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University College for Interdisciplinary Learning

LEAP British Sign Language - Part 1

Course Unit Code


Also available in Semester 2.

Course Unit Details

  • 10 Credits
  • University Language Centre, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures


This course unit is for learners who have no previous knowledge of British Sign Language (BSL). It aims to give you a basic knowledge of signs so that you are able to participate in simple everyday communicative situations.

You will be able to demonstrate a limited range of signs and basic phrases around familiar social or work situations. For the Productive units, you are required to deliver a short presentation in BSL. For the Receptive units, you are required to understand and extract specific details from a short presentation given to them in BSL. For the Conversational units, you are required to participate in a simple dialogue to exchange equal amounts of information in BSL.

The course unit may be of particular value if you are seeking a career in health or education, or for those who have contact with deaf people through work, friends, or family. It may also be of intrinsic interest to linguists. The course unit does not lead to a formal vocational qualification; however, this course unit is equivalent to an entry level three in British Sign Language.


This unit aims to give you a basic knowledge of signs so that you can use BSL to communicate in everyday situations.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • Understand and converse in short, simple sentence communication in BSL
  • Communicate using BSL in simple, routine situations
  • Demonstrate an ability to use a basic BSL vocabulary and grammar
  • Be aware of current issues related to the deaf community

By the end of the course unit, you should be able to communicate at a level equivalent to Level A1.1 of the Common European Framework.


Topics covered over the 11-week course include: Deaf awareness, culture and history, fingerspelling, communication signs, greetings and family, numbers- & colours, asking for direction.


  1. 1 x Signed Productive Assessment 30% (Week 7)
  2. 2 x Written Productive Assessments 30% (Weeks 8 & 9)
  3. 1 x Conversation / Dialogue assessment 40% (Week 12)


This unit is for those who have no previous knowledge of British Sign Language.

In order to apply, please visit the University Language Centre website.

You are strongly recommended to read the Application Information section of their website before you apply to understand the requirements of the course and ensure you are registered successfully as the process differs to other University College course units.

Teaching Staff

Wayne McConnell

Teaching and Learning Methods

Seminars, two hours per week. 22 contact hours including assessment.

This course unit is only offered (face-to-face) on Campus. The University continues to follow government advice and safety measures in relation to in-person teaching.

In the event that changes to our delivery method are necessary, you will be informed at the earliest opportunity.

Feedback will include a combination of informal ongoing feedback resulting from class-based learning activities and formal written feedback given following summative assessments.

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