Join us in 2019

Apply now

British Sign Language & Educational Linguistics BA (Hons)

On this British Sign Language & Educational Linguistics programme you will learn how to communicate in British Sign Language (BSL) to an advanced level and how to apply the study of language structure and use to educational contexts. You’ll consider the multilingual classroom, language impairments, the acquisition of written language, and the role of language in educational discourse. You’ll also learn about deaf history and socio-cultural aspects of British Sign Language use. This programme is ideal if you are considering a career working with deaf children as a teacher, SEN specialist or Speech and Language Therapist.

UCAS course code
Q1L8
Location
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
Duration
3 years full-time
Start date
September 2019
School
Languages & Linguistics

Course Overview

Course Features

  • Start British Sign Language from beginners or with prior study. On arrival at York St John University you will be placed at an appropriate level, either British Sign Language Beginners 1 or Intermediate 1.
  • Take the nationally recognised Signature British Sign Language qualifications, included in the tuition fee. These are valuable if you wish to continue working with deaf people upon graduation.
  • Take part in collaborative staff and student community engagement programmes: Sign Bar, where you can engage with the deaf community and communicate using British Sign Language, and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf where you can organise and participate in fundraising activities and events.
  • Access specialist spaces for students: a Linguistics Lab, Languages Workshop, Lounge and Study.
  • Learn about current research issues and methods from guest lecturers in our Colloquium Series on a variety of topics related to programmes in the School of Language and Linguistics.
  • Apply to join the University’s Students-as-Researchers scheme or present your dissertation research at ULAB, the Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain conference.

Our experienced award-winning British Sign Language staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and take great pride in their personal approach to learning and teaching. You can enter this programme if you are a complete beginner or if you have studied British Sign Language before. On arrival at York St John University you will be placed at an appropriate level. If you already have Signature level 1 or 2 or equivalent British Sign Language proficiency you will start at British Sign Language Intermediate 1. If not, you will start at British Sign Language Beginners 1.

As you progress through the programme topics will broaden from routine and familiar matters at level 4, describing experiences/events and giving reasons at level 5, to a wide range of formal and informal contexts at level 6. Advanced British Sign Language modules will also include British Sign Language (socio)linguistics, exploring its unique visual-spatial modality.

British Sign Language modules are assessed with a combination of practical exam and videos. In addition, if you wish you can elect to take the nationally recognised Signature British Sign Language qualifications for no additional fee: Signature Level 1 at the end of Beginners 2, Signature level 2 at the end of Intermediate 3, and Signature level 3 at the end of Advanced 3. These are valuable if you wish to continue working with deaf people upon graduation.

We also provide opportunities for extra-curricular involvement in collaborative staff and student community engagement programmes: Sign Bar, where you can engage with the deaf community and communicate using British Sign Language, and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf where you can organise and participate in fundraising activities and events.

In your Educational Linguistics modules you’ll apply linguistic theory to educational contexts, for example, considering the applications of linguistics to the multilingual classroom, to the acquisition of written language, and the role of language in educational discourse. The programme also includes modules which consider language impairments, their diagnosis and management.  

Becky Muradás-Taylor, Subject Director - British Sign Language & Educational Linguistics

 

96% of Graduates from our School of Languages and Linguistics were in employment or further study within six months.

DLHE 2017

Course Structure

Level 1

Semester 1:

One of:

  • British Sign Language Beginners 1 - This course is suitable for complete beginners or those with very little prior knowledge of the language. BSL is a visual/gestural language so much of this module will be about getting to grips with this new modality.
  • British Sign Language Intermediate 1 - Taking a broad view on sign language this module enables you to develop the ability to communicate with Deaf people in a range or familiar and work-related contexts, participating in longer and more open-ended exchanges.

Both of: 

  • Deaf History – This module will look at the history of deaf communities and people around the world, including key theoretical concepts such as colonialism and postcolonialism. We will explore the experiences of deaf people in the past, and look at the emergence of key philosophies around sign languages and deaf people from Ottoman Empire to present times.
  • English Language and Linguistics - This module aims to develop your critical awareness of language, introducing the historical development of language and of English, of linguistics, and a variety of systematic approaches to language study.

 

Semester 2:

One of:

  • British Sign Language Beginners 2 - This module builds on the knowledge gained from the BSL Beginners 1 module to develop students’ proficiency in the language. Vocabulary and phrases will be revised and expanded so that you can cope with a greater range of scenarios and in greater depth.  As well as every-day, practical situations like choosing goods in shops or making enquiries about family, we will study topics such as interests and activities, refreshments and directions.
  • British Sign Language Intermediate 2 - This module builds on the knowledges gained from BSL Intermediate 1. Vocabulary and phrases will be revised and you will look into real-world situations.

Both of: 

  • Descriptive Grammar of English- This module examines the grammatical framework of linguistic structures. Discussions will also consider how configurations of the elements of this framework relate to meaning. Where possible, the module examines these issues in relation to real texts.
  • Multilingualism - This module addresses the world's linguistic diversity and variation and situates the English language within the context of our multilingual world. Language variation and multilingualism are considered form linguistic, psychological, sociocultural and educational perspectives.

 All modules are worth 20 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Level 2

Semester 1:

One of:

  • British Sign Language Intermediate 1 – This module will take a very broad view on sign languages, to enable learners to develop an ability to communicate with Deaf people in a range of familiar and work-related, contexts, participating in long and more open-ended exchanges. This will contain more Receptive skills.
  • British Sign Language Intermediate 3 – This module builds on the knowledge gained from BSL Intermediate 1 and 2. It allows the student to put skills together to demonstrate that they can understand and exchange information during a routine conversation.

Both of:

  • Linguistic Diversity in the Classroom - This module will consider language use and diversity in education.  
  • Sociolinguistics of British Sign Language - This module will take a very broad view on sign languages, in particular British Sign Language, to explore the historical, social and linguistic aspects of signed languages, signing people and sign language communities. Some of the topics we will discuss include how BSL has developed and its relation to other sign languages in the world, and interpretation from BSL to English and vice versa. We will also look at a few different ways of analysing languages, and perform some experiments in class to see how these issues can be explored in a practical way.

Semester 2:

One of:

  • British Sign Language Intermediate 2 - This module builds on the knowledges gained from BSL Intermediate 1. Vocabulary and phrases will be revised and you will look into real-world situations.
  • British Sign Language Advanced 1  - This course is designed so that students gain a more indepth understanding of the linguistics of BSL and will be able to use and understand varied BSL in a range of work and social situations. Some sample topics include established and productive lexicons, different BSL verbs, different sign types and non-manual features in BSL.

Both of:

  • Language and Literacy - This module will introduce you to key issues in relation to the development of literacy, focusing primarily on the development of writing skills.
  • Language at Work - This module comprises of a 10-day work placement. In addition the module will consider relevant issues and practices within places of work as well as the communication demands on the prospective work-seeker within contemporary society.

 

 All modules are worth 20 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Level 3

Semester 1:

One of:

  • British Sign Language Intermediate 3 – This module builds on the knowledge gained from the BSL Intermediate 1 and 2.  It allow for the student to put both skills together to demonstrate that they can understand and exchange information during a routine conversation.
  • British Sign Language Advanced 2 - This module follows on from BSL Advanced 1 and aims to develop students' advanced language skills and provide them with an insight into Deaf culture and issues.

And:

  • Attitudes to Language - This module examines publicly held views of language. It covers topics such as Standard English and correctness. With particular reference to education it also investigates the social, political and idealogical issues associated with these views.
  • Speech and Language Pathology - This module will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to speech and language pathology and give you an appreciation of how clinicians evaluate and make decisions about intervention to remediate speech and language difficulties in both adults and children.

Semester 2:

One of:

  • British Sign Language Advanced 1 - This course is designed so that students gain a more indepth understanding of the linguistics of BSL and will be able to use and understand varied BSL in a range of work and social situations. Some sample topics include 0 established and productive lexicons, different BSL verbs, different sign types and non-manual features in BSL.
  • British Sign Language Advanced 3 - This module follows on from BSL Advanced 2. As well as developing students' early advanced language skills, this module also aims to develop students' ability to critically evaluate Deaf issues.

