For the first time, the Skills Centre will offer a British Sign Language (BSL) course in Semester 2, in partnership with external provider Signs4Life.

The course is in response to student demand and the popularity of BSL at our regular Language Caf├ęs on campus.

The 10-week accredited BSL programme will take place every Wednesday in Semester 2 from 4-7pm in-person on campus. Taught by a Deaf tutor from Signs4Life, the interactive, in-person classes will teach the basics of BSL and lead to the BSL Level 1 Award.

Rajani Naidoo, Vice-President (Community & Inclusion), said:

One in five (approximately 12 million) adults in the UK, including many in our University community, are D/deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. For many, BSL is vital for communication. I'm delighted that the Skills Centre is providing this opportunity for students and staff to learn to sign and thereby make a positive difference to our community and wider society.

Claire Charlemagne, Head of Languages in the Skills Centre, added:

We want to stress to students the employability benefits of learning languages like BSL. Adding a language proficiency on their CV gives them an edge in a competitive job market and demonstrates to future employers that they are equipped with the communication skills, creativity and commitment which are in high demand in a wide range of careers.

The Skills Centre is introducing BSL in addition to its regular courses in eight foreign languages and English language.

More information about the BSL course, including learning outcomes, cost and enrolment link, is available on the BSL webpage.

A new post on the Academic & Employability Skills blog provides more interesting facts about BSL.