Disabled students allowance
Who can apply
Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is additional funding which may be available to meet any additional study related costs that you may incur as a consequence of your disability. Students with a range of disabilities can apply, including those with visual or hearing impairments, physical disabilities, mental health issues, some unseen disabilities, and specific learning difficulties such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Asperger's syndrome.
Application for Disabled Students' Allowance is open to UK domiciled students only; the Republic of Ireland also has a ‘Fund for Students with Disabilities'. Students who are eligible for support but do not have access to this funding will have their needs assessed and will receive appropriate support from Heriot-Watt University.
The costs DSA can cover
A DSA Assessor will discuss your requirements with you and write a Needs Assessment report which outlines any equipment, training or other support that you might need.
DSA funding can only be used to cover the cost of things that you need directly related to your disability and how it affects your academic studies. It cannot be used to pay for things that all students need, like rent or tuition fees.
How it is paid
DSA is non-means tested, and is an award paid for by your Funding Agency.
More information is available from your Funding Agency by visiting the links below:
- Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS)
- Student Finance England
- Student Finance NI - Northern Ireland
- studentfinace.ie - Republic of Ireland
- Student Finance Wales
Applying for DSA can be a lengthy process, so you should try and set things in motion as soon as possible. Contact the Disability Service, and they will advise you on your eligibility and help you apply for funding. Download our DSA Funding Quick Guide.
We also have an information page for needs assessors.