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Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

If you have a disability and need extra support during your studies, DSA can help with costs for:

  • specialist equipment
  • non-medical Help
  • extra travel
  • other disability-related costs such as printing

You cannot use DSA for disability-related costs that you would have if you were not studying a course.

What you could get

Up to £26,291 is available each academic year.

The following information applies to the 2023/24 academic year. 

Specialist equipment 

This provides funding for extra specialist equipment you need to attend your course. Specialist Equipment Allowance support can include:

  • a laptop or computer
  • specialist software
  • ergonomic equipment - for example, a chair or desk

Non-Medical Helper Allowance

This provides money for support that you need to attend your course on the same basis as other students. Non-Medical Helpers Allowance support can include:

  • specialist mentor
  • specialist study skills support
  • specialist note taker

Extra travel 

This is different from Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses (TDAE)

Where a student is unable to use public transport due to their disability, DSA Travel Allowance can be used to pay for daily travel costs to and from:

  • university
  • a practice placement site

The allowance is worked out as the excess between public transport costs and the type of travel you used because of your disability.

This type of support does not have a limit.

Other disability-related costs

This can help with costs not covered by the other allowances. It can also supplement the specialist equipment allowance and non-medical helper allowance.

The cost of a DSA study needs assessment is also taken from your general allowance.

How to apply for DSA

To apply for DSA, you must be eligible for NHS Bursary. You can then apply through the NHS Bursary application system.

The DSA application is separate from the main bursary application.

You can become eligible for DSA at any point during your course.

For example, you could:

  • become disabled
  • have a disability identified
  • choose to disclose a disability after the course has started

A Disability Advisor from your university may assist you with your DSA application.

After we’ve assessed your application, you need to contact an assessment centre for a study needs assessment. The assessment helps to determine:

  • what support you might need
  • how much you can get

If you do not attend the study needs assessment, you cannot get DSA support.

The assessment centre must send a copy of the needs assessment report to us and your university’s Disability Advisor.

We’ll review the report and let you know of any DSA support put in place for you.

We may ask for receipts to confirm the amounts you paid, so keep receipts for all the costs of specialist equipment and general allowances.

You can watch a short YouTube video with information on DSA.