Disabled Student Allowance - DSA

As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a:

  • Long-Term health condition
  • Mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty, eg dyslexia

DSA is not means tested, i.e. household income is not taken into account when calculating entitlement. It is paid in addition to your student funding award (e.g. student loan) and does not have to be paid back.

Depending on your support needs, four allowances can be applied for:

  • Basic Consumables Allowance
  • Equipment Allowance
  • Non-Medical Personal Helpers Allowance.
  • Extra travel costs

Evidence of your disability

You will be asked to produce evidence of your disability to determine your eligibility to apply for DSA.  If you have a physical disability, sensory impairment, medical condition, illness or a mental health condition, you will be asked to provide medical evidence such as a letter or report from a medical professional (e.g. Consultant, GP or Specialist Nurse).

If you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, a diagnostic report prepared by a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist assessor is required.


Autism is a considered to be a developmental disorder and may mean your are eligible for DSA.  Specific guidance has been provided for students with Autism looking to apply for DSA.  Access the information here


Reasonable Adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 requires an Awarding Body to make reasonable adjustments where a disabled person would be at a substantial disadvantage in undertaking an assessment.

A reasonable adjustment for a particular person may be unique to that individual and may not be included in the list of available Access Arrangements.

How reasonable the adjustment is will depend on a number of factors including the needs of the disabled candidate/learner.  An adjustment may not be considered reasonable if it involves unreasonable costs, time frames or affects the security or integrity of the assessment.

There is no duty on the Awarding Bodies to make any adjustment to the assessment objectives being tested in an assessment.

To find out more about the different types of reasonable adjustments

Special Consideration

Special Consideration is a post examination adjustment to a candidate's mark or grade to reflect temporary injury, illness or other indisposition at the time of the examination/assessment.

Access Arrangements fall into two distinct categories: some arrangements are delegated to centres, others require prior JCQ awarding body approval.

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