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Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre


Contact Details

Magdalene Street,
Cambridge, CB3 0AG
01223 332 100

Access Issues

Assistant Bursar
01223 332 140

Location, Services and Transport

The central site of the College is located on the edge of the 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 slightly further away from the city centre, and is a five minute walk away from the central College site, on Chesterton Road. There is a Citi 4 bus stop within 70m of Cripp's Court, which services Cambridge Drummer Street Bus Station.


Traffic calming measures are in place outside the main entrance to the College, but it 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 Porters' Lodge. Other shops are in the City centre.


There is an underground car park near the central College site, with automatic doors operated by security card. Parking is also available at Cripps Court, with wide access designated bays. Short stay visits only due to limited availability, phone to book in advance please. There are no steps in the car park, which is all on one level.

Other transport options

There are several bus stops on nearby Bridge Street, with service to Cambridge Drummer Street Bus Station.

General Information


The College has approximately 360 undergraduate and 210 postgraduate students, both men and women. Magdelene is a traditional College, with many listed buildings which can present significant access problems. Most doors in College are manual. Cripps Court, a new buiding containing accommdation, an auditorium and meeting rooms, has good access and two specifically modified rooms.

The College is keen to accommodate students and help overcome any difficulties wherever possible. If you have any specific access requirements it is important to contact the College before applying.


The College has a smoke free policy.

Medical facilities

There is a Health Centre in Benson F1, which is on the ground floor. The Nurse holds surgeries during term time: Monday 11:00-2:30pm, Tuesday 10:30am-2:30pm, Thursday 8:20am-2.20pm, and Friday 9:30am-11:00am.

Emergency procedures

There is an evacuation chair in Cripps Court, together with lifts.

Accommodation and Catering

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. For detailed information on these rooms and their surrounding facilities, please see the College website here.

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 dogs

Live-in assistants and assistance dogs are a possibility, but due to pressure on accommodation please discuss well in advance.

Early induction and vacation stays

Early induction and staying over during vacation are both possible on occasion, if arranged in advance.

Catering arrangements

There is a cafeteria serving three meals daily in Ramsay Hall (access: see below), and there is also formal hall every night in full term. Most accommodation areas have small kitchens for snack making.

Special diets

Most special diets can be catered for. Arrangements can be made by contacting the Head Chef.

Physical Access

College grounds in general

There are three main sites: one on either side of Magdalene Street, and Cripps Court on Chesterton Road. Cripps Court is new and mostly accessible. The older sites have level entrance and there are ramps between courts, with fairly even paved surfaces.

College buildings in general

Cripps Court has access for wheelchairs (lifts with visual floor indicator, audible anouncer and tactile markings, level marble floors and very modern facilities) and in the main College site the hall, the new library, chapel, the bar and public toilets are all on one level or have ramp or lift access. However, due to the age of the central College, many other areas are accessed by narrow, winding staircases or steps, very steep ramps, corridors and small doorways. There are some low beams and attic ceilings, and the river and two main roads traverse the site.


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


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 quite 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, but please arrange in advance. The Chapel is fitted with fixed pews, with some room for a wheelchair.

College offices

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

Common rooms

The JCR and MCR both have several small steps.

Computer facilities

The College has several computer rooms. Cripps Court computer room has access for wheelchairs. All student rooms have wired internet access and many have wifi

Dining hall

There is a ramped entrance the the Hall, which has fixed tables and flexible seating. There is one step to high table.

Fellows' areas

The SCR is up narrow, winding stairs, 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 one Laundry in the central site, which is at basement level with stairs access only. There is a laundry in Cripps Court accessible using stairs or large lift.


There is level access to ground floor, with security card entry. The upper floor is up many stairs and rather cramped, but staff will fetch books in office hours. There is plenty of workspace at ground level.

Porters' lodge and post room

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

Sport facilities

On the central site, there is a small gym in a basement, accessed down stairs. There is 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 an accessible toilet in the central site near the College bar. Toilets with access for wheelchairs are on every floor of Cripps Court. There are also two wheelchair-accessible bedrooms with en suite adapted bathrooms that have adjustable/hand held showers in a large ‘wet room style’ booth with no steps. There rooms are for Undergraduates during term time only and for guests at events during vacations only.


  • 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 rooms and meeting rooms in Cripps Court are all accessible by lift.
  • Benson Hall meeting room in the older part of College, has an entrance with ramp access and is spacious inside. Some of the other meeting room and supervision rooms are upstairs - the ones in the central site do not have lift access.
  • The amphitheatre and garden in Cripps Court are all ramped and fully accessible.
  • The Pepys Library, rarely used by students, is up a rather uneven wooden staircase with a handrail on the main site.

Visual Impairments

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome. No other dogs allowed.

Computer facilities

Special hardware or software for visually impaired users could 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.

Signs and wayfinding

College and Cripps Court have good, clear signage.


  • Chapel and hall are very dimly lit. Staircases in the older site are generally also dark, and there are few markings. Handrails are not always continuous.
  • Lighting along paths in 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 there are marked and fitted with continuous handrails.

Hearing Impairments

Induction loops

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


Visual or sensory alarms could 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.

Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Issues

Arrangements for students with specific requirements or mental health conditions can be made on an individual basis, in conjunction with the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre. You can also discuss your needs with your tutor or the Admissions office:

Planned Access Improvements

Other Useful Information

The College is happy to adapt and acquire facilities if necessary and possible. Please discuss your individual needs well in advance.

The information on this page is the responsibility of Magdalene College. The ADRC updates information as it is received from the college. This page was last updated on 12th May 2017. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with Magdalene College.