Explore the DSA


Find out about the DSA, and how it can assist you, or someone you know.

 What is the Disabled Student Allowance?

The Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) is a government scheme that provides extra financial support for students with disabilities. This financial support is NOT a loan and does NOT to be paid back!

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 What disabilities does the DSA cover?

The types of disabilities the DSA covers include learning difficulties such as dyslexia, visual impairment, mobility impairment, hearing impairment, mental health and other ongoing health conditions.

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 What can the DSA provide?

The DSA grant can provide a range of solutions to meet your needs including the supply of:

  • Specialist equipment such as desktop and laptop computers including any complimentary software or dictaphones to record lectures
  • Non-medical helpers such as a note taker or reader
  • Extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability
  • Other potential costs including photocopying or printer cartridges

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 How much financial support does the DSA cover?

The table below shows the maximum amounts of money the DSA covers.
Important points to be aware of:

  • The amount of financial cover does not depend on your household income; it purely depends on your disability
  • Money for your support is paid directly to the supplier
  • The amount part time students are allocated is affected by ‘course intensity’. This is measured by the length of the course each year compared to a full time course

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Type of student Specialist equipment Non-medical helper General
Full-time Up to £5,161 for whole course Up to £20,520 a year Up to £1,724 a year
Part-time Up to £5,161 for whole course Up to £15,390 a year Up to £1,293 a year
Post-graduate Post-graduate Postgraduates are paid a single allowance, including travel costs – up to £10,260 a year

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 Who can apply for a DSA Grant?

DSA grants are available to UK national students who are planning or currently enrolled in:

  • Full time courses
  • Part time courses
  • Post-graduate courses

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 Who can’t apply for a DSA grant?

You wouldn’t be able to apply for a DSA grant if you are:

  • An non UK national student
  • Eligible for an NHS bursary – this would be for students who are accepted for an NHS funded place on a full or part time course which leads you to be professional registration. For more information on NHS bursaries, you can visit the NHS Business Services Authority student information page
  • Getting equivalent support from another funding source including – this could include funding from your university or a social work bursary
  • Students who are on sandwich courses. If you are on a sandwich course you can apply for the Access To Work scheme during your year of work.

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 How long does it take to get your solution?

Most application process can take between 3-4 months to complete. At this point you will have received your solution.

  • An non UK national student
  • Eligible for an NHS bursary – this would be for students who are accepted for an NHS funded place on a full or part time course which leads you to be professional registration. For more information on NHS bursaries, you can visit the NHS Business Services Authority student information page
  • Getting equivalent support from another funding source including – this could include funding from your university or a social work bursary
  • Students who are on sandwich courses. If you are on a sandwich course you can apply for the Access To Work scheme during your year of work.

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 When can you apply?

You can apply for a DSA grant when:

  • You have confirmation that you have been accepted to university
  • You are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate course.

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