Funding support for disabled students

On this page, we outline the sources of funding available to disabled students. The type of funding you can access varies depending on whether you're a UK or international student.

On this page:

Funding is available to access certain reasonable adjustments. The funding available and how you access this funding depends on your:

  • Home country
  • Programme of study
  • Funding body for your studies

UK students

UK students should apply for the Disabled Students' Allowances or DSA. The DSA is for disabled undergraduate and graduate students and includes those studying through the NHS Bursary Scheme and those working with the UK Research Councils. You can get DSA funding on top of any other student finance and you will not have to pay any DSA funds back. 

The DSA is a grant awarded to help pay for costs you incur whilst at university as a result of your disability or long-term health condition. It can pay for disability-related study support, such as:

  • Human support (non-medical helpers), such as sign language interpreters
  • Specialist equipment and software, such as note-taking software or specialist furniture
  • Some travel costs, such as taxis to get around campus if you experience difficulty travelling on public transport 

In order to be eligible for DSA you will also need to be eligible for student finance. If you are not eligible for student finance or are unsure, please read through the additional sources of funding section at the bottom of this page or speak to one of our advisers. You can apply for DSA by filling in the DSA paper application form.

Check you are eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances.   

If you are submitting a full version DSA application form there is no longer any need to get UCL to complete section 5. Please notify us via askUCL once you have submitted the rest of the application form to Student Finance England. We will then email the DSA team to confirm your current/ anticipated enrolment at UCL, so that they can add this information when they process your application. 

Please also be aware that if you are instructed by Student Finance England to book a DSA study needs assessment, this can be carried out online by video call.

International students

UCL contributes to disability-related study support for international students who aren't eligible for the DSA. This means that international students with disabilities or long-term health conditions may benefit from the same academic experience to that of their UK peers.

UCL may support international students, or those not eligible for DSA, by funding the following:

  • Specialist software, such as a assistive technologies can be provided to you to support with your teaching and learning
  • Specialist study skills tutoring for students with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • A note-taker or other non-medical helper for course-related needs (up to a maximum hourly rate and hours assessed as reasonable by Student Support and Wellbeing)
  • Other costs related to your studies (UCL is currently unable to fund personal care needs such as assistance with shopping, cooking or cleaning) 

Funding for international students

If you are a disabled international student or an international student with a long-term health condition and would like to explore funding arrangements for support, you can discuss this with one of our advisers.

Find out more about telling us about a disability or long-term health condition.

Additional sources of funding

The Snowdon Award Scheme

The Snowdon Award Scheme provides grants and scholarships to students with disabilities to help them make the most of further or higher education or training. Successful applicants will receive financial support and encouragement to help them excel on their chosen programme. Funding may be available for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. To be eligible for their grants and scholarship programmes, candidates are expected to demonstrate:

  • real passion for their subject
  • excellence in their chosen field
  • determination to succeed and overcome obstacles
  • potential to become an inspirational leader and role model
  • a desire to help improve the lives of others

To apply you will need to complete a form through their online portal.

Visit the Snowdon Award Scheme website and find out more about the grants and scholarships available to you.

Student Health Association Bursary

The Student Health Association runs the The Student Enablement Fund, which supports students with disabilities to keep up with their studies. The maximum amount of each award is £500 and students must be involved in higher education on a full-time or nearly full-time basis.

To apply, students are expected to have applied for the Disabled Students Allowance (please see above). You will then complete an application form and email it ahead of deadlines, which fall in March, July and November each year. 

Visit the Student Health Association website and find out more about the bursaries available to you.