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Since 2003, British Sign Language (BSL) has been recognised as an official language by the UK government. The British Deaf Association estimates there are 151,000 BSL users in the UK, of which 87,000 are Deaf. As of January 2022, BSL is on course to obtain the same legal protections as Welsh and Gaelic.


Modules available

LA1PB1-IWLP British Sign Language 1

This beginner’s module is for students who have no prior knowledge or virtually no knowledge of British Sign Language. This module will provide an introduction to British Sign Language, concentrating on its communicative use in familiar, everyday situations. Students will acquire a basic understanding of BSL and the ability to communicate at a survival level through signing.

BSL 1 module description

LA1PB2-IWLP British Sign Language 2

This post-beginner module is for students who have some basic knowledge of British Sign Language, such as that acquired by attending LA1PB1 or equivalent. Students will increase their ability to communicate in BSL by building on their basic knowledge of language necessary for everyday situations. This module also includes linguistic analysis of the grammatical components of BSL and work on “Deafhood”, i.e. the history of oppression of Deaf people and its impact on their culture.

BSL 2 module description

LA1PB3-IWLP British Sign Language 3

LA1PB3-IWLP British Sign Language 3

This lower-intermediate module is for students who have some previous knowledge of BSL, such as that acquired by attending LA1PB2 or equivalent. Students will increase their ability to communicate in BSL through engagement with a range of socially relevant and interesting topics linked to the Deaf community, such as education, health and technology, and a short research project.

BSL 3 module description 

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

Contact time

Classes are three hours a week, split into a two-hour and a one-hour session on different days. You need to attend all three hours every week.

Classes run in weeks two to 11 in the autumn term, weeks one to 11 in spring term and weeks one and two of the summer term, with a final exam in the university-wide exam period in the summer term.

You will be required to attend classes in person. If you will be studying abroad or undertaking a placement during term time, please contact the IWLP Admin Office by emailing before submitting your application, as this may affect whether you can take the module.

Taking an IWLP module as part of your degree (for 20 credits)?

  • If you are in the first year of your course (Part 1 or postgraduate taught), select your language through online module selection. You will receive an email with instructions on how to progress your application; this may take a few days to arrive. Once you have received your email, log back into the student portal and declare your prior knowledge. If the online module selection window has closed, speak to your support centre about changing your module choices.
  • If you are a returning student (Parts 2, 3 and 4), speak to your support centre for advice on how to change your module choices.

During the enrolment process, you may be asked to complete a placement test.

Taking an IWLP module but NOT as part of your degree (non-credit)?

Complete the non-credit application form for BSL and if you have prior experience of the language, please also submit a placement test so that we can assess your language level and place you in the right class.

Please note: non-credit applications open at the beginning of September.

If you are unsure or have any further queries, please contact the IWLP Admin Office by emailing or by telephone 0118 378 7318.


  • No additional fees are required for IWLP modules if you are a current undergraduate or postgraduate taught student taking IWLP modules as part of your 120 or 180 credits for the year (with permission from your School in your module specifications).
  • Non-credit fees are currently £340 for the year. This will be billed to your student account in the Autumn Term.



  • Doctoral students: if your School is going to fund your IWLP module please get the PGR agreement form signed by your School Director of Teaching and Learning. Those not being funded will be charged £340 to their student account in the autumn term.
  • Staff: all staff are required to pay for their IWLP module. The fee is £340. If your School or Department are willing to fund your module, please complete and return the IWLP staff agreement form.

All forms must 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 the IWLP withdrawal form and email it to We cannot remove you from our records until we have received this form, even if you have told your home department/tutor.

If you are taking your IWLP module non-credit, you can withdraw before Friday of Week 4 in the autumn term without being charged. For any non-credit withdrawal after this date, you will need to pay the full £340.