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Frequently Asked Questions



Please find some of our most popular questions answered here, divided up by relevant sections. If you cannot find what you want please don't hesitate to contact us or log an enquiry via the Student Information Desk. 

General questions

All psychological therapies, including groups and workshops, Specialist Mental Health support, and AccessAbility services are free for current students at the University of Exeter.

Funding for extra support may be available for some students with a disability via Disabled Students’ Allowances – see our funding page for more information on eligibility.

Complementary therapies are provided by independent therapists at a reduced fee for students.

There are a number of ways to make an appointment with Wellbeing Services. Please see the make an appointment page.

Confidentiality is crucial to the service we provide. Information about you will not be disclosed to anyone outside Wellbeing Services without your permission, except in exceptional circumstances. You can read more about our confidentiality policy under the service policies section of this website. 

Streatham Campus 

You can register at the Student Health Centre, they can be contacted on 01392 676606, you will need to register before you can make an appointment.

St Luke’s Campus 

You can register at the Heavitree Practice near the campus. They can be contacted on 01392 277409. You will need to register before you can make an appointment.

Out of hours

An out-of-hours doctor service is provided for urgent problems and can be accessed by phoning 0845 6710 270.

Open weeknights 18.00-08:00; weekends Friday 18:00-Monday 08:00; and also on bank holidays.

The first thing to do in a life-threatening emergency is to call 999.

If your concern is urgent, but not a life-threatening emergency, you can make an urgent appointment with your doctor. The doctors at the Student Health Centre on Streatham Campus can see students who do not have a doctor in Exeter. 

Please see our Urgent Support page for more information.

Our advisor Georgie McMorrow has put together this short, infromative video that takes you through the various aspects of interrupting your studies and your return.

Interrupted students: what you need to know

It takes in students' accommodation needs, Disabled Students' Allowance, setting up and amending an Independent Learning Plan, and more.

If you are applying for mitigation for a piece of work you should discuss this first with your College or Student Office who should be able to offer advice and support with regard to the application procedure. Please also see the University’s guidelines on mitigation.

Please be advised that applications for mitigation should normally be made in advance of assessment being submitted (for extension of deadline) or the meeting of Board of Examiners (for mitigation performance).

It is important to know that the responsibility for decisions around academic progress lies with the college or department concerned.

If you currently attend Wellbeing Services you may request a letter of support for mitigation confirming when and for how long you have been having sessions. Please be aware that letters of attendance only confirm the start and end dates of your attendance and does not reveal any details of discussions had in sessions.

If you require further information to be sent to your college, you should request this from your GP; usual University procedure requires the provision of medical evidence when applying for mitigation on health grounds.

If you are working with the Mental Health or AccessAbility team we may be able to supply a more detailed letter to support the mitigation application. This is done on an individual basis and must be discussed with your wellbeing practitioner. 

Before we are able to send a letter of attendance, you will be asked to give your written consent.

Wellbeing Services offer a range of appointments on St Luke’s Campus, including AccessAbility appointments, Psychological Therapies appointments, and Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) funded support. Please get in touch with us if you would like further information, or specify when making an appointment that you would prefer to be seen at St Luke’s. Please be aware that waiting times may differ between locations.

Disability support related questions

If you are finding it difficult to cope with exams you should see your GP in the first instance as Wellbeing Services require medical evidence in order to put specific exam arrangements in place.

It is important to note that these arrangements are temporary. If you feel that you could benefit from longer term support we would advise you to contact us as we may be able to support you to get an Individual Learning Plan in place for the duration of your studies.  You can find out more about this through the Mental Health Pathway or AccessAbility Pathway.

Deadlines for applications for exam arrangements are noted on the examinations webpage. If you are not currently working with the mental health team (based in Reed Hall), you should contact Wellbeing Services prior to this date to ask for an 'exam arrangements appointment'. If you are currently working with us then your practitioner will be happy to discuss any arrangements that would be appropriate.

Please note that any past exam arrangements you may have had, such as extra time during your previous study will not automatically transfer to University exams. You will need to contact us for these to be put in place. 

The Equality Act (2010) requires that reasonable adjustments are put in place to remove barriers that may prevent students from participating at University and to minimise the impact that their disability may have on their ability to study.

A reasonable adjustment is a response to an individual student’s needs and includes any slight alternative to the existing framework, elements and assessments of the student’s course. Examples of reasonable adjustments include:

  • Putting an individual learning plan in place (ILP)
  • Exam arrangements
  • Special field trip arrangements
  • Renegotiated deadlines
  • Alternative assessments

If you are not sure whether you qualify for this support please contact us or visit your GP to discuss the impact your physical, mental, or learning difficulty is having on your work. 

Wellbeing Services have a dedicated team of Mental Health advisors who support students with mental health disabilities, and all other disabilities are supported by our AccessAbility Pathway team. 

The service is available to students who experience a range of issues with a specific emphasis on how they are impacting on your ability to study and cope at University.

The University will ask all students for information about their needs in order to properly advise about the support that is available. Our role is to support you, therefore it helps us to have as much information as you are able to give.

We would encourage you to declare a disability, health difficulty or specific learning difference to us; the University of Exeter welcomes all students and provides you with the best support and advice possible under the Equality Act 2010.

We appreciate that you may have concerns about disclosure, however, we are always willing to have a confidential conversation with you about any questions you may have about declaring your disability.

You may be entitled to:

• An assessment with a member of the AccessAbility/Mental Health team to consider your health and study needs.
• An Individual Learning Plan (ILP); this document recommends reasonable adjustments whilst you are at University, such as special exam arrangements, specific accommodation, field trip support (Equality Act 2010).
• Disabled Students' Allowance (money towards your support).
• Additional support whilst at University.
• Protection under the Equality Act 2010.

