There are multiple avenues of support available for students at UCL, by registering for support we can work together to ensure you have appropriate access to reasonable adjustments and more.
At UCL we provide support for all disabled students who presently meet the Equality Act (2010) criteria, or may meet the criteria in the future.
The law defines a disabled person as someone with:
A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term (likely to last for 12 months or more) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
This includes but is not limited to:
- A long-term physical or mental health condition, including those of a fluctuating or progressive nature.
- A physical or sensory impairment.
- A specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD.
- This includes conditions developed or diagnosed during your studies.
Not sure about your disability or condition?
Citizens Advice provides comprehensive information if you are not sure if you have a disability that meets the legal definition.
Discuss your options with us
Contact the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team on askUCL if you're still unsure whether what you're experiencing could need support now or in the future.
- When we might refer you to another service
Our primary purpose is to support students who have a:
- Physical or mental health disability;
- Long-term condition;
- Long-term illness, and/or are;
- Likely to experience such a difficulty in the future.
Explore the UCL Student Support Framework
For a fuller guide about when to use reasonable adjustments, read more in UCL's Student Support Framework, Section 3.
In most cases, your GP will be the best source of support
If you need long-term non-academic support for all health conditions, for both physical and mental health, you should ask your GP.
If you already have some contact with your GP, register with us so we can draft your Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA).
Get support from Students' Union UCL
The Students' Union team will be able to provide advise surrounding many areas from complaints, money to academic issues.
Get support for a temporary illness or injury
In some cases, a temporary illness or injury may be better supported by:The UCL Student Support Framework or, Academic adjustments via your department.
Wellbeing and counselling support
We can 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.
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To ensure appropriate support is applied, we:
- Discuss how a disability or long-term condition affects access to education;
- Assess on a case-by-case basis;
- Explore your past support, experiences and expectations with you;
- Consider your programme of study and departmental limitations;
- Review your medical evidence.
Adjustments and support cover different areas such as:
- Human (Non-medical helper) support.
- Physical support.
- Lecture, assignment and exam support.
- Assistive technology.
Your needs and adjustments are drafted and saved in a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA) document which you and your department can access. If you feel you need further amendments, contact the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team on askUCL.
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.
- Prospective students
Guided tours of campus
Guided tours 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 getting around campus. These are particularly useful for students with visual impairments and mobility disabilities.
Autism welcome event
This provides an opportunity for autistic applicants and their guardians and/or caregivers to find out more about UCL support services, tour the campus, learn more about university life and meet other autistic applicants and students.
Our team will send an invite during the last 2 weeks of July or the last 2 weeks of August if you have noted 'Autism Spectrum Condition ASC' on your Applicant Support Questionnaire (ASQ).
If you haven't had the chance to complete the ASQ or haven't received an invite, please email us via email@example.com to let us know you'd like to attend.
- Accessibility around campus
We can liaise with the UCL Estates team and your department to ensure that physical barriers in the built environment don't affect your ability to study effectively.
This includes working with your department for complex cases related to our more aged or complex buildings.
We can also support with specific environments such as avoiding crowded or loud spaces.
Support with taxi travel for academic purposes
Pre-approved taxi routes from your accommodation to a UCL building can be arranged by our advisers. This is arranged by us if:
- You are Research Council funded and you've been awarded taxi travel.
- You are ineligible for external disability funding.
- This will require an assessment by a Disability Adviser at UCL.
- The journeys are for teaching, learning and examination purposes related to your UCL studies.
Department-led evacuation plans
To ensure your safety at UCL, your department, and if relevant, UCL Accommodation, must be aware about your needs so that you can safely evacuate from your learning space or accommodation in the event of an emergency.
In some cases, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) may be required for a temporary injury or illness.
The PEEP will be written with you to ensure it is specific to your needs and will be reviewed during your time with UCL to ensure it remains accurate and appropriate.
If you require reasonable adjustments within UCL managed accommodation, you should apply for accommodation via the Accommodation portal, as soon as possible.
When applying, please provide the Accommodation team with information on your needs and medical evidence to support your request(s).
Apply for higher spec accommodation at no extra cost
This could mean being allocated an en-suite, larger or accessible room charged at the standard room rate for your chosen halls of residence. This is to ensure your reasonable adjustments are met.
