Part-time Disabled Students' Allowance

Study Needs Assessment

A Study Needs Assessment is an informal meeting between the student and an experienced study needs assessor. It helps identify what support the student needs based on their individual needs.

They can attend a needs assessment at an independent assessment centre or at their university or college, even if they don’t have a confirmed place yet.

They can find their nearest assessment centre at


They don’t need to pay the costs of their needs assessment. Travel costs, to and from the assessment centre, can be reimbursed to them once their DSA has been approved by sending us the receipts.

Changes to the agreed support

If they want any additional support not currently agreed as part of their DSA they should speak to someone at their assessment centre.

Changes to their needs

A review of their study needs can be carried out if their circumstances have changed.

A review can be agreed if:

  • they’ve had a gap in their studies of 2 years or longer
  • they’ve changed from an undergraduate course to a research-based postgraduate course
  • their last assessment or review took place 5 or more years ago.

A new condition

If they provide medical evidence for a new condition they would need a review assessment.

Worsening of an already accepted condition

If they provide evidence that an already accepted condition has worsened we will ask them to contact their disability advisor. The advisor can assist them in arranging for the needs assessor to provide further recommendations.

Can they change their Study Needs Assessment Centre?

They need to attend their original assessment centre unless otherwise agreed. We cannot accept travel distance as a reason for attending a different assessment centre.

They should speak to their original assessment centre to arrange alternative means of communication if they cannot attend a session face-to-face, for example phone, email or video calls.

If they provide a reason why they can’t attend their original assessment centre, we’ll review these requests on a case-by-case basis.