What sort of support could I get in higher education?

The support available in higher education will vary from one university or college to another, but all must, under the Equality Act 2010, make reasonable adjustments to ensure those with physical or mental health conditions, or learning differences are not disadvantaged.

Academic support may include flexibility with deadlines, alternative assessment methods, or specialist equipment. Other adjustments may relate to your wider lifestyle, such as accommodation, travel, or mental health and wellbeing services.

Many universities and colleges have disability and/or mental health advisers – trained professionals who work with you to decide the best way to support your individual needs – who can help with issues such as:

  • study and assessment arrangements (e.g. extra time or an alternative location for examinations)
  • specialist equipment and technology (always check with an adviser before investing in a new laptop for your studies)
  • information about a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
  • work placements or offsite learning
  • career planning

We recommend you contact the student support team, disability adviser or mental health adviser to discuss your needs as early as possible so support can be discussed and arranged for the start of your course. This is especially important if you have complex support needs. Read an article from the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) which explains how a disability adviser can support you through your journey to higher education.

In addition to your student finance loans and grants, you may also be eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to cover any study-related costs you incur due to your impairment or condition. Read more about DSA.

In very rare instances, the university or college may be unable to meet an individual’s needs. In the unlikely event of this happening, you will be able to add another choice through UCAS at no extra cost.

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