Disabled Students' Allowances

Eligibility and how to apply.


Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are non-means-tested allowances that disabled students who are already on, or have applied to study, a higher education course can apply for.

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) is funding available for Higher Education students, who are disabled, long term health condition, mental health condition, or specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia.

Funding may be awarded for support workers, equipment and assistive software, travel and other allowances.

The allowance covers additional study-related costs that students will incur because of their disability. DSAs are paid on top of the standard student finance package but are not measured against your income and do not need to be repaid. DSAs are available to both new and existing students both full and part time.

DSAs only help with costs and support directly related to study. Any support you may need that is not study related (ie support you would need whether studying or not) will need to be provided from other sources. Our disabled student funding information can give you more advice on disability benefits and allowances.

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

This Student Finance England video provides a straightforward overview of DSAs.


If you are a UK-based student and want to check whether you are eligible please read the government's guide to Disabled Students' Allowances.

Non-eligible students

Some students will not be eligible for DSAs. The most common groups include EU and international students and those studying short courses. If you do not think you will qualify for funding but do need support you should contact Disability Service to discuss this further.

If your course or chosen study route fits into the following categories you may not be eligible for funding from Disabled Students' Allowances:

  • 'stand-alone' or short courses
  • studying part-time and less than 25% of the full-time equivalent programme
  • foundation courses with no direct link to a degree course.
  • some postgraduate courses that are not 'designated' or do not meet the criteria for part-time support. This includes some postgraduate research programmes.
  • degree apprenticeships.

Rules around eligibility are complex. If you are unsure, please contact your funding body eg Student Finance England for further information or advice.

If you're not eligible

If you are not eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances we can still help you with reasonable adjustments, support and equipment. If you send your medical evidence to disability@uwe.ac.uk, we will put in any appropriate reasonable adjustments and advise you further.

For a discussion about this, please fill out an enquiry form, or make a Disability Advice Appointment, either by phone or in person via Information Point.

European Union or international students

UWE Bristol has a growing number of international students and we welcome applications from disabled people.

You are strongly encouraged to disclose as disabled on your application to the University. This allows us to help you identify any disability-related support needs and to make sure you receive the correct advice and guidance about how your needs can be met. 

International and EU students are not normally eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances, which is UK funding to pay for disability support such as assistive technology or support workers.

Disabled Students' Allowances are only available to UK students, including students who hold 'EEA Migrant Worker' status. EU and international students are, therefore, ineligible except EU students who have been living in the UK for a number of years. There is currently no disability-related funding available through the UK Government. If you are not a UK student, it may be worth checking whether your home government or the European Union can assist with funding your disability-related support needs or if they have any grants available in the first instance.

How to apply

See what you need to do to complete your DSAs application

If your needs change

If you change your course of study, or your disability support needs change while you are studying, you may need a ‘top-up’ DSA needs assessment. If so, you should contact the needs assessment centre where you had your initial assessment.

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