Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)

This is a sum of money  that is given to aid students who have recognised disabilities sufficient for them to need extra tuition or equipment in order to help level the playing field with students who are able to learn without additional impediments.  It is available via medical advice to all sorts of physical disabilities but crucially it is available for students diagnosed as having specific learning difficulties (SpLD's)/Dyslexia by a Chartered Educational Psychologist.

Universities vary in the way that they provide assessment.  Some will make a preliminary assessment of the student and then refer them to the in house consultant EP.  Others will give the student a preliminary assessment and then provide the student with a letter authorising EP assessment up to a certain fee level.  The student then has to select an EP from the list and then make their own arrangements.  Increasingly universities expect their students to pay part of the fee or the whole fee themselves, this may seem expensive but the EP report can unlock substantial levels of support and vital access arrangements, so an EP assessment and report is a wise investment.

The DSA is available to students on Nursing courses provided they fall within higher education.  It is available to open university students.  In addition to the full range of higher education courses run by institutions in the UK.

If you would like to arrange for an assessment under DSA regulations then please contact The Dyslexia Centre 0207 018 0210

The fee for a DSA assessment is £300 with our in house educational psychologist.


How much can you get?

The amount you get depends on your specific needs, not your household income. The figures in the table are the maximum amounts available. Any money for equipment and support is paid directly to the supplier. If you claim back money for any additional expenses, this is paid directly into your account.

 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 postgraduates are paid a single allowance, including travel costs – up to £10,260 a year

The amount part-time students get is affected by their ‘course intensity’ – the length of the course each year compared to a full-time course.

You can also claim additional travel costs you pay because of your disability.

Who can get DSA

You can apply for DSA if:

  • your condition affects your ability to study
  • you qualify for student finance – see ‘Who qualifies for student finance’
  • you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate (including Open University or distance learning students) 
  • your course lasts at least one year

Part-time courses must take:

  • no more than twice as long to complete as the full-time equivalent (for students starting before 1 September 2012)
  • no more than four times as long to complete as the full-time equivalent (for students starting courses from 1 September 2012