Language Testing (Distance)


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Part time 1 year


Take your Postgraduate Certificate in Language Testing in one of the best Linguistics Departments in the world. We are placed 3rd in the QS World Rankings 2024.

Our programme aims to meet the practical needs of professionals who are involved in language testing and evaluation at institutional, regional or national level. The programme gives you the opportunity to develop a solid grounding in language test design, construction and evaluation. Through the programme, we aim to support you in creating testing and evaluation procedures and policy within your own context that conform to international standards of validity and reliability.

With orientation to launch the course and three online modules, our programme is designed for part-time study over twelve months. We offer opportunities to base your coursework on issues within your own educational or professional context. Programme content considers the major developments in language testing in recent years and reflects current thinking and good practice.

The PG Certificate in Language Testing is the first year of our highly respected MA in Language Testing. As a one-year programme, it is likely to be attractive to professionals who seek training in language testing but are unable to commit to a longer period of study or a dissertation project. Nevertheless, students who are successful on the PG Certificate programme can easily transfer to the MA programme should they so wish. In addition, students who graduate with the PG Certificate may subsequently re-join for the second year of the MA programme (surrendering the PG Certificate).

The PG Certificate programme starts with compulsory orientation in late September and runs for one academic year, ending with submission of the assignment for the third module in September one year later. Each taught module lasts one academic term. The three modules are taken in this sequence:

  1. Language Test Construction and Evaluation
  2. Exploring Language Constructs for Language Testing
  3. Issues in Language Testing

The part-time, web-based programme aims to provide flexibility so that you can study alongside work and personal commitments. We follow sound pedagogical principles for the provision of distance education and provide group-level and individualised support and feedback.

Taught by experts
Lancaster has a worldwide reputation for excellence in language testing. Our department ranks highly in international and national rankings for Linguistics. Staff members have led and contributed to numerous language testing projects, including national test development projects in many countries and international test development and assessment projects in English and other languages.

Online learning
The course is delivered via Lancaster’s high quality virtual learning site. You will have access to the University’s extensive online library resources, and there will be plenty of opportunities to interact with peers and your tutors.

Career prospects
Graduates from the Lancaster PG Certificate in Language Testing programme will have the skills to be involved in test development and research projects in schools, colleges and universities at regional or national level. They will be equipped to contribute to decision-making about language test provision and use in language testing organisations, ministries of education and defence, curriculum development centres, schools, colleges and universities. Several of our MA students have won international awards for their dissertations and have published their research in academic journals.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 Hons degree in a related subject is normally required. We will also consider applications where you have a degree in other subjects, have a 2:2 or equivalent result and/or extensive relevant experience. In these cases, you should clearly demonstrate how your experience and skills have prepared you for postgraduate study. 2

Additional Requirements

You will have teaching experience, and, ideally, a current post with responsibility for language test design, construction or evaluation. We may consider alternative language teaching or testing backgrounds.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and 6.0 in listening and speaking. We also consider other English language qualifications.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.


Fees and funding

1 year programme

 Year 1 (60 credits)
Home £3,750
International £3,750

Cost per 20 credit Module (2024-25) Home £1,250; International £1,250

General fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.