Master of Arts in English Studies for the Professions

Sept 2020 Entry
Programme code: 71026

Duration & Credit Requirement

Stream Code

MAF for English Language Arts (Full-time)
MAP for English Language Arts (Part-time)
MPF for English for the Professions (Full-time)
MPP for English for the Professions (Part-time)
MSF for English Language Studies (Full-time)
MSP for English Language Studies (Part-time)
MTF for English Language Teaching (Full-time)
MTP for English Language Teaching (Part-time)

Mode of Study
Mixed Mode
Normal Duration

1 year (Full-time)
2 years (Part-time)

Credits Required for Graduation


Fund Type
Initial Registration Credits

3 for local students
5 for non-local students

Tuition Fee

HK$3,360 per credit for local students
HK$4,720 per credit for non-local students

Programme Leader(s)

Dr Christopher Jenks
BSc, MEd, PhD

  • This programme has four specialisms: English Language Arts (英語語言藝術), English for the Professions (專業英語), English Language Studies (英語語言) and English Language Teaching (英語教學).
  • Applicants should indicate their chosen specialism when applying.
  • Students admitted to the programme may switch to another specialism after completing the 4 Core Subjects. 

Aims & Characteristics

Aims and outcomes

The programme aims to provide students with a comprehensive and critical understanding of the theory and practice of English in educational and professional contexts. The knowledge and skills students acquire in the programme enable them to become innovative and reflective professionals in a range of institutional settings.


After completing the MAESP programme, students should have the following attributes.

Professional competence

1. A comprehensive understanding of the principal language systems of English (sound, semantics, discourse and lexico-grammar) and their interrelatedness

2. An awareness of contextual variation in English across a range of modes, genres and settings

3. A profound understanding of how English functions in educational and professional contexts and communities

4. A deep understanding of advances in theory, research and practice in their chosen specialism

5. Ability to apply a repertoire of methodologies, approaches and tools to analyse language and communication in settings relevant to their specialism

6. Plan, conduct and report on empirical research into issues and problems relating to the acquisition and use of English for educational and/or professional purposes

7. An advanced understanding and appreciation of a wide range of literary and imaginative texts and events


Strategic thinking

8. Ability to work independently and collaboratively to analyse and resolve theoretical issues and practical problems relating to the use of English in their chosen specialism

9. Ability to apply critical and creative thinking skills strategically in educational and workplace contexts


Lifelong learning

10. Capability for lifelong learning and professional development through inquiry into and reflection on professional practices.



There are three possible study outcomes and qualifications, as follows.

1. Postgraduate Certificate in English Studies for the Professions (12 credits): students should complete the 4 Core Subjects.

2. Postgraduate Diploma in English Studies for the Professions (18 credits): students should complete the 4 Core Subjects (12 credits) and any 2 subjects from the lists of specialism-related Core Subjects. 

3a. Master of Arts in English Studies for the Professions (English Language Studies / English Language Teaching / English for the Professions) (30 credits): students should complete the 4 Core Subjects (12 credits); 2 specialism-related Core Subjects (6 credits); and either 4 specialism-specific Electives (12 credits) or by taking the Research Project (6 credits) and associated research methods subject (3 credits) as well as 1 specialism-specific Elective (3 credits).

3b. Master of Arts in English Studies for the Professions (English Language Arts) (30 credits): students should complete the 4 Core Subjects (12 credits); 3 specialism-related Core Subjects (9 credits); and either 3 specialism-specific Electives (9 credits) or by taking the Research Project (6 credits) and associated research methods subject (3 credits).

Recognition & Prospects

Who is the programme for? The specialisms in English Language Arts (ELA), English Language Studies (ELS) and English Language Teaching (ELT) serve English language teachers or graduates who intend to enter the teaching profession, either at secondary or tertiary level. Preference will be given to applicants who have majored in English or a communication-related field. The specialism in English for the Professions (EP) is intended for those with an undergraduate degree other than in English. It is intended for professionals of all disciplines who wish to upgrade their ability and qualifications in English. It is designed primarily for middle-level managerial staff in the public and private sectors who need to demonstrate a high level of communicative competence in English in situations relevant to their personal needs.


New and serving English language teachers who do not hold a degree in English but who have successfully completed the MAESP (ELA), MAESP (ELS) or MAESP (ELT) programme are regarded by the Education Bureau (EDB) as having a degree with a relevant language major. The MAESP (ELA), MAESP (ELS) and MAESP (ELT), but not the MAESP (EP), meet the EDB’s Subject Knowledge Requirement (SKR). All four specialisms meet the Language Proficiency Requirement (LPR) provided that on graduation students meet the training requirement for language teachers.


