Study Support

Leeds Arts University has a diverse mix of creative students with a variety of learning styles and differences which enriches both our student population and the learning environment.

Our goal is to create a positive, inclusive atmosphere where all students have the same opportunities to flourish and benefit from all aspects of student life.

Learning Development staff are always happy to talk to students about any aspect of their progress and to offer additional support. This support can include the provision of small items of specialist equipment, the provision of communication support workers for learners with hearing impairment, the provision of assistive technology and also specialist and general study skills support for students with dyslexia-type learning difficulties.

Learning support is available to students studying at both Further Education Level and Higher Education level.

Levels of Study

Support in Further Education

When you come to University you will be screened for additional support needs and further assessment, advice and guidance will be offered where appropriate. The support we provide directly responds to the specific art and design nature of your learning and is delivered in a way that is relevant to, and enhances your main programme of study. Learning support can help you with developing your independent study skills.

The Dyslexia and Study Skills Support Service offers:  

  • Initial assessment to identify any support needs
  • Screening for dyslexia, and application for exam concessions if appropriate
  • Support with essay work, sketchbook annotations, oral presentations, portfolio management and preparing for interviews for Higher Education
  • Weekly tutorials for students with dyslexia offering a range of support in improving literacy and organisation skills including essay planning and writing, developing reading and research skills and promoting an understanding of course related language
  • Mentor support for students with emotional/social and mental health differences
  • English Language Teaching classes and tutorials for students for whom English is not a first language

For further information about dyslexia and study skills support, please contact Head of Student Support Katrina Welsh;

Support in Higher Education

The Learning Development programme at Leeds Arts University provides study support to students with a range of learning differences, the most common of which is dyslexia.  There is a strong link between dyslexia and the arts and our Dyslexia and Study Support team can give specialist advice and support if you have, or think that you might have, dyslexia. 

The Dyslexia and Study Support Service offers: 

  • Confidential, informal discussions about dyslexia and other specific learning differences
  • Formal screening for those who think that they might be dyslexic but have never been assessed
  • Support with arranging Educational Psychologists’ reports or applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance
  • Weekly tutorials for students with dyslexia who are receiving the Disabled Students' Allowance. Dyslexia support tutors help with developing critical thinking skills, interpreting assignment briefs, time-management, essay planning and writing and developing reading and research skills
  • Academic Writing courses to support essay and dissertation work. This support is available to all students
  •  Drop-in support tutorials for help with research, written work and organising your work load. These tutorial are open to all students
  • English Language Teaching classes and tutorials for international students

For further information about the Dyslexia and Study Support Service, please contact Head of Student Support Katrina Welsh;

Support for Students with Dyslexia

How to Access Support

If you have declared your dyslexia on your application form, you will be invited to attend a meeting with the Head of Student Support to discuss your support at the University. You will also receive advice and guidance on applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. 

If you have already applied for the DSA, weekly dyslexia support tutorials will be arranged with specialist staff. If you have not yet applied for the DSA, drop-in Study Skills tutorials are available at various times throughout the week.

Please see our Academic Support Cancellation Policy.

Dyslexia Screening

We ask all new students to complete a Dyslexia and Study Skills Checklist which identifies students with potential dyslexic traits. Confidential follow up meetings are arranged with a dyslexia support tutor and recommendations made for further dyslexia assessment and application for the Disabled Students’ Allowance, as appropriate. The University supports eligible level 4 students with funding for the full diagnostic assessment. We require a deposit of £60 which will be refunded once the student has undergone their assessment.

For further information about the Dyslexia and Study Support Service, please contact our disability administrator

Learning with Dyslexia Video

Support for Disabled Students

The Disabled Students' Allowance

In Higher Education, additional support for learning such as one-to-one dyslexia support, note-taking or mentor support, computer equipment or assistive software for your own use, is funded through Student Finance England and the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). 

In order to apply for the DSA you will need to have evidence of your disability. In the case of specific learning difficulties e.g. dyslexia, you will need to have evidence of a diagnostic assessment carried out by an Educational Psychologist (or another appropriately qualified professional), on or after your 16thbirthday. If you have a report which was produced before this age, you will need to obtain an up-to date assessment. 

You can arrange to have this assessment done at any local Dyslexia Action or, once you have enrolled at Leeds Arts University, a full dyslexia assessment can be arranged for you here at University. You can either pay for the assessment yourself or you can apply to the University Access to Learning Fund for help with payment of the fee. 

Once you have an up to date assessment, you can then apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. We recommend that the application process is started as early as possible as it can take several months. 

Follow the link to Leeds Arts University Non Medical Helper (NMH) rates.

How to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance


  • Tick the ‘Disabled Students’ Allowance’ box on the student finance application form (PN1). Student Finance England will then send you an application form (DSA1) and a guidance booklet 




If your application is successful, you will receive a letter from Student Finance England confirming your entitlement to the allowance and advising you that you will need to have a Study Needs Assessment.

Study Needs Assessment

You can arrange to have this assessment carried out at a university Access Centre close to your home or at Leeds. You must have a current report of your disability and the letter of confirmation from Student Finance England before you can book the assessment.

At you assessment, you will meet with an assessor who will talk to you about your disability/learning difficulty and how it may affect your studies. The assessor may demonstrate any appropriate equipment or software.

The Study Needs Assessment report will be sent to you. Once you have signed to say that you agree with its findings and have returned the report, a copy will be sent to Student Finance England.


Student Finance England will send you a letter informing you of the equipment and support that they agree to fund. They will also specify the suppliers and give you their contact details.

For further information about the Dyslexia and Study Support Service, please contact:
Katrina Cullaigh;

International Students

If English is not your first language

Leeds Arts University has a specialist EAL tutor who can provide English language classes and support with your study skills development. This includes support with the planning and structure of written work, use of academic language and time management skills.

For further information about the Dyslexia and Study Support Service, please contact:
Katrina Welsh;