If you require any of this support it is important that you do declare a disability to the University. If you choose not to, we will still be able to offer you support, although this may be limited.

Your concerns

Some students can feel unsure about declaring a disability for a range of reasons, we encourage you to consider the following points:

  • The word ‘disability’ is used as part of the Equality Act 2010 to help define who is eligible for support.
  • This can apply to physicallearning, and mental health differences as well as some health concerns.
  • Applying for DSA does not constitute a formal registration of disability.
  • It will not be recorded on your University academic records.
  • You do not need to inform future employers about any DSA applications.

How and when to disclose

Current students can simply make contact with the appropriate team within Wellbeing Services at any point during their studies. 

Prospective students can enter the information on their UCAS application, and can complete the Prospective Student online form on our website.

You may be entitled to claim the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) which is administered by your local funding body. DSA is designed to provide students with the resources they need to give them an equal opportunity to succeed at University.

It is advisable to make enquiries about this to your funding body as soon as you know you are applying to go to University as the application process can take around 12 weeks. Wellbeing services can help to ensure you get what you are entitled to and can support you in the application process. 

Read our step by step guide to the DSA application process in Funding Your Support.

There are two campuses in Exeter:

Streatham Campus

Whilst this campus is beautiful, it is also very hilly and we would recommend that you visit or contact us before coming to University. We can discuss options for getting around the campus, such as using an electric wheelchair or scooter, or using the travel allowance part of your Disabled Students' Allowance.

St Luke's Campus

This campus is level, and smaller than the Streatham Campus, although we would still recommend you contact us to discuss accessibility so that we can ensure your needs are met.

Both campuses are approximately 15 minutes from the City, and regular bus services run into the centre.

Detailed building access information can be found on the DisabledGo website.

All students will be registered with the Student Health Centre as soon as they arrive at University.

However, if you are receiving on-going specialist support in your home area, it is best to let them know your plans and discuss arrangements for access to local specialist services if appropriate. You can find a list of local and national services here.

There may be a number of options to consider to ensure that you receive the specialist support you require in the most appropriate place for you. This is often best put in place before you arrive at University and Wellbeing services are able to advise on this.

If you have broken a bone, or have a temporary injury you can receive support from AccessAbility Pathway. Please contact us to discuss your personal situation.

To arrange a DSA Needs Assessment (Study Needs Assessment), you first need to have received a letter of eligibility (DSA1) from your funding body e.g. Student Finance England.

Once you have received your letter, you will need to book an appointment to see an access centre assessor.

You can find more information about the Study Needs Assessment process through the Exeter Access Centre on our website.

For information and support for students with disabilities or long term health conditions who have questions regarding careers and employment, please see the following resource on My Career Zone .

If you would like to speak with someone regarding any questions you have around your personal circumstances when it comes to careers and employment then please make an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants .

There are two application forms which are available to students on the DSA Website:

Slim form

This form is for students who have already applied for a student loan. You are able to send this application form directly to the funding body with any up to date medical evidence. This form does not require a signature or stamp from the University.

Long Form

This form is for students who have not applied for a student loan. You will need to have section 5 signed and stamped by one of our advisors. The university will then send this form to their funding body to await confirmation.

Some students may be required to re-apply for DSA each academic year, if you are required to, you will be told this on your current DSA2 entitlement letter. In this case, you will need to fill out the appropriate application form (Slim or Full), which can be found on the DSA website.

Mental and emotional health related questions

We're here to provide confidential support and advice. Psychological therapies are offered by qualified therapists who help you cope more effectively with any personal problems or emotional difficulties that may arise during your time at University.

Common concerns for students include:

General anxiety and worry Academic pressure Stress management
Panic attacks Family and relationships Sexual orientation
Eating difficulties Loss and bereavement Confidence/self-esteem
Feeling confused/unhappy Low mood or depression Cultural issues

Sometimes we cannot identify one specific problem, however we are happy to discuss anything that may be causing you concern about your mental health. 

During a Telephone Referral Appointment or Initial Assessment, the practitioner will explore this question with you to agree the number of sessions that may be helpful and available to you. The counselling and CBT we offer is short-term. Some people find that they just need one appointment and in this instance, a Single Session Intervention can help you formulate a plan and consider strategies you can take immediately to deal with a specific worry or concern.

There will also be times when a student may require longer-term therapeutic work than we are able to offer. In such instances, we will do our best to sign-post you to other resources and agencies that may be more suitable. 

If you are struggling with your course as a result of your mental health it is important to talk to someone as soon as possible to establish what support is available to you. There are several people you could speak to including:

  • A member of staff from Wellbeing Services
  • Your Doctor
  • Your personal tutor
  • A member of staff from your College or Student Office
  • Student Guild

For more information please read about how the Mental Health Pathway can support you. 

There are a range of signs or symptoms that may be associated with having a mental health difficulty that can impact on your ability to study and cope at University. You can find more information on how to identify these on the Mental Health Pathway page. 

You can book an appointment with Wellbeing Services even if you are unsure exactly what the problem is, we will be able to discuss the kind of support that may suit you best through your initial Telephone Referral Appointment.

Witnessing friend or loved one going through a troubling time can be stressful and upsetting. We are happy to offer a confidential consultation, which can help to clarify your concerns and decide how best to respond. A discussion with a member of the Wellbeing Services team can also help you to keep in mind your own limits and to know when to stop intervening.

If your friend or loved one is also a student, and wants to see a member of the team, they should contact us directly. By making his or her own appointment, they will feel more committed and involved, and will be much more likely to keep the appointment.

Timing and motivation are both factors in the effectiveness of our services. This means it is important that students book their own appointments and decide for themselves whether this is the right time to seek help.

See our Advice for Family and Friends section for more information.