Disabled Students' Allowances Postgraduate, Northern Ireland students

2. Who can get these allowances?

You don't need to work out if you're eligible - we'll do it for you

This page is intended for your information only. Make your application for student finance, we'll determine your eligibility and let you know.

If you would like to speak to someone about your eligibility or your study needs assessment for Disabled Students' Allowances you can speak to the postgraduate Disabled Student Allowance Office by calling 028 2566 1385 or emailing DSA-PT-PG@eani.org.uk

The following can contribute to your eligibility for a Disabled Students Allowances for full-time postgraduate Northern Ireland students.

Your disability, condition or learning difficulty

To qualify for Disabled Students' Allowances you must have a disability that meets the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010 and that impacts your ability to study.

This can include a long-term health condition, mental-health condition, physical disability or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.

You'll be asked to send proof such as a report or letter from your doctor or consultant or a diagnostic assessment from a psychologist or suitably qualified teacher.

Eligibility for disability related funding from another source

You're not eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances from Student Finance NI if you're:

  • eligible for a Department of Health, NHS or other health care bursary
  • receiving a bursary or award from a research council
  • receiving the NHS Business Services Authority’s bursary for students on postgraduate social work courses
  • receiving a bursary or award from your university or college which includes support that is equal to DSAs.

If the Postgraduate DSAs Office determines that you are eligible for funding from another source they will tell you what you need to do.

Nationality and residency

You could get this funding if you’re able to identify as one of the following:

A UK or ROI National or someone with settled status in the UK

You must:

  • normally live in Northern Ireland
  • have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years before the first day of your first academic year

An EU National

You must:

  • normally live in Northern Ireland
  • have been living in Northern Ireland for the three years before the first day of your first academic year

EU Nationals (including ROI nationals) with less than 3 years residency in Northern Ireland may be eligible for EU student funding.

A UK National who has been living in the EU

You must:

  • have normally lived in Northern Ireland before you moved to the EU
  • have normally lived in the EU for the past three years
  • be living in Northern Ireland on the first day of the first year of your course, unless COVID-19 travel restrictions prevent you from doing so

An eligible exception residency type

Our eligible exception residency types can include refugees, those under humanitarian protection or their immediate family members.

If you are resident in another area of the UK but living in Northern Ireland while you study

You won’t be classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ in Northern Ireland and won’t be eligible for support from Student Finance NI. You should contact your home funding provider for further information on what support is available.


The course must be in the UK and a postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Master's course. Students should check with their university that their course is recognised.

Place of study

Both your course and place of study must be eligible for funding from us. It must be a UK based university or college and you need to study at least 50% of your course in the UK.

Your university or college will be able to confirm their eligibility for funding from us.

Studying abroad

You may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances whilst attending an overseas university or college as part of your UK course. You must apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances before undertaking any study abroad so that your eligibility and entitlement can be clearly established prior to leaving the UK.

Part-time postgraduate master’s courses

Postgraduate DSAs are available for courses of less than one year's duration and up to three times the length of the equivalent full-time course.


There's no upper or lower age limit for Postgraduate Disabled Students’ Allowances.

Previous study

Previous study won’t affect your eligibility for Disabled Students’ Allowances, even if you got financial support. However, if you received Disabled Students’ Allowances for any specialist equipment for a previous course, this will be taken into account.

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