Services for Students

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Disabled Students' Allowances

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) help disabled students from the UK to fund additional costs they may incur when taking part in a higher education level course.   

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. This funding is not available to international students.  

Depending on your needs, support from the DSA could include specialist equipment, a non-medical helpers allowance, help towards the additional costs of travelling to your institution and a general allowance.  The amount of DSA you receive will depend on your funding body and on your DSA needs assessment.  The maximum 2020/21 DSA allowances from Student Finance England and NHS England are detailed below.

The Student Finance England 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.

For support with other disability related costs, please see other funding for disabled students.   

DSA for students undertaking undergraduate courses - Student Finance England/NHS England

Specialist Equipment Allowance

  • Full-time students: Up to £5,849 for the duration of the course 
  • Part-time students: Up to £5,849 for the duration of the course  

This is for major items of equipment, such as funding towards computer equipment or specialist assistive software.  Students may have to contribute £200 towards a computer.  

Non-Medical Helper Allowance

  • Full-time students: Up to £23,258 for each academic year
  • Part-time students: As a percentage of the full-time rate 

This can be used to pay for support such as Specialist Mentors, Specialist Study Skills and Strategies Support, BSL or Specialist Note-taking Support.  

General Allowance

  • Full-time students: Up to £1,954 for each academic year
  • Part-time students: As a percentage of the full-time rate

This can be used towards extra printing costs, or to top-up the other allowances. 

Travel Allowance

These are extra costs for the purpose of attending the institution incurred because of a disability — there is no upper limit to this element but this allowance will not normally help with everyday travel costs which any student would expect to have, or to fund additional journeys home or to attend medical appointments. 


DSA for students undertaking full-time or part-time postgraduate courses

There is a maximum single annual allowance of £20,000 for eligible postgraduate students on designated part-time and full-time postgraduate courses. 






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