Funding for disabled students

The main source of funding for disabled students from the UK is the Disabled Students' Allowance.  

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)

DSA is government funding provided to disabled students to assist with disability-related costs resulting from their programme of study and allowing them to participate fully. It is not means tested and does not need to be repaid. Students receiving equipment through their DSA are allowed to keep that equipment when their programme has ended.

Most UK students are eligible to apply. Prospective students will have their specific needs assessed and will receive a needs assessment report.

For most students, DSA is provided by the government through Student Finance England. Students on healthcare courses will need to apply through the NHS.

Postgraduate research students who are funded by one of the Research Councils can apply for DSA. Further information is available on the Research Councils UK (RCUK) website.

Applying for DSA

The way in which students apply for and are assessed for funding differs between funding sources, as does the process for invoicing and reclaiming the cost of support.

The funding application process can take three months so applicants should be encouraged to apply as soon as possible. They do not have to have a confirmed place on a programme at the University. 

DSA provided by Student Finance England

Applicants for funding should follow the up to date guidance provided on the British Government website. Further information is available on the Disability Services website.

DSA provided by the NHS 

Applicants to healthcare programmes should apply for DSA as part of their student bursary application. Up to date guidance and an online application system are provided on the NHS Business Services Authority website

DSA provided by Research Councils UK (RCUK)

Students funded by a Research Council should discuss their disability-related funding with a Disability Coordinator. Claims are submitted on a proforma via graduate schools to the Postgraduate Scholarships Office, who are responsible for submitting applications to research councils. The deadline for submission is mid-October each year. Further information is available on the Research Councils UK (RCUK) website.

Other sources of funding

Disability Services will work with students to find further sources of funding for students who either are not eligible for any of the DSA schemes or whose DSA funding does not cover the support that they need.