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In this course British Sign Language (BSL) is studied to professional level. Students are trained to work as BSL/English Interpreters and Translators and to use BSL proficiently in related professional areas.
The course focuses on practical and applied language skills, interpreting and translating skills, communication studies, linguistics, translation and interpreting studies and Deaf studies. Uniquely in this course during year 3, students are placed full time with signing organisations in the UK or at one of our International partner universities. (Please note that BSL placements are self-financed and students may be required to undertake placements anywhere in the UK.)
In year four students have the additional opportunity to work closely with professional interpreters in real-life situations on placement, gaining vital work-place experience.
Graduates successfully completing all specified components of the course are able to register as full Members of the Register of Sign Language Interpreters with NRCPD, the national registration body in the UK for sign language interpreting, and with SASLI, the Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters. (NB to be eligible for full registration with SASLI, students must achieve a minimum of grade D for all Level 4 courses.)
Entry to the course is open to applicants with or without previous BSL experience.
Accredited by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).
Accredited by the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD) for the purpose of fulfilling the educational requirements to become a Registered Sign Language Interpreter.
Students take two intensive, practically-oriented courses in British Sign Language, one course in Introduction to Deaf History and Culture, one course in Introduction to Languages and Intercultural Studies, and two Elective courses.
Students again take two intensive, practically-oriented courses in BSL Advanced (which includes language tuition and an introduction to translation and interpreting skills), and one course each in Deaf People in Society and Comparative Studies, General Linguistics, Sign Linguistics and Working with Deaf Communities.
This year 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.
As an alternative, in each semester students can opt for a study-abroad placement, to study sign language interpreting or a related subject at one of our partner universities.
In addition to the Honours dissertation, the honours year includes courses in BSL Proficiency, Advanced Interpreting Skills, Interpreting in the Community, and a final placement course, in which students work closely with professional interpreters.
- 70% of those working are in a professional/managerial position six months after graduating.
- The average salary of students six months after graduating: £20000
- The average UK salary of students six months after graduating from a similar course: £19000
These are the most common jobs students go into six months after graduating:
- Business and public service associate professionals
- Artistic, literary and media occupations
- Business, research and administrative professionals
- Administrative occupations
- Teaching and educational professionals
Year 1Standard entry requirements
- Highers AABB including main language at A (over two sittings)
- A-Levels BBC (including main language)
- Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (with main language at Higher Level 5)
- BTEC DDM (Main language at A-Level B or equivalent required)
- HNC B in graded unit (with main language Higher A or A-Level B grade or equivalent)
- HND BB
Minimum entry requirements*
- Highers BBBC including main language at B (over two sittings)
- A-Levels BCC including main language at B
* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:
- live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
- are care experienced.
We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements
Year 2As our languages courses include a compulsory year abroad at Level 3, the normal entry route for all languages courses is to Year 1 of a four-year honours course. However, candidates with outstanding Advanced Highers or A-Level results may be considered on an individual basis.
Year 3As our languages courses include a compulsory year abroad at Level 3, the normal entry route for all languages courses is to Year 1 of a four-year honours course. However, candidates with outstanding Advanced Highers or A-Level results may be considered on an individual basis.
- For all years, applications are welcomed from holders of non-school qualifications, mature candidates and overseas students.
- If you do not see your qualifications here please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please check that you meet our University-wide National 5/GCSE (or equivalent) English and Maths requirements.
English language requirements
- If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.
|Status*||Scotland / EU**||England / Northern Ireland / Wales***||International|
|Fee||Paid by SAAS||£9,250||£15,080|
* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
** European Union countries (not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales).
*** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).
4 years for the price of 3
If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, study with us and save £9,250 over your 4-year degree.
You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.
Scholarships and bursaries
Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2020
In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:
View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.