical and critical skills in language analysis, language learning and teaching methodologies for use in the EFL learning environment
  • Provide practical teaching experience in real EFL learning situations with observation and feedback from course lecturers

Course modules include:

  • Methodology and Approaches in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Linguistics, Language Analysis and Language Learning
  • Teaching Practice, Micro-teaching and Portfolio Development

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (30 Credits)

Optional ED720: Teaching Practice/Journal

Semester 2 | Credits: 10

  • Oral, Audio Visual or Practical Assessment (100%)
Module Director
The above information outlines module ED720: "Teaching Practice/Journal" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional ED721: Portfolio/Microteaching

Semester 2 | Credits: 10

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
The above information outlines module ED721: "Portfolio/Microteaching" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional ED807: Written Paper

Semester 2 | Credits: 10

  • Written Assessment (100%)
Module Director
The above information outlines module ED807: "Written Paper" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Further Education

This course will prepare the student for progression to the Postgraduate Diploma in TEFL and beyond to the Masters in TEFL (both in development).

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Opportunities exist in teaching EFL overseas as well as in Ireland. All successful trainees who are awarded this certificate are eligible to work in ACELS Centres in Ireland. For a list of ACELS Centres, please visit the ACELS website.

Internationally, this qualification is accepted for employment in many jurisdictions; graduates should check locally regarding specifics of qualifications required.

Who’s Suited to This Course

This course is suitable for:

  • Individuals who hold a degree and who would like to teach English as a foreign language abroad
  • Individuals who wish to teach English as a foreign language in ACELS recognised centres
  • Teachers who wish to teach English as a foreign language

Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this course enables you to:

  • Demonstrate a critical and comprehensive understanding of the evolution of language, its cultural influences, language systems and their complexities as they relate to English language teaching 
  • Evaluate advanced skills in the field of English language teaching to develop a high level of judgement, selection and practice as a reflective teacher
  • Implement curriculum and lesson planning approaches, teaching methods, assessment techniques to successfully facilitate language learning for diverse learners within a variety of complex learning environments
  • Critically analyse and reflect on your own professional teaching practice with due regard to the context and situation of the learning environment, its complexities and its cultural context
  • Exercise autonomy and judgement in applying knowledge and skills when implementing  teaching, learning and assessment strategies, including ICT, which promote active learning in the classroom
  • Manage complex and diverse learner-centred learning environments and take responsibility for decisions in unpredictable situations; manage learning, teaching and assessment tasks independently, professionally and ethically
  • Develop professional relationships with pupils and colleagues, taking responsibility for the work of others and providing leadership as appropriate


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€1,600 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€2,100 p.a.

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment.  Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2019_20 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

 Dr. Marie Morrissey

Adult Training and Education Studies
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway
Nuns' Island, Galway
Tel: 091 493898