British Sign Language (Beginners)

Key information

Start date: 27 January 2022

Attendance dates:

January 2022: 27
February 2022: 03, 10, 17, 24
March 2022: 03, 10, 17

Time commitment: 1hr 30 min per week


Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH

Contact details:


Our British Sign Language (Beginners) evening language classes are open to adult learners, aged 18 and over, and are taught by skilled and experienced tutors. The class will be taught face-to-face*.

Classes are delivered over three terms and you can join at the beginning of each term:

  • Autumn term (October – December)
  • Winter term (January – March)
  • Spring term (April – June).

The winter and spring terms are a continuation of the autumn term. Please note that If you are a complete beginner, you should not join mid-way through the year, but instead wait and join in the autumn term when the complete beginner courses start. To complete a full level, you need to attend all three consecutive terms.

Nevertheless, you can join the class at the beginning of any term. To ensure that you enrol on the right course if joining us in January or April, please check your language level with our tutors at one of our open evenings.

*Please note that this course could be moved online if the Covid-19 situation prevents face-to-face teaching, and for as long as it is required. This decision will be made by the Government and/or the University of Surrey to guarantee the safety of students and staff.

Course details

Please note, the syllabus may vary according to class progress and availability of materials.

Topics include:

  • Introducing yourself
  • Greetings and meeting people
  • Fingerspelling alphabet
  • Handshapes
  • Studies and jobs
  • Basic numbers
  • Days of week and months
  • Colours
  • Transport and travel
  • Asking and answering basic questions


  • British Sign Language order
  • Placement
  • Facial expression (NMF)
  • Five rules of phonology

Deaf culture

  • Getting attention
  • Deaf or deaf?

Topics include:

  • Relationships, family and friends
  • Hobbies, sports and other interests
  • Food and drink
  • Shopping: asking and giving prices
  • Numbers and dates
  • Timelines
  • Weather
  • Questions, answers and conversations
  • Fingerspelling skills


  • Revision of autumn term grammar
  • Role of mouth patterns
  • Two types of signing space
  • Pronouns and proforms
  • Question types

Deaf culture

  • Facts and figures

Topics include:

  • Daily routine
  • Weekends
  • Eating out
  • Clothes
  • Buying consumer goods
  • Recent events in the past
  • Fingerspelling skills
  • Stories, presentations and conversations


  • Revision of autumn and winter term grammar
  • Facial expression (NMF)
  • Types of verbs
  • Classifiers
  • Aspect and manner

Deaf culture

  • Deaf families
  • Deaf history


Classes run 7pm – 8:30pm on Thursday evenings, with eight classes per term.

Class size

12 students (approximately).


At the end of each term, we will issue you with a certificate of attendance if you have been to a minimum of 75% of your classes.

    Entry requirements

    All applicants should be aged 18 and over.

    TermRequired experience
    AutumnNo prior knowledge is required.
    WinterYou should have a very basic knowledge of British Sign Language. You will be expected to have knowledge of the topics and grammar covered in the autumn term of our British Sign Language (Beginners) course.
    SpringYou should have a very basic knowledge of British Sign Language. You will be expected to have knowledge of the topics and grammar covered in the autumn and winter terms of our British Sign Language (Beginners) course.

    Fees and funding

    Price per person:

    £150 for one term


    £150 for one term

    Current Surrey degree student/staff

    £270 for two terms

    Public (10% discount)

    £255 for two terms

    Current Surrey degree student/staff (15% discount)

    £382 for three terms

    Public (15% discount)

    £360 for three terms

    Current Surrey degree student/staff (20% discount)

    Savings apply when you book multiple terms at the same time.

    How to apply

    Bookings are made via our online store. We advise early enrolment to secure a place.

    Apply now

    Terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the evening language classes privacy notice


    • This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.