Needs Assessment Centre

The Needs Assessment Centre (NAC) is an independent Assessment Centre that provides a specialist service for students requiring assessment for the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). The NAC is open to all disabled students in Higher Education who are eligible for the DSA.

In addition to the main centre at the University of Northampton, the NAC also has two outreach centres that operate through the Indigo Dyslexia Centre in Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, and Cambridge. All of these are accredited assessment centres and are quality assured and approved by the Disabled Students’ Allowances Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG).

DSA needs assessment

The Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) provide support on behalf of the UK government that can help you with the additional costs that you may incur in attending your higher education course. This could be a direct result of a disability such as a physical disability, a mental health difficulty, long term illness or a specific learning difference such as dyslexia.

A DSA Needs Assessment is a one-to-one confidential discussion between the you and a trained assessor to identify your learning support needs. The assessor then writes a report that makes recommendations to your funding body and higher education institution as to how these needs should be met.

During the assessment, the assessor will demonstrate and allow you to evaluate software, specialist equipment and technology to determine the best possible solutions to help overcome any difficulties you may experience. The assessor may also discuss and recommend other types of support such as confidential mentoring, specialist tutoring to assist with assignments and assistive technology training.

Book an appointment

Before you book your assessment you will need to have received a ‘DSA Eligibility letter’ from your funding body and will need a copy of the diagnostic evidence of your disability.

You can book an appointment by:



01604 892668

In person

The Needs Assessment Centre
The University of Northampton
St George’s Avenue

Alternatively you can fill in the online booking form.

The centre is open between 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions about the Needs Assessment Centre, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to see if it has already been answered.


If you would like to give feedback on the service you have received, please fill in the student feedback,  supplier feedback and final year students feedback forms.


Our brand new £330 million campus.

  • Designed to adapt to 21st century teaching.
  • Full range of integrated learning environments.
  • 24/7 library and learning zone.
  • Low environmental impact.

Now Open

Discover the campus

360° Tour