ULBS50001/2 LEAP British Sign Language - Part 1 (A1.1)

  • Credits: 10
  • Pre-requisite: None.
  • Taught during: LEAP BSL 1 - ULBS50001 (Semester 1); LEAP BSL 1- ULBS50002 (Semester 2). Please note ULBS50002 is a repeat of ULBS50001.
  • Level of attainment: (A1.1) By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level A1.1 of the Common European Framework.
  • Timetable: Click here


This course is for learners who have no previous knowledge of British Sign Language. It aims to give students a basic knowledge of signs so that they are able to participate in simple everyday communicative situations. 

Learners will be able to demonstrate a limited range of signs and basic phrases around familiar social or work situations. For the Productive units, learners are required to deliver a short presentation in BSL. For the Receptive units, learners are required to understand and extract specific details from a short presentation given to them in BSL. For the Conversational units, learners are required to participate in a simple dialogue to exchange equal amounts of information in BSL. 

The course may be of particular value for students seeking a career in health or education, or for those who have contact with deaf people through work, friends, or family. It may also be of intrinsic interest to linguists. The course does not lead to a formal vocational qualification; however, this course is equivalent to an entry level three in British Sign Language.


Topics covered over the 11-week course include: Deaf awareness, culture and history, fingerspelling, communication signs, greetings and family, numbers- & colours, asking for direction.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will: 

  • be able to understand and converse in short, simple sentence communication in BSL;
  • be able to communicate using BSL in simple, routine situations;
  • demonstrate an ability to use a basic BSL vocabulary and grammar;
  • be aware of current issues related to the deaf community.

By the end of the course, students should be able to communicate at a level equivalent to Level A1.1 of the Common European Framework.

Transferable skills

  • Working in pairs or small groups 
  • Awareness of the deaf culture and deaf history 
  • Communicative awareness with deaf people who communicate using BSL 

Teaching and learning methods

Seminars, two hours per week. 22 contact hours including assessment.

This course is only offered (face-to-face) on Campus. The University continues to follow government advice and safety measures in relation to in-person teaching. 

In the event that changes to our delivery method are necessary, all students will be informed at the earliest opportunity.


  • 1 Signed Productive Assessment; 30% weighting; held in Week 6
  • 2 Written Productive Assessments; 30% weighting; held in Weeks 8 & 9
  • 1 Conversation / Dialogue assessment; 40% weighting; held in Week 12 

Nature and timing of feedback

Feedback will include a combination of informal ongoing feedback resulting from class-based learning activities and formal written feedback given following summative assessments.


Dr Orieb Masadeh-Tate

Taught by

Wayne McConnell

Maximum entry

23 per group

Set texts

There is no set text for this course. However, students use a free online resource. Here the signs are demonstrated by very experienced users and teachers of British Sign Language by moving pictures that clearly show the method of signing, plus a detailed description.

Recommended texts

  • The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction. Rachel Sutton-Spence and Bencie Woll. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521637183
  • Let's Sign Dictionary: Everyday BSL for Learners [2nd Edition] Paperback – 1 Jun. 2009 ISBN-10: 1905913109


ULBS51002 – LEAP BSL 2 - LEAP British Sign Language Part 2 (A1)