Exemptions and credits to DELTA holders on related MA level courses

creditsOfqual, the exams regulator of the UK government, has confirmed that Cambridge ESOL’s Delta qualification for teachers is at the same level as a Master’s degree or a professional diploma in the European Union. This is a result of Delta being placed at level 7 of the UK government’s Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF), making it the only English language teaching diploma currently included at this level.

Welcoming this new recognition, Cambridge ESOL’s Chief Executive Dr Mike Milanovic says: “Teachers holding this qualification demonstrate a very high level of expertise indeed and we’re delighted by this acknowledgment from Ofqual. This reflects the quality standards associated with the Delta qualification which is great news for teachers and the millions of students around the world learning English.”

N.B. The DELTA on its own does not constitute an MA qualification but is considered to be at the same level, which makes holders eligible for exemptions, credits, and fast track options in a variety of UK based universities.  

The following UK institutions offer credits or exemptions to DELTA holders, for the courses listed. We make every attempt to keep this information up to date – however, applicants should always check with the institution, as they do change their requirements, and these may differ for individual applicants.

Please use Google to verify the information below and do leave a comment if you have information about other universities not included here – we have added total number of credits where this was available and easy to find from the university website.

Institution Courses with credits/exemptions Further information  Total Credits
Aston University MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL)

MSc in Teaching English for Specific Purposes (TESP)·

MSc in Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL)

MSc in Educational Management in TESOL (EMT)

Exemption from the Methodology module plus 20 credits toward an additional module  4 modules
Bath, University of MA ELT Fast track available: exemption of two core units (from total of 5).  5 core units
Bath Spa University MA/Teach TESOL Exemption from first semester equal to 60 credits  180 credits
Birkbeck, University of London MA TESOL

MA Language Teaching

30 credits
Bristol, University of MSc in TESOL 40 credits.
Bedfordshire, University of Applied Linguistics MA (TEFL) Exemption from assessed teaching practice (30 points)
Canterbury Christ Church MA TESOL Exemption from first two modules (40 credits).  5 modules
University of Derby Education MA DELTA holders offered up to 60 credits upon consultation
East London, University of MA English Language Teaching (ELT) Exemption from one 30-credit module
Edinburgh, University of MEd TESOL Students may request accreditation for prior learning for the core course in TESOL Methodology.2 core modules  6 core modules
Exeter University Med TESOL DELTA holders offered up to 60 credits  Link to info
Institute of Education, University of London MA Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (campus-based) Exemption from one 30-credit optional module.  180 credits
King’s College London MA in ELT & Applied Linguistics (part-time programme only) Fast track option – exemption from one core module (Principles and Practice in ELT) and one option – 30 credits in total.  180 credits
Leeds Beckett University MA English Language Teaching 60 credit exemption   Direct entry to semester 2
Leicester, University of MA TESOL & Applied Linguistics (campus-based and distance learning versions) 30 credit exemption  6 modules
Northumbria University MA in Applied Linguistics forTESOL·       MA TESOL Exemptions of up to 3 modules, or 60 credits, equivalent  to 1/3 of the MA  180 credits
Nottingham, University of MA ELT distance Exemption of two core modules running from May to end of year (January start recommended)  40 points/credits
Open University, The Masters degree in Education (Applied Linguistics) 60 credits
Oxford Brookes University MA in Education One module only worth 20 credits  180 credits
Portsmouth, University of ·       MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL (both on site & distance modes) 30 credits at M-level.  180 credits
Reading, University of ·       MA in English Language Teaching Language Curriculum Design (10 credits) and one of: Written Language (20 credits), Spoken Language (20 credits), Language Testing Principles (20 credits). This equals a total credit transfer of 30 credits towards this 180-credit degree.  180 credits
Sheffield, University of MA Applied Linguistics Exemption from 15-credit core module on Language Teaching Methodology.  8 core modules
Sheffield Hallam MA TESOL 60 credits to DELTA holders (i.e. they are exempt from the Postgraduate Certificate, which forms the first part of the MA).  180 credits
York St John University MA English Language Teaching Exemption from 30-credit core module on Practical English Language Teaching
Warwick University MA ELT Exemption of 60 credits from an 180 credit course  Link to info


About the Author

MARISAMarisa Constantinides, Dip.RSA, M.A. App Ling

A teacher, teacher educator and materials writer, Marisa Constantinides is the head of CELT Athens, a teacher education centre established in 1993, She is responsible for the design and training on all courses including Cambridge CELTA and DELTA, face-2-face and online. Marisa has a strong presence in Social Networks, moderates #ELTchat, a weekly discussion on Twitter (recently nominated for an ELTons award in Innovation in Teaching Resources). Marisa maintains a number of blogs (TEFL Matters#ELTchatTeaching & Learning Languages, the DELTA course blogthe CELTA course blog). She has published materials for young learners as well as for B2 and C2 level classes.

