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Magdalene College Information for those with disabilities

Building Accessibility

The College is keen to accommodate students and help overcome any difficulties wherever possible. Magdalene is a traditional College with many listed buildings which can present access problems. It is important that prospective students with specific access requirements contact the College before applying. If you would like to discuss any access issues please contact the Assistant Bursar.

Access Contact
Assistant Bursar
Mrs Helen Foord
T 01233 332140

The College works closely with the University's Disability Resource Centre (DRC) to make sure that our students have the support, equipment, and facilities required. It is important that you make contact with both the College and the DRC to discuss your needs and to make sure that any special requirements can be made. The College is happy to adapt and acquire facilities if necessary and if possible.

Location, Services, and Transport

The central College site is located on Magdalene Street on the edge of city centre. It is a 15–20 minute walk to the Downing Site, New Museums Site, Sidgwick Site and the University Library. Cripps Court is five minute walk from the central College site.


Traffic calming measures are in place outside the main entrance to the College on Magdalene Street. Magdalene Street can be busy and pavements are narrow. There is a safe crossing point on Chesterton Road, between Cripps Court and the central College site.

Services and Shops

There is a small general store on Magdalene Street opposite the main College entrance. Other shops including a supermarket are in the City Centre.


The College has an underground car park on the main College site. The car park is accessed via automatic doors operated by security card. There are no steps in the car park. Wide access bays are also available at Cripps Court. College parking is for short stay visits only due to limited availability.

Public Transport

There are several bus stops on nearby Bridge Street. Please see the Contact Us page for information on traveling to Magdalene via public transport.


Detailed information on the accessible accommodation facilities is available on the Cripps Court accessibility page.

Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

There are two specially designed and designated accessible rooms in Cripps Court. These are fully accessible by lift and have adapted bathrooms and nearby kitchens.

Other Rooms

There are some en suite rooms, particularly in Cripps Court. Some rooms on the central College site are at ground level, and can be adapted as necessary.

Live-in Assistants and Assistance Animals

Live-in assistants, assistance or support animals are a possibility. Due to pressure on accommodation please contact the College to discuss requirements in advance.

Early Induction and Vacation Stays

Early induction and staying over vacations are both possible on occasion if arranged in advance.


Catering Arrangements

There is a cafeteria serving three meals a day in Ramsay Hall (access: see below), and there is also a Formal Hall every night during term time. Most accommodation areas have small kitchens for snack making, with larger accessible kitchens in Cripps Court.

Dietary Requirements

Most dietary requirements can be catered for. Arrangements can be made by contacting the Buttery.

Physical Access

Medical Facilities

There is a Health Centre in Benson Court F1, on the ground floor. The College Nurse holds surgeries on most days during term time.

Current students can check the College Intranet for Health Centre times, or email the Nurse for an appointment.


College Grounds

Magdalene College has three main sites: one on either side of Magdalene Street, and Cripps Court on Chesterton Road. Cripps Court is modern and fully accessible. The older sites have level entrances and there are ramps between courts, with fairly even paved surfaces. The river and two main roads traverse the site.

College Buildings

The central College site Hall, part of the Library, the Chapel, the Bar and public toilets are all on one level or have ramp or lift access. However, due to the age of the buildings many other areas are accessed by narrow, winding staircases or steps, steep ramps, corridors and small doorways. There are some low beams and attic ceilings.

Cripps Court is a modern development and has access for wheelchairs, there are large lifts with low-level audio control panels, level marble floors, and modern facilities.

College Bar

The bar has a level entrance, through a single door in Frist Court. The bar is level and fairly spacious inside, with moveable furniture. There is an accessible toilet located just outside the bar.

For more detailed information please see the College Bar Accessibility page.


There is a ramped entrance to a fairly small servery. There are three steps or a ramp down to eating area in Ramsay Hall which is spacious, with long tables and moveable chairs.


There is one large step from First Court to the Chapel entrance, through a heavy door. A temporary ramp is available. The Chapel is fitted with fixed pews, with some room for a wheelchair.

For more detailed information please see the Chapel Accessibility page.

College Offices

Most College offices are upstairs. Staff will meet elsewhere on request.

