The MA BSL and Applied Language Studies prepares students to become professionals working with deaf communities who use British Sign Language. It is designed to lead students from a beginners level of BSL to achieving professional competence in signed interactions and is taught by a deaf and hearing team. In Levels 1, 2, and 4, students follow a mixture of mandatory and optional courses that develop their BSL language skills and explore different aspects of deaf history and culture. In level 3, students will develop their employment-related skills through work placements within the deaf community in the UK. Level 1 Students take two intensive, practice-oriented courses in BSL and mandatory courses that increase their intercultural awareness and understanding of deaf history and culture. They also have the opportunity to choose from a range of elective courses. Level 2 Students take two intensive, practice-oriented courses in advanced BSL (one per semester), as well as mandatory courses that explore the nature of signed and spoken languages and further their knowledge and appreciation of current debates surrounding the deaf community and issues in the wider deaf world, based on world-leading research at Signs@HWU. Two courses can be chosen from a range of elective courses. Level 3 Year 3 is usually spent in two placements, where students work in the signing community with organisations in the field, further developing their language skills and cultural awareness. This placement is self-financed. Level 4 At this level, students will further develop their BSL competence and their understanding of current deaf political studies. Through a selection of optional courses, students can tailor their programme of study to meet their interests and career aspirations with a view to postgraduate specialisation in another field (such as teaching, social work, language therapy, etc). Level 4 also includes an Honours Dissertation, which is completed in the course of the year.
How to apply
This is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course. If the university or college still has places available you can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered.
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- Edinburgh Campus
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
Standard Qualification Requirements
Advanced entry is not available for our British Sign Language programmmes. A demonstrable interest in BSL /Deaf culture is required and all shortlisted applicants are invited to interview. We operate contextual admissions defined by our Fair Access Policy which may mean entry requirements are flexible. Students who are non-native speakers of English will need to achieve either the IELTS test with 7.5 or the CPE with B. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK, Europe and International countries. Please contact the Admissions Officer for the programme for further information on the entry requirements for these.
Minimum Qualification Requirements
As part of the Fair Access Process, the minimum entry requirements enable students who are within one or more of the categories below to be guaranteed an offer: Living in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20) Care Experienced, as identified on the UCAS Application form by ticking the relevant box.
Additional entry requirements
Due to the specialised nature of our British Sign Language programmes, applicants may also be invited to attend an online or in-person interview to further assess their suitability for the programme.
English language requirements
Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not been educated previously in the English language must provide evidence of their English language ability to ensure they can cope with the demands of a Heriot-Watt programme taught and assessed in English. Further information about the English Language tests that we currently accept as proof of English Language ability including our own English Language programmes, can be viewed on our website.
HWU English Language Requirements
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Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£9250*||Year 1|
|Channel Islands||£9250*||Year 1|
|Republic of Ireland||£9250*||Year 1|
*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.