British Sign Language and Deaf Studies

British Sign Language and Deaf Studies BA (Hons)

British Sign Language (BSL), sign linguistics and deaf studies at UCLan have long been recognised for world-leading research, continuous top student satisfaction rates and pioneering work on the development of employability skills, which by studying your degree with us, means that you can benefit from UCLan as the leading Higher Educational Institution in the UK for the training of BSL-English interpreters. You’ll study an undergraduate degree course which covers all aspects of deafness as a social and cultural phenomenon and will enable you to develop a fluency in British Sign Language. The wealth of modules available to choose from will give you the advantage to design a course to meet your individual interests and career goals.  

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Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, Part-time: Five years.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • It is estimated that more than 60% of British Sign Language/ English interpreters working in the UK have been taught on UCLan courses.
  • UCLan celebrated 25 years of teaching British Sign Language and Deaf Studies in 2018.
  • Staff include Fellow of the Higher Education Academy Lynne Barnes, who was awarded for her work in BSL and Deaf Studies.

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory Modules

  • BSL 100 OR BSL 200
  • BSL 150 OR BSL 250
  • Deaf People in Society
  • Communities, Cultures and Identities
  • Historical Development of BSL
  • Employability and the Deaf Community


Year 2

Compulsory Modules

  • Deaf World Debates
  • BSL 200 OR BSL 300
  • BSL 250 OR BSL350

Optional Modules

  • Sign Linguistics
  • Sign and Society
  • Translation Theory
  • Issues in Deaf Education
  • Families, Deafness and Disability
  • Work Placement
  • Student Initiated Module
  • Childhood Diversity and Inclusive Practice
  • Sociology and Education
  • Sign Language Literatures
  • Narrative Styles in BSL
  • Language, Mind and Brain

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

  • Dissertation

Optional Modules

  • Insiders and Outsiders
  • Principles of Sign Language Interpreting
  • Introduction to the Roles of Public Service Interpreters
  • Debating Disability
  • BSL 375 OR BSL300
  • BSL400 OR BSL350
  • Work Placement
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Perceptions of Morality
  • Language Pathology and Clinical Linguistics
  • Power in Talk

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction*
Pass Access Course: 104 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 GCSE Maths and English not required.

Further Information

BSL is compulsory in the first two years of the course but no prior knowledge or fluency is required for entry.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

Dtudents signing

Our BA (Hons) British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf Studies degree is a ground breaking course which will appeal to anyone with an interest in working with deaf people.

The BSL and Deaf Studies degree course combines historical and contemporary aspects of deaf life in the UK and beyond, providing a knowledge base for students to specialise in Interpreting Studies or Cultural Studies, each tailored to a wide variety of careers.

Throughout the sign language course you will take six compulsory modules, three more compulsory modules plus three optional modules. The options allow students to construct a programme of study to match individual career paths. These include BSL/English interpreting, communication support work, educational roles (including teaching) and a wide variety of other roles working with and for deaf people. You will be taught by a mixed deaf and hearing team, many of whom are experts in a range of topics including linguistics, interpreting practice and translation studies, community and culture, history, education, media, politics and family relationships

BSL is a compulsory element of the course in the first two years and is highly practical to ensure continued development. BSL can be continued up to level 6 through the optional modules available. There is no BSL fluency or knowledge required to gain entry to the course but for those who do hold qualifications and skills, there are various modules available to allow the continuing enhancement of practical skills and theoretical knowledge. You will be assessed on your BSL skills at the interview stage in order to be placed in the most appropriate class once your studies commence.

There are opportunities to take a work placement module. Students can only take on work placement modules as part of their overall programme of study.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

The minimum period of study for part-time students is five years but this may be extended in particular circumstances.

Facilities for this programme include dedicated BSL teaching rooms and BSL language lab. Assessment methods include coursework and practical BSL assessments.

Great Opportunities

Graduates from BSL and Deaf Studies degree courses enter a variety of careers and professions, which include: Lecturers (HE and FE), Teachers (Primary, Secondary, Specialist Teacher of the Deaf), BSL/English Interpreters (freelance and agency, Deaf Welfare organisations, Social Workers, Educational Support Workers, Media, Police, Higher degrees and research, and running their own businesses.

BSL and Deaf Studies students will have opportunities for overseas study and work placements within the deaf community. In recent years, students have studied in Finland, Germany, the US and Holland, but there a wide range of other opportunities available.

BSL and Deaf Studies Magazine

You can now view October's edition of the BSL & Deaf Studies Magazine.

Deaf Studies Laboratory

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.