The DipTESOL is an advanced level teaching qualification suitable for ESOL/EFL teachers who have been teaching for at least two academic years at the time of interview. In addition, you will need a degree or equivalent qualification. An initial TEFL qualification such as the Trinity CertTESOL is highly desirable but not essential.

The DipTESOL syllabus covers:

  • language topics such as grammar, discourse, phonology and semantics 
  • learning and teaching issues such as the historical development of TESOL approaches or aspects of classroom practice and course design
  • professional development issues such as aspects of educational management or teacher training

You will need to engage with the theories underpinning ESOL practice but everything you study will be related to your practical needs as a teacher. Trinity also places strong emphasis on self-reflection and personal development.

Providers set their own course fees so please contact them for this information. In addition Trinity charges an examination fee for each unit of the Diploma – please contact us for more details.

The DipTESOL is examined in four units: a three-hour written paper, a portfolio assignment, an oral (phonology) interview and teaching practice. Assessment is a mixture of the external (by Trinity's own panel of examiners) and internal (by the course provider). In addition, all internally assessed work is moderated by our panel of examiners. If you fail any unit you only need to retake that part and you have three years to retake from the date of the first examination you took.

DipTESOL Certificates are issued to course providers when a candidate successfully passes all four units of the DipTESOL. It takes between 4-6 weeks for certificates to be issued after final grades for all four units have been confirmed by Trinity’s external examiners.

  • For the Unit 1 written exam, it takes 8-9 weeks from the date of the exam for results to be confirmed with course providers.
  • For Units 2, 3 and 4, it takes 4-6 weeks from a course provider’s submission of work for results to be confirmed with them. 

Course providers offer the DipTESOL either full- or part-time. Full-time course typically last 10 to 12 weeks, part-time courses can take up to a year. Often there is a gap between the end of the course and the written examination in order to allow for revision.

Yes. All courses have a minimum face-to-face component of 40 hours but many providers offer a range of distance options, from traditional workbooks to online programmes making use of communications software.

Courses are currently offered in the UK, Europe and Asia, so please visit our provider locator in order to find a course that suits you. If you take a distance course, you will usually have to attend a face-to-face component of three weeks or more.

Our providers run courses throughout the year, so please visit our provider locator in order to find the dates that suit you.

Providers set their own interview procedures, typically consisting of an on-the-spot written task and oral interview. You will also have to verify that you meet the eligibility requirements of the DipTESOL.

Some institutions receive government funding towards the CertTESOL programme and are therefore able to charge lower than average fees. Some unemployed people are eligible for assistance with fees. Please check with the course provider or your local education authority for details.

The DipTESOL is open to native and non-native speakers of English. All applicants must demonstrate appropriate competence in their written and spoken English consistent with following this demanding course and completing the examinations successfully.

Yes, it is recognised as a qualification for English language teaching in the UK and internationally. The CertTESOL is accepted by the British Council as an initial TESOL or TEFL qualification for teachers in its accredited teaching organisations in the UK and in its own teaching operations overseas. Many other state and independent sector teaching organisations also accept the qualification.

Credits are also awarded towards degree programmes offered by universities in the UK. There are many jobs available for those who hold a reputable certificate in TESOL or TEFL in the UK and worldwide.

Trinity’s TESOL qualifications are accredited on the qualifications framework as follows:

  • CertTESOL: Level 5
  • Diploma TESOL: Level 7

Teachers hoping to teach in mainstream education (primary, secondary, tertiary) should always check the requirements of that particular sector, per country, before embarking on a training course.

Trinity's TESOL qualifications are accepted by most employers worldwide. They are welcomed by the British Council for new and experienced teachers in their accredited teaching organisations in the UK, and in their own teaching centres worldwide. Trinity is a member of professional language organisations worldwide, including:

  • European Association for Quality Language Services (EAQUALS)
  • European Associating for Language Testing And Assessment (EALTA)
  • International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL)
  • Quality in TESOL Education (Quite)
  • The Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE)

Each course provider has their own list of recommended reading for their course. Please contact course providers for further details.


DELTA is a similar teacher training qualification to the Trinity Diploma and is offered by Cambridge ESOL. Although similar in its content and level of demand, the two courses differ in terms of more specific components and types of moderation and assessment. For example, both courses have an exam and assess teaching practice, but the DipTESOL has an explicit unit on integrating phonology into teaching and also allows more flexibilty with the research element of the course. Both courses are accepted by the British Council as full TESOL qualifications for teachers in its accredited institutions in the UK and in its own teaching operations overseas.

Many FE-type organizations recognise the DipTESOL as a valid qualification for teaching ESOL, although qualifications specific to this sector are now available and most teachers will be required to work towards these. Typically, holders of the DipTESOL (revised 2001 syllabus) can claim considerable APL (accredited prior learning) against these qualifications. Please see the section on FE courses for further details.

A Trinity qualification is a valuable asset - it can lead to a place at university, a new job, or even a new life in another country.

Trinity College London certificates are used by individuals, employers and institutions to provide robust evidence of a candidate’s achievement at the time of assessment.

Notice of change of certificate design

From September 2018 the appearance of Trinity College London’s certificates is changing. The new design will be used across all Trinity qualifications and incorporates additional security features to protect against fraud.


Find out more about Trinity’s certificates:

Click on the topics below for more information: 


In order to run courses for any of our TESOL qualifications, a centre must first become a validated course provider.

We welcome applications from centres and institutions globally, and support them throughout the validation process. Further details on this process can be found on our Become a validated TESOL course provider page.

We take complaints very seriously and want to make sure that courses and assessment run according to Trinity’s requirements. Trinity requires every centre to have a centre complaints process. In the first instance, you should speak to your tutor / course director or centre manager/principal about the complaint. They will be able to advise you about the complaint.

For the DipTESOL, if your complaint is about the delivery of your course, the Unit 2 (Research Portfolio) assessment or Unit 4 (Teaching Practice) internal assessments, then you need to go through your centre’s complaints process. If your complaint does not get resolved after following this process, you can let Trinity know by following our complaints procedure and we will do our best to help.

If your complaint is about the Unit 3 (Phonology Interview) assessment, the Unit 4 (Teaching Practice) external assessment or the conduct of the external Trinity examiner in general, please follow our complaints procedure to ensure that we can correctly log and act upon your complaint.

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