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Disability and Dyslexia Service


In the UK, ADHD can be diagnosed as a medical condition and as a Specific Learning Difference. The table below provides an overview of the two types of diagnosis and the support they can each help you to access during your studies.  Click on the links above for further information about how to access each type of diagnosis.

Should you be currently waiting for an ADHD assessment or suspect that you may have ADHD but have yet to begin the assessment process, there is also support available to improve wellbeing and help you in your studies.

  Medical diagnosis SpLD diagnosis
Who can assess me? Psychiatrist

Educational Psychologist

Specialist Tutor Assessor

What medical support can I receive?

Access to ADHD medication

Access to therapies

What support can I receive for my university studies?

Exam Access Arrangements

Access to assistive software

Access to Specialist Study Skills Tuition and Specialist Mentoring 

Exam Access Arrangements

Access to assistive software

Access to Specialist Study Skills Tuition and Specialist Mentoring 


Medical diagnosis

For a medical diagnosis of ADHD you will need to speak to your GP and they will then decide whether to refer you to a psychiatrist for a full assessment. Waiting lists for assessment via the NHS can be long (on average 2 years) so you can invoke your ‘Right to Choose’.

Right to Choose is accessed via your GP and means that they will contract your assessment to an external provider, which should lead to a significantly shorter wait of months rather than years. There is increasing demand on this route so it is important to speak to your GP as soon as possible if you want to explore a medical diagnosis.

The ADHD UK website has a comprehensive guide on medical diagnosis pathways as well as an up-to-date list of Right to Choose providers and their waiting times, but please ask your GP for further guidance.

Specific Learning Difference diagnosis

If you think that you may have a SpLD such as ADHD, then the Disability and Dyslexia Service can offer support in securing access to a diagnostic assessment. Please see the ADHD homepage for information on our screening questionnaire and the diagnostic assessment process.

Please note that should DDS refer you for a diagnostic assessment, our external assessor is unable to provide a standalone assessment for ADHD and you will be screened and assessed for dyslexia and dyspraxia as well as ADHD.

Support for students without a formal diagnosis of ADHD

If you are currently waiting for assessment for ADHD or believe you have symptoms of ADHD but have yet to pursue an assessment, there is support available to help improve your wellbeing and address difficulties with studies.

Wellbeing practices

There are a number of things you can try to improve your wellbeing including:

  • exercise
  • socialising
  • varying your environment and activities
  • practising mindfulness/meditation
  • spending time in nature

Please see the NHS's Five steps to mental wellbeing page for more ideas on how to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Student Wellbeing Advisers

The Student Wellbeing Advisers (SWAs) in QMUL's Advice and Counselling Service can offer low level support around any topics impacting on university life such as stress, anxiety, low mood, time management, meeting new people and transitioning to university. 

In the appointment, SWAs can discuss your needs and make appropriate suggestions to help create a plan to improve wellbeing, for example (but not limited to): a sleep hygiene plan, increasing mindfulness and social engagement.

Academic Skills

QMUL's Academic Skills service offers a range of support for developing academic skills including academic writing, revision and exam skills and referencing. The service offers one to one sessions, workshops and has a range of self-access resources.


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