You will need to apply for this and provide the appropriate evidence, dated no later than 12 months prior to your accommodation application.
Continue living at UCL accommodation beyond first year
UCL managed accommodation cannot be guaranteed for second year disabled students but the Accommodation team will do their best to allocate an appropriate room.
Allocation is based on the number of applicants each year so we strongly advise that also you look into other forms of accommodation as a back-up.
- Lectures and assignments
There are many tools such as Lecturecast for scheduling and recording lectures held in UCL recording-enabled teaching spaces.
Recordings of lectures can be made available to students via Moodle to support student learning.
Prioritised reading lists
In your SoRA, you 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.
- Exams and coursework
Adjustments during your departmental and central exams
Adjustment you can receive depend on:
- Central and departmental deadlines for SoRAs.
- Your individual circumstances.
- Your department's individual policies.
Examination: more time and breaks
We can provide students with extra time and/or breaks when sitting their exams. How much extra time or breaks you receive will depend on your individual circumstances and will be made clear with one of our advisers.
Examination: assistive technology, medication and food
During an advisory appointment, you can discuss your exam adjustment requirements. This can include the use of assistive technology, bringing in medication, and food, for example.
You may be able to use a PC and assistive technology to enable you to effectively undertake your exam. This will all be discussed with an adviser and outlined in your SoRA.
- Extended library loans
During your SoRA appointment you can request for extended library loans. This will allow you to keep library materials for longer, giving you more time to process the required information.
Aside from extended loans, the Library team provide a wide variety of services such as inductions for disabled students and their support workers, tours and much more.
- Assistive technology
There are multiple ways to access assistive technology at UCL to improve access to your teaching and studies.
- Students eligible for disability-related funding can have it paid for them.
- Students who are unable to access external funding can contact our team and we'll discuss your options.
- The Digital Accessibility Hub after getting a summary of reasonable adjustment (SoRA).
Access to the Digital Accessibility Hub
There is a Digital Accessibility Hub (The Hub) on the Bloomsbury and UCL East campus'.
The Hub is a dedicated IT workroom and team of advisers that provides improved access to study independently using a variety of assistive technology software. Software available includes: Dragon, Inspiration, Read & Write Gold, ZoomText and more.
The Hub advisers are also able to offer you support to access software that are unfamiliar to you. Ask your adviser to request access to the hub in your SoRA.
- Physical and NMH support
Sign language interpreters and lipspeakers
We can provide British sign language interpreters or lipspeakers (as appropriate) for assistance in lectures and seminars, group work or any other teaching and learning activity.
Same day and advisory appointments
Our team offer weekly same day and longer advisory appointments for students. They are available throughout the year, Monday to Friday except UCL closure days. Our appointments are held in-person, over the phone, or via MS Team video call or chat.
Specific learning differences screenings
We offer a no-fee screening for dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD indicators. We also provide other forms of support to remove as many barriers as possible. The academic screening report is also accepted by Student Finance England as evidence to apply for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).
Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) funding
We can support you with:
- Understanding the form or how to apply.
- Providing confirmation of your studies.
- Counselling, mental health and wellbeing support
Students experiencing mental health difficulties may seek support through a supportive conversation with one of our Mental Health coordinators.
Depending on your condition, they can support you with:
- Drafting a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA) to support your studies.
- Referral to psychological or counselling support via the Student Psychological and Counselling Services (SPCS) team.
- Referral to mental health mentoring, including specialist services for autistic students.
- Referral to external partners such as Camden BEAM (for students age 25 and below).
- Specialist Study Skills Tutoring and Mental Health Mentoring
To help our students manage any impact on their studies as a neurodivergent student, including mental health conditions, we provide access to two specialist services, Study Skills Tutoring and Mental Health Mentoring, where you'll be provided with either targeted study skills tutoring or mentoring to help you to navigate and remove the barriers you face to learning.
Eligible for DSA or alternative disability funding
We can support you to apply for appropriate funding to receive these services. This includes funding interim sessions while you're applying.
Not eligible for external disability funding
Want to know the difference between Specialist Mentors and Specialist Study Skills Tutors?