What is DSA?

Depending on your needs, support from the DSA (Disabled Students' Allowance) could include specialist equipment, software, a non-medical helpers allowance, travel allowance and a general allowance. 

The amount of DSA you receive will depend on your funding body and on your DSA needs assessment.  We can reassure you that there are no tests involved in the assessment.  It is a discussion and exploration of your needs with an experienced assessor, who will consider the impacts of your disability/specific learning difficulty/long-term medical condition/mental health condition on your academic studies. 

The DSA can only be used to cover expenditure and equipment costs that arise as a direct consequence of the effects of a disability on your studies. It cannot be used to cover costs that will be incurred by all students, such as standard course textbooks, basic stationery or other course-related costs and reasonable travel by private vehicle or public transport.

DSA funding is available from Student Finance England, Student Finance Northern Ireland, Student Finance Wales, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, the NHS and Research Councils.

Apprentices, non-home fee funded students and Postgraduate Research students should contact us direct by emailing Disability Support Services.

I need my DSA application signing by the University, can you help?

If you need help in completing the application form, then fill it in as much as you can and email it to us to complete Section 5.  We can follow-up with SFE if your application is delayed provided you gave consent to share when you completed your application.  If you need to arrange a DSA Study Needs Assessment, then we can guide you to the approved assessment centre.  If you have lost your evidence and have supplied it to us previously, we can supply you with replacement copies. Our policy is to retain your evidence for 6 years after the completion of your course.  

I already have DSA, but I need to update it to include a newly diagnosed condition, how do I do this?

If you require a review or changes to your DSA, you should in the first instance, contact your funding body. 

Student Finance England

0300 100 0607

Student Finance Wales

0300 200 4050

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

0300 555 0505

Student Finance NI (depending on region)

NHS Bursaries

0300 1330 1342


Is there DSA for Postgraduate Research students?

Yes, there is DSA funding for all PGRs.

Some PGR students are still eligible for DSA through Student Finance, but others can apply through us for a continuation of their support, or new support.

If you have never had DSA before, and are confused about what it might mean for you, don’t worry – we would be happy to have a conversation about how it might benefit you.


I am a Needs Assessor, do you have guidance for non-medical helper provision?

The University is not a registered provider of non-medical helper support for the purposes of DSA.

Information document for Needs Assessors.

If you have questions not covered in this document, please email Disability Support Services.