Applicants with disabilities | University of Oxford
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Applicants with disabilities

At Oxford over 2,500 students have declared a disability. We are committed to making reasonable adjustments and addressing any individual support requirements to ensure that students are able to participate fully and enjoy a fulfilling university experience.

Communications from Graduate Admissions and Funding, departments and colleges will be predominantly by email. If this will cause you any difficulty, please telephone Graduate Admissions and Funding on +44 (0)1865 270059 to discuss alternative formats.

Application materials are available to download in alternative formats in the Related documents section of this page.

Admissions policy

The University of Oxford and its colleges welcome applications from people with disabilities and are committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable students to participate fully in student life.

The University and colleges view applications from students with disabilities on the same grounds as those from other candidates, which are assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published selection criteria relevant to the course applied for. 

If you are thinking about applying to Oxford, you can find information about the facilities and support available to students from the Disability Advisory Service.

If you would like to discuss your application, you can contact Graduate Admissions and Funding online or via telephone at +44 (0) 1865 270059. 

If you have a preferred college to which you would like to apply, you may wish to get in contact to discuss the support provision available. Contact details for all colleges are available via our individual college pages.

Tell us about your disability

Educational institutions have a duty under the Equality Act (2010) to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that students with disabilities are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in their access to services, assessment and teaching.

The University and its colleges make some adjustments in anticipation of disabled students’ support requirements (e.g. improving physical access to buildings), but also appreciate that individuals are different and further changes may need to be considered and implemented. 

Any disability disclosure will be dealt with confidentially and sensitively. If you tell us what your difficulties are then we can discuss appropriate support. Adjustments can be made and support requirements taken into consideration during the application process to enable you to best demonstrate your abilities and achievements. We encourage you to tell us about your disability when you apply, but if you have not done so, please tell us when you receive an offer of a place.

In order to provide study support, relevant departments and colleges of the University may need to share information about your needs. Information will only be shared with your explicit consent on a need-to-know basis with relevant people, such as the lecturers and tutors who will teach you and relevant library and support staff. The information provided is also used to monitor rates of participation in Higher Education by particular groups of people, which is a statutory requirement; it does not form part of any assessment of your application.  

Apply for support before you arrive

The systems for supporting students with disabilities at Oxford may be different from those that you have experienced at your previous universities. 

Study support is developed around your individual requirements and there are many individuals who can help you through the process. Contacting the Disability Advisory Service is a good starting point. This will help you to plan properly and get arrangements in place before your arrival, so you can focus on enjoying student life at Oxford.

If you make a successful application and are offered a place, it is advisable to make a more formal appointment - possibly via telephone or Skype if you are not able to come to Oxford - with your supervisor and the departmental and college disability contacts to discuss your requirements. It is recommended that you involve the Disability Advisory Service in these discussions. 

Funding for students with disabilities

The Disability Advisory Service can advise on funds available to students with disabilities.

UK students may be eligible for the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) and the Disability Advisory Service can assist students with making an application or advise on other funds available to those who do not qualify for DSA.

Non-UK students are not eligible for DSA. However, the University has a policy of funding disability-related study support for non-UK students up to a level of £10,000 per student. This support can be accessed where there is no funding available from the student's own country, funding body, sponsor, research council or other source. Clarendon scholars and other recipients of awards with a disability study support component would also not be eligible. 

It can take several months from the point of application before full support is implemented, therefore the earlier you apply the better.

Your college

All colleges are committed to making reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities and have a duty to do so. Preliminary information about existing college support for students with disabilities and contact details for all colleges are available via our individual college pages.

College reallocation on disability grounds will only be possible in exceptional cases and you will be required to provide supporting medical evidence about your disability and its impact. Normally this kind of reallocation extends only to those with a severe disability that requires substantial adjustments to living accommodation, a significant sensory impairment or those who have personal daily care needs.

Visiting the University and colleges

If you have the opportunity, you should consider coming to Oxford for an informal visit to view the colleges and department of your choice. You should always arrange appointments in advance, as staff are not always available and buildings will not always be open.

Some departments hold open days, which you should attend if you can. This will give you a good idea of the accessibility of buildings and other services and the proximity of colleges to the department where you will be studying, as well as the opportunity to ask any questions relating to your support requirements. 

Access around the University

For visitors with special access requirements, the University's Access Guide offers a directory of all currently available information, as well as contact details for further queries.

You are advised to contact your department about access to lecture theatres and other facilities if this may be a concern for you.

Feedback

As part of the University of Oxford’s commitment to providing support to applicants with disabilities during the admissions process, we would be pleased to receive any feedback about the experience of the admissions process and the support offered. Please send your feedback to director.graduateadmissions@admin.ox.ac.uk. This email address should only be used for feedback, not general enquiries, which should instead be submitted via our online query form.