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 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




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 ona 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.

What level of funding is available through DSA?

Funding will vary according to the results of each applicant's assessment of need, up to maximum levels which are available on the government website. These are reviewed regularly.

For undergraduate students funding is divided into allowances for specialist equipment, non-medical helpers and a general allowance.

For postgraduate students who have recently had equipment funded through DSA for an undergraduate programme, this may be deemed sufficient for further study.

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.

Encourage students to contact DSAS as soon as possible. 

Students who exceed their DSA will still receive support during their studies at Leeds.