The UCAS form
There is a section on the UCAS form which asks if you have a disability. Under the Disability Discrimination Act, mental health difficulties are classified under the description of disability. Many students do not fill in this section because they do not think that mental health difficulties are a disability, or because they do not think their difficulties are severe enough to be classed as a disability. Ask yourself, ‘do I have a difficulty which will, or could, have a significant impact on me during the course of my studies?’. If the answer is yes, then it would be advisable to declare this to us.
Research suggests that the most common reason people choose not to declare a mental health difficulty is that they worry that this will count against them. However, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it unlawful for a university to discriminate against anyone on the grounds that they have a mental health difficulty. It also requires a university to take into account how those difficulties may affect them in undertaking a course, and to make reasonable adjustments to take account of this.
At DMU we would like to encourage students to declare their mental health difficulties, even if they do not think that that it will impact on their studies. At the moment there is no accurate way of being sure how many students with mental health difficulties study at Higher Education level. This means there are likely to be a large number of students at DMU who have mental health difficulties that we are not aware of, and who are missing out on support.
Students are still able to declare mental health difficulties at any stage once they have enrolled on their course.
What happens if a student declares their mental health difficulties on the UCAS form?
This declaration will be considered separately from any decision about whether to offer a place on a course, which will be made on purely academic grounds.
Upon receipt of the form, admissions staff will pass a copy to the Wellbeing team who will make email contact with the student offering information on the support available at DMU and the opportunity to arrange a face to face appointment. You can email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The face to face appointment is an opportunity for us to give you an idea of the support options available for when you begin your course. It will also enable us to discuss any additional support needs you may wish to set up prior to starting your course such as with the NHS and GP. It may be helpful and appropriate to invite other staff members from student support or academics from your course if you are comfortable with this.