An Introduction to British Sign Language

1 semester
January 2025

An Introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) certificate will help you use BSL in everyday situations.


Course overview

The Introduction to BSL certificate will help you to gain the ability to communicate with Deaf people using British Sign Language (BSL). The BSL content will resemble essential, real-life vocabulary, and vital language functions. These include:

  • Meeting and greeting people
  • Family and friends
  • At home
  • Transport and work
  • Sport, hobbies and activities
  • Food and drink
  • Calendar, weather and feelings
  • Holiday and travel

What you'll do

  • You'll be introduced to the essential elements of BSL
  • You'll acquire a basic ability to communicate with Deaf people using BSL
  • Develop your knowledge and awareness of Deaf people’s language, community and culture

On successful completion of this module you will:

  • Identify some of the basic grammatical constructions of BSL
  • Be able to use basic BSL receptive skills
  • Demonstrate your ability to sign straightforward information in descriptive or narrative BSL
  • Show awareness of some of your own strengths and weaknesses in their current use of BSL.
  • Be able to hold a conversation in BSL
  • Be aware of current issues in the Deaf community


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information. However, our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may cause alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses. Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies or revisions to subject benchmarks statements. As well as to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

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Academic expertise

Ricci Collins in a grey jumper and glasses smiling
Ricci Collins
Senior Lecturer
School of Psychology and Humanities

Ricci is an innovative and dynamic lecturer in British Sign Language and Deaf Studies. He previously worked here for 3 years, from 2005 to 2008, as a research project officer. He researched the curriculum for teaching British Sign Language (BSL). After working in the FE sector wi…

Dr Junhui Yang account
Dr JunHui Yang
Senior Lecturer
School of Psychology and Humanities

JunHui teaches Sign Linguistics, Deaf People in Society, Sign and Society, and British Sign Language courses in BSL & Deaf Studies Team. She supervises postgraduate project on sign languages and international Deaf cultural studies. Her international collaborations are constantly …


This course is based in the School of Psychology and Humanities

For information on possible changes to course information, see our essential and important course information

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