What is the Disabled Students’ Allowance?

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is specific funding for disabled students. DSA is provided by your Student Funding body. It is called the Fund for Students with Disabilities for students funded by the Eire Higher Education Authority.

Disabled Students' Allowance helps with extra costs you have due to your disability. You do not need to pay it back.

Our ambition as a University is to become as inclusive as possible. That will mean that, as much as we can, we look to make sure support is available without you needing to apply for additional funding.


Applying for DSA

If you would like to apply, your Disability Advisor will help you through the process. Please be aware that it can take about 4 months to go from initial application to receiving your funding. SAAS in particular, especially through the autumn and winter, can take up to 6 weeks to process applications and respond to emails.

If you would like to apply for DSA funding, the earlier we start working with you on your application the better.

What can DSA pay for?

Everyone gets funded for different things, depending on what their needs are. DSA can help with the cost of things like:

  • Equipment, e.g. laptops, printers
  • Software, e.g. text-to-speech and dictation packages
  • Specialist one-to-one help from people, study skills tutors, British Sign Language Interpreters and mental health mentors
  • Printing and photocopying costs

Who is eligible?

Eligibility for DSA depends on residency requirements and the course you are studying. Please check the eligibility criteria on the Student Funding body websites below to see if you are eligible.

If you are not eligible for DSA but you have additional support needs, the Disability Inclusion team can still provide support for you.

How do I apply?

The application process depends on your Student Funding body. SAAS requires you to work with your Disability Inclusion advisor to apply.

To apply, you will need evidence of your disability and to complete an application form. You will normally be asked to attend a meeting at which your support needs can be assessed before decisions are made about the support that can be funded for you.

Your Disability Inclusion Advisor can help you to apply for DSA/FSD and answer any questions.


Who is my Student Funding body?

SAAS – Student Awards Agency Scotland: if your permanent home address is in Scotland

SFE – Student Finance England: if your permanent home address is in England

SFNI – Student Finance Northern Ireland: if your permanent home address is in Northern Ireland

SFW – Student Finance Wales: if your permanent home address is in Wales

Eire Fund for Students with Disabilities: if your permanent home address is in the Republic of Ireland

SSSC – Scottish Social Services Council: if you are on the Masters Social Work course and the SSSC is paying you a bursary, you might also be eligible for DSA support from them. Masters Social Work students not receiving a SSSC bursary can apply to SAAS for DSA funding.