Supporting our students
We recognise that many people with learning difficulties or disabilities choose to study with us not only because of the kind of courses we offer, but also the way we deliver them. We offer something different, and more personal, which resonates with our students.
Our team are here to support you before enrolment, and then work with you throughout your studies. Our specialist Disability Advisors make sure you have the assistance you need in classes and exams, help you discuss any required adjustments with your tutors, provide equipment loans, and help you apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) funding.
We do this in several ways
We provide a point of contact for prospective and existing students who need either formal support, or advice and guidance around the impact of a disability on the courses. By liaising with tutors about your needs, we can avoid putting you at a disadvantage to fellow students.
The completion of a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) allows us to make recommendations to ensure we give students with a learning difficulty or disability fair and equal access to education. Students who live in the UK, or who are European Union students, and have a learning difficulty or disability, are entitled to appropriate support around their courses and assessments. This may include equipment, extra time to complete exams, and extra tutorial time.
We also help students with the process of getting funding for elements of their support, where needed. This can be through Disabled Students’ Allowance or other means.
Specialist support is available for students with:
- Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD
- Autism spectrum conditions, including Aspergers
- Mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression and bipolar affective disorder
- Hearing and visual impairments
- Long-term medical conditions such as epilepsy, Crohn's disease, cancer, HIV and diabetes
- Physical disabilities
- Mobility difficulties
- Temporary injuries such as broken bones or recovery from an operation
If you are thinking of coming to study with us and feel you might require support, you need to tell us about your learning difficulty or disability, or enquire about DSA:
Studying with us and need support?
Please tell us about your disability or learning difficulty or enquire about DSA
- You can do this on your UCAS form
- On your forms at enrolment
- Talk to your tutor about support at enrolment
- Call us on: 07925 149 183
- Email us at: DSA@ucenmanchester.ac.uk
Provide us with medical evidence, Education, Health & Care Plan or Educational Psychologist Reports – you can either:
Post a copy of your evidence to:
City Campus ,
60 Great Ducie Street,
- Scan and email your evidence to: DSA@ucenmanchester.ac.uk
- Hand in a copy of your evidence to your tutor
Make an appointment with one of our team to discuss your Personal Learning Plan:
- Call us on 07925 149 183
- Email us at DSA@ucenmanchester.ac.uk
- Call in at reception on your site and ask them to help you contact us on your site
We are always happy to discuss the various support options available in relation to your Disabilities or Learning Difficulties before starting your course, or even if you are just thinking of studying with us. We can always provide examples of the types of reasonable adjustments, which are sometimes made for students. Depending upon your needs, we may invite you to consider a Personal Learning Plan and Disabled Students’ Allowance to fund your support.
Find out if you are eligible for Disabled Students' Allowance.
What we can offer you
A Support Interview
When you first get in touch with us, if you require it, we will arrange for an appointment for you with a Disability Advisor to discuss your course, the impact of your disability on your course and any reasonable adjustments that you may need.
We can then gather the information we need for your PLP at this meeting. The Advisor can also explain how to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance, if appropriate.
You should bring medical evidence to that meeting. If you do not currently have medical evidence you will need to ask a medical professional to provide you with appropriate evidence.
You can book an appointment by emailing DSA@ucenmanchester.ac.uk or by phone.
We also offer simple shorter Contact Sessions
Contact Sessions are short 20 minute sessions with a Disability Advisor that are usually available during semester 1 and 2.
Contact Sessions are used to answer quick questions about your PLP recommendations or Disabled Students’ Allowance for example.
Please use this link: https://ucenmanchester.libcal.com
In addition to Contact Sessions, one of our team can discuss issues over the phone where appropriate, or meet with you and your tutors if needed.
If you require a meeting about Dyslexia or other Specific Learning Difficulties please contact DSA@ucenmanchester.ac.uk for further information. Unfortunately, we do not offer full diagnostic assessments or screeners, but we can refer you. There are also Study Skills sessions that you might be able to attend.
How your support might be funded
Information for home (UK) and self-funded students
Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a non-means tested and non-repayable source of funding to help meet the extra costs of studying that disabled students may face. It is in place to help meet the additional needs of students with disabilities. Most students on a full time or part time course are eligible to apply. Your Disability Advisor will help you apply for DSA or you can find out more from your funding bodies website:
- Student Finance England students
- Students Awards Agency for Scotland
- Student Finance Wales students
- Student Finance Northern Ireland
What kind of support would you be eligible for?
- Specialist Equipment Allowance: to purchase specialist equipment to assist you in your studies such as specialist software and a Digital Voice Recorder (DVR).
- Non-Medical Helpers Allowance: to fund people to work with you, including study coaching, mentoring, electronic note-takers and British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters.
- General Allowance: for other disability-related costs such as photocopying and printing expenses, books and other small items.
- Travel costs: DSA may be able to contribute towards additional study-related travel costs.
The application process for DSA can take up to 3 months with no delays. If you are in immediate need of support, we may be able to provide you with interim support while you wait for your funding to come through so please contact us.
Most EU students are not entitled to claim DSA, but UCEN Manchester will do what is reasonable to ensure the student has a fair and equal opportunity to succeed.
EU students are entitled to have a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) arranged for them; this can include support like extra time for examinations and help with presentations, please see making an appointment on how to book an appointment.
UCEN Manchester’s 5 Core Expectations
1) Respectful classroom – our learning environments will have established ground rules for respectful dialogue, addressing any incidents of discrimination or bias promptly, and fostering a sense of belonging for every student.
2) Personal Learning Plan: if you have declared your disability to us before 31st July, we will provide you and our teaching teams with your Personal Learning Plan before October Reading Week. Thereafter, we commit to having this in place before winter break.
3) Accessibility – we will provide you with learning materials and resources in electronic format 48 hours in advance of the session to allow you to make the necessary adjustments. Where possible, we will ask our guest speakers to do the same.
4) Communication – we will provide you with additional explanations, which may also involve addressing and elaborating on points raised by fellow students, to facilitate understanding. We will also ensure you know in advance, when circumstances allow, changes to timetables, room numbers and/or teaching staff to minimise anxiety. We will prioritise the use of your preferred method of communication, be it text, phone, email, Teams chat or in person.
5) Assessment – you will be given information about assessment deadlines and grading criteria in your programme handbook. The Disability Officer can work with you to ensure reasonable adjustments are in place.