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 you an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL). You’ll be introduced to the basic visual/manual form of BSL and discover:

  • how to use hands and eyes to form and understand basic signs and sentences
  • what is and isn’t 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.

Your classes will include a variety of activities, including regular practice in pronunciation (production of signs) and listening (understanding signs), simulations, practical exercises and conversation. These will be 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.

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


100%: 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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: