Disabled Students' Allowances

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) - information for applicants and students

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) is a non-means tested grant available to U.K. disabled students who are applying for, or are attending, a course of Higher Education. There are specific eligibility conditions related to residence in the UK which have to be met to qualify for this funding.

DSA allowance covers some additional study-related costs that students will incur because of a disability, ongoing medical condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia. Extra costs may include specialist equipment, a non-medical helper or travel costs.

Changes to Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are changing.

Some less specialised support will no longer be funded through DSAs for students applying to Student Finance England.

At Newcastle University we want you to have the best learning experience possible. We also want to support you to develop independent or enhanced learning and study skills. We strive towards an inclusive and accessible learning environment.

Where individualised adjustments are needed, we will ensure you have access to an assessment where decisions about support are made on a case by case basis.

Haven’t applied for a DSA before?

If you are a prospective or current student and have not previously applied for DSAs, please contact the Student Wellbeing Service to discuss your support requirements.

The Student Wellbeing Service provides information, advice and guidance on a wide range of student support issues, allowing you to maximise your potential whilst at university. A Student Wellbeing Adviser will help you identify your learning needs and offer guidance on how to access appropriate resources, software and support.

Some support will be provided directly by Newcastle University whilst some other specialised equipment, assistive software, mentoring or tuition may be funded through DSAs for eligible UK students.

Already receive DSAs?

If you are a current student at Newcastle University and are in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs), there will be no change to your support for the academic year 2016-17.

Applying for DSA

We would encourage you to contact your funding body, usually Student Finance England to start your application for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) as soon as you can (UK students only). The Disability Advisers can help with this process and can assist you with any questions that you may have.

• Students from Northern Ireland should contact Student Finance Northern Ireland
• Students from Wales should contact Student Finance Wales
• Students from Scotland should contact the Student Awards Agency for Scotland
• Students from the Republic of Ireland should contact studentfinance.ie
• Students funded by NHS Student Bursaries can find an online application form at NHSBSA.


Useful Tips

• Apply as early as possible; don't wait until you've been offered a place at university.
• You need to give proof of your disability or health condition. This may be a letter from your Doctor or specialist. Click here for guidance on providing medical evidence.
• If you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you'll need to provide a 'diagnostic assessment' from a psychologist or a suitably qualified specialist teacher. If you had a diagnostic assessment when you were under age 16 it may need updating.


Following your application

Once you have applied for DSA and your eligibility is confirmed you will be asked by your funding body to attend a needs assessment, which must be carried out by an accredited Assessment Centre. You can find your nearest centre using DSA-QAG. If you wish, you can book a needs assessment on site at UCAN (University Centre for Assessments at Newcastle). This appointment can be carried out before the start of your course. Following that assessment, a report will produced that outlines recommendations for appropriate adjustments.