BSL Level 3 (Certificate in British Sign Language)

bsl level 3

The BSL Level 3 Certificate in British Sign language helps you develop your language skills and knowledge so you are competent at Level 3 of the UK Occupational Language Standards. The curriculum develops your signing skills so you are able to use BSL in a range of work and social situations. You need to show you are competent at both receptive and productive skills at this level.

Signature’s British Sign Language Level 3 syllabus which is split into 3 competency areas:

  • Using receptive and productive skills to engage in varied social interactions. This means being able to have a conversation on a range of topics. However, you may need to use formal language or you may need to include some humour into your discussions, depending on the topic. Ultimately, you need to be able to adapt your conversation style to match the person you are signing with.
  • Maintaining fluency, grammatical accuracy and coherence in sustained contributions containing varied language. the focus is on the correct BSL grammar. For example, knowing when and what non manual features you need to use, being able to use space correctly and using the correct BSL order.
  • Understanding sustained signed communication containing varied language. This module focuses on enhancing your receptive skills. For example, you need to be able to separate facts from opinion, understand regional variations in BSL and understand fingerspelling (delivered at normal speed).

Course topics include:

  • Home life
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Education and training
  • Employment
  • Consumer issues and daily living
  • Deaf history and culture


To achieve BSL Level 3, you need to complete 3 assessments designed to test skills needed at this level:

  • Formal presentation lasting 8 – 10 minutes. Your exam is recorded on video and is marked by an external assessor.
  • Informal conversation with your tutor. This is also recorded and is marked by an external assessor.

You need to complete 250 learning hours in order to achieve a BSL level 3 qualification. You can get the full Signature BSL Level 3 specification from the Signature website.

How hard is BSL level 3?

How hard is the BSL Level 3 course? The difficulty of the course depends on a number of factors which include previous academic success, experience with BSL, assessment methods and personal circumstances. If, for example, you passed Level 2 and regularly attend a Deaf Club then you may find a BSL level 3 course easy.

BSL levels 1 and 2 are the equivalent of a BSL GCSE. So, keep in mind that BSL Level 3 is the equivalent of an A-Level or an NVQ in BSL. It requires significant time and effort to complete the course because it is designed to develop the skills and knowledge you need to improve your career prospects.

BSL Level 3 gives you a level of fluency that allows you to use it for work. Most level 3 students go on to become a Communication Support Worker (CSW) as a stepping stone to becoming a fully qualified Sign Language interpreter.

Tips for achieving your BSL Level 3

Level 3 qualifications can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can succeed. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Plan your time wisely. Allocate enough time for reading, researching, and practising your BSL
  • Stay organised. Keep your notes, assignments, and study materials in order. Create a mind map of topics and how they interlink with each other.
  • Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask your tutor for assistance. They can provide valuable feedback and support.
  • Stay motivated. Remember why you started the qualification and what you hope to achieve.

Remember that everyone learns differently, so find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different study techniques and approaches until you find what works for you.

BSL Level 3 Courses near me

We’ve done the research so you don’t have to! Below is a list of Level 3 courses that are due to start soon. These course providers help you continue your journey to learn British Sign Language. We update this list on a regular basis so check back to find a list of courses due to start soon.

BSL Online courses:

Appa Me

BSL courses

BSL First


BeautifulBSL, Mansfield

BSL Classroom courses:

CityLit, London

Deaf Action


Manchester Deaf Centre

Remark, London

Sh BSL, Norwich

Signwise Tuition, Norwich


Online and Classroom BSL courses:

B.S.L Training, Kent

Deaf Unity, London

What can I do with BSL level 3?

There are plenty of BSL Level 3 jobs available but you need to know where and when to look. There are specialist agencies and job boards that post jobs every week.

At a minimum, a BSL Level 3 qualification will enable you to apply for Communication Support Worker (CSW) roles. CSWs usually work in schools and colleges to work with deaf students. There are a number of colleges and universities across the UK that need a regular supply of CSWs. There are also specialist schools that need CSWs to work with deaf students.

CSWs earn around £15 – £20 per hour on average, although this is dependent on where you are based in the UK. A BSL interpreter salary is far more.

The qualification is an essential qualification for professional BSL users and for those that wish to become sign language interpreters.

Are any online Level 3 BSL courses free?

No. No bona fide, Ofqual regulated course provider can provide a free BSL Level 3 course. British Sign Language courses do not attract any government funding and most course providers are small businesses run by individual tutors, so you would need to be responsible for all costs associated with completing a course.

If you are aged under 19, you may find a college that will fund the Level 3 course but you may still need to pay for the exams. The Level 3 qualification is the equivalent of an A-Level and the cost of A-Level courses for adults can be anywhere between £200 (if subsidised) to £2,000. You may be able to apply for a grant or loan to cover the cost of course fees, but it is unlikely you will find a free regulated BSL Level 3 course.

Sign Language Linguistics

The BSL Level 3 has a significant focus on linguistics which is essential to understanding other signing styles and to developing your own. You will cover topics that you will have already covered in BSL Level 2 but you will learn linguistics at a deeper level. For example, you may have learned how to produce multi-channel signs but you will be expected to understand a range of multi-channel signs delivered by different native signers.

BSL Level 3 also covers linguistic elements that use body language. Other topics include knowing the difference between visual languages and spoken language. You will also learn that there are distinct differences between sign languages themselves. For example, BSL is different to Irish sign language or French sign language.

You should be able to understand the context and be able to translate the meaning by the end of your course. Our hot tip is to meet and interact with as many native sign language users as you can. You can also practice skills like fingerspelling, by watching video clips on channels such as BSL Zone and don’t forget to check out our post about free sign language resources.