Funding for Disabled Students

This page contains information on the various types of funding available to disabled students. The University of Nottingham has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained on this page. However, please note that the information provided is for general guidance only and cannot cover all circumstances. You are advised to contact the relevant funding bodies listed below for confirmation of current arrangements or to seek further advice.

Please use the following extendable tabs to answer any initial queries you may have about funding for disabled students:


Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

DSAs are non means-tested funds to help full and part time home undergraduate and postgraduate students to pay for extra costs they may incur whilst attending their course, as a direct result of their disability, Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia, dyspraxia etc.) or long term medical condition. They are distributed by the Student Loans Company, postgraduate research councils/bodies and the NHS.

The allowances help with:

  • Specialist equipment - allowance of up to £5,212 for the whole course.
  • The cost of a non-medical personal helper - allowance of up to £20,725 each year (full time students) or up to £15,543 (part time students).
  • Other general costs - allowance of up to £1,741 each year (full time students) or £1,305 (part time students).
  • Extra travel costs the student has to pay as a result of their disability.

These are allowances for full and part time undergraduates. The full and part time postgraduate allowance is up to £10,362.

Full information about DSAs can be found in the publication 'Bridging the Gap', which can be downloaded from the GOV.UK Student Finance website.

DSA applications via the NHS need to be made via your BOSS account. Further information along with frequently asked questions is available at NHS Student Bursaries 

For all necessary information and support for accessing DSAs - contact the Academic Support and Disability Support admin team as soon as you realise you will require this kind of Allowance.

For students applying for DSAs for the first time on or after 1st September 2015, the following change will apply:

  • Where a student is assessed as requiring a computer to undertake their studies because of their disability and a computer is recommended they will be expected to contribute the first £200 towards the cost of their computer.
  • This includes students assessed as needing a higher specification or higher cost computer. DSA's will continue to fund any additional computer costs over and above £200 if required.
  • There may be a limited amount of funding available from the University to those students who would experience financial hardship in paying for the first £200
  • More information is available from Academic and Disability Support here
  • For students unable to access DSA for computers a laptop loan services is available via the Laptop Loan and Repair Service


Funds Administered through the University

For information about the funding available through the University, please visit the Financial Support pages.



Social Services

Students who need personal assistance can apply for this through their local Social Services Department. They should contact their local Social Services department as soon as they start applying for University to discuss their requirements.



The Snowdon Award Scheme

The Snowdon Award Scheme assists students in higher education who have a physical disability; it provides funds to help cover costs relating to the disability. The deadline for applications is 31 May each year.

Please visit the Snowdon Award Scheme website for further information



The Student Health Association (Formerly BAHSHE)

The Association runs the Student Disability Assistance Fund (Charity no. 253984 - est.1967). The fund helps students with disabilities to keep up with their studies. The maximum amount of each award is £500 and students must be involved in higher education on a full-time or nearly full-time basis. The maximum award is £500. Deadlines for applications are 1 March, 1 June and 1 November.

For further information and application forms, please visit their website:




Motability is a national UK charity, which can assist in the provision of vehicles and powered wheelchairs to people who have a disability.

For further information please visit the Motability website.



The Access to Work Scheme (AtW)

Access to Work (AtW) is run by the Government's Department for Work and Pensions and provides financial and practical assistance for people who have a disability, to assist them in obtaining work or carrying out their job. Through this scheme the Government will either pay for, or make a grant towards, the cost of additional support needed as a result of a disability, including:

  • Adaption to premises and equipment
  • Special aids to employment
  • Support workers
  • Travel to work
  • Communication support at interview
  • Miscellaneous to pay for 'one off' items of support that do not fall within other categories

Applications must be made by the person with the disability. The first point of contact is either your regional Access to Work contact centre or the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre. For further information about the AtW, please visit the DirectGov website.



Other Sources of Information

National Benefit Enquiry Line-

Provides free and confidential advice about benefits.
Tel: 0800 88 22 00
Minicom: 0800 24 33 55

Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities-

Skill produces a range of information booklets on all aspects of post-16 education, training and transition to employment, including a particularly useful booklet: 'Funding for Disabled Students in Higher Education'
Tel: 0800 328 5050
Minicom: 0800 068 2422
Web: Skill website

BEL on DirectGov

Contact details for the Benefit Enquiry Line which provides advice and information for disabled people and carers on the range of benefits available.

Web: DirectGov website