Autumn leaves on a tree
Somerville College in autumn
(Image credit: Rujing Guo / Graduate Photography Competition)

Disabled applicants

At Oxford over 7,000 students have declared a disability. We're committed to making reasonable adjustments and addressing individual support requirements to make sure that you're able to participate fully and enjoy a fulfilling university experience.

Communications from Graduate Admissions and the University's departments and colleges will usually be sent via email. If this will cause you any difficulty, please telephone Graduate Admissions on +44 (0)1865 270059 to discuss alternative formats.

Admissions policy

We welcome applications from disabled people and are committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable students to participate fully in student life.

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

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 by telephone at +44 (0) 1865 270059. 

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

Guidance on making an application for postgraduate study as a disabled student has been published by the Disabled Students’ Commission. This guidance was written for UK funded students. As such, some references, including to DSA funding, are not relevant to overseas students. However, the University contributes to disability-related study support for international students who are not eligible for the DSA and students should contact the Disability Advisory Service to discuss further.

International students must fund any personal care needs. The University's Disability Advisory Service (DAS) has published a PDF document that contains further guidance on personal care considerations

Tell us about your disability

Educational institutions have a duty under the Equality Act (2010) to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that disabled students 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, eg 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 about the impact of your disability 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 by responding to the questions on the application form, 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.

If you wish to disclose a disability separately from the application form process, please complete the DAS registration form.

Apply for support before you arrive

The systems for supporting disabled students 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, we would advise you to make a more formal appointment with your supervisor and the departmental and college disability contacts to discuss your requirements. It may be possible for these discussions to take place via telephone or video call if you are not able to come to Oxford. 

Funding for disabled students 

The Disability Advisory Service can advise on funds available to disabled students to cover certain disability related study support costs.

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 a similar level of disability-related study support for non-UK students, where there is an assessed need. 

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

Your college

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

Please note colleges are not able to guarantee graduate students accommodation and college reallocation on disability grounds will only be possible in exceptional cases.  Normally consideration of this kind of reallocation extends only to those with an evidenced disability impact that requires substantial adjustments to living accommodation, for those who have personal daily care needs, or where a sensory or physical impairment significantly limits mobility.

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, as well as the chance to ask any questions about your support requirements. You will also be able to get a sense of how close various colleges are to the department where you will be studying.

If you are not able to visit, check if the department or college is holding any online open days. You may also wish to take a look at our college virtual tours and tour videos on our individual college pages

Access around the University

Visitors can find information on the access features of certain colleges and departments of the University in the Oxford University 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.


As part of the University of Oxford’s commitment to providing support to disabled applicants 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 [email protected]. This email address should only be used for feedback and not general enquiries, which should instead be submitted via our online query form, separately from the application form process.