Image of upraised hands

A short course for communicating through this fascinating language

At a Glance

  • Beginners or Near Beginners
  • Classroom courses only
  • 10 weeks: October to March
  • Fees from £70 to £118
Booking link

British Sign Language (BSL) 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.

This course does not offer a formal qualification in British Sign Language, although once completed participants in the class might progress to other courses elsewhere offering more formal accreditation.

Classroom Courses

These courses will be taught face-to-face in the classrooms at our South Kensington Campus in London. To take part in a course you will need to be able to attend our South Kensington Campus each week on the weekday and time shown below.

British Sign Language (BSL) Classes 2022

19.00-20.00 19.00-20.00 -- --
BSL 2 (Near Beginners)
Angel Louis
BSL 1 (Beginners)
Angel Louis

BSL course descriptions


In this introductory course which is aimed at hearing people who want to start to learn BSL, we will discover the basics of communicating in BSL, in a practical, enjoyable and engaging way.

Topics covered in the classes include the following. This programme is indicative only and may be subject to modification.

  • 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

We will also learn about the British deaf community, looking at aspects of its diverse cultures and use of the language.

For improved proficiency in the language you will be asked to practice signing outside of the taught sessions.

No previous knowledge of sign language or other language study is necessary.

Near Beginners

This Near Beginners class is intended as a continuation course for those who have completed the BSL for Beginners course at Imperial College (or an equivalent course)

For improved proficiency in the language, you will be asked to practice signing outside of the taught sessions.

Class Recordings

These classes are not recorded


Attendance Certificate


Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate


Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment

Course Information

What course level should I choose?

Choosing the right course level

It is very important to book onto a course which is a good match for your level of ability, and we aim to make the process of deciding which is the right course level for you as simple as possible.

If you are a complete beginner you should, of course, enrol on a Beginner's course.

Please contact our BSL tutor with any questions about your level: Ms Angel Louis,

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 10  10 £118  (£11.80 p/h)
£70  (£7 p/h) £92  (£9.20 p/h)
All fee rates quoted are for the whole 1-term course. No Early Bird rates available for 10-hour courses. Part-payments are not possible. Equivalent to hourly rate is shown for comparison guidance only.

Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • 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)
  • Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
  • Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • 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 contact before completing the online enrolment form

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
  • Friends of Leighton House/ Sambourne House
  • Friends of the Royal College of Music
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Members of the Kennel Club
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Teachers and other staff of UK schools
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language coordinator conducting level assessment. 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.

Friends and Family Scheme

This course is eligible for the  allowing Imperial College students and staff to share their discount with their friends and family.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer term
 10  10 Week commencing 10 October to week ending 17 December 2022* n/a n/a
* This is a one-term course

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 1 August 2022

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:

  • Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
  • If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.

When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:

What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the academic content or teaching of these courses please contact our BSL Tutor, Ms Angel Louis,

If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi,