Level 1 BSL

This course follows the qualification specification laid down by IBSL

Qualification Aim

This qualification aims to enable learners to develop suitable and sufficient skills to communicate with Deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL) on everyday topics in accordance with the National Language Standards at Level 1.

Qualification Objective

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

  • Understand narrations of simple information presented to them in BSL;
  • Develop the ability to describe events, issues or matters in BSL, particularly at work, school or college;
  • Engage in simple conversation with Deaf people, both in social situations and in the workplace or at school/college.

Qualification Structure

The qualification is divided into three units as follows:

Unit CodeUnit TitleUnit Description
IBSL 1A1Receptive Skills in BSLSee Unit IBSL1A1 specification
IBSL 1A2Descriptive Skills in BSLSee Unit IBSL1A2 specification
IBSL 1A3Conversational Skills in BSLSee Unit IBSL1A3 specification

Note: All units are marked externally by IBSL

Length of Course

The course will consist of 66 GLH plus 24 hours of additional study outside the classroom. This will include access to online learning resources provided by Signworld.

Unit Code

Guided Learning Hours

Additional Study Hours

Total Learning Time

Credit Value at
Level 3






















The following areas will be covered:

  • Meeting people;
  • Personal information;
  • Work;
  • School;
  • College;
  • Weather;
  • Numbers;
  • Calendar events;
  • Daily events;
  • Food & drink;
  • Directions;
  • Instructions;
  • Ideas;
  • Opinions.

Target Group

The Level 1 BSL is suitable for those who:

  • Wish to acquire basic British Sign Language skills for the purpose of holding simple communication with Deaf people, including by family, friends and colleagues;
  • Need to acquire BSL skills as part of a programme of study or professional development;
  • Are studying for personal development with a view to future employment.

Entry Requirement

No previous experience of BSL is required for entry to this programme leading to the Level 1 Award in BSL Studies.


All the evidences, apart from the ‘live’ assessment, will be collected into a simple coursework file (or e-file if preferred).

Unit CodeAssessment No.Assessment MethodMarked By
IBSL 1A11A1Video ReceptiveIBSL
IBSL 1A21A2Descriptive ConversationIBSL
IBSL 1A31A3Pre-arranged ConversationIBSL

Additional Costs

Learners will be expected to purchase resources for their coursework file.

What are the final qualifications?

Level 1 BSL

Each unit is assessed separately. Learners are required to achieve all three units to be awarded the full Level 1 Award in British Sign Language Studies.

Progression Route

Upon completion of this qualification, learners may progress as follows:

  • IBSL Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language Studies

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