Learn a new language: Diplomas in British Sign Language- BSL Learn a new language: Diplomas in British Sign Language- BSL

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.

UEA is an official Examination Centre for Signature, the leading awarding body for qualifications in British & Irish Sign Language, deafblind communication and other deaf communication methods.

Qualification Level offered at UEA:

Level 1 Award in British Sign Language

- BSL 101 Introduction to British Sign Language

- BSL 102 Conversation in British Sign Language

- BSL 103 Communicate in British Sign Language about Everyday Life

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.

The specification has been designed using the UK Occupational Language Standard 2010 at Level 1.

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 units.

- BSL101: Practical assessment of skills

- BSL102: Conversation in BSL

- BSL 103: Conversation in 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 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.

If you are studying BSL at UEA and want to get the Signature Diploma, we recommend that you register for BSL 101 after taking Introduction to BSL I (PPLB4031A or PPLB4033B), and for BSL 101/102/103 after taking Introduction to BSL II (PPLB4032B).


To register please contact ulp@uea.ac.uk 

Examination Dates

The examination sessions at UEA are in December and May.

The next examination date is 8th December 2018.

Registration period for December session: Until 23rd November 2018.

Examination fees

Level Fees
BSL 101 £25.00
BSL 102 £40.00
BSL 103 £40.00







Contact details

School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

University of East Anglia



Tel: +44 (0)1603 456161

Email: ulp@uea.ac.uk 

for current uea students: for current uea students:

For registered students, participation will contribute towards their UEA Award and is likely to complete the ‘campus and personal’ category requirement for the Bronze level or contribute to higher levels of the Award in that category. If you would like to register for the Award, please see more information at https://www.uea.ac.uk/award

For other activities you could submit to the Award in this category and in other Award categories, please see our interactive list.