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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


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The MSt in English Language Assessment is aimed at English language teachers and other educational practitioners, civil servants, and other professionals seeking to enhance and consolidate their knowledge in English language assessment. The University of Cambridge offers world-class graduate education in this domain. The course is delivered jointly by Cambridge Language Sciences IRC and by Cambridge University Press & Assessment, and therefore offers a unique combination of cross-disciplinary expertise.


Teaching & Assessment


Pre-course and induction (online)

Before the first residential period, preliminary reading and formative assessment in a range of formats, such as multiple-choice tasks, based on core aspects of the course will be offered online through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). 

  • Module 1: Understanding speech and language and how they are learned (20 contact hours) 
  • Module 2: Language learning in instructed contexts (20 contact hours)
  • Module 3: Principles of assessment; the role of assessment and how it contributes to learning (20 contact hours)
  • Module 4: Use of technology in language learning and assessment; how technology can be used to enhance learning (20 contact hours)
  • Module 5: Principles of research; mixed methods; introduction to statistical methods and statistical analysis for language assessment (20 contact hours)
  • Module 6: Critical view of language assessment tools (20 contact hours)

Teaching periods

There will be four teaching periods across the two years:

a) two face-to-face residential teaching periods

b) two online teaching periods

Face-to-face residential teaching

This will be delivered over two residential periods, each lasting two weeks. There will be one residential for each year of the course. Prior to each residential teaching block, students will be expected to engage for at least eight hours per week with online study materials which will include readings, videos, online forum discussions and self-assessment. Before and after the residentials, participants will be fully supported and engaged in the programme through the VLE. 

The face-to-face residential periods held in Cambridge are scheduled for:

Year 1: 24 March - 4 April 2025 
Year 2: 23 March - 2 April 2026

Online teaching

One module is planned to be taught online in early Lent Term 2025 and one module is planned to be taught online in early Lent Term 2026.



In Year 1, students will complete the following assessments:

  • One essay per module, for Modules 1 and 3, totalling 5,000 words per module and representing 12% of the final mark each

In Year 2, students will complete the following assessments:

  • For Module 2, one essay totalling 5,000 words and representing 12% of the final mark
  • For Module 4 there will be assignments in a range of formats (such as multiple choice questions, hands-on practical exercises, and/or designing assessment tasks) representing 7% of the final mark
  • 3,000-word essay for Module 6 representing 7% of the final mark

There is a formative preparatory assignment of between 1,500 - 2,000 words undertaken before the first module. Students may be required to give individual presentations or contribute to group presentations, on which students receive constructive feedback.


  • Dissertation: 15,000-18,000 words (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography) representing 50% of the final mark

Marking criteria

The pass mark is 60% and a distinction is 75% or over

Course dates

01 Oct 2024 to 30 Sep 2026

Course duration

2 Years

Apply by

30 Apr 2024

Course fee

Home: £15,750
Overseas: £27,000

Course director

Academic Directors, Course Directors and Tutors are subject to change, when necessary.


Various locations
United Kingdom

Qualifications / Credits

180 credits at Master of Studies

Course code