Individual Disabled Students’ Allowances vary, depending on both your study and situation. The money is paid to you alongside other compatible loans that you may receive for your course. In addition, DSA will not need to be repaid.
You could receive funding for:
- Specialist equipment for your disability
- Non-medical helpers
- Travel costs related to your disability
- Other disability-related study costs
These are the current maximum amounts of DSA available to students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland:
- England – £26,291
- Wales – £31,831
- Northern Ireland – £10,469
Note that the word 'maximum' is important here – most students will receive less.
In Scotland, however, postgraduates receive DSA at the same levels as undergraduate students. This means that you could be eligible for the following:
- Basic allowance of up to £1,725
- Large items allowance of up to £5,160
- Non-Medical Personal Help (NMPH) of up to £20,520
What can you use DSA for?
Once approved, you can use DSA funding to help pay for various expenses during your Masters degree. These could include:
- Printers and scanners
- Recording equipment
- Specialist furniture
- Specialist software
- Training and insurance for equipment
You may be eligible to receive help with the cost of a new computer if you don’t have one that meets the specifications required for your postgraduate course. If so, you will need to budget at least £200 of your own money. This is the minimum amount the Government expects a typical student to spend on computer equipment.
Other expenses include:
- British Sign Language interpreters
- Mentors and one-to-one study skill support
- Mobility trainers
- Notetakers for deaf and visually-impaired students
- Sighted guides
DSA funding can be paid directly to you, equipment suppliers or to the helpers that you require.
What can’t you use DSA for?
You can’t receive Disabled Students’ Allowance for costs that you wouldn’t incur if you weren’t completing a Masters, or for student expenses that aren’t related to your condition.
For example, you can’t request DSA to pay for standard course books or materials (unless these are in braille or another accessible medium). Nor can you claim for alterations to your home or other costs that aren’t directly associated with your studies.