Programme Structure

Full-time mode: 1 year (2 semesters and 1 summer term)

Part-time mode: 2 years (4 semesters and 1 summer term)


Core Areas of Study

Compulsory Subjects

  • Introduction to the Sound System of English
  • Discourse Analysis
  • English Semantics and Lexis
  • Analytical Perspectives in English Grammar


Specialism-related Core Subjects

English Language Arts

  • Second Language Learning
  • Language Development and Use
  • English Literature and Language Arts


English for the Professions

  • Practical Communication Strategies I
  • Practical Communication Strategies II


English Language Studies

  • Language Development and Use
  • English Literature and Language Arts


English Language Teaching

  • Second Language Learning
  • Second Language Teaching


Specialism-specific Electives

English Language Arts

  • Popular Culture and English
  • Oral Language Arts
  • Second Language Teaching
  • Drama for Language Learning
  • Critical Language and Cultural Studies
  • Research Design and Methods


English for the Professions

  • Pragmatic Disorders
  • Intercultural Communication in Business
  • Communication
  • Multimodality and Semiotic Studies
  • The Sociology of Language: Social and Economic Perspectives
  • Critical Language and Cultural Studies
  • Research Design and Methods


English Language Studies

  • Pragmatic Disorders
  • Communication
  • Multimodality and Semiotic Studies
  • Popular Culture and English
  • The Sociology of Language: Social and Economic Perspectives
  • Intercultural Communication in Business
  • Research Design and Methods


English Language Teaching

  • Syllabus Planning and Materials Design
  • Testing and Assessment
  • Drama for Language Learning
  • Oral Language Arts
  • Critical Language and Cultural Studies
  • Popular Culture and English
  • Research Design and Methods


Information on the subjects offered can be obtained here.

Entrance Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree in any subject or the equivalent from a recognised institution. In the case of applicants intending to specialise in English Language Teaching, English Language Studies or English Language Arts, preference will be given to those who majored in English or a communication-related field. Applicants wishing to specialise in English for the Professions are not expected to have majored in English or a communication-related field.

  • Applicants are expected to meet ONE of the following requirements:
    • A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 96 or above for the Internet-based test, or 590 or above for the paper-based test;
    • An overall Band Score of at least 7 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); 
    • A level of competence in English as demonstrated in the admission interview and written test set by the Department of English, which indicates that the applicant* is capable of studying successfully at the taught MA level.



*This only applies to either native English speakers or non-native English applicants with a Bachelor’s degree from a university using English as the medium of instruction (EMI).


Non-native speakers or applicants without a Bachelor’s degree from an EMI university still have to fulfil the University-wide minimum language requirements. Exceptional cases will be considered individually.

Other Information

No information is available at present.


For further information, please contact:
Dr Christopher Jenks (email:; 
or Ms Jenny Kwan (email:

Student Message

Being a graduate of the English Language Studies programme is a life-long honour. Zealous about exploring phonetics and phonology, as well as syntax, I selected PolyU because the curriculum was aligned with my interest in English linguistics. The programme even provided authentic examples of English literature with the aim of offering a complete picture of English studies.


Adopting eclectic teaching approaches, the professors yearned to pique our curiosity and dissect our line of reasoning, thus refining our critical thinking skills, which have become substantial assets in the workplace. Besides, the professors are liberal and patient, willing to spend time correcting our flawed conceptions.


I am so blessed to have had many experienced and committed professors and instructors providing me with constant guidance throughout my studies.

Ho Ka Lok

The programme, English for the Profession, has amply fulfilled my ambition of bringing the standard of my English to a professional level. The scope of the programme fascinates me, with its range of applied linguistics and communication subjects and appealing topics, such as analysis of the amalgamation of image and language, and critical discourse analysis on social artifacts. My learning carries both pedagogical and pragmatic value, stimulating my interest in using language to understand the world, including my professional field. Far from the common perception of the dryness of language study, I have enjoyed thought-provoking and interactive lessons supported by pedagogy, passion and the friendliness of teachers. This great journey represents another milestone in my lifelong learning experience. I have no hesitation to highly recommend this acclaimed programme to any professional seeking to advance their language and social skills.

Chan Man Lai, Cliff

I have never regretted choosing English Language Teaching at PolyU to pursue my dream of becoming a better educator. I fell in love with the university on the first day – the beautiful campus, the superb library and the academic atmosphere. This love grew deeper when I started my MA courses, which were well organised, comprehensive and inspiring. The teachers were so supportive and encouraging, and without their help I could not have gone so far. The various lectures by internationally renowned scholars not only exposed me to the latest knowledge in different fields but also nurtured my interest in exploring the whys behind the facts and how to make things even better. PolyU is a place where you can think and speak for yourself. My thanks go to the university for offering such a great programme, and I am more than honoured to have been enrolled as an MA student.

He Qiuping, Ares

I am so delighted that I chose to enrol in the English Language Studies programme last year. The programme strengthened my English proficiency in the domains of literacy, research and academic writing. It also enriched my linguistic knowledge, which is useful for my career in language teaching and research. During my year of full-time study, I acquired important concepts and practical skills in the areas of traditional and functional grammar, literature, phonology and lexis and semantics. With an added focus on discourse analysis and the development and use of language, I also obtained greater insight into the interrelations between language, culture and society. I am so blessed to have had so many knowledgeable and enthusiastic professors and teachers, who provided me with constant support and invaluable guidance throughout my studies.

Wong Ming Chiu, Steven

Additional Documents Required

Programme Leaflet

Transcript / Certificate

Copies of both academic transcripts and graduation certificates are required.


Copy of IELTS or TOEFL results are required (if your Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification is awarded by the institutions where the medium of instruction is not English).

Recommendation letter, CV and personal statement are optional.

Info Seminar

Date Time Venue Remark
23 Feb 2020 (Sun) 2:00PM - 2:45PM

CF302, 3/F, Tang Ping Yuan Building (Block CF), PolyU

Speaker: Dr Christopher Jenks, Programme Leader

For registration, please click here.