Acceptable Standards of Evidence – disability, specific learning difficulty or long-term medical/mental health condition

Wherever possible, the University will put in place reasonable adjustments for applicants / students who have a disability, specific learning difficulty (SpLD) or long-term medical/mental health condition. Such adjustments will arise from an identified need relating to the relevant disability. Adjustments cannot be put in place on the basis of preference only and will only commence from the date that appropriate evidence is provided.

In order to correctly assess the needs of applicants/students, the University requires the submission of evidence supporting the request for adjustments. Evidence falls into two categories, medical and psychological. To be acceptable to the University it must conform to certain criteria:


Medical information

  1. Must not be more than three months old at the date of submission to the University. Older information will only be deemed acceptable if accompanied by a new letter from a suitably qualified professional (see below) confirming that the old report is still valid and identifying any alterations that the University should take into account.
  2. Must be written by a medical or other suitably qualified professional in the field.
  3. Must be written in clear, accessible English (ie, technical medical diagnoses are not acceptable without a supporting letter that describes the condition in layman’s terms to enable University staff to relate to study-related needs).
  4. Wherever possible, identify specific areas of difficulty in relation to access issues and study-related problems.

In addition to the criteria outlined above, when applying for Disabled Students Allowance medical evidence must meet the definition of disability as drawn up under the Equality Act 2010 which states:

'A person has a disability for the purposes of the Act if he or she has a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (S6(1))'.


Specific learning difficulties (eg dyslexia/dyspraxia)

For evidence of a specific learning difference, such as dyslexia, you will need to provide an up-to-date, full psychological diagnostic assessment report. Ideally, this should be carried out by a professionally registered psychologist or an appropriately qualified, PATOSS registered specialist teacher.

The report must be written in accordance with current SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC) guidelines and contain a clear diagnosis, substantiated by the assessment test results. Further details are available on their website.


International/EU students

It is recognised that students from overseas may not be able to provide evidence of a SpLD exactly in the format described above. The Disability & Dyslexia Team will therefore consider each psychological diagnosis on its merit at submission.

All evidence must be translated into English by a qualified transcription service and formally authenticated as such. The original translation must be submitted – a photocopy is not acceptable.

The University reserves the right to refuse to consider evidence that does not fulfil the above criteria.


Exceptional circumstances

The University is unable to accept incomplete reports or reports prepared for purposes unrelated to study. In the event that you do not wish the University to see parts of your evidence due to their sensitive nature, it may be possible for us to come to an individual arrangement where a single member of staff can confirm that the sections that are to be deleted relate to issues which would not affect your ability to study and do not present any cause for concern under our health and safety regulations (for example, the Service Manager or a University chaplain who work under strict confidentiality guidelines). Please be aware that this may require additional time and you should contact us at the earliest opportunity to enable us to deal with this efficiently.