Sussex Centre for Language Studies

British Sign Language

Courses in British Sign Language from Autumn 2021

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.

Our classes take place at lunch times and evenings. These language courses are aimed at the general public and offers the opportunity to study a language alongside students, postgraduates, and members of the university staff.

COVID-19 update – We will be continuing to teach online during the Autumn Term (Oct-Dec) 2021

We have taken the decision to continue with this method for the Autumn Term, having considered the ongoing uncertainty over the pandemic and the preference expressed by the majority of our students in a survey we conducted in April. Our hope is to be able to return to in-person teaching in the Spring Term (February-April) and welcome you back to our beautiful campus!

What to expect from an online Open Course?

  • The same high-quality teaching as our usual face-to-face classes. Our experienced and qualified tutors are used to adapting their teaching methods to students' needs, and have transferred their expertise to the virtual classroom.
  • Teaching methods which are adapted to an online classroom – e.g. live classes on Zoom where you'll practise your language skills through a range of individual, pair and group activities.
  • Opportunity to progress language skills and learn about the country and customs surrounding the language you are learning.
  • Access to a course site on Canvas, the University's virtual learning environment, where you can review class materials and access additional resources in your own time.
  • Please read our Online Open Courses - What to expect document for more details.

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. Please note that assessment fees are not included in tuition fees and must be paid separately if you wish to take the assessment.

General information about the BSL courses

Enrolment opens 10 July 2021.

If a course becomes full, email opencourses@sussex.ac.uk if you wish to be added to the waiting list in case someone drops out or another group session is opened.

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)
  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Mondays, 6-8pm
  • From: Monday 27 September 2021 for 11 weeks
  • Price: £198 (£188 concessions) for 2 hours per week
Group 2 (2JBB)
  • Tutor: Mandy Crump
  • Date and time: Tuesdays, 6-8pm
  • From: Tuesday 28 September 2021 for 11 weeks
  • Price: £198 (£188 concessions) for 2 hours per week
Group 3 (2JBE)
  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Wednesdays, 1-3pm
  • From: Wednesday 29 September 2021 for 11 weeks
  • Price: £198 (£188 concessions) for 2 hours per week
 

11 weeks from w/c 27 September to w/e 10 December 2021
£198 (£188 concessions)
Price excludes exam registration fees

Unit 102 - Conversational BSL

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

Timetable TBA

10 weeks from w/c 10 January to w/e 18 March 2022 
£180 (£170 concessions)

Unit 103 - BSL at School, College or Work

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

Timetable TBA 

12 weeks from w/c 21 March to w/e 24 June 2022
£216 (£206 concessions)

BSL Level 1 Assessment - Prices & Dates

Prices

  • Unit 101 - £24
  • Unit 102 - £39
  • Unit 103 - £39

Dates

  • Unit 101 assessment: to take place in Week 11 of the teaching block

  • Unit 102 assessment: to take place in Week 10 of unit 103 teaching block

  • Feedback session: to take place in Week 11 of 103 teaching block

  • Unit 103 assessment: to take place in Week 12 of 103 teaching block

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

BSL Level 2: Unit 201 (BSL Receptive Skills)

Group 1 (2JBC)
  • Tutor: Parveen Dunlin
  • Date and time: Wednesdays, 6-9pm
  • From: Wednesday 6 October 2021 for 10 weeks
  • Price: £270 (£260 concessions) for 3 hours per week

Price excludes exam registration fees

Unit 201 - 10 weeks from w/c 4 October to w/e 10 December 2021: £270 (£260 concessions)
Unit 202 - 10 weeks from w/c 10 January to w/e 18 March 2022: £270 (£260 concessions)
Unit 203 - 12 weeks from w/c 21 March to w/e 24 June 2022: £324 (£314 concessions)

BSL Level 2 Assessment - Prices & Dates

Prices

  • Unit 201 - £44
  • Unit 202 - £54
  • Unit 203 - £54

Dates

  • Unit 203 assessment: to take place in Week 10 of unit 203 teaching block

  • Feedback session: to take place in Week 11 of 203 teaching block

  • Unit 202 & 201 assessment: to take place in Week 12 of 203 teaching block

BSL Level 3

Suspended for this year.

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

BSL Level 3 Assessment - Prices & Dates

Suspended for this year.

Information displayed on the website supersedes any published literature.