Guide to using your DSA support

If you have recently been allocated a non-medical helper (NMH - study skills tutor, mentor or support worker), please read the documents below.

What do non-medical helpers do?

Your non-medical helper (NMH) is the most important part of your DSA-funded support. They will help you identify barriers to learning and develop effective strategies. They will be professional, confidential and friendly and will adapt the support to fit your needs. See below for more information about the different types of NMH support.

You will normally meet your NMH on campus during working hours or remotely via Teams or Zoom. 

If you have any questions about your NMH support, or would like to request a different NMH, please email us at  

What does a specialist study skills tutor do? 

A specialist study skills tutor helps students develop skills and strategies to promote independent learning. For example, they might work with you on: 

  • time management and organisation  
  • analysing the assignment brief 
  • note taking 
  • research and effective reading strategies 
  • memory and concentration 
  • academic writing and referencing 
  • proofreading and editing skills 
  • planning and delivering presentations 
  • revision and exam techniques 
  • becoming more independent so you need less support over time.

A study skills tutor will not

  • offer subject-specific support
  • proofread and correct your writing for you 
  • do your academic work for you
  • tell you whether your assignment will pass or get a certain grade.

What does a specialist mentor do? 

A specialist mentor helps students with mental health issues and/or autistic spectrum condition to become more independent learners. For example, they might work with you on: 

  • time management and prioritising your workload 
  • helping with attendance and motivation 
  • coping with anxiety and stressful situations 
  • managing change and difficult emotions 
  • building confidence 
  • creating a suitable work-life balance 
  • helping with communication and social skills 
  • clarifying course expectations 
  • information and signposting to Student Support services 
  • becoming more independent so you need less support over time.

A mentor will not

  • offer subject-specific support
  • act as your counsellor  
  • advocate on your behalf 
  • socialise with you or go to your home. 

What does an assistive technology (AT) trainer do? 

If you have assistive technology (AT) software as part of your DSA, you will get a few hours with an AT trainer. They will show you how to get the most out of your software and use it to study more effectively. Your support will be tailored to your level and needs and will take place using your own equipment.