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Applicant Frequently Asked Questions

Explore our frequently asked questions below. If you have a question not listed in our FAQs, please let us know.

One thing to remember…

… if you’re not sure, ask! Staff are here to help and guide you through this key stage in your life. We’re really looking forward to meeting you!

The Student Advisers desk in Palatine Centre, Lower Mountjoy campus

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Before you come

What is the Disabled Students' Allowance and am I eligible?  

The Disabled Students’ Allowance, or DSA, is funding from the UK Government to cover the extra cost of any study-related support you’ll need at university due to your disability. Click here for further information Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)Purple Line Separator Slim

How can I find out if a university building is accessible? 

The AccessAble website provides accessibility information on Durham University buildings. It can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Durham University | AccessAble

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Should I tell the University I have a disability/ies? 

Yes, as this will enable us to set up any support you may need.  If you are applying as an undergraduate, you can disclose your disability/ies on your UCAS application form. If you are applying as a postgraduate, you can disclose your disability/ies on your university application form. Click here to see how to set up support.  

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Who else might I need to tell I’m going to university? 

Anyone involved in your care or disability related treatment. That might be your GP, specialist clinician, mental health practitioner, medical consultant or social worker. You need to make them aware you may be leaving the area to live at university. It can take time to transfer care and support arrangements between health or local authority areas, so we advise informing them at the application stage.  

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How do I transfer existing mental health treatment to Durham? 

If you are currently under CAMHS or adult mental health services and need a transfer into Durham NHS adult mental health services, we would advise you to discuss your ongoing treatment and support needs with your Care Coordinator. They can contact the Durham City Access Service on 01388 645 399 to discuss possible transfer. If this is not agreed, you need to see your Durham GP/doctor to discuss this as soon as you have registered here. It is often helpful to bring any letters or summaries about your mental health history with you, so that your new GP/doctor can take these into consideration when planning your treatment. 

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Support available 


What support can the Disability Support Service offer? 

Please click here for an overview of the support we offer.

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What are reasonable adjustments? 

Reasonable adjustments are measures which are put in place to help you with your studies to ensure you are not placed at a disadvantage due to your disability. They can include adjustments such as spaced coursework deadlines, exam access arrangements and additional library support.   

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I don’t feel like I need reasonable adjustments right now, can I seek support when I need them? 

We would always recommend putting a Disability Support Plan (DSP) in place to ensure the adjustments are there if you require them. Knowing the support is in place can help you feel more at ease, as you can access it if you need to.  

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What is a Disability Support Plan (DSP)? 

A DSP is a support plan of reasonable adjustments we write together with you. We will discuss with you your support needs within your learning environment. For example, we can discuss how you feel about presentations, group work, lab work, and how your condition can impact academic commitments, such as exams and managing deadlines. Once finalised, the DSP goes to your department and college, who will implement your adjustments.   

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Do I need to provide medical evidence to get a Disability Support Plan (DSP)? 

Yes, you need to provide the Disability Support Service with medical evidence of your diagnosed disability or ‘working diagnosis’. You can find further information on the medical evidence we accept here

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What are exam concessions? 

Exam concessions are reasonable adjustments which are put in place during exams. They are often referred to as access arrangements at schools and colleges.  

Durham University offers a range of inclusive assessment methods and learning and teaching activities.  Therefore, you may find the exam concessions offered at Durham are different to those you were granted at another institution.    

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Do I need medical evidence to receive exam concessions for my disability? 

Yes. You need to provide the Disability Support Service with appropriate medical evidence of your disability to receive exam concessions. You can find further information on the medical evidence we accept here

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How do I get exam concessions in place? 

Your exam concessions are usually discussed with you when you complete your Disability Support Plan (DSP) with a Disability Adviser. If you are a registered student you can click here to request exam concessions through our 'Exam Concession Request Form'. 

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What types of exam concessions can I get? 

Exam concessions are decided on a case-by-case basis, but may include additional time, use of a word processor (to type answers) or rest breaks. If you have an exam concession, you will take your exam in a concession room. These rooms have fewer students and are away from the main exam hall.   

