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Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is used to pay for support you need to access your studies which arise as a direct result of your disability, long term medical condition, specific learning difficulty or long term mental health difficulty. The DSA is not means tested and it is not a loan.

The DSA is available from whichever body is funding you for your studies, e.g. Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Local Authority, SAAS, Research Councils or the NHS. If you are unsure of who is funding you, the Disability and Dyslexia Service can advise you.

Am I eligible for a DSA?

The DSA is available to most disabled students from the UK; as such the following groups of students are potentially eligible to a DSA.

Full-time UK undergraduates – YES
Part-time UK undergraduates – YES if 50% of a full-time course*
Full-time UK postgraduates – YES*
Part-time UK postgraduates – Yes if 50% of full-time course*

* Please contact a Disability & Dyslexia Service adviser to check your eligibility

EU and International students are not covered by the UK DSA system.  For information on other funding available please see; 

Students on short courses are usually not eligible for the DSA. In these circumstances we advise you to contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service as soon as possible to discuss the support you need, and any funding requirements, to access your studies at Cardiff University.

What does a DSA cover?

DSA’s are not paid in set amounts as each award is based on an individual assessment of need.  For more information on the amount of allowances that you may be entitled to please follow the links for either Student Finance Wales or Student Finance England, depending on your home address, and read the 'Bridging the Gap' docment.  

These links will also give you information on how to apply for the DSA and provide you with the relevant DSA application forms.

We advise that you apply for the DSA as early as possible because the process can take several months to complete. 

How do I know what equipment and support I will need from a DSA?

Your funding body will first contact you to let you know if your application has been approved. If agreed, they will advise you to have a DSA Needs Assessment.  This assessment will make recommendations regarding the support and equipment you need and can be arranged by the Disability and Dyslexia Service at the Cardiff Assessment Centre.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss the DSA process further then please contact us to speak to an adviser.

Further Information

Please click here for extra information about the DSA from DSA-QAG,  the body which regulates the DSA Needs Assessments.