University College Birmingham

Disability support for university students

We are delighted you have chosen to study at University College Birmingham. We offer lots of support for university students to enable you to achieve your potential.

Support is flexible, student-centred and personalised to meet students’ preferences and needs. Our excellent support services include the Academic Skills Centre, hired@UCB and Health and Wellbeing.

Following your application to University College Birmingham, support for students who disclose a disability, health condition or mental health condition starts from application. Before your course interview, you will be invited to a meeting with the CASE team to discuss your specific needs and additional support requirements.

All students are able to access the following support package:

  • One-to-one study skills support through the Academic Skills Centre
  • Audio-visual lecture capture with Panopto – a number of lectures are captured
  • The premium version of Grammarly – a high-tech proofreading software and writing assistant
  • Access to assistive technologies and specialist software
  • Health and wellbeing support – including mentoring, counselling and peer mentors
  • Subject librarian support
  • Online toolkits for academic skills and research support

Click on the menu below for further details.

Contact us

For any queries related to support, please get in touch.

Disability statement

Additional support for students with disabilities

Depending on your specific needs, you may be eligible for additional support from the University and through Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). Having written evidence of your disability will enable us to plan and put in place tailored support.

Evidence such as an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), a Special Educational Needs Statement (SEN Statement), a Learner Support Plan, exam concessions, a medical/GP letter or information on support you have received previously, will aid us to identify your specific support requirements. You can share evidence at any time, both prior to enrolling or as a current student to disabilitysupport@ucb.ac.uk

Support prior to starting your course

  • Prior to starting your course and to put a personalised plan in place, we will need to discuss your individual requirements. For further information or to book a phone appointment, please contact us at disabilitysupport@ucb.ac.uk or phone 0121 604 1000 ext 2243.
  • If you would like an orientation or transition visit prior to starting your studies, or are blind or partially-sighted and require mobility training to support you in familiarising yourself with our campuses and finding your way around, please get in touch.
  • Open days take place throughout the year, providing a great opportunity to meet relevant staff and familiarise yourself with buildings. Many courses also offer induction sessions and taster days and you can also chat with our students and staff for your course and ask any questions about the course or university life.

Support during your studies

  • In addition to the support we offer, you may be eligible for Disability Students' Allowance (DSA).
  • If you are awaiting your DSA support or have found you are not eligible, you can book a weekly one-to-one appointment. This support is provided by the Academic Skills Centre.
  • Support with accessing lectures, such as access to lecture materials in advance or handouts in an alternative format, can be arranged with curriculum staff.
  • Discussion of alternative methods of assessment to ensure equitable access based on specific student needs can also be arranged.
  • You can also loan digital recorders and have access to assistive technologies to record lectures.

What is Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)?

As a higher education student living in the UK and you have a disability, you could be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to help cover the costs of any additional support you may need to access your university course. In order to be eligible for DSA, you must have evidence of a disability such as a:

  • Long-term health condition
  • Physical disability, including a visual impairment or hearing impairment 
  • Mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression 
  • Specific learning difficulty (SpLD) for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD

DSA can help with costs for specialist equipment, assistive technology, Non-Medical Helper (NMH) support such as a specialist study skills tutor or specialist mentor, travel and other disability-related costs associated with studying. This support is based on your individual needs, not your household income.

How do I apply for Disabled Students' Allowance?

You should start the process of applying for your DSA as soon as possible to ensure your support is in place in preparation for your studies. You don't have to wait until you have a confirmed place, although you can apply at any stage of your course. Applications usually open in March, prior to students enrolling in September.

When applying for DSA, you will be required to complete an application form and submit evidence of your additional needs. It is the student’s responsibility to apply for DSA, but we are here to help you if you have any questions or need assistance.

For further information on how and when to apply:

The application process can take months to complete, so start as soon as possible. Support cannot be guaranteed without your DSA being in place.

Do I need to talk to the University before applying for DSA?

You do not need to talk to us before applying. You are responsible for the application process, but we are here to help with support and guidance. You can contact us at disabilitysupport@ucb.ac.uk or by phoning 0121 604 1000 ext 2243.

Who can I talk to about my disability?

Disclosing a disability is a positive step. In line with current legislation, we use the term ‘disability’ to include specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia, mental health difficulties, autism, sensory disabilities and other ongoing health conditions.

It is helpful if you tell us about your disability on your application form and complete a Student Requirement Form (SRF). If you have already applied to University College Birmingham and have not disclosed a disability or completed an SRF, please contact admissions@ucb.ac.uk.

There are various opportunities for you to disclose, before enrolment and while you are studying with us. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss your support needs or visit University College Birmingham, email us at disabilitysupport@ucb.ac.uk  or phone 0121 604 1000 ext 2243.

If you are a current student, we recommend that you talk to your personal tutor in the first instance or you can talk to the HE Support Coordinators. Call into the Academic Skills Centre on the 6th Floor of The Link to make an appointment, email disabilitysupport@ucb.ac.uk or call us on 0121 604 1000 ext 2243.

What if I choose not to disclose my disability?

If you choose not to disclose your disability, it is your decision. However, you should be aware that if you choose not to or limit that disclosure, although we will do our best to help you, you may not be able to access the full range of support packages available to you. 

Who will know about my disability?

When you disclose a disability, we want to ensure appropriate support is put in place for you. To do this, we may need to tell relevant staff at the University, so will need your consent and also your contact details. To provide these, please complete the form below:

Unless you provide written consent to share your disability with relevant staff, details will be kept completely confidential. This consent will remain in force while you are a registered student unless you notify us otherwise.

Disability living and personal support

If you have specific accommodation requirements and/or will require assistance with day-to-day living tasks such as washing, personal care, shopping or cooking, please refer to the guidance on how to apply for accommodation at our halls of residence. and personal care for disabled students.

University College Birmingham is unable to provide personal care support within higher education. If you require personal care support, you will need to contact your local authority’s social services at the earliest opportunity, to ensure that support is ready for when you move into your accommodation.