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Level 1 Award in British Sign Language


  • Accrediting body: Signature
  • Duration: 21 sessions
  • Dates: Wed 16 October 2024 – Wed 9 April 2025
  • Time: 5.30 – 8pm
  • Mode of delivery: Face-to-face
  • Entry requirements: No previous BSL experience required
  • Room: LP0.11, Law & Psychology
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Course availability

This course will run on Wednesday evenings and is open to students, staff and members of the public.

Qualification aim

Level 1 award in British Sign Language qualification is designed to teach learners to communicate with Deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL) on a range of topics that involve simple, everyday language use. They will gain basic skills and confidence in production and reception of BSL.

Target group

The Level 1 Award in British Sign Language is suitable for those who:

  • want to learn basic language skills to communicate simple conversations with Deaf people
  • want to learn new language skills as part of a programme of study
  • want to progress to more advanced study and/or employment using BSL in the future
  • are studying for personal development
  • are parents, family, friends or colleagues of Deaf people

Qualification objectives

At the end of the qualification, learners will be able to:

  • understand and use a limited range of simple words and sentences in BSL
  • take part in simple, everyday conversations in BSL
  • give and follow simple directions or instructions in BSL
  • give and follow simple familiar statements or descriptions in BSL

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into three units. To achieve the full Level 1 Award in British Sign Language, candidates must pass all units.

Signature unit codeUnit titleNote on assessment
BSL101Introduction to BSLAssessed internally by teacher
BSL102Conversational BSLExternally assessed by Signature assessor
BSL103Communicate in BSL about Everyday LifeExternally assessed by Signature assessor

A Unit Specification for each Unit will be provided to you at the start of the course.

Schedule of sessions

Please note there are no sessions during holidays or during the Edge Hill exam period. Please do not apply for this course if you cannot commit to the full duration. It is expected that you attend all sessions.

1Wednesday 16 October 2024
2Wednesday 23 October 2024
3Wednesday 30 October 2024
4Wednesday 6 November 2024
5Wednesday 13 November 2024
6Wednesday 20 November 2024
7Wednesday 27 November 2024
8Wednesday 4 December 2024
9Wednesday 11 December 2024
10Wednesday 18 December 2024
Christmas holidays and EHU exam period
11Wednesday 29 January 2025
12Wednesday 5 February 2025
13Wednesday 12 February 2025
14Wednesday 19 February 2025
15Wednesday 26 February 2025
16Wednesday 5 March 2025
17Wednesday 12 March 2025
18Wednesday 19 March 2025
19Wednesday 26 March 2025
20Wednesday 2 April 2025
21Wednesday 9 April 2025


UnitUnit SummaryAssessmentFormat
Introduction to BSL
To achieve this unit, learners must show that they can understand and use basic language in everyday situations. Learners must show that they can meet and greet, understand basic conversation and numbers, and give and follow simple directions and information.Basic conversation between teacher and candidate.Assessed internally by teacher
Conversational BSL
This unit allows the learner to show both productive and receptive skills and understand a range of topics. It allows the learner to demonstrate that they can use a limited range of signs and handle simple exchanges.The teacher will have a 4–5-minute conversation with the candidate, on a title supplied by Signature.Externally assessed by Signature assessor
Communicate in BSL about Everyday Life
This unit covers the learner’s receptive and productive skills. To achieve this unit, learners must show they can understand and use a limited range of vocabulary and can follow simple sentences and structures in BSL about everyday life. They can be understood and can understand signing, with facial expressions, signing space and placement.The teacher will have a 4-5 minute conversation with the candidate, on a title supplied by Signature.Externally assessed by Signature assessor


The price for a 21-week course in 2024/25 is listed below:

  • EHU Student: Free (application process applies)
  • EHU Member of Staff: Free (application process applies)
  • Member of the public: £390

The Language Centre cannot offer any concessions on these prices.

Please note that this course is only open to participants aged 18 or over.

This course will only run subject to viable numbers. If you sign up and the course is subsequently cancelled, you will receive notification by email and a full refund.

Essential requirements

BSL competence standards include requirements for candidates to have sufficient sight, manual dexterity, facial and body movement to produce and receive BSL.

This course requires a high level of engagement. On signing up, you must agree to commit for the full duration of the course and to attend the weekly sessions.


To apply for a place on this course, please complete the relevant application form below.

As part of the application process, you must agree to the terms and conditions of the course. Please ensure you have read and fully understand these before submitting your application.

Members of the Public sign up here

Applications for Students and Staff will open shortly

Frequently asked questions

When can I apply for this course?

Sign up will open in September 2024.

Do I need any prior experience of BSL to complete this course?

No, this course is aimed at beginners or those with very little experience of BSL.

Will I receive a certificate?

Yes, on successful completion of the course, you will receive a certificate from Signature.

Is this course accredited?

Yes, this course is accredited by Signature.


BSL -The British Sign Language course being offered this year through the Language Centre is an amazing opportunity for students at Edge Hill University to formally learn BSL in a structured environment from native users whilst simultaneously gaining a recognised qualification. Alongside learning a language, we are also gaining an insight into Deaf culture, and fostering a greater appreciation and understanding.  My career aspirations are to teach and work in universities, and further develop my disability advocacy work. I believe this course will enhance my existing disability support skillset, enabling me to connect with more clients and break down communication barriers. I hope I have the opportunity to continue onto the next level, once this course finishes (Kir Turner, PhD Health).