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Assessing students with disabilities

Note: guidance was previously on the 'Teaching, learning and assessment' webpage Section 14.2:

The Disability Discrimination Act (2005) superseded by the Equality Act (2010) obliges the University to make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled students (and prospective students) are not placed at substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled. This includes assessment of academic work. Students must register formally with Student Services to have these adjustments put in place.


Students with a disability or long term medical condition which is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act (2005) must register with Student Services. Informing the School or Department directly is not sufficient for arrangements to be made. A student who declares a disability or long-term medical condition on entry to the University and requires academic arrangements will be required to meet with a Disability Adviser in Student Services. The Disability Adviser will access and consult evidence gathered from an appropriate individual or organisation before identifying the arrangements which need to be implemented in all aspects of the student’s academic studies.


The student must provide current evidence to Student Services of their disability or medical condition, from a medical or specialist service, e.g. RNIB. Students with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia must submit a report from an Educational Psychologist, which must be dated not more than two years prior to first matriculation.

Information of previous allowances from other academic institutions or examining board, e.g. SQA, whilst helpful will not in themselves guarantee the same arrangements.


Once academic arrangements have been identified by Student Services it is their responsibility to ensure that Schools and the Examinations Office are made aware of this information immediately via the EDIF system. The student will also be advised of their arrangements from EDIF.

Arrangements will fall into various categories:

  • Extra time.
  • Individual exam room.
  • Use of a computer / assistive technology.
  • Use of a scribe / reader / transcription.
  • Adapted exam paper, e.g. font size, colour of paper, etc.
  • Other arrangements, e.g. secretarial chair.

These arrangements will apply where practicable to all formal timed assessments, e.g. examinations, class tests.

Any disputes brought by students over arrangements should be referred to the Dean of the Faculty, who will take advice from all interested parties.


Arrangements for examinations at the end of each semester will be implemented in accordance with the current guidance from the Examinations Office. Support and advice will be given by Student Services where appropriate.



Human Resources

University of St Andrews
The Old Burgh School

Abbey Walk
St Andrews
KY16 9LB
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)1334 463096