Requirements for the Disabled Students' Allowance Requirements for the Disabled Students' Allowance

Full and part-time, undergraduate and postgraduate UK students taking eligible courses can apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). Students from the Republic of Ireland can apply for a similar allowance.

Watch this YouTube video explaining how to apply.

To be eligible, your course must be in the UK and one of the following:

  • a first degree, e.g. BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • a postgraduate course
  • Initial Teacher Training
  • at least 25% FTE

To qualify, you must provide appropriate evidence of:

  • Autism Spectrum Condition
  • Hearing impairment
  • Vision impairment
  • Specific learning difficulty
  • Long-term medical condition
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Mobility impairment
  • Mental Health Difficulty
  • Other condition not mentioned above

In all cases your condition must be of long-standing (i.e. it must have lasted for 6 months or more and be anticipated to continue) and have a significant impact on the conduct of your daily life which, at University, includes an impact on your studies and engagement.

If you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you must provide evidence in the form of a post 16 years Diagnostic Assessment from a Chartered Psychologist with a Health Professional Council (HPC) Practising Certificate, or a specialist dyslexia teacher with a Practising Certificate. If you have a physical disability, medical condition, mental-health condition or sensory impairment, you will need to provide 'medical evidence' of this. This can be a letter from a Doctor or suitable Specialist. The evidence you provide in support of your DSA application must clearly show that your condition is disabling under the above criterion and should give your diagnosis, the duration of the condition and its effects.

For more information about eligibility see the GOV.UK page on Disabled Students' Allowances and their interactive guide. Student Finance England Forms for 2016/17 are now available. You can also view the video 'What are Disabled Students' Allowances?'.

Postgraduate students and those without a student loan must complete an application form each year. Those with Student Finance accounts should indicate on their student loan application that they wish their DSA provision to continue for the next academic year.

Please direct any enquiries about the DSA to



Non-Medical Helpers Non-Medical Helpers

DSAs do not pay for any services funded by other bodies. For example, if you require personal care whilst you are at University, funding for this has to be arranged with your local Social Services Department. We are happy to speak to or meet with social workers and/or occupational therapists to discuss this and help to make arrangements for you.

DSAs do fund assistance with study-related support and engagement with the University and the University manages the provision of non-medical helper support for most students. We will arrange specialist mentors and tutors, note takers, proof readers, lab. assistants etc. for you. We arrange payment for the staff and invoice your funding body for the services provided. Please see our non-medical helper charges for students at the University.

You can arrange for such services to be provided external to the University (for example, you may want to see a Dyslexia tutor nearer to your home or to have a Sign Language interpreter already known to you). In such a case the provider of the service must be identified on your study needs assessment report with the hourly rate that is charged. External providers must invoice directly to your funding body and funding must be maintained within the limits set in your approval letter.

If you have been recommended to have such services, and we have not already contacted you about them, please telephone 01603 592761 to make an appointment to meet with an Adviser so that we can get the support in place for you. 

If you are not satisfied with the service provided please let us know. You can call us on the number above or email us at or and we will ensure that we act on your concern.

How to apply How to apply

Who you apply to depends on what course you are studying and where your home is. The provider will be the same as for your other student finance. The providers of Disabled Students' Allowances are listed below. Providers vary in their conditions, funding and processes, so please ensure that you look at the right funding body for you.

Contact Jane Abson in the Student Support Centre, via, to make an appointment to assess your study support requirements.

Student Finance England
Overview of DSAs
How to claim

Student Finance Wales
Extra support - DSAs

Student Finance Northern Ireland
Students with disabilities
Forms and guides 2014/15 - DSAs

The Students' Award Agency for Scotland
Forms and guides - DSAs

Isle of Man Student Awards
DSA support
Contact for information and application pack: +44 1624 685822

States of Jersey Student
Financial assistance for disabled students
Please note, the specialist equipment allowance is means-tested in Jersey and the Government does not fund Needs Assessments undertaken outside the States of Jersey.

States of Guernsey Student Finance
Higher Education Awards 2014/15
Schedule of Fees and Allowances 2014/15
Please note, if a student does not qualify for a maintenance grant, they are not eligible for DSA support in Guernsey

Research Councils (PGR students) via Disability Services and PGR Office
Funding for Research Training

Fund for Students with Disabilities (Republic of Ireland)
Frequently Asked Questions

After application: the Study Needs Assessment After application: the Study Needs Assessment

After you application, your provider will contact you to give their decision on your application. If your application is successful you will be advised to attend a Study Needs Assessment. At this meeting the Assessor will discuss your situation in relation to your academic work and you will agree a report including recommendations for specialist equipment, assistive software and support that will go to your funding body. The assessment centre will ask you for a copy of your approval letter from your funding body and a copy of your evidence so that they can be prepared for the meeting with you.

Student Finance England have issued new guidelines on the provision of IT equipment via DSA that Study Needs Assessors must follow in their recommendations.

Following the assessment appointment, which usually takes up to 2 hours, the report is sent to your funding body who will then contact you to tell you what they have agreed and how to go about ordering equipment and arranging services. It is very helpful if you give your approval for a copy of your report to be sent to so that we can see what the University is recommended to do to assist you in your studies.

If you have any questions or concerns about this at any time during the DSA application process, please email or call 01603 592891/593742 for assistance. We will be happy to help.

More information about the assessment process can be found on the assessment centres' websites below.

Assessment Centres Assessment Centres

We do not have an assessment centre at the University of East Anglia. If you are applying for your DSA before you start University or your agreement is given during University vacations when you are away from Norwich, you should book an assessment at a centre nearest to your home. Postgraduate Research Students should make an appointment to meet with Jane Abson, Disability Co-ordinator.

You can find your nearest assessment centre on the National Network of Assessment Centres website. There is also further information on their site about what the assessment comprises on their Information about the Study Aids and Study Strategies Assessment page.

Assessment centres with offices in Norwich

Anglia Access Centre (AAC)
City College Norwich
Norfolk House
Exchange Street
Telephone 01223 698378

Northampton Assessment Centre
Indigo Dyslexia Centre
17-19 St John Maddermarket
Telephone 0300 300 00 50

Cambridge Access Centre
Orwell House Orwell
Telephone 01223 223701