British Sign Language and Deaf Culture 1A (T5002)

15 credits, Level 3 (sub-degree)

Autumn teaching

This first-stage module of the 60-credit pathway offers an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf Culture for students with little or no prior knowledge of the target language (TL). We aim to introduce the basic visual/manual form of BSL and to allow you to discover:

  • how to use hands and eyes to form and understand basic signs and sentences, in basic situations
  • what is a sign, and what is not a sign
  • commonly used phrases, questions and imperatives used in conversation, across a range of basic topics (e.g. weather, holidays, shopping)
  • the cultural rules for interaction with Deaf people
  • an introduction to a selection of perspectives on BSL as a language.

Classes will consist of a variety of activities and include regular practice in pronunciation (production of signs) and listening (understanding signs), simulations, practical exercises and conversation etc. They are based around themes, grammatical structures and language skills, to encourage autonomous use of the TL. Seminar activities are complemented by guided independent study, individually and in groups, and will make use of Study Direct and other technologies.

This module is at A1-A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages. Equivalent Signature Level 101; 102.


2%: Lecture
2%: Practical (Workshop)
96%: Seminar (Class, Seminar)


100%: Coursework (Practical assessment)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 46 hours of contact time and 104 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.