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British sign language – University of Reading

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  • Learn British sign language

British sign language


Stage 1

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL), concentrating on its communicative use in everyday situations. It will develop the two key skills of signing (in lieu of speaking) and understanding (in lieu of listening).  

 Stage 2

Students will work on the linguistics of British Sign Language (BSL), analysing its grammatical components in addition to understanding "Deafhood" (ie. a look at history of oppression of Deaf people and its impact on their culture).  Students will also consolidate and expand their learning of BSL to cover new vocabulary leading to more in-depth conversation.  

Stage 3

This module is intended for students with previous basic knowledge of British Sign Language (BSL) - (LA1PB2 or equivalent - this can be confirmed via pre-entry placement test)

The module aims at providing students with:

- the ability to communicate in BSL in everyday situations about matters of relevance encountered in work, education, leisure etc.

- a competence in BSL grammar and vocabulary in order to communicate at a more independent level.

- further insights into aspects of society and everyday life within the sign language (primarily BSL). 


If you would like to take BSL at a higher level than we currently offer, please be in contact with us via


Taking British Sign Language with IWLP as part of your degree (for 20 credits)?

  • If you are in the first year of your course (Part 1 or PGT) - select through online module selection as you do for your other modules. If the selection window has closed go to module selection or support centres.
  • Returning students (Parts 2/3 and 4) - please discuss with a support centre how to change/add your module choices.
  • If you have previous knowledge of British Sign Language, please complete the Placement test so we can assess which Stage of BSL you need to study.


Taking the language with IWLP but not as part of your degree (as non-credit)?

NB: Applications for non-credits opens on the 1st September 2021.

Please complete the Application form and if you have prior experience of BSL, please also submit a Placement test so we can assess which Stage of BSL you need to study.

If you are unsure or have any further queries please contact the IWLP Team on or telephone 0118 378 7318.


Classes are 3 hours a week split into one 2 hour session and one 1hour session on different days.  You have to attend all 3 hours every week.


No additional fees are required for IWLP modules if you are:

- A current Undergraduate/Postgraduate Taught student taking IWLP modules as part of your

120/180 credits for the year (with permission by your School in your module specifications).

For other students:

- Non-credit fees are currently £340 for the year. This will be billed to your student account during November.


- PGR students: If your School is going to fund your IWLP module please get the PGR agreement form  signed by your School Director of Teaching & Learning. Those not being funded will be charged £340 to their student account in November.

- Staff: All staff are required to pay for their IWLP module. The fee is £340.  If your School/Dept are willing to fund your module, please complete and return the IWLP_Staff_Agreement_Form.

 All forms can be emailed to


We hope you will enjoy your IWLP module. If however there is a reason you need to withdraw, you will need to complete a withdrawal form. We cannot remove you from our records until we have received this form, even if you have told your home department/tutor.  You can withdraw before Friday of Week 4 in Autumn term (22nd October) without being charged.  Any withdrawal after this date; you will need to pay the full £340.

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