Deciding to study a postgraduate program is a large financial undertaking.
There are some great funding options – such as bursaries and scholarships. Plus, you can apply for a student-specific loan from Prodigy Finance, a private loans company that offers loans that are tailor-made to the individual student’s requirements. And for postgraduate students in the UK who have a disability, there are a few extra funding sources available that can help with those additional costs.
Disabled Students' Allowance
For students with a learning difficulty, a mental health problem or a long-term illness there is a Government-funded grant system that you can apply to called the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). It is available to both full-time and part-time PG students and the amounts awarded are based on individual requirements rather than income.
How much can you receive?
For postgraduate students in England, Wales or Northern Ireland in 2018-2019 the total amount is up to £10,993 and this is increasing to £20,000 for the academic year of 2019-2020 to bring it closer to the funding offered to undergraduates. Scottish postgraduate students receive a single allowance for basic costs of £1,725, an additional payment of up to £5,160 for specialist equipment and up to £20,520 for non-medial personal help, which are the same amounts that are available for undergraduate students
What does it cover?
The DSA can cover non-medical personal help, specialist equipment and there is a general allowance for any additional costs.
How is the DSA assessed?
The grants are not means tested, so it does not matter what your household income is, the amount awarded is dependent on your needs. There is also a requirement to provide proof of your condition. For physical illness, disability or mental illness this is usually in the form of a letter from your doctor or consultant. For those students with learning difficulties, this is usually in the form of a letter of diagnosis from a psychologist or a specialist teacher. This means that you will receive the funding that you need rather than an amount based on your household income.
Who is eligible for DSA?
Any student with a long-term life affecting disability or disorder may be eligible. This can be a disability, illness, mental ill-health or learning difficulty. Students who qualify for the NHS Disabled Students' Allowance, or if you are getting similar support from another source like your university or local authority, you are not eligible for the DSA.
What postgraduate courses are eligible?
Any part-time or full-time postgraduate course qualifies as long as the course qualifies for student financing for tuition fees from Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland or the Student Awards Agency For Scotland.
How to apply for DSA
Depending on where you are resident you apply online via your local Student Finance board (or the Student Awards Agency For Scotland).
Scholarships & Bursaries
You should check what scholarships and bursaries are available at your institution, as universities will often offer scholarships and bursaries to specific postgraduate students for a wide range of reasons. You can also apply for a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500 once you have received an offer to study a PG program from your university.
An additional funding option for postgraduate students with or without a disability is a private personal loan from a company that specialises in loans for students. Prodigy Finance is one company who offers student tailor-made loans with terms and conditions that are ideal for students.
Find out more here.
Number of Postgraduate Students with a Disability in the UK
Here is a table showing the number of postgraduate students with a disability in the UK:
Please note that the information here does not constitute financial advice. Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international postgraduate students. Other student funding options are available and Postgrad.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. Postgrad.com accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.