Learn about what DSA is and if your are eligble

Find out more about what the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is, what is considered a disability, who is eligible for DSA and what support DSA can offer.


An introduction to the Disabled Students' Allowance

What is the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)?

The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) can fund costs you might have as a direct result of your disability whilst studying. It can be a really beneficial way to support you through university, and it is fully funded, so you will not have to pay anything back.


What is considered a disability?

DSA is available to a wide range of disabled students, including those who:

  • Have specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.
  • Have long-term mental health difficulties, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Have physical or mobility difficulties.
  • Have long-term medical conditions, such as HIV or diabetes.
  • Have social communication difficulties, such as an autistic spectrum condition.
  • Are deaf, or have a hearing impairment or hearing loss.
  • Are blind, or have a visual impairment.

You can apply for DSA if you have one of these disabilities or conditions, or you have two or more.


Who is eligible for DSA?

You could get DSA if you:

  • Are currently or are due to be a UK student (undergraduate, postgraduate or distance learning).
  • Have a long-term disability which affects your ability to study, where "long-term" means lasting or having the potential to last 12 months or more.
  • Are currently or are due to be on a full-time or part-time course lasting one year minimum.

You can apply for DSA regardless of your age, household income or any other income.


Who is not eligible for DSA?

You cannot get DSA if you:

  • Are an EU or international student.
  • Receive equivalent support from another funding source, such as a university, a social work bursary or the NHS.
  • Are a Degree Apprenticeship student.


Support from the University

Whether or not you receive support from the Disabled Students' Allowance, you can still access support and guidance from Disability Services at the University. We encourage you to register with us so that we can best support you.


Support from DSA

DSA can provide you with a variety of support based on your individual needs, including:

  • Specialist equipment, such as ergonomic furniture.
  • Assistive software to support assignment production, reading or note-taking, for example.
  • Help with printing and photocopying costs.
  • A non-medical helper such as a mentor, tutor or British Sign Language interpreter.
  • Help with travel costs.


When should I apply for DSA?

It is advisable to apply as early as possible, as it takes a number of weeks to complete the DSA process.

You can apply at any point during your studies, including before you start. You can apply as early as March onwards for a September start.