Student Life

Disability Support Service

The Disability Support Service provides advice, guidance and support for current and prospective disabled students. We work closely with our support services, academic staff and disabled student community to remove barriers and improve access for disabled students.

Speak to one of our trained advisors

You need to tell us about your disability or condition to get support. You can do this at any point during your studies. By telling us when you apply to study with us, we can arrange for support to be in place from the start of your course.

HE Disability Services Manager
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Who we support

We support any student studying with us who has disclosed a disability or a condition which creates a barrier to their course.

This includes students who have:
Health conditions
Mental health conditions
A specific learning difficulty (SpLD)
Visual impairments
Hearing impairments
Sensory difficulties
Mobility difficulties
Autism spectrum conditions
Other conditions not listed above

How to get a diagnosis
If you suspect that you have a disability, condition or learning difficulty, we encourage you to get a diagnosis. We will need to see evidence of this diagnosis before we can put support in place for you.

If you are referred for an assessment by your GP, please ask them to write a letter to us confirming this. Many NHS waiting lists can be long, so do not wait for this before accessing support. Many students have been given support in school/college but have not been formally diagnosed.

Student support plans

Once you have told us about a disability or condition and have provided evidence of it, we can put a support plan in place with a set of recommendations to the way that you are taught and assessed. These recommendations are called ‘reasonable adjustments’. This will be based on your individual requirements and will be shared with your lecturers, with your permission.

Examples of reasonable adjustments:
Exam access arrangements
Permission to record lectures
Recommendations for breaks in lectures
Changes to work placements and field trips (where appropriate)
Access to buildings/teaching venues
Adjustments to presentation arrangements
Recommendations for extensions to assessment

These will not include adjustments to:
Learning outcomes
Academic standards
Professional standards and expectations
Anything that may pose or create a health and safety risk

Student extensions & arrangements

Extension requests
We understand that students with a disability or long-term condition may need additional time to complete assessments. We manage this using a ‘DA3’ assessment plan, which enables disabled students to access additional time without multiple disclosures of their condition or additional paperwork. To understand how this can be used to support you, please contact us directly.

Alternative exam arrangements
Many of our courses do not include exams, if you are on a course with an examination and you need additional support such as extra time or use of a computer, you will need to submit a request for an exam concessions.

Mental health & autism assessments

Mental Health Assessments
If you think that you may have a mental health condition, you should speak to your doctor who may diagnose you or can refer you for a further assessment. Our wellbeing team also offer a mentoring service and a counselling service. This is for all students, including those who do not have a mental health diagnosis, are waiting for a diagnostic assessment and those with a formal diagnosis.

Autism Assessment
If you think that you may have an autism spectrum condition, you should speak to your doctor who can refer you for an assessment. You can contact the National Autistic Society ( for advice and guidance on this process.

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

DSA is granted to UK home students, and can cover some of the additional study costs that disabled students may have.

DSA is based on your needs and may include:
Specialist software and assistive technology
Non-medical help (for example: mentors, study skills tutors)
Study skills
Travel allowances
General allowance

We recommend that you apply for DSA alongside your student finance application, before you start your course. You can apply online through student finance, if you have a loan for your tuition or maintenance, or are in the process of applying for this.

If you are not going to have a tuition or maintenance loan, you will need to complete and post a form from the relevant Student Finance body (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland).

What happens after I've applied?
Once you have applied, you will need to submit evidence of your condition. You will then be invited to have a needs assessment.

Additional Support
Student Finance Support Videos

BSL Student Finance Support Videos