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Durham University Assessment Centre

Frequently asked questions

Will I have to pay for the Needs Assessment?

No. Your funding body will pay for the assessment.

How long will the assessment appointment take?

Allow approximately two hours for your assessment. Remember, your assessment is not a test, but a means of identifying your needs by friendly discussion. There is no need to be apprehensive. However, you will need to allow time for discussion to take place.

The assessor will want to talk about your relevant study needs including: equipment, study skills support and strategies designed to help you. Also, a range of equipment and assistive software, appropriate to your needs, will be demonstrated to you.

Can a parent or friend accompany me to the assessment?

Yes. You can bring someone along with you, if it makes you feel more comfortable. The decision to do this lies solely with you. Once you are 18 years of age, your parents do not have the right to accompany you to your assessment.

Remember, the interview is between you and the assessor. Its purpose is to establish your needs. Therefore, accompanying individuals are not allowed to intervene in the assessment interview.

If you require assistance to communicate with the assessor please let us know in advance, so that suitable arrangements can be made to facilitate this.

Do I have to return the equipment at the end of my course?

No. The equipment is yours to keep. However, please make sure you don't dispose of it if you intend to undertake another course, as any equipment you have previously received will be taken into account.

Do I have to pay for the equipment?

If your assessor recommends a new computer you will be asked to contribute £200 towards the cost. This is based on the average cost of a standard computer for study, which all students require.

Can I keep my own computer?

The assessor will discuss this with you. It will depend on the age of your computer and whether it is of an adequate specification to run any software recommended by the assessor.

What happens if I transfer to another course?

DUAC charges a single assessment fee. This means that in most cases you won’t need to have another assessment if your course or support needs change. Just contact DUAC to let them know about your altered circumstances and they will advise you what to do next.

What is a Review Assessment?

In some cases you may be entitled to a Review Assessment. This might apply if, for example, you progress to a postgraduate course or you acquire an additional disability. DUAC may advise you to contact Student Finance England to request a Review Assessment.