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Services and Support

Evidence of SpLDs for alternative exam arrangements

All new students who wish to request special examination arrangements due to a specific learning difficulty have to supply a comprehensive diagnostic assessment report. This assessment report will inform the most appropriate alternative exam arrangements for you, which will stay in place, unless a review is required, to the end of your course of study.

A copy of your assessment report must be provided to the Disability team for the appropriate examination be recommended to the Exam Office. Please note that in order for the above to be implemented you must make contact with the Disability team, support arrangements including alternative exam arrangements are not automatic.

SpLD labels for consideration when marking

Paper based yellow labels and a PDF electronic version are issued when appropriate to students with specific learning difficulties to attach to assessed coursework and examination scripts. The labels alert markers to the SpLDs in order that students are not penalised for errors made due to their SpLDs. There are national guidelines produced by ADSHE as well as additional guidance available to markers giving infromation about not deducting marks for repeated spelling/grammar/syntax errors that do not impact on meaning and/or content. Please note that if spelling, grammar and in general written expression form part of the course and assessment requirements you will be marked down for these errors regardless of the label.

Specialist Study Skills Support

Students in receipt of a Disabled Student Allowances, or similar funding, can receive specialist study skills support from our qualified SpLD professionals. If you are not in receipt of this allowance, but have difficulties associated with a specific learning difficulty, then please contact the Disability team and we will make arrangements to discuss and respond to your study support needs.

Specialist study skills support is available on campus and can be arranged by contacting the Disability team. An initial meeting will be arranged to agree a programme of support with you in line with your individual needs and requirements. Specialist study skills support as a result of a learning difficulty or other disability is non-subject specific support. You can find some additional information about what that support entails on this handout. The student will identify with the tutor areas of their studies they wish to prioritise, i.e. essay writing, exam revision, research skills etc, and they will together refine existing study strategies to address any specific areas of difficulty. The support also provides with an opportunity to reflect on one's learning approach and style with the aim of developing effective long term strategies. Sessions can take place weekly, fortnightly or on a less regular basis, depending on need and as agreed with the specialist tutor. Online (via Teams), face to face and flexible appointments outside standard working hours can be arranged for part-time and distance learning students, degree apprentices and any other students where appointments during standard working hours cannot be made.


Wherever possible, students must give at least 48 hours notice if they are unable to attend any scheduled appointments. For any Monday appointments, notice should be given on the previous Friday. When students cancel or not attend up to 3 sessions without any sufficient notice or justification, support arrangements, will be reviewed.

Proof Reading

Specialist study skills support is not a proofreading service. The tutor will discuss a sample of your work with you and give you feedback on how to make improvements, but the emphasis will be on you developing your own editing strategies with the use of assistive technology.


During the spring and summer term, study skills sessions are offered on revision and examination techniques, including addressing how to make best use of any additional examination time allowed as an alternative exam arrangement in exams.

Note taking support

Please contact the Disability team to discuss your support needs including the use of assistive software.

Use of recording devices in lectures

Many students with specific learning difficulties find it helpful to make a recording of lectures to supplement the notes they can take themselves and any recordings available via Lecture Capture. To be able to record lectures you must make contact with the Disability team who based on your diagnostic report can make appropriate recommendations to your Department for permission to record. Please note that seminars or other interactive sessions can not always be recorded and additional permissions may be required from the rest of the group. The Disability team can support you with this by liaising with the department to discuss options.