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Level 1 award in British Sign Language


  • Accrediting body: Signature
  • Duration: 23 sessions
  • Dates of Wednesday course: Wed 11 October 2023 – Wed 1 May 2024
  • Dates of Thursday course: Thu 12 October 2023 – Thu 2 May 2024
  • Time: 5.30 – 8pm
  • Mode of delivery: Face-to-face
  • Entry requirements: No previous BSL experience required
  • Rooms: To be confirmed
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Course availability

Two separate Level 1 courses will run simultaneously on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Courses are open to students, staff and members of the public. Please note the following before applying:

  • Students and staff can only apply for the Wednesday course
  • Members of the public can only apply for the Thursday course

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

Two separate courses will run simultaneously on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Please note there are no sessions during holidays or during the Edge Hill exam period.

SessionDates of Wednesday CourseDates of Thursday Course
1Wednesday 11 October 2023Thursday 12 October 2023
2Wednesday 18 October 2023Thursday 19 October 2023
3Wednesday 25 October 2023Thursday 26 October 2023
4Wednesday 1 November 2023Thursday 2 November 2023
5Wednesday 8 November 2023Thursday 9 November 2023
6Wednesday 15 November 2023Thursday 16 November 2023
7Wednesday 22 November 2023Thursday 23 November 2023
8Wednesday 29 November 2023Thursday 30 November 2023
9Wednesday 6 December 2023Thursday 7 December 2023
10Wednesday 13 December 2023Thursday 14 December 2023
Christmas holidays and EHU exam period
11Wednesday 24 January 2024Thursday 25 January 2024
12Wednesday 31 January 2024Thursday 1 February 2024
13Wednesday 7 February 2024Thursday 8 February 2024
14Wednesday 14 February 2024Thursday 15 February 2024
15Wednesday 21 February 2024Thursday 22 February 2024
16Wednesday 28 February 2024Thursday 29 February 2024
17Wednesday 6 March 2024Thursday 7 March 2024
18Wednesday 13 March 2024Thursday 14 March 2024
19Wednesday 20 March 2024Thursday 21 March 2024
Easter holidays
20Wednesday 10 April 2024Thursday 11 April 2024
21Wednesday 17 April 2024Thursday 18 April 2024
22Wednesday 24 April 2024Thursday 25 April 2024
23Wednesday 1 May 2024Thursday 2 May 2024


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 23-week course in 2023/24 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.

Applications for October 2023 closed 

Frequently asked questions

When can I apply for this course?

Sign up will open in September 2023.

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).