When it was time to consider university, Coralie Scarr was impressed by the BA (Hons) British Sign Language and Deaf Studies course at the University of Central Lancashire. Due to the course content and staff, it stood out against other options.
Coralie became interested in sign language and from an early age as she would watch her mum use Makaton sign language with her younger brother. She took it upon herself to learn and get a qualification in Makaton, all before joining college where she took an introductory course in British Sign Language (BSL) as an enrichment course.
Upon commencing her degree, Coralie soon found that she loved BSL and by the end of her first year was “smitten with interpreting.” Coralie quickly realised that she wanted to build a career in interpreting and this is where her UCLan story began.
During her 3 years at University, Coralie took advantage of as many opportunities to sign and interpret as she could. She interpreted at churches, aided with phone calls for deaf staff and students, and even attended large deaf culture celebrations.
Coralie highlights her experience of learning BSL during the pandemic. She said: “She appreciated all the hard work the lecturers put in to make it run as smoothly as possible.”
Coralie accomplished many things during her time at UCLan, but she is particularly proud of receiving an award for the Best Dissertation from her course, along with achieving the highly commended Livesey Award for volunteering more than 90 hours of her time with the UCLan Student’s Union.
"This degree enabled me to get a rewarding job and got me started in the career of my dreams (that I didn’t know existed!)"— Coralie Scarr, BA (Hons) BSL and Deaf Studies
Coralie is thankful for her degree, she said: “Without this course, I would never have found the amazing career of BSL interpreter. I was aware it existed but seeing it in action and having some incredible and supportive on-site interpreters at UCLan, I found my career. One of them was even kind enough to interpret for my wedding.”
Since graduating, Coralie has taken on many interpreting jobs and she is currently a registered trainee interpreter with the NRCPD. She currently works in the SEN department in a mainstream school as a 1:1 Sign Language Support Teaching Assistant, whereby she supports deaf children. She has also returned to UCLan to commence a postgraduate course in BSL.
If Coralie has one piece of advice for BSL and Deaf Studies graduates or prospective students, she said: “Never stop practicing BSL, it will really help you develop skills and vocabulary for any situation.”