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A short introduction for beginners in communicating through this fascinating language

Information at a Glance

  • Lunchtime Learning (daytime) course
  • Time: TBA
  • 10 weeks: October to December
  • Tutor: Angel Louis
  • Fees from £52
  • Location: Imperial College, South Kensington Campus
Register interest in this course

This is a Lunchtime Learning Class taught at the Imperial College South Kensington campus.

British Sign Language is a unique and fascinating language. According to the 2011 census, it is used by an estimated 150,000 people in the UK, giving it a similar number of known speakers in the country as Arabic and French. 

British Sign Language is also a key means of communication for a significant section of the deaf and hearing-impaired communities. In this short introductory course, aimed at hearing people who want to start to learn British Sign Language, we will discover the basics of communicating in British Sign Language, in a practical, enjoyable and engaging way. A selection of topics will be covered in the classes, and we will also learn about the British deaf community, looking at aspects of its diverse cultures and use of the language.

This is a lunchtime learning class and is taught once a week during the lunch hours for 50 minutes for nine weeks at the Imperial College London South Kensington Campus. No previous knowledge of sign language or other language study is necessary. For improved proficiency in the language, you will be asked to practice signing outside of the taught sessions.

Course Information

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksInternal rateAssociate rateStandard rate
 40  20  £230    (Early Bird rate: £210*) £305    (Early Bird rate: £280*)
£395    (Early Bird rate: £360*) 
* Early Bird fee rate is valid for enrolments made via the website between 1 August and 30 September only   |   All fee rates quoted are for the whole course.
Term dates 1

 Internal rate

  • Applies to current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors).
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email evening eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk before completing the online enrolment form.

Associate rate

  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Members of Friends of Imperial College 
  • Friends of the South London Botanical Institute
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Santander Bank staff (Imperial College Walkway branch only)
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8

Standard rate

  • Applicable to all who do not qualify for any of the above rates (Internal or Associate Rate).

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started, subject entirely to agreement by the tutor delivering the course. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read the Evening Classes & Lunchtime Learning terms and conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.

Course Programme

 Topics will include:

  • Basic linguistic features of BSL
  • Greeting, numbers, times and dates, weather, people and activities
  • Personal introductions
  • Very basic everyday situations, incl. directions, telling the time and date
  • The history and culture of the British Deaf community

 Programme listed is indicative only, and may be subject to modification.

Additional Reading and Credit Information

Suggested reading to be announced.

No academic credits are available for this course and no attendance certificate is issued. The course is designed as a basic introduction to BSL for complete beginners, and is not intended to offer a formal qualification in British Sign Language, although once completed participants in the class might progress to other courses offering more formal accreditation.

About Your Tutor

British Sign Language I is taught by Angel Louis. Angel is experience teacher of BSL, who also teaches on the undergraduate programme at Imperial College London. She is also a talented artist who has exhibited her works of art widely.

Further Study

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the course tutor, Angel Louis at a.louis@imperial.ac.uk

Please carefully review the course information, programme timetableterm dates and fees & enrolment information.