Study Needs Assessments

Find out more about what a Study Needs Assessment involves, top tips to prepare, how to book a Study Needs Assessment and what happens afterwards.


Study Needs Assessments

What is a Study Needs Assessment?

Once you have applied for DSA and have been informed that you are eligible to receive DSA support, the next step is to book a Study Needs Assessment. Try not to be put off by the word "assessment". It is important to know that you are not being tested.

What it will be is a discussion between you and a Needs Assessor where you can discuss what aspects of your study are affected by your disability. Based on your individual needs, your Needs Assessor will then recommend different types of support which may help you, such as assistive software or help with travel costs, for example. Your Needs Assessor will explain in detail about the types of support that they are suggesting to you and how they may benefit you. For example, this may include demonstrations of assistive software.

Your Study Needs Assessment will take place either in an Assessment Centre or remotely, and take around 2 hours or less.


Top tips to prepare

To get the most out of your Study Needs Assessment:

  • Think beforehand about how your disability affects different aspects of your study. You are more than welcome to bring notes with you.
  • Bring details of any equipment that you use for your studies, or bring the equipment itself, such as a laptop.
  • Remember that the support might be different to your previous experiences or be something that you had not considered before, so try to be open-minded to the recommendations of support.
  • Don't be afraid to say if you don't think that a particular type of support will be useful for you.
  • Stay engaged and ask any questions that you may have.
  • Remember that in higher education, students often work more independently than in further education, so engaging proactively with the support will be beneficial for you.


How to book a Study Needs Assessment

Your DSA eligibility letter will provide you with a website link where you can search for nearby Assessment Centres. You can also book your Study Needs Assessment at the University of Huddersfield. Each Assessment Centre will display their waiting times on their websites.

Once you have chosen your preferred Assessment Centre, you should:

  • Contact them as soon as possible to book your Study Needs Assessment.
  • Send them a copy of your DSA eligibility letter and a copy of your evidence of your disability prior to your Study Needs Assessment.
  • Let them know if you require any adjustments for accessibility purposes, including if you need to bring someone with you to your Study Needs Assessment.


What happens after a Study Needs Assessment?

Your Needs Assessor will create a report which outlines the recommendations of support which were discussed and agreed in your Study Needs Assessment.

This report will be sent to the funding body who you initially applied for DSA with. You will also receive a copy of this report.

Within around 10 working days of the funding body receiving this report, you will receive your DSA2 entitlement letter. This letter will tell you what support you are entitled to and how to put it in place.

If you require specialist ergonomic equipment, your Needs Assessor will recommend a separate assessment, and a separate report will be sent to the funding body. Once they receive this report, you will receive an updated version of your DSA2 entitlement letter. This may take up to 10 working days.


Further information

To find out more about DSA, take a look at the rest of the information on the step-by-step guide, or visit our useful links page

If you need any further assistance, please email Disability Services at