Sussex Centre for Language Studies

British Sign Language

Courses in British Sign Language from October 2017

British Sign Language (BSL) is the first or preferred language of an estimated 70,000 Deaf people in the UK. In March 2003, BSL was recognised by the UK Government as a language in its own right. BSL is a visual-gestural language, with its own grammar and principles, which are completely different from the grammatical structure of English.

These courses are aimed at the general public and held on our campus at Falmer, near Brighton, offering the opportunity to study a language within the context of its culture on a weekly basis alongside students, postgraduates, and members of the university staff. 

We offer qualifications in British Sign Language at Levels 1, 2 and 3. All courses and assessments are accredited by Signature - a recognised awarding body offering nationally accredited qualifications that cover the whole range of languages and communication methods used by deaf and deafblind people.

BSL Level 1

This qualification is designed to enable learners to communicate with Deaf people in BSL on a range of topics that involve simple, everyday language use. The BSL Level 1 course comprises three units: 101, 102 and 103. Candidates are assessed by practical exercises at the end of each unit. These exercises are not mandatory to progress through the course units but are necessary in order to obtain Signature's accredited BSL Level 1 qualification and progress to BSL Level 2.

Course description [pdf]

Signature Level 1 course specification

Unit 101 - Introduction to BSL

Topics covered: meeting people, using numbers, weather, transport, and directions.

Group 1 (2JBA Unit101)
Teaching from 2 October to 4 December 2017*

  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Mondays, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Price**: £180 (£170 concessions) for 10 weeks - 2 hours per week
  • Assessment fee: £20

Group 2 (2JBB Unit101)
Teaching from 3 October to 5 December 2017*

  • Tutor: John Walker
  • Date and time: Tuesdays, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Price**: £180 (£170 concessions) for 10 weeks - 2 hours per week
  • Assessment fee: £20

*Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

Unit 102 - Conversational BSL (2JBA Unit 102)

Topics covered: at home, people, animals and objects, using numbers, interests and activities, and weather.

Teaching from 15 January to 19 March 2018*

  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Mondays, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Price**: £180 (£170 concessions) for 10 weeks - 2 hours per week
  • Assessment fee: £35

*Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

Unit 103 - BSL at School, College or Work (2JBA Unit103)

Topics covered: getting around, exchanging information, refreshments, and using numbers.

Teaching from 9 April to 11 June 2018*

  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Mondays, 6.00-8.00pm
  • Price**: £180 (£170 concessions) for 10 weeks - 2 hours per week
  • Assessment fee: £35

*Dates and times are provisional but please note that two classes in May are likely to move to a Tuesday due to public holidays; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

BSL Level 2

This qualification is designed to enable learners to develop an ability to communicate with Deaf people using BSL in a range of familiar contexts, participating in longer and more open-ended exchanges than at Level 1. The BSL Level 2 course comprises three units: 201, 202 and 203. The course will develop functional communication in BSL about a range of real life, routine and daily experiences. The learner will be able to deal with most routine language tasks and have sufficient grasp of grammar to cope with some non-routine tasks.Candidates are assessed by practical exercises at the end of each unit. These exercises are not mandatory to progress through the course units but are necessary in order to obtain Signature's accredited BSL Level 2 qualification.

Course description [pdf]

Signature Level 2 course specification

Unit 201 - BSL Receptive Skills (2JBC Unit201)

Teaching from 4 October to 6 December 2017*

  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Wednesdays, 6.00-9.00pm
  • Price**: £230 (£220 concessions) for 10 weeks - 3 hours per week
  • Assessment fee: £40

 *Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

Unit 202 - BSL Productive Skills (2JBC Unit202)

Teaching from 17 January to 21 March 2018*

  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Wednesdays, 6.00-9.00pm
  • Price**: £230 (£220 concessions) for 10 weeks - 3 hours per week
  • Assessment fee £50

*Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

Unit 203 - BSL Conversational Skills (2JBC Unit203)

Teaching from 11 April to 13 June 2018*

  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Wednesdays, 6.00-9.00pm
  • Price**: £230 (£220 concessions) for 10 weeks - 3 hours per week
  • Assessment fee £50

*Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

BSL Level 3

The Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language caters for the learning needs of those who already have competence in BSL at Level 2. Successful learners must be able to demonstrate competence at Level 3 of the UK Occupational Language Standards (CILT, 2010). This means that the learner will be able to understand and use varied BSL in a range of work and social situations.The BSL Level 3 course comprises three units: 320, 321 and 322.

Signature course specifications

  • Tutors: John Walker, Parveen Dunlin & David Dunlin
  • Date and time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6.00-9.00pm
  • From:
    • Tuesday 3 October 2017 - Thursday 30 November 2017;
    • Tuesday 16 January 2018 - Thursday 22 March 2018;
    • Tuesday 10 April 2018 - Thursday 24 May 2018
  • Price: £1,290 for 26 weeks (twice-weekly meetings, 3.0 hours each = 6 hours per week)


A non-refundable £290 deposit is required. You will receive an offer letter from the office confirming the receipt of your deposit and application along with details of the x4 instalments of £250 due throughout the course.

Unit 320 - Sign Linguistics Knowledge (2JBD Unit320)

Teaching from 3 October to 30 November 2017*

  • Tutor: John Walker, Parveen Dunlin & David Dunlin
  • Date and time: Tuesdays (Parveen & David) and Thursdays (John), 6.00-9.00pm
  • Assessment fee: £40

*Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

Unit 321 - Understand varied BSL in a range of work and social situations (2JBD Unit 321)

Teaching from 16 January to 22 March 2018*

  • Tutor: John Walker, Parveen Dunlin & David Dunlin
  • Date and time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6.00-9.00pm
  • Assessment fee: £48

*Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

Unit 322 - Use varied BSL in a range of work and social situations (2JBD Unit 322)

Teaching from 10 April to 24 May 2018*

  • Tutor: John Walker, Parveen Dunlin & David Dunlin
  • Date and time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6.00-9.00pm
  • Assessment fee: £53

*Dates and times are provisional; **Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you want to do the assessment.

Information displayed on the website supersedes any published literature.

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Please contact the Courses Coordinator:
01273 872575
opencourses@sussex.ac.uk

If a course is full ("out of stock"), please ask to be added to a waiting list, as places may become available or another group could be opened.