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Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) Application

DSA support – what’s included?

The support you’ll get through DSA will depend upon your individual needs, but some examples of what’s covered are:

  • Assistive equipment and software, as well as training to use any technology you’re provided with
  • One-to-one help that is classed as “specialist support”, such as the provision of a specialist study skills tutor, mentor or notetaker; a specialist tutor for the deaf or a sign language interpreter
  • An allowance for additional ink, paper and printing costs
  • A contribution towards additional travel costs if they are incurred due to your disability and are academic related (e.g. getting to university)

Lower Mountjoy Campus

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How to apply for DSA and what happens next

Step 1:

You’ll need to complete a DSA application and send this to your funding body, along with appropriate medical evidence of your disability.

Step 2:

After you’ve applied, your funding body will contact you to confirm you’re eligible for DSA funding. They’ll send you a DSA1 letter asking you to arrange a Study Needs Assessment appointment with an accredited Assessment Centre of your choice. They’ll provide you with a list of Assessment Centres nationwide to choose from.

Step 3:

Attend your Study Needs Assessment appointment. During this meeting your assessor will discuss your study-related needs and identify appropriate DSA support. They’ll then write a report with their recommendations. 

Step 4:

Your funding body will contact you to confirm the support they’ve approved and provide you with instructions on how to access it.

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When to apply for DSA

You can apply for DSA at any time during your degree course but please be aware it takes time to complete the process. To have your DSA support in place for the beginning of your course, we recommend you apply 3 to 4 months before your start date

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Funding Bodies

Apply via Student Finance England (SFE)

Student Finance England, PO Box 210, Darlington, DL1 9HJ

Telephone: 0300 100 0607 / Email:

Please ensure you use the email address registered on your SFE account and state your full name and customer reference number in all correspondence.

Apply via Student Finance Wales (SFW)

Apply via Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

Apply via Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI)

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Other forms of funding for disabled students

If you’re a disabled student, but are not eligible for DSA (e.g., if you’re an International or EU applicant), please contact us to discuss possible alternative options for funding.

If you’re a disabled student and require social care support, you must contact Social Services in your local authority area well in advance of leaving home to attend university. This is to ensure an optimal amount of time for your care package to be re-assessed and transferred to the local authority area within which you’ll be living as a student.

Find out more information about benefits, rights and entitlements for disabled people.

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Postgraduate students who are in receipt of Research Council funding

You may be eligible for DSA through your individual Research Council. In these cases, the University makes the application for DSA on your behalf. If you’re funded in this way and want to apply for DSA you’ll need to make contact with us so we can begin the process. Full information is available on the UKRI website.