Postgraduate 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 Study Needs Assessment at an Independent Assessment Centre or at their university or college, even if they don’t have a confirmed place yet.

Their nearest approved assessment centre can be found by going to

Covid-19 update

Due to the current UK lockdown students will now be able to conduct their Study Needs Assessment remotely, over the phone or on video call.


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 have been approved by sending us the receipts.


Changes to the agreed support

If they want any additional support not currently agreed as part of the DSA they should speak to someone at their Needs 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 five or more years ago


A new condition

If they provide medical evidence for a new condition they would need a review assessment. If the level of work required by the needs assessor is less than two hours, it will be carried out within the original fee charged for the needs assessment. If not, the review costs will be met by the DSA.


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 can’t accept travel distance as reasonable justification for attending a different assessment centre.

They should speak to their original assessment centre to arrange alternative means of communication if they can’t 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 look into these requests on a case-by-case basis.