Funding for UK Students

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are grants to help you with extra costs you might face because of a disability. They can help pay for things like computer software, specialist study skills tutors, note takers, Specialist Mentoring and travel costs.

Remember to start your DSA application as early as possible as the process can take up to 14 weeks. For more information about DSAs, visit The DSA Hub

If you are not sure whether you should apply for DSAs, contact your funding body as soon as possible:

Alternative funding bodies

The application process can be different for certain courses and funding bodies. You should contact the Disability Team for further advice on applying for DSA if:

  • You are from the Republic of Ireland
  • You will be studying MSc Social Work
  • You will be receiving a bursary from a research council (e.g. EPSRC)
  • Your course attracts any funding from NHS Wales (e.g. Nursing, Paramedic Science)

DSA Application Process

  1. Apply for DSA via your student finance portal. Alternatively, you can download the DSA application form from the Student Finance England (SFE) or Student Finance Wales (SFW) website, complete and then submit with your evidence.
  2. Your funding body will assess your application and write to you to ask you to attend a needs assessment (this is often referred to as a DSA1 letter). A needs assessment is an informal meeting between a student and a needs assessor to discuss the impact of the student’s disability and/or condition on their studies.
  3. Contact your local Assessment Centre to arrange a needs assessment. To find an accredited centre near to you visit: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-assessment-centre.
  4. Attend your needs assessment.
  5. The needs assessor will write a report and send it to you and your funding body for approval.
  6. Your funding body will send you a letter, often referred to as a DSA2 letter. The DSA2 letter explains who will provide the recommended support and how you can contact them to arrange your support. It would be helpful if you sent a copy to your chosen university.

Funding for International and EU Students

Swansea University welcomes applications from international students with disabilities. It is important that you tell us about your support needs as soon as possible so that we can talk to you about possible options.

Although international students can’t claim DSAs, you may be able to get funding through your home government, sponsors or scholarships. There may also be charitable trusts and organisations that you can apply to for funding such as The Snowdon Award Scheme who offer grants to support students with physical or sensory conditions.

The British Council provides more information.