Study needs agreement

What is a Study Needs Agreement?

A study needs agreement (SNA) is the document we use to record information about your disability and the type of support and adjustments you need for your studies. Your disability adviser will write this document with you to ensure you are happy with its content.

Sections to a Study Needs Agreement

Consent to share information

It is your decision how much disability related information you want to share with other people such as your lecturers.

There are different levels of disclosure for you to choose from and this is recorded in your SNA.

Some students want their lecturers to know about the nature of their disability as well as the adjustments they need. Others choose just to share information about required adjustments (eg their need to record lectures rather than take notes) and not about the nature of their disability.

No information will be shared until you have given consent for this to happen. See our Statement on Disability Disclosure for more details.

We will record both the nature of your disability and a description of the effect it has on your study. It is your decision how much of this (if any) you want to share with other people.

Information about support and adjustments

There are two types of support that we can offer:

  • Support from a specialist support worker eg a specialist study skills tutor, mentor or notetaker.
  • Reasonable adjustments for your studies.

Making a reasonable adjustment for your studies often means, for a reason related to your disability, you will be allowed to do something differently to other students.

For example:

  • Provision of extra time in examinations and other timed assessments.
  • Access to handouts and presentations in advance of lectures.
  • Permission to record your lectures to assist with notetaking.
  • Receiving course materials in alternative formats.
  • Using a communication support worker in lectures.
  • Sitting your exam at a computer or in a separate room.

The above list includes just a few examples and isn't a full list of adjustments you might receive.

The package of support and adjustments put in place for you will be tailored to your specific needs and recorded in your SNA.

Please be aware that in order to make some adjustments we will need your permission to share some information with other staff like your lecturers and/or the Exams Office.


If you have placements, your Disability Adviser can help you to think through the issues around disclosure of your disability and requests for adjustments. This will be recorded in your SNA although information will not automatically be shared with anyone.

The process for informing placement providers about your disability and making adjustments will vary depending on what you are studying the type of placement you are going on.

Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

There are different ways that we can support you in using the LRC such as use of the book retrieval service and help to use their range of assistive technology.

This will be recorded in your SNA and set up by the Disability Services department.

Risk assessment

We will carry out a risk assessment just to ensure that there is no risk either to yourself or to other people when you carry out your studies.

How staff find out about your SNA

If you give consent for information to be shared your lecturers will be told what they need to know in order to make adjustments for you. We would, however, suggest that you make yourself known to the lecturer after you have created your SNA and show them your paper copy of the document if needed.

Sometimes when lecturers have very large groups of students it is not always easy for them to know who they need to make adjustments for.

Your needs might change

Once the document is set up it will follow you through for the duration of your course, unless you tell us you want it to be changed or closed.

Your SNA can be changed as many times as is needed during your studies.