Disabled Students' Allowances Full Time Undergraduate, 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.

You can find out more by speaking to the Disabled Students' Allowances officer at your local Student Finance NI (SFNI) office.

The following can contribute to your eligibility for Disabled Students Allowances for full-time undergraduate 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 Disability Discrimination Act 1995  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 Disabled Students' Allowances 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.

Resident in another area of the UK but living in Northern Ireland while you study

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


There is no upper or lower age limit for Disabled Students' Allowances


To qualify for this allowance your course must result in one of the following qualifications:

  • a first degree, for example, a BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Initial Teacher Education (ITE)

Your university or college will be able to confirm the course's qualification.

Place of study

Both your course and place of study must be eligible for funding from us. Your university or college can be:

  • a publicly funded institution based in the UK or Republic of Ireland
  • a privately funded institution based in the UK that runs individual courses which attract public (Student Finance NI) funding. These courses must have received ‘specific designation’ from the Department for the Economy

You need to study at least 50% of your course in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Your university or college will be able to confirm their eligibility for funding from us.

Previous study

Your previous study doesn't affect your eligibility for Disabled Students' Allowances

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