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Part-time Disabled Students' Allowances


Who is eligible?

To be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA's), 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 DSAs 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 should check with their university or college that their course is recognised.

Part-time course intensity

For part-time students, course intensity can affect how much they can get.

Part-time courses that started before 1 September 2012

The course must not last more than twice as long as the equivalent full-time course.

Part-time courses starting from 1 September 2012

They must study at a rate of at least 25% of an equivalent full-time course in each academic year. The course must last at least a year.

Previous study

Previous study won’t affect their eligibility for DSAs, 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 DSAs whilst attending an overseas university or college as part of their UK course.