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, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 46 hours of contact time and about 104 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: