MA (Hons) BSL and Applied Language Studies

The course

UCAS code
Q1AL
Duration
4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Delivery type
Full-time

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.

Contact

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Contact our enquiries team.

Overview

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.

Course content

Year 1

Semester 1

  • BSL Intensive Beginners
  • Introduction to Language and Intercultural Studies

Semester 2

  • BSL Intensive Beginners
  • Introduction to Deaf History and Culture

Year 2

Semester 1

  • BSL Advanced 1
  • Deaf People in Society and Culture and Comparative Studies
  • Sign Linguistics

Semester 2

  • BSL Advanced 2
  • General Linguistics
  • Working with Deaf Communities

Year 3

Semester 1 

  • Work-based BSL Placement

Semester 2

  • Work-based BSL Placement and Research Project

Year 4

Semester 1

  • BSL Proficiency
  • Honours Dissertation
  • International and National Deaf Political Studies
  • Option

Semester 2

  • BSL Proficiency 2
  • Honours Dissertation 2
  • Option 1
  • Option 2

Entry requirements

Year 1

  • Highers: AABB 
  • A-Level: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM
  • IB Diploma: 30 points 
  • HNC: Pass with B in Graded Unit
  • HND: Pass with BB in Graded Units
  • SWAP: BBB

Year 2

  • Advanced Higher: AB plus AABB Higher
  • A-Level: AAB
  • BTEC: DDM
  • IB Diploma: 34 Points

Year 3

As 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.

Additional information

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.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2022 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland** International***
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £16,000

* 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.

** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) and Republic of Ireland 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).

*** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

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

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2021

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:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about Bursaries

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.