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Higher education and university

All UK universities can support you if you have special needs and disabilities. 

Find a course

You can find information about all the courses available to you at the UCAS website

Find the university disability officer

If you have a disability, mental health condition or learning difficulty you’ll need to contact course provider to discuss support you may need.

To find the disability officer at a university, go to the Disabled Students Allowances Quality Assurance Group website

This Survey suggests top 5 UK universities for young people with Autism and some of the support they provide.

Questions to ask when choosing a university

  • does the support available meet your individual needs?
  • how does the course provider support other students with a similar impairment?
  • can anyone help with applications for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)?
  • do you need to provide proof of your disability – if so, what is required?
  • if you find it hard to talk to the course provider, can you nominate someone else on your behalf?

Financial support

Taking a degree, HND, HNC, PGCE or Diploma of Higher Education or any qualification at RQF level 4 or above

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) no longer apply once a student begins studying at level 4 or above.

Similarly, students without an EHCP but with special educational needs will not receive funding for additional learning support.

Instead, you will be able to apply for Disabled Students Allowances (DSA). You should contact the learning support unit at your place of study for detailed information about the application process and for help to define your additional support needs.

  • DSA are for extra expenses students incur whilst attending a higher education course and which are a direct result of their disability or SEN. DSA are not means tested and are provided to help students benefit fully from their course.
  • DSA can be provided for specialist equipment (like computer software), non-medical helpers, (like a note-taker or reader), extra travel because of disability, and other things related to your studies (like photocopying).

Full information about eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/overview

For students who are disabled as defined by the Equalities Act 2010, institutions must provide reasonable adjustments to prevent students from being at a disadvantage due to their disability. This obligation applies whether or not a student receives DSA.

If you're doing an NHS funded course, you can apply for an NHS bursary and disabled student allowance

A good guide to the allowances can be found here disabled students allowance

Further information

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