Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder

If you're affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder, we can offer you both general and condition-specific support during your time here.

There's a great range of support available for you, and we can help to ensure you are able to access all the relevant and appropriate sources of assistance. 

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a lifelong neurological developmental disability which affects behaviour. ADHD is a difference in the way your brain processes and filters information. If you have ADHD you will have found that you notice everything, and can't distinguish which external stimuli are most important and require focus. This can be confused by some people who think that you aren't paying attention.

ADHD is characterised by differences in three main areas:

  • Inattention: usually you will have a reduced ability to maintain attention without being distracted.
  • Hyperactivity: you are often restless and fidgety.
  • Impulsivity: you have a tendency to act first without thinking. You find it hard to control what you are doing or saying, and may not be able to control your immediate reaction to situations or stimuli.

How might your university life be affected?

As a student with ADHD you might find that you have strengths in some areas of university life and struggle with other aspects.


You might be:

  • highly creative, original and inventive
  • able to contribute well to discussions and debate
  • intuitive and intelligent
  • highly energetic, enthusiastic and motivated for particular tasks
  • good at strategic thinking and have rapid problem-solving skills
  • willing to take risks and thereby identify new ways of thinking
  • hardworking and determined.


Perhaps you struggle in some areas and you may recognise some of these traits in yourself:

  • making mistakes by not paying close attention to detail
  • easily distracted
  • appearing not to listen when spoken to directly
  • difficulty following instructions
  • difficulty completing tasks
  • difficulty organising time and managing workload
  • avoiding or disliking tasks that require sustained mental effort, and appearing reluctant to engage
  • losing belongings and being forgetful
  • appearing restless and fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming
  • talking excessively
  • interrupting others when in conversation.

What condition-specific support is available?

In addition to general equipment and support services available to all University of Leeds students with a physical or mental impairment or disability, you can also get condition-specific help, some of which is free and some of which requires you to apply for additional funding.

Free support

You can receive the following free support:

  • transition support to assist you in making the change from school to university
  • term-time guidance appointments with a disability coordinator.

Additionally funded support

More conditional-specific support for which you will need to apply for additional funding includes:

  • weekly study strategy support sessions with an experienced tutor
  • opportunity to attend relevant workshops
  • allowance for photocopying, printing, computing and recording items.

How can you get all the help you need?

You can:

To access some of the services you will need to provide a copy of your diagnosis (usually carried out by a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or or educational psychologist).