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Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)

Disabled students who are living in the UK (i.e. ‘home’ students) can apply to Student Finance England or the NHS (depending on their course) for a DSA. DSAs will pay for any extra study-related costs that are a direct result of your disability. DSAs aren’t means-tested and they do not need to be paid back.

If you have any disability, including mental health difficulties and other unseen disabilities such as dyslexia and medical conditions, you may be eligible for a DSA. You’ll need to send up-to-date evidence with your DSA application, such as a doctor’s letter or educational psychologist’s report.

You can apply for DSAs at any time during your course but we strongly recommend you do so as soon as possible as the process can take up to 3 months. To apply for, or get advice about, DSAs you can either contact us or go straight to the student support team at your funding body.

Disabled Students' Allowance forms

There are different DSA application forms for the different funding bodies. Please download the appropriate form as outlined below.

For students except those expecting to receive a bursary from the NHS, Department of Health or a research council:

DSA and claims forms for 2015/16 and 2016/17 are available.

For all NHS students expecting to receive a bursary from the NHS or Department of Health (e.g. Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy courses) please login to your Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) account.

What next?

If your DSA application is approved, you will be asked to go for a needs assessment. The support you get depends on your individual needs but you may be recommended any of the following:

Special equipment

  • computers /laptops*
  • disability software
  • computer furniture for students’ residence
  • furniture used for study purposes
  • recording devices

*The government has introduced changes to DSAs and, as from 2015/16, all students are asked to pay the first £200 of the cost of a computer.  However, Brunel will pay this cost for all fully enrolled students (further details are available here).

Non-medical helpers:

  • training in the use of disability software
  • note-takers
  • 1:1 study skills tuition
  • library support
  • interpreters for lectures and seminars
  • readers/scribes for exams

General allowances:

  • photocopying costs
  • disability-related travel costs
  • consumables (batteries, cartridges, printing paper)
  • additional costs of en-suite accommodation

Where can I find out further information?

For advice and guidance about DSAs, including how and when to apply, contact the University’s Disability & Dyslexia Service:

Tel: 01895 265213
Room 315, Bannerman Centre (9 - 4.30pm Monday to Friday; 9 - 6.30pm on Tuesdays in term-time)