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Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)

Eligibility for a DSA

In order to be eligible for DSA, you must meet the following requirements

  • not be studying an OU apprenticeship
  • have a long-term health condition such as cancer, HIV or chronic heart disease
  • have a learning difficulty like dyslexia, ADHD or dyspraxia
  • have a physical disability such as being partially sighted, blind or having to use crutches
  • have a mental health condition like depression or anxiety.

You'll also need to

  • be studying a minimum of 30 credits per year if you’re studying in England, Wales or Northern Ireland - if you’re studying in Scotland, the minimum is 60 credits a year
  • be studying towards a qualification of at least 60 credits that involves at least one year of study - if you're studying in Scotland, a qualification of at least 120 credits that will take two years of study
  • meet the residency criteria as outlined by your relevant funding body
  • provide evidence of a disability or specific learning difficulty.

Support towards diagnostic assessments

If you need a diagnostic assessment for a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) to support your DSA application, you may be eligible to apply for support from the Open University (OU) towards the cost of this assessment.

If you’re resident in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you can apply for support through the OU’s study-related costs fund. To apply you’ll need to provide evidence that you or your partner receive qualifying benefits, or you have a household income below the qualifying threshold. Full details of the funding for study-related costs scheme can be found in Bursaries, scholarships and grants from the OU.

If you’re not eligible for funding from the study-related costs scheme, contact the Disability Support Team for information about alternative support options.

Students in Scotland should contact their Student Support Team if they think they may have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. The OU in Scotland will then explore the possibility of a diagnostic assessment and funding for the assessment, if needed.

If you're not eligible or you've reached your maximum DSA allowance

Contact the Disability Support Team to discuss options for alternative sources of funding and support.

Related links

Other charitable funding might be available which is separate from the OU and DSA. This is not a comprehensive list.

  • The Snowdon Trust

    Assists physically and sensory disabled people to access vocational and academic courses in the UK by awarding grants, which can be for equipment and essential study needs.

  • Student Disability Assistance Fund

    Offered by the Student Health Association to help students with disabilities to keep up with their studies.

Last updated 8 months ago