It is important to note that exam concessions are only put in place for in-person exams, or timed windowed exams. 

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How do I get an ADHD diagnosis? 

Referral for an ADHD assessment is usually made by your GP. We are unable to refer students for ADHD assessments. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the ADHD referral pathway.

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I think I have dyslexia. Can you help me?  

Registered students, who think they might have a specific learning difficulty/difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, can request a SpLD screening appointment through our service.  

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 Who do I contact if I need to access support at the university? 

The most important thing to do is to tell a staff member if you need support. This could be your college support staff, department, a Disability Adviser or the Counselling and Mental Health Service.  We usually find that students tend to speak with their college support staff first. The college staff can then link you with the relevant departments to access your support.  

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I have a long-term mental health condition, what support can I get to help me with my academic studies? 

Any student with a disability, including long-term mental health conditions, can access support from the Disability Support Service. We support students to implement reasonable adjustments such as spaced deadlines, exam concessions and library support. We also provide advice and guidance about Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to students who may be eligible to access this funding. DSA can provide a package of support which may include specialist equipment or non-medical help such as mentoring.  

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International students


Do I need to register with a GP/doctor in Durham? 

We encourage you to register with a doctor (General Practitioner also known as a GP) in Durham so that you can access healthcare, particularly if you require medication (a prescription) or have an ongoing physical health/mental health condition. 

You can register with the Claypath and University Medical Group via a quick and easy to complete online form. There are also a range of other medical practices in Durham which you may want to consider here

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What can I go to a GP/doctor for? 

You can speak to the GP/doctor about any physical or mental health related issues. The GP/doctor will also be the person who you speak with to access specialist support or to gain a referral to a specialist treatment/service. Please see the university's essential medical information page for more information Essential Medical information

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I am an international student; can I bring my medication over to the UK? 

A lot of international students do ask this question. We recommend you consult the government webpages for guidance on Bringing medicine containing a controlled drug into the UK - GOV.UK ( 

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I am on medication, can I get the same medication in the UK? 

It may not always be possible for UK GP/doctors to prescribe the same medication. It is strongly recommended that students speak to their current doctor at home to make a plan, well in advance of their move to Durham. It may not always be possible to arrange a GP/doctor appointment immediately upon arrival, so students should bring enough medication to last until they can see a GP/doctor in Durham. To speed up the process, it is recommended that students register with a Durham GP/doctor as soon as they have a Durham address. This can normally be done online. 

For students taking ADHD medication, please see here for further guidance.

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Parents/Guardian Questions

Can my parents/guardians speak with the university on my behalf? 

At the age of 18 in the UK, you legally become an adult, which means the university needs third party consent from you to speak with your parents/guardians. If you would like your parents/guardians to speak with your college or Disability Support staff on your behalf, then ask each of the departments how to set up third party consent.  Each department may have a different process but do approach them to set this up, if this is something you are interested in doing. 

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I am a parent; how do I ensure support from the university is in place for my child? 

In order to communicate with parents/guardians, the university does need third party consent in place. If we do not have third party consent in place, it does mean that the university is unable to talk with you about your child. Do look at the above question on how to get third party consent in place. 

If third party consent is not in place, we can give general advice on ways you can help your child receive the support they need.  For example, over the summer months:  

  • Helping your child with a list of questions they may want answers to. 
  • Setting up appointments with departments (such as Disability Support) your child may want to talk with. 
  • Helping your child gather any medical evidence they may need for their support. 
  • Helping your child prepare for university is vital as it means the support can be put in place sooner. 

Purple Line Separator SlimI am a parent/guardian, will the college staff / Disability Advisers / Counselling and Mental Health Service, check on my child regularly to ensure that they are ok? 

Unfortunately, we would be unable to check on each individual student. We would always advise that your child seeks the support, so we get them the support they need. 

 However, if you are concerned about your child please review our dedicated webpage here

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