Postgraduate 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 postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • have a condition that affects their ability to study
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

Part-time students must be studying at an intensity of at least 25% to get DSA.


These people can also apply for DSA if they meet the previous 3 bullet points and meet any of the following residency criteria:

  • UK national or Irish Citizen or have ‘settled status’ with no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 continuous years before the first day of their course
  • humanitarian protection (including family members)
  • migrant worker from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (including family members) with settled or pre-settled status
  • child of a Swiss national and you and your parent have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • child of a Turkish worker who has permission to stay in the UK - you and your Turkish worker parent must have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • a stateless person (including family members)
  • an unaccompanied child granted ‘Section 67 leave’ under the Dubs Amendment
  • a child who is under the protection of someone granted ‘Section 67 leave’, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as the person responsible for them (known as ‘leave in line’)
  • granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain
  • a child of someone granted ‘Calais leave’ to remain, who is also allowed to stay in the UK for the same period of time as their parent (known as ‘leave in line’)
  • you’ve been given settled status (‘indefinite leave to remain’) because you’ve been the victim of domestic violence
  • you’ve been granted indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner
  • they or their family member have been granted leave under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or the Afghan Citizen's Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)
  • they’ve been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme, the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme or the Ukraine Extension Scheme

You could also be eligible if you’re not a UK national and are either:

  • under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least 7 years
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life)

Who isn’t eligible?

Students 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 postgraduate course.

Students should check with their university or college that their course is recognised.


Part-time postgraduate Master’s courses

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


Previous study

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

But, if they've had DSA 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.