The Study Needs Assessment at Leeds Beckett University

If you choose to have your Study Needs Assessment at Leeds Beckett our team will be pleased to meet with you and aim to ensure you have access to the most effective support available to assist you in your studies. You can find out more about the team and what to expect here.


Leeds Beckett Disability Assessment Centre has assessment rooms at both City and Headingley campuses and you are able to express a preference when you book your appointment.

The Disability Assessment Centre has worked with the National Autistic Society, autistic students and their parents to review processes and literature to help you prepare for your Study Needs Assessment. When booking your Study Needs Assessment you will receive a photomap to help in navigating to the room and information which will introduce you to your assessor, the room you will be meeting in and outline what to expect from the appointment. This includes pictures of the assessor and room and an audio recording which is recorded by your assessor. You can find a generic version of this information on the team’s website under ‘what happens at my Study Needs Assessment?’.

If you have any access needs or preferences to enable you to fully participate in the assessment, please do let the team know. It is very important that you are able to express your views and opinions so that the team can ensure you get the most out of this process and that the recommendations made are appropriate to your individual requirements.

How could this affect me?

If you have applied for DSA the Study Needs Assessment is an essential part of the process. The Study Needs Assessment tends to be a structured but fairly informal one-to-one discussion with a Study Needs Assessor which will usually last between 2 and 3 hours. You won’t be tested or have to complete any assessment yourself, but the Study Needs Assessor will have specific questions they need to ask in order to explore your support needs.

The Study Needs Assessment is an opportunity to talk to somebody in depth about:

  • the positive and negative aspects of studying in the past
  • the positive and negative aspects of any support you have received in the past at home/school/college
  • any worries you might have about going to university
  • what you’re excited about and think you will do well at
  • what you think might help you achieve that success

You will also get to learn a bit more about the kind of help that is available to you – many students don’t really know much about this and are amazed to find out what is out there and how it may work for them. Recommendations will vary from person to person, depending on your course, how your autism affects you and the impact on your studies.

During the assessment you will have the opportunity to ask questions or suggest strategies or equipment that you feel you may benefit from, or have worked for you in the past. This could include some 1:1 support, such as mentoring or study skills support. There is a range of specialist equipment or assistive technology, such as:

  • mind-mapping software to help you plan your work
  • text-to-speech software to assist you in reading and processing information and proofreading your work
  • dictation software to assist you in composing your work

All recommendations must be considered in relation to the DSA regulations and guidance. Following your Study Needs Assessment your assessor will send a report to your funding body (e.g. SFE) for them to consider the recommendations. Once approved your funding body will write to you telling you how to arrange your support. If you would like help to arrange your support you should contact your Disability Adviser once you receive the letter from your funding body.

What to do next?

Contact Leeds Beckett Disability Assessment Centre to book your appointment

Practical tips

Call or e-mail Leeds Beckett Disability Assessment Centre at:

T: 0113 812 3357 / E:

Disability Assessment Centre, G01 Priestley Hall, Headingley Campus, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, LS6 3QS

The Disability Assessment Centre is open Monday to Friday 9-4.30pm throughout the year, including school holidays.

If you are not based in Leeds and would prefer to have your DSA Study Needs Assessment at an alternative Assessment Centre you can find your nearest centre here.

Questions to think about

The assessor will have lots of questions to ask you at your assessment, it is likely to be useful to think about the following questions to help you in preparing for your assessment:

  • How do you feel about making notes in lectures, where most of what is said does not end up on a whiteboard or the PowerPoint slides? It is also not possible to write down every word that is said.
  • Would being able to record lectures help you?
  • How do you make and organise your notes when reading or revising?
  • Do you enjoy going to new places?
  • Do you find new places easily?
  • Does it help to have someone with you when you go somewhere for the first time?
  • What are you most excited about when it comes to your course?
  • What would you like to know more about or might need support to do before you get excited?
  • How do you feel about group work?
  • How do you manage your free time?
  • Are you always on time for appointments without help from someone else?
  • Do you like to be in busy, lively places or quiet places?
  • How do you find out about new topics?
  • Do you find it easy to organise your ideas and structure them in writing?
  • Do you find academic writing easy? How about spelling, punctuation and grammar?
  • Would you like somebody to talk to about your autism who has a good understanding of both autism and university?
  • Do you have any other conditions like dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD?
  • Does it help you to read information from the internet if you can print it out?
  • Who supported you with your work at school and what did they do that was helpful?
  • What helps you when you’re stressed? Music, exercise, art, reading, playing games, talking to others?
  • Did you use any tools like visual schedules, social stories, coloured overlays, coloured paper or alarms to help you at school or college?
  • How do you feel about talking to people about your autism, including tutors and other students?