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Disabled Students’ Allowance 

If you have a long-term disability, health or mental health condition that affects your studies, you may be eligible for additional support through Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).

Students who have applied and are eligible for student finance can apply for DSA via their student finance login for additional support with their studies.

You can apply for DSA online (opens in a new window) Find out more about DSA (opens in a new window)

We also recommend applying for DSA as early as possible, as the application process can take as long as three months. Staff in the Student Support team are available to provide support and guidance at every stage of the application process. Please email for advice and assistance.

DSA Getting Started Session

Once you’ve received your final allocation of support from DSA, we’ll be in contact to book a DSA Getting Started Session. In this session we’ll go through the support you’ve been allocated, how to access the support and any other reasonable adjustments that may have been suggested by your Needs Assessor.

The Student Support team at Norwich University of the Arts provide a dedicated Disability Support service, including help with applications for funding support through the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

Obtaining a computer through Disabled Students’ Allowance 

The Student Laptop Buying Guide will help you if you are thinking about purchasing a computer ready for starting your studies here at Norwich University of the Arts. 

If you are applying (or already applied) for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), it is important that you read the information below, as you may be allocated a computer through DSA, which you may need to make some decisions about. 

If you’re applying (or have applied) for DSA 

Once your application for DSA has been approved by your funding body, you will be invited to a Needs Assessment (either face-to-face or online). The Needs Assessor then recommends support you will need for your course. This may include a computer that is powerful enough to run any assistive software you may have been recommended. You will be expected to make a contribution of £200 to the cost of this computer.

At the end of the DSA process, you will receive a DSA confirmation letter, which tells you what support and equipment has been approved for you, and how to obtain it. At the back of that letter is a series of frequently asked questions, some of which are about upgrading your computer and purchasing a computer from the high street, if you prefer to do that.

Things to think about when choosing the computer

Computers provided by DSA are usually entry-level laptops, which are intended to be used to run the assistive software that DSA has approved. You will need to get permission before upgrading, to check that the model you have chosen is acceptable.

The IT Equipment section will help you get started with what you may want from your computer, and some specifications to look out for if you will need it to run software for your course. You will be responsible for the additional cost of upgrading your DSA computer.

Can I get a computer from another supplier, or from the high street?

if your student finance comes from Student Finance England and you want to get a computer from another supplier or from the high street, you need to get permission from the DSA Team at If you receive your funding from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, contact your Needs Assessor, equipment provider or funding body for advice. The DSA will not let you upgrade to a second-hand or refurbished computer.

If you think that you will need a more powerful computer for your studies, you have the option of asking the DSA Team if you can upgrade the computer you are offered. You need to ask for an upgrade before your DSA computer is delivered to you. Once the computer is delivered, you cannot change your mind.

Please note that EU and International students are not eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance and should contact the Student Support team for advice by emailing

For queries about DSA and help with your application, please email

For any enquiries about your course, including if you want advice about purchasing your own specialist software, please email

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