Computer Facilities

The College has several computer rooms. The Cripps Court computer room is wheelchair accessable. Student rooms have wired or wifi internet access.

Dining Hall

There is a ramped entrance to the hall which has fixed tables and flexible seating. There is one step to High Table.

Fellows' Areas

The Senior Combination Room (SCR) is accessed via a narrow winding staircase with a small handrail.


The Fellows' Garden is level and accessible, with mostly gravel paths and lawn. There are a few benches. There is lighting along paths.


There is a laundry facility on the central site which is at basement level with stair access only. There is a laundry in Cripps Court accessible using stairs or a large lift.

College Library

We are keen to ensure that the physical library, our online resources and the support we offer meet your individual requirements. The building entrance and Library entrance doors are fully automated and are opened by presenting University cards to the card reader. Exits are also automatic opening via non-contact pads. Internal doors are not automated, including toilet doors. A lift is available to all floors in the Library, and there is level access on all floors. There is a disabled toilet on all floors; all disabled toilets have fall-alarms that will sound in the Library and alert the Porters Lodge when triggered. Over a third of the study spaces have adjustable, ergonomic chairs. ‘Kick-Stools’ are available to help access books on higher shelves.

Porters' Lodge and Post Room

There are two large steps to the Porters' Lodge, and it is rather small inside.

For detailed information please see the Porters' Lodge Accessibility page.

Sport Facilities

On the central site, there is a small gym in a basement, accessed down stairs. There is a larger gym in Cripps Court, accessed by stairs or a large lift. Sports fields are shared with St John's College, off Queen's Road, and the pavilion is raised up several steps.


There is a toilet with access for wheelchairs in the central site next to the Bar. Toilets with access for wheelchairs are on every floor of Cripps Court. There are two wheelchair-accessible bedrooms with en suite adapted bathrooms that have adjustable hand held showers in a large wet room style booth with no step. These rooms are for Undergraduates during term time only and for guests at events during vacations only.

For detailed information please see the First Court Toilets Accessibility and Cripps Court Toilets Accessibility page.

Cripps Court Auditorium

The auditorium in Cripps Court has level access to both top and bottom of the tiered seating area, with designated wheelchair bays at the top.

Music and Meeting Rooms

Music rooms and meeting rooms in Cripps Court are all accessible by lift.

The Benson Hall meeting rooms in the older part of College has an entrance with ramp access and is spacious inside. Some of the other meeting rooms and supervision rooms are upstairs and the ones in the central site do not have lifts access.

Cripps Court Amphitheatre and Garden

The amphitheatre and garden in Cripps Court are all ramped and fully accessible.

The Pepys Library

The Pepys Library, rarely used by students, is up a rather uneven wooden staircase with a handrail on the main site.

Visual Impairments

Assistance Animals

Assistance or support animals are welcome. No other animals are allowed in College.

Computer Facilities

Special hardware and/or software for visually impaired users can be acquired if necessary.

Large Print, Braille and Audio

Large print letters and information can be provided on request. The lift in Cripps Court has both touch-readable and audio information.

Library and Magnification Equipment

‘Day’ lights and magnifiers are available in the library. Other text enlargement equipment can be acquired if necessary.


Chapel and hall are very dimly lit. Some staircases in the older areas are also generally dark and there are few markings in some places handrails are not always continuous.

Lighting along paths in the Fellows' garden has been installed. In many areas there is no barrier between the path and the river.

Cripps Court has large windows and excellent lighting throughout. Stairs are marked and fitted with continuous handrails.

Signs and Wayfinding

The central College area and Cripps Court have good, clear signage.

Hearing Impairments

Induction Loops

There are induction loops in the Porters' Lodge, Library, Benson Hall, Chapel, Hall, Cripps Auditorium, and in all five meeting rooms in Cripps Court.


Visual or sensory alarms can be acquired if needed.


There is some noise in College from traffic, and in summer the punts on the river can be distracting.

The Library is carpeted and quiet, and most rooms are small and softly furnished.

Cripps Court is fairly open plan and echoey, with hard furnishings. However, the auditorium and all meeting rooms have good acoustics and are fitted with induction loops.