Support for Disabled Students


All students with long-term physical or mental health conditions, specific learning difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions and sensory or physical impairments can access support through the University's Disability and Dyslexia Service. This Service provides specialist non-judgmental and confidential advice, to assist you in identifying your support needs and any reasonable adjustments you require to help you with your studies.


Telling the University about your disability


The sooner the University know about your disability, the sooner they can begin to assist you.

You may have included details of your disability via your UCAS application, but if you did not, you can get in touch with them at any stage during your studies and we encourage you to do so at the earliest opportunity, even if you do not require any support at the present time.


To let the University know about your disability you will need to:


Supporting your mental health


Cardiff University have two specialist Mental Health Advisers available to support students with long term mental health conditions reach their full academic potential. The Mental Health Advisers are based within the Disability and Dyslexia Service and are available to meet with you if you have a mental health condition which would be seen as long term or likely to be long term.


The Mental Health Adviser's role is to focus on how your long term mental health condition is affecting your ability to function at University and to offer a range of practical and holistic support options based on your individual needs and situation.


Once you have self-referred to a Mental Health Adviser you will be contacted to arrange an appointment for an Assessment of Need. The level of intervention and type of support from the Mental Health Adviser will depend on the outcome of your assessment of need. Support is aimed at enabling you to become and/or remain an independent learner to benefit your mental health and your studies. More information about the service and how to access support is available here.


If you are experiencing personal, emotional or psychological issues which are impacting on your mental health, you may wish to access our counselling and wellbeing services.


Reasonable adjustment, exams and study support


If your disability affects your performance in exams, provisions may be able to be put in place to support your studies. Depending on your individual needs, you may be entitled to exam arrangements such as:

  • extra time
  • readers/scribes
  • exam papers in enlarged font and/or coloured paper
  • rest breaks
  • use of a computer
  • use of ergonomic equipment.

To put your exam arrangements in place, you will need to contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service to arrange to speak to a Disability Adviser. Further information is available here.


Disability support in Schools


Academic Schools provide a range of support and additional adjustments to aid your studies. Each School has a dedicated disability contact who is responsible for disseminating information about your agreed School-based adjustments and exam arrangements to relevant members of staff within the School. More information is available here.


Libraries and assistive technology


If you have a disability, you may be recommended the use of the extended library loans service as a reasonable adjustment. You can also get help with accessing library materials and some libraries provide additional assistive equipment to support disabled students. Full information of the support available and how to access it is available here.


Specialist Support Services


The Disability and Dyslexia Service offer a number of specialist support services, that you may be able to access depending on your assessed needs:


Disabled Students Allowance


The Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA) is a non-means tested allowance designed to pay for any additional study related costs that arise as a result of your disability. These allowances are only available to UK undergraduate and postgraduate students, via your funding body.

The DSA can potentially help you with funding towards:

  • specialist equipment (eg software, hardware and ergonomic equipment)
  • non-medical help (eg specialist study skills support, mental health mentoring, autism spectrum condition mentoring and support workers)
  • general allowance (eg consumables, travel costs).

Further information on DSA and how to apply is available here.


Student Advice


Student Advice is a free, confidential and independent service available for students of Cardiff University. We are independent of the University and our role is to give you impartial advice and guidance and help you understand the options available to you.

If you are experiencing any circumstances are impacting your wellbeing and/or ability to study and perform at your usual level, we can

  • advise you on how to report Extenuating Circumstances to the University if, for example, your reasonable adjustments have not been put in place, have not been enough or your condition worsened;
  • advise you on how to submit and Academic Appeal if you have missed the Extenuating Circumstances deadline, or you circumstances have been refused;
  • advise you on how to take an Interruption of Study and what you need to think about when deciding what to do;
  • advise you on how to submit a University Complaint if you feel you are being unfairly treated or discriminated against, by University staff and/or students because of your circumstances;
  • signpost you to other support services.


Contact Student Advice
+44 (0)2920 781410