And:

  • Dissertation (40 credits) - you will carry out independent research related to your programme on a topic of your choice backed by tutorial supervision.

 

All modules are worth 20 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Teaching & Assessment

Delivery

British Sign Language classes are delivered in small groups of up to 25 students. Educational Linguistics modules are delivered using a mixture of lectures, workshops and seminars.

Academic and research skills are embedded in modules, for example, academic writing and referencing, peer review, use of web based resources for document sharing and the use of wikis and blogs.

 

Contact hours

You will take three modules per semester (except for your final semester when you will take a 40-credit dissertation module and one other module). Each module has 2-4 hours of contact time. The taught sessions could be spread across all five days of the week, or could be concentrated into fewer days. Taught sessions are scheduled between 9.00am-8.00pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9.00am-1.00pm Wednesday, and 9.00am-6.00pm Friday.

As well as the taught sessions, you will also have academic tutorials through the semester, you can set up tutorials with your module tutors, and you'll be able to attend events such as the Colloquium Lectures and Language Talks.

Self-study time

If you are joining us from school, college or the workplace you will probably feel you have a very empty timetable. This is becuase a 20-credit module, which is equivalent to 200 hours of study, only has 2-4 hours a week of contact time - the rest is study you are expected to do yourself.

We support students in achieving this by giving lots of guidance on what to study, including weekly readings and preparation for assessments, and offering regular tutorials and drop-in sessions with module tutors so you can get feedback on your work. All modules are supported by materials hosted on Moodle, the University's Virtual Learning Environment.

 

Staffing

Our British Sign Language academic staff are Amanda Smith and Dr Dai O'Brien.

You will be taught Educational Linguistics by other academic staff in the School. The Head of the School of Languages & Linguistics is Rachel Wicaksono. The British Sign Language & Educational Linguistics programme is managed by the Subject Director for Languages and TESOL Dr Becky Muradás-Taylor. University support staff are well intergrated into our programme, for example, a representative from the library contributes sessions on research and referencing over the course of the programme.

Our School

As a Languages & Linguistics student you will be part of the School of Languages & Linguistics (SoLL), along with other Undergraduate and Postgraduate students studying British Sign Language, French, Spanish, Japanese, English language, Linguistics and Clinical Linguistics. Our research is rated 'internationally excellent' and we frequently collaborate on research projects with our students here in York, as well as with academic colleagues across the University and around the world. We are very proud of our students' commitment to the School. As members of our well-established student societies, the Languages Society, the Japanese Society and the Linguistics Society, they organise an exciting programme of events for students (and staff!), including: a regular guest lecture series, overseas trips, conferences, dinners, and other social events.

School Opportunities

  • Japanese Society: experience Japanese culture and meet home and exchange students.
  • Specialist spaces: the Languages Workshop, the Linguistics Lab, the Lounge and the Study. 
  • Community programmes: YESOL (York: English speakers of Other Languages) and YEAL (York: English as an Additional Language). 
  • Trips: recent trips include the British Museum in London, Denmark, Sweden and Paris. 
  • Talks: the Colloquium Series and languages talks. 
  • Research: join our Students-as-Researchers scheme or present your dissertation research at ULAB, the Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain conference. 

Find out more about the School of Language & Linguistics.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • 96-112 UCAS Tariff points
  • 3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

You can enter this programme as a beginner in British Sign Language. You can also enter if you already have Signature level 1.

This programme is not suitable if:

  • British Sign Language is your first language
  • You have Signature level 3 or above in British Sign Language

If you have Signature level 2, then you can enter the programme, but the British Sign Language modules in the first three semesters (British Sign Language Intermediate 1–3) will contain some element of revision.

Personal Statement

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include:

  • Undertaking independent study of British Sign Language
  • A strong standard of written English
  • Discussion of future career plans in a relevant field
  • Demonstrating relevant transferable skills
  • Relevant extra-curricular activities or work experience
  • Becoming a member of appropriate societies
  • Subscribing to (or reading) relevant journals/magazines
  • Being involved in overseas exchange programmes

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Visit York St John.

Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

Visit us

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

 

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Study abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.

Financial help and support

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our  about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876922.

Cookie Settings