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Published by Marisa Constantinides

I train TEFL teachers at CELT in Athens Greece and online - our main courses are Cambridge CELTA and Delta. I interact with educators from all over the world through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and through blogging

42 thoughts on “Exemptions and credits to DELTA holders on related MA level courses

  1. Hi Marisa, thanks for this list, it’s a useful reference point when looking at which Masters to choose. I wondered do you have any information or know where I could find some on Universities outside the UK which may offer credit exemption for similar courses. It would be nice to reap the benefits somewhere abroad on a face to face course whilst my partner continues teaching, if one exists!


  2. Hi Marisa! Reblogged this informative post. Great dedication on your part in putting it together. Will definitely help some teachers make informed choices about their careers! Have a fantastic ’14!


  3. Great! So many options!
    My colleague contacted Nottingham Uni. once she read the post a couple of days ago and they confirmed that they DO NOT have any exemptions for Delta holders for MA ELT programme.


  4. This is very helpful thank you! Actually I contacted Nottingham University too this week about their distance Masters, and they said that they do have exemptions for DELTA (2 core modules), but it means that you can only start the course in January (as the 2 modules that are exempt run from May to the end of the year).


      1. I have personally contacted them this time after reading Zara’s comment. I asked if they offer any exemtion to Cambridge Delta holders for their MA Applied Ling. and ELT, and here’s their reply:

        Dear Samer

        Thank you for your enquiry which has been passed to me to reply to. I’m afraid that we do not offer any credit in respect of Cambridge Delta.

        With best wishes,


        Jane Pytches-Walker

        Administrative Assistant (PGT)

        Room A90,

        School of English

        The University of Nottingham

        Trent Building

        University Park

        NG7 2RD

        Tel: 0115 951 5289

        Fax: 0115 951 5924


  5. I have been accepted onto the MA TESOL web-based at Nottingham University.
    I have been given fourty points and exemption for the two core modules mention above on the strength of my Trinity TESOL Diploma.


  6. I contacted the OU a while ago and they told me I couldn’t get any credit for my DELTA as it was too long ago (Mid 90’s). They were not interested in the fact that I am a CELTA and DELTA tutor.


    1. Phil,

      None of our DELTA’s (mine was a DTEFLA and yours, probably the same) are part of the agreement which is pretty recent. I finished my M.A. at Reading quite a while ago but have many previous DTEFLA and DOTE holders waiting for some sort of recognition, too.

      Perhaps, join forces with more people in the same position?


      1. Hi Marisa, Yes I did the RSA DIP TEFLA as it was. I think the argument that it was too long ago to count for credit would be ok if I had been working in a completely unrelated field and had therefore not kept abreast of developments. But as I have continued to work in EFL, including as a CELTA and DELTA tutor, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be taken into consideration .


      1. Hi again, now that I’ve finished the DELTA and am actually applying for courses I have been a little surprised by some of the responses. The contact for the MA Education TESOL at Oxford Brookes stated he didn’t think the DELTA would be worth anything at masters level, but after checking with another member of staff he conceded it would be worth one module only (Language teaching, 20 credits). The University of Reading have confirmed it is possible to apply for 30 credits APL, although you have to make a case for the specific module that you deem your DELTA covers. I would be interested to hear if anybody has experience of successfully obtaining APL credits for their MA.


  7. Leeds Beckett University (previously known as Leeds Metropolitan University) offers credit exemption to Delta holders on both the face-to-face and the online MA in ELT. It also offers direct entry to semester 2, so candidates who participate in December’s assessment can start their MA immediately. Anyone interested can contact me for more info.


  8. I did RSA Dip TEFLA in 1990 and it doesn’t count towards an MA at Oxford Brookes as too long ago and ‘things are different’.


      1. Hi Marisa.
        Great site and many thanks for the helpful information.

        Like Ella, I have the RSA Dip TEFLA, though from even earlier, in 1988. Wow, time has flown.
        Apart from the question of credits towards an MA, I wanted to ask about writing a CV. I am sure that some schools do not know much about the old RSA Diploma, so I wanted to ask what I could write in my CV re. equivalency. Would it be accurate to write under RSA Dip TEFLA something like (*equivalent to the Delta, as determined by xxxx)? And if so, who would the xxxx be?
        Thanks for any help.



      2. Hi Chris – sorry it’s been a while since I checked comments on this blog!

        I have a the same Diploma like you but although there is no official line on the question of equivalency, this is only because the Level 7 status of the new Delta has a start date on it.

        So, what you write is fine, but there are no credits offered to any Diplomas gained before 2006 (will need to doublecheck that date though)




    1. This is true – Deltas count from the time of the agreement which was late 90’s – Unfortunately, I have many previous candidates on such courses, as well as DOTE and their work does not count




  9. Hi Marisa, Thanks a score for sharing these information. Actually I have a CELTA and I’m wondering is it possible to get module exemption within a University giving web-based MA in TESOL or ELT.


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