Level 1 Award in British Sign Language

  • Level 1 Award in British Sign Language
British Sign Language (BSL) was recognised by the government as a language in its own right in March 2003. BSL is the first or preferred language of an estimated 70,000 Deaf people in the UK. BSL is a visual-gestural language, with its own grammar and principles, which are completely different from the grammatical structure of English.

Qualification Aim

This qualification is designed to teach learners to communicate with Deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL) on a range of topics that involve simple, everyday language use. They will gain basic skills and confidence in production and reception of BSL.


Qualification Structure

The qualification is divided into three units, each of which can be achieved separately. Learners who are new to BSL should cover BSL101 first, as units BSL102 and BSL103 build on this knowledge. Units BSL102 and BSL103 can be taken in any order.

To achieve the full Level 1 Award in British Sign Language, candidates must pass all three units.

Unit                          QAN unit number                     Unit title                                                                       Assessment
BSL101                      F/502/4513                                     Introduction to BSL                                                       Practical assessment of skills
BSL102                      J/504/0762                                    Conversational BSL                                                       Conversation in BSL
BSL103                      F/504/0761                                    Communicate in BSL about Everyday Life           Conversation in BSL


Unit BSL101 is internally assessed by the teacher. 
Units BSL102 and BSL103 are externally assessed by a Signature assessor.

Suggested Duration

The recommended guided learning hours are 64 hours as shown below:

Unit                    Guided Learning Hours (GLH)                   Additional study hours              Total learning hours             Credit value
BSL101             20                                                                         10                                                        30                                                3
BSL102             22                                                                         8                                                          30                                                3
BSL103             22                                                                         8                                                          30                                                3
Total                64                                                                     26                                                     90                                              9

GLH includes assessment time
Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Essential Requirements

BSL competence standards include requirements for candidates to have sufficient sight, manual dexterity, facial and body movement to produce and receive BSL. 

Qualification Objectives

At the end of the qualification, learners will be able to:

- understand and use a limited range of simple words and sentences in BSL
- take part in simple, everyday conversations in BSL
- give and follow simple directions or instructions in BSL
- give and follow simple familiar statements or descriptions in BSL

Target Group

Level 1 Award in British Sign Language can be taken without any previous BSL experience at any level. This qualification allows learners to gain basic skills and confidence in the two areas of production and reception of BSL.


Level 1 Award in British Sign Language is suitable for those who:

- want to learn basic language skills to communicate simple conversations with Deaf people
- want to learn new language skills as part of a programme of study
- want to progress to more advanced study and/or employment using BSL in the future
- are studying for personal development
- are parents, family, friends or colleagues of Deaf people.

Level 1 Award in British Sign Language is suitable for all ages, including pre-16 year olds.

Progression Routes

On completion of Signature Level 1 Award in British Sign Language, a wide range of further qualifications are available, including:

- Signature Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language
- Signature Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language

These qualifications would potentially lead an individual to various employment opportunities.

Course Information

TBC

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