Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)
What is DSA?
This is a grant from Student Finance England. If you have a disability (including mental health) or specific learning difficulty, the DSA can help pay costs of specialist equipment, some disability-related costs of studying, non-medical helpers and additional travel costs (reasonable spending on extra travel costs beyond everyday travel costs).
Am I eligible?
How much can I get?
The amount of DSA awarded depends on the recommendations of a needs assessment carried out by a specialist assessment centre. The cost of the needs assessment can be paid for from the DSA and the Queen Mary University of London Disability and Dyslexia Service can advise you further on this, including how to arrange a needs assessment and how to apply for the DSA. The Maximum grants payable are listed on the Gov.uk site.
I think I have a disability – can DSA cover the cost of establishing this?
The DSA cannot be used to pay for establishing your disability, so you will need to have documentation to confirm your disability, such as a GP letter. The Queen Mary Disability and Dyslexia Service can advise you about what documentation is acceptable.
I’m a part-time postgraduate – can I still get DSA?
You can apply for the DSA if your postgraduate programme (including a distance learning programme) is full-time or part-time and lasts at least one year.
I’m getting Research Council funding – can I still get DSA?
You won't normally qualify for DSAs if you're a postgraduate student getting Research Council funding. You are advised to contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service at Queen Mary for advice about what support is available.
I’m getting funding from Queen Mary – can I get still get DSA?
If your Queen Mary funding includes equivalent DSA support, you will not be able to also get DSA.
Where can I find out more about DSA?
More information about DSA, and the application form, is available online.
Contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service at Queen Mary for help applying for DSAs. It is advisable to contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service at Queen Mary well in advance of the start of your course so that your DSA and any other support arrangements can be organised by the time you enrol.
If you are funding your studies yourself, e.g. from savings, a loan or your family, you should ensure that these funds are adequate to pay for all of your costs while studying, including costs you need to pay relating to your disability, as you cannot normally apply for Disabled Students Allowances. This is because DSA eligibility is based on the personal eligibility rules for UK government Student Finance.
Personal eligibility is normally limited to EU nationals who have already been living in the UK for at least three years when they start their course, or who are an EEA or Swiss worker/the family member of an EEA or Swiss worker. There are some other limited eligibility categories of EU/EEA nationals and family members of EU/EEA nationals. For more information about all categories see the UKCISA website.
Some limited funding from the university may be available to EU nationals in certain circumstances. Contact the Queen Mary Disability and Dyslexia Service to discuss your situation.
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.