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BSL Level 1 Award

Course duration:    30 weeks
Class duration:     2 hours per week

BSL Level 1 is the starting point for anyone wishing to attain a formally recognised qualification in BSL.  The Level 1 Award is accredited by Signature – the leading award body for Deaf communication qualifications in the UK and can be taken without any previous BSL experience. 

The content covered is very similar to the Introduction to BSL course in that you will be learning to communicate with Deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL) on a range of topics that involve simple, everyday language use. You will gain basic skills and confidence in production and reception of BSL.







BSL Level 1 Award


The qualification is divided into three units as follows:

BSL 101 – Introduction to BSL

The exam for this Unit is internally assessed by the teacher in the form of a signed conversation.  In this Unit, the learner will demonstrate that they can:


  • Understand and communicate basic conversation when meeting people
  • Ask and answer basic questions regarding themselves and others
  • Understand and produce fingerspelling for names of people and places
  • Recognise and use numbers for example for age, time, dates and money.
  • Describe weather conditions
  • Describe modes of transport and different ways of travelling
  • Give simple directions in places or buildings and ask for directions.

The above unit must be completed before proceeding to the next two units:


BSL 102 – Conversational British Sign Language

The exam for this Unit is recorded by the teacher and externally assessed by a Signature Assessor.  The Unit builds on the knowledge of conversational vocabulary learned in BSL101.  The learner will demonstrate that they can:


  • Use BSL to communicate on a wider range of topics, e.g. hobbies/interests, family, pets/animals and food and drink.
  • Describe people, animals and objects, e.g. size, colours and shape.
  • Show knowledge and use of BSL sentence structure and grammar
  • Use signing space and hand placement correctly.
  • Use facial expressions appropriately.


BSL 103 – Communicate in British Sign Language about Everyday Life.

The exam for this Unit is recorded by the teacher and externally assessed by a Signature Assessor.  By the end of this Unit, the learner will demonstrate that they are able to sign and maintain a basic conversation in BSL, using BSL sentence structure, hand placement and facial expressions.  The topic of everyday life includes describing, and asking/answering questions regarding:


  • Travelling, places and transport
  • Work, school or college
  • Home and home life
  • Directions
  • Weather
  • People e.g. family or colleagues
  • Time, Calendar, numbers and quantity.
  • Asking and answering questions

Other skills and knowledge assessed include:


  • Maintaining a good conversational flow
  • Turn taking
  • Eye contact and eye gaze









Learning Outcomes and Aims:


Upon successful completion of this qualification, learners will receive the Level 1 Award in British Sign Language certificate. In addition, 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

Next Steps

Upon achieving the Level 1 Award, learners can proceed to the Level 2 Award in British Sign Language.

If you are interested in attending a course near to you, then please contact Emma on the link below: