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Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

The DSA is intended to help you pay for extra costs related to your disability if they are directly connected with your studies. Extra costs might include specialist equipment, a non-medical helper, travel and other costs.

DSA is not means-tested, it is not a loan and any equipment purchased for you from DSA remains your property at the end of the course - you do not have to give it back.  

However, if you leave your course early your funding authority may decide to recover some or all of your DSA. Depending on your funding body you may need to make a contribution of £200 towards the cost of any computer equipment that is provided for you. If you are unable to make this contribution or if doing so this would leave you in financial hardship you should discuss this with a member of the Accessibility Support Team.

You can apply for DSA any time before or during your course. To obtain a DSA form you should either contact an Accessibility Adviser or your funding body. You will need to provide evidence of your disability - a recent medical report or, in the case of Specific Learning Differences, such as Dyslexia, a diagnostic psychological report (or equivalent from a suitably qualified practitioner).  If you do not have one, we can arrange for a Psychological Assessment if required.

There are no set amounts - you will only get enough to cover your individual needs. In order to establish your individual needs your funding body will normally ask you to undergo an Assessment of Needs - your funding authority will meet the cost of this.

However, there is a limit to the amount of help available, the maximum levels of DSA change slightly each year and the current figures can be found here 

Your funding body can authorise an Assessment of Need to be carried out before the start of term. Contact your funding authority for more detailed information. An Accessibility Adviser will discuss the recommendations made in your Assessment of Need once you have enrolled on your course.

For more information on DSAs, please visit the DSA section of GOV.UK or the DSA Section of the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) website.

The earlier you apply for DSA the better. You can apply at any time once you have applied for a place at University. The process of obtaining assessments and equipment may be slow, especially during the first few weeks of term when staff in funding bodies and universities are very busy.

Therefore it can take many weeks between your initial application and the arrival of equipment. It is important that you maintain contact with your funding body and Accessibility Adviser throughout the process and respond quickly when you are required to do something.

Contact Us


Find out how to contact the Student Accessibility Team.

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