The support we provide

There is a wide range of support and adjustments that the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team are able to provide for our disabled students.

On this page:

Who can we support?

Here at UCL we provide support for all disabled students who meet the Equality Act (2010) criteria. A person is considered disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term (lasting or likely to last 12 months or more) adverse effect on their ability to do day-to-day activities, including study.

Students who would fall under the Equality Act 2010's definition of disabled and be eligible for support include:

  • Sensory, such as individuals certified as blind or partially sighted, and those who are D/deaf 
  • Mobility or physical conditions
  • A musculoskeletal condition, such as arthritis
  • A long-term health condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, including those of a fluctuating or progressive nature
  • A long-term mental health condition such as depression or an eating disorder
  • A social or communication difference such as an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)
  • A specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D

If your GP or a medical professional has completed a referral for you to be assessed for an Autistic Spectrum Condition or AD(H)D, please do contact the team. We can support you while you wait for your formal diagnosis.

A note on specific learning differences

When referring to dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and AD(H)D, the UCL Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team use the phrase ‘Learning Difference’ rather than ‘Learning Difficulty’. Primarily, we believe the use of ‘difficulty’ puts the focus on the individual rather than the impact of a non-inclusive environment. The phrase ‘Learning Difficulty’ is commonly, and mistakenly, linked to intelligence; there is no scientific evidence or basis for this. Terminology continually changes, and as an institution, we can be progressive in using phrases that reflect our culture of inclusiveness and individuality. We recognise that some individuals may prefer their learning diagnosis to be recognised as a difficulty. If this is the case, please let us know during your appointment or interactions with us. As some of our data is directly linked to external partners, including Student Finance and UCAS, you may still see the phrase ‘Learning Difficulty’, for example, on Portico.

We can also support students experiencing mental health difficulties that might not meet definitions of a disability – this may be through a supportive conversation with one of our advisers at an appointment or through counselling provided by our Student Psychological and Counselling Services (SPCS) team.Find out more about mental health and wellbeing support.

We are not able to support students with temporary physical illnesses or injuries, or other conditions which fall outside the Equality Act (2010) definition of a disability. In most cases, your GP would be the best source of support for all health conditions, for both physical and mental health.

Find out more about registering with a GP.

If you are unsure whether or not you have a physical/mental impairment that meets the Equality Act’s definitions of a disability, Citizens Advice provide comprehensive information.

Visit the Citizens Advice website for more information.

Watch some videos of UCL students with impairments talking about their experiences of studying with us.

Reasonable adjustments and other types of support we offer

Here we outline the range of support we can offer to disabled. When an adjustment is generally only provided to students with a specific type of disability, we highlight this. This list is not exhaustive, so please get in contact with us to discuss your adjustments further.

In order to determine what support you'll need, our adviser will:

  • Discuss your past support, experiences and expectations with you;
  • Consider your programme of study;
  • Review your medical evidence of disability;

Once you've read through the range of support we can provide below, we recommend that you read more about how to get access to it – there are different processes depending on the type of support you need.

Find out how to access support.

Accessibility around campus

Guided tours of campus

These can be arranged before you arrive during the summer or just before the start of term as a way for you to become familiar with your way around campus. These are particularly useful for students with visual impairments and mobility difficulties. 

Support with travel

The Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team can arrange for you to use a taxi service when required for academic purposes. This could be to enable you to easily get from your halls of residence to the Bloomsbury campus or from campus to the ExCeL for exams. Students eligible for disability-related funding will need to apply for this to access this support. International students will be assessed by an adviser.

Autism welcome event 

This provides an opportunity for students with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and their families to find out more about UCL support services, tour the campus, learn more about university life and meet other students who also have an ASC.

Guidance on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)

Some disabled students with mobility or sensory impairments may need a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan). We can provide guidance on this and liaison with UCL Estates.

Find out more about PEEPs.

Reasonable adjustments to the built environment

Here at UCL, we are committed to making our campus as accessible as possible. Our advisers can liaise with the UCL Estates team and your academic department to ensure physical barriers in the built environment don't affect your ability to study effectively.

It may not always be possible to remove physical obstacles, given the age and complexity of our estate, but if you have a mobility impairment we will work with your department to make your lectures accessible.

We recommend that you use AccessAble - a handy website which has accessibility information on thousands of buildings across London, including around UCL’s campus. This allows you to see how accessible buildings you might want to use are before you use them

Find out more about AccessAble.

Early access to events

For students who would face mobility difficulties or are nervous in crowds, we can help accommodate early access to large-scale events such as the Welcome Fair in September and careers fairs, so that you can view stalls before they get busy later on.

