Part-time Disabled Students' Allowance


Who is eligible?

To be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), students must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010 and:

  • be a part-time undergraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • have a condition that affects their ability to study
  • qualify for student finance
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

Who isn’t eligible?

They can’t get DSA if they’re:

  • an EU student
  • eligible for an NHS Disabled Students' Allowance (this is a separate scheme)
  • getting equivalent support from another funding source, such as their university or a social work bursary


The course must be in the UK and a:

  • degree, for example BA, BSc or BEd
  • Foundation Degree
  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • Initial Teacher Training

Students could also be eligible for funding if they’re studying a Level 4 or 5 qualification with HTQ approval e.g., Certificate, Diploma or NVQ. To find out if their course is HTQ approved and qualifies for undergraduate student finance speak they should speak to their university or college.

If they’re studying a Level 4 or 5 qualification that is not HTQ approved or does not qualify for undergraduate student finance, they could still be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.


Student's studying a degree apprenticeship course can't get funding from Student Finance England. Find out more about degree apprenticeships.

If students are not sure whether their course qualifies for student finance, they should check with their university or college.

Part-time course intensity

Students must be studying at an intensity of at least 25% to get DSA. They’ll also need to know the number of module credits they’ll be studying in the academic year when they apply.

If they are not sure of their module credits or course intensity, they should check with their university or college.

Previous study

Previous study won’t affect their eligibility for DSA, even if they’ve already had financial support.

But, if they’ve had DSAs for any specialist equipment for a previous course, this will be taken into account.

Studying abroad

If they’re studying abroad they may be eligible for DSA whilst attending an overseas university or college as part of their UK course.