Topic outline

  • General

    Disability Banner

    • Topic 1

      Information for Students

      RNCM welcomes disabled students, including those with specific learning difficulties. The Learning Support Service provides one-to-one help with your academic work as well as confidential guidance and support in other areas.

      Ways in which we can support you include:

      • One-to-one academic and study skills tutorials 
      • Guidance on documenting your disability
      • Provision of a suitable Personal Learning Plan
      • Specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia) screening on request
      • Referral for psychological assessment, if appropriate (part-funded)
      • Referral for medical assessment
      • Advice on applying for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs).

      For more information on access and facilities for disabled students, please contact:

      Jane Gray (Student Wellbeing Advisor)


      • Understanding Disability

        Under UK law, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on a person's ability to perform normal day-to-day tasks such as studying. In general, long-term means a condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, more than twelve months. If you are unsure whether your health condition or specific learning difficulty is considered a disability or not, please contact to arrange an appointment in order to discuss this.
      • This topic

        Might I have a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia)?

        Dyslexia is just one of a range of neurodiverse issues known collectively as Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs). Although SpLDs are present throughout life, many people are not diagnosed until they reach higher education, when the challenge of degree-level studies makes their difficulties more apparent.

        Below you will find some simple diagrams of the kinds of difficulties experienced by students with SpLDs, both generally and in relation to music. If some of these feel familiar to you, you might also like to request a confidential discussion and, if appropriate, SpLD screening with Cheryll Duncan, the College Learning Support Tutor. Appointments can be made by contacting 

      • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

        If you are a home student for fees, and have a diagnosed specific learning difficulty, long-standing medical or mental health condition you may be eligible for DSAs (Disabled Students' Allowances). This is a non means-tested grant which helps to pay for any additional study-related support arising from your disability/specific learning difficulty. For further information, please contact the Student Wellbeing Advisor,


      • Assistive technology (AT)

        The range of technologies to support learning is increasing all the time, and the choice can be bewildering! Students who have an identified disability may be eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances, which will carry out an assessment of need and recommend an individually tailored package of hardware and software, together with training. The kind of AT that might be provided includes:

        • Text reading software (reads aloud digital print)
        • Visual spatial planning software (enables planning in 'mind-map' format for essay/project planning, revision and note-taking purposes
        • Text to speech software (enables dictating what you want to write into a microphone, and the software then  transcribes onto computer)

        In addition to commercial AT packages, there is also a lot of open source software which is free. For useful information, including Apps and strategies for using the technology, see:


      • Effective study skills

        If you have specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia) and are eligible to apply for DSAs, you may be eligible for generic study skills support. This can be provided by Access Summit at the University of Manchester: to discuss possible referral, contact The aim of this support is to identify effective strategies to improve skills such as spelling, organisation and structure, time-management etc. 

        Students who have a PLP (Personal Learning Plan) may also receive academic, subject-specific support from Cheryll Duncan (RNCM) Learning Support Tutor. If you are eligible, you will receive regular emails inviting you to book an appointment; please note that this is done on a week-by-week basis (due to high demand, block bookings cannot be made). For further information, contact