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Graduate Admissions


The University welcomes applications from disabled students, those with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD), long-term health condition or mental health condition.

As at January 2018, more than 14 percent of our overall student population – including more than 1,100 postgraduates – had disclosed a disability.[1] 

The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) offers guidance, information and support to prospective students, applicants and current students with any impairment/disability, or long-term health condition, including those with:

  • Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs, including dyslexia and dyspraxia)
  • physical/mobility impairments and injuries (including wheelchair users and upper limb disorder/RSI)
  • sensory impairments (eg hearing, visual)
  • mental health conditions (eg depression, anxiety disorder)
  • long-term illnesses/health conditions (eg cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV, diabetes, epilepsy)
  • Asperger syndrome, autism and ADHD

The collegiate University has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students diagnosed with any of the above, and we're keen to ensure these can be put in place to support you when applying to and studying at Cambridge. Therefore, we encourage disabled applicants to get in touch with the DRC as early as possible to discuss any requirements and your application.

Considering Cambridge

Location and accessibility

For most graduate courses, it is the faculty/department that will deliver your teaching. Graduate students will also be members of a College academic community and the majority of Colleges make some provision for graduate accommodation, although this is not always located on the College’s main site and sometimes can be some distance away/in another part of the city. Cambridge itself is an historic city with some narrow and cobbled streets. Therefore, we encourage all applicants to visit Cambridge before applying to assess the suitability of a faculty/department, an intended College and its available graduate accommodation, including their locations relative to each other.  

The DRC’s advice for prospective students and online Building Access Guide, and the Graduate Admissions Office information about Colleges are useful starting points for information regarding facilities and accessibility.

If a particular College meets your specific requirements, then we recommend that you apply to that College rather than make an open application. However, if your preferred college is not able to offer you membership then you will be allocated to another College that is able to meet your needs.

Study and academic support

With your agreement, the DRC liaises with relevant University and College staff before you start your course to ensure that appropriate support requirements are put in place.  

If you require specific arrangements for exams (such as additional time, someone to write on your behalf and/or use of a computer), the DRC can advise how to organise this via your College Tutorial Office.

Exam access arrangements are based on medical evidence, or on a full diagnostic report written by an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Teacher. Please contact the DRC for advice about what evidence is required.

Financial support

The DRC gives disabled students every assistance to obtain funding for their academic-related support requirements. Your eligibility for funding may depend on your fee status or nationality. Some funds are available to apply for once you have an offer of a place at Cambridge; for others, you may need to have started your course. See the DRC website for details.

Applying to Cambridge

We’re keen for our admissions process to be as accessible and inclusive as possible for all students with the academic ability and potential to flourish at Cambridge.

We strongly encourage you to disclose any disability, SpLD, long-term health condition or mental health condition and provide any relevant information in the Applicant Portal when you apply for admission

Your application won’t be adversely affected by declaring this – it’ll be processed in exactly the same way as any other applications, and considered on the same academic grounds as other candidates.

Whilst you can disclose a disability or health condition to us at any time, the sooner you do so the sooner we can determine any reasonable adjustments that may be necessary and ensure any required support is put in place.

If you choose to disclose a disability later in the application process or after you arrive, we’ll do all we can to support you. However, this may mean we’re unable to have things in place for your arrival. If your disability or health condition has implications for your living arrangements, it’s also worth noting that College accommodation is often in high demand and late notification of a disability and reasonable adjustments with respect to accommodation and/or location can be very challenging to implement late on in the process.

If you choose not to disclose a disability at all, please be aware that this may limit the level and type of support the collegiate University can provide. We may not be able to make reasonable adjustments and you may also miss out on funding and support. 

Admission interviews

Some courses will interview applicants prior to an offer of admission being made. Disclosing a disability, specific learning difficulty or a long term health condition on your application form will enable us to make appropriate adjustments to the interview process, if required.

If you are made an offer of admission

A flowchart summarising the communication of information about your disability after an offer of admission has been made can be found here.


[1] For more information about the DRC and disabled students, you can download the DRC annual reports here.