Lectures and assignments

Extended library loan facilities and other library support

This will allow you to keep library materials for longer, giving you more time to process the required information. Usually, books can be kept for a maximum of 8 weeks whilst books higher in demand can only be kept for shorter periods of time. Our adviser will explain to you the terms of your library loan extension in more depth.

Read our general information about borrowing books at the UCL library and the other disabled student support facilities available.

Find out more about disabled student support in UCL libraries

Recorded lectures - Lecturecast

Lecturecast is a tool for scheduling and recording lectures held in UCL Lecturecast-enabled teaching spaces. Recordings of lectures can be made available to students via Moodle to support student learning and allows staff to transform their content into an interactive experience enabling students to engage further with lecture content.

Read more information about Lecturecast.

Prioritised reading lists

Our advisers can request that your department provide prioritised reading lists where appropriate. This will enable you to find out about, obtain and digest readings relevant to your programme of study ahead of time.

Hand-outs and lecture notes in alternative formats

We can ask your department to provide hand-outs and lecture notes in alternative formats such as via email, or in large print or braille slides in advance of teaching sessions.


Examination assistive technology

You may be able to use a PC and assistive software to enable you to effectively undertake your exam. The assistive technology you use in exams will be discussed with an adviser and outlined in your SORA.

Examination timing

We can provide students with extra time when sitting their exams. How much extra time you receive will depend on your individual circumstances and will be made clear with one of our advisers. 

You may also be able to have extra breaks during your exams that will not impact on your writing time. The extra breaks you receive will depend on your individual circumstances and will be made clear with one of our advisers. 

Physical or human adjustments

We can provide examination papers in a variety of formats that are most accessible to you, including those in large print or in braille.

We may also be able to provide a reader or a scribe, adapted or improved lighting, and adapted or ergonomic furniture. You may also be able to sit your exam in a smaller venue.

Find out more about adjustments for exams.

Assistive technology

Access to the Digital Accessibility Hub

The Digital Accessibility Hub is a dedicated IT workroom and team of advisers that provides improved access to study independently using a variety of assistive technology softwares. Softwares available to you include Dragon, Inspiration, Read & Write Gold, ZoomText and more.  The DAH advisers are able to offer you support to access softwares that are unfamiliar to you, including those available through the UCL networked.

Find out more about the Digital Accessibility Hub. 

The Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing Team are able to provide you with access to assistive technology, if it is felt that this would improve your access to your teaching and learning at UCL.  

Read more about our assistive technology information

If you require equipment to enable study whilst on the UCL campus, please speak to an adviser from our Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing Team.


Liaison with UCL Accommodation

Our advisers can liaise with the UCL Accommodation team to inform them of any suitable adjustments you may require.

Rent adjustments to accommodation

Disabled students that require reasonable adjustments made to their accommodation arrangements can access higher specification rooms at no extra cost. This could mean you would be allocated an en-suite, larger or accessible room whilst only be charged the standard room rate for your chosen halls of residence.

You will need to apply for this and provide the appropriate medical evidence, dated no later than 12 months prior to your accommodation application.

Find out more about accessing adjustments to your rent.

Continuing accommodation beyond first year

Disabled students can apply for continuing accommodation after their first year.

Physical and human support

Sign language interpreters and lipspeakers 

We can provide sign language interpreters or lipspeakers (as appropriate) for assistance in lectures and seminars or group work. Sign language interpreting support is provided between British Sign Language and English; students will be expected to have learnt and be able to communicate in BSL before they start the course.

On the day appointments and longer appointments

Our advisers offer daily appointments for students with brief enquiries and we offer longer appointments if you need support with a more complex issue or enquiry. Our on the day appointments allow you to speak to an adviser on the day for help and support. Our appointments are held over the phone, via video call or MS Teams chat.

Find out more about our on the day appointments and longer appointments.

Specialist mental health mentoring 

To help our students manage the impact of any long-term mental health difficulties on your studies, we provide access to a specialist mental health mentoring scheme.

This involves regular meetings with a mentor who will work with you to help you identify and overcome barriers to your learning.

If you wish to be referred to specialist ASC / mental health mentoring, please speak to one of our advisers by booking an appointment, or enquire through askUCL.

Specialist Autistic Spectrum Condition mentoring

To help our students manage the impact of your Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) on your studies, we provide access to a specialist ASC mentoring scheme.

This involves regular meetings with a mentor who will work with you to help you identify and overcome barriers to your learning.

If you wish to be referred to specialist ASC / mental health mentoring, please speak to one of our advisers by booking an appointment, or enquire through askUCL.

Specialist study skills tutoring

Our advisers that specialise in Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) can provide targeted study skills tutoring helping you to navigate and remove the barriers you face to learning.

Find out how to book your first study skills session and if you need to cancel or wish to provide feedback, how to do so.