The Study Needs Assessment at The Exeter Access Centre

If you choose to have your Study Needs Assessment at The Exeter Access Centre, the 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.



The Exeter Access Centre provides high-quality Study Needs Assessment Reports for all students who meet the criteria for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).  For more information about Study Needs Assessments, see What is the Study Needs Assessment?

The Exeter Access Centre is based in the Forum on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus, but our service is available to students applying to study with any Higher Education Provider (HEP) in the UK.   We are a fully accredited Access Centre working within current government guidelines to ensure standards of service to students are maintained.  We are also part of a National Network of Assessment Centres (NNAC).

Please note that due to the current situation with COVID-19, Student Finance England have given permission for assessments to be given remotely.   We are currently providing assessments by phone.   We do not have any outreach venues.

Please complete a Study Needs Assessment Request Form to book an appointment.

Our next appointment is usually available within 1 working day.  If you have complex disability needs there may be a longer wait to ensure you are matched to the most appropriate assessor.  This is in order to provide the best possible customer service.  If you would like to know current availability, please email or call us on 01392 723880.

If you have any access needs or preferences to enable you to fully participate in the assessment, such as accessible parking or a BSL sign language interpreter, please do let us know.  It is very important to us that you are able to express your views and opinions so that we can ensure you get the most out of this process and that the recommendations we make 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. 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.  Recommendations will vary from person to person, depending on your course, how your autism affects you and the impact on your studies.

All recommendations must be considered in relation to the DSA regulations and guidance.   For more information about our service policies, see Exeter Access Centre Service Policies.

What to do next?

Complete a Study Needs Assessment Request Form to book your appointment

Practical tips

Some things you might like to think about to help get ready for your assessment:

  • 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
  • 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 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?
  • 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?

Additional information and links

The Exeter Access Centre is found on the top floor of the Forum, on the Streatham Campus.

The door on the left leads to the Exeter Access Centre
The assessment room in the Exeter Access Centre