panorama hall and library


Master Nicola PadfieldNicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013.

Nicola Padfield is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991. She has held a number of posts in the College including President, Director of Studies and Admissions Tutor.

After her first degree at St Anne's College, Oxford she came to Cambridge (Darwin College) to study for the Diploma in Criminology. Called to the Bar in 1978, she then spent a year at the University of Aix-Marseille and married Christopher (who read Engineering at Fitzwilliam and graduated in 1971). Since they returned to Cambridge nearly 25 years ago, her teaching and research has covered a broad canvas in criminal law, sentencing and criminal justice more generally. She sat as a Recorder (part-time judge) in the Crown Court from 2002-2014, is a Bencher of the Middle Temple and served as the University Advocate for several years.

Nicola Padfield’s books include ‘The Criminal Justice Process: Text and Materials’ (5th edition, 2016); ‘Criminal Law’ (10th edition, 2016), and ‘Beyond the Tariff: Human rights and the release of life sentence prisoners’ (2002). She has edited and contributed to a number of more recent collections of essays on parole and early release (which has involved research in a number of European countries).

Whilst maintaining a wide academic lens, her recent research has explored how and those who work in the system law on release from, and recall to, prison works in practice, and how it is perceived by offenders. This under-researched area provides an important contribution to the understanding of how offenders are best supported in their attempts to desist from criminal life-styles, and how the rehabilitation and resettlement of offenders can be better encouraged. She has been active in a number of pan-European research networks and writes the monthly editorials in the Criminal Law Review.

Previous Masters and Censors

Masters of Fitzwilliam College
2005 - 2013 Professor Robert Lethbridge
1999 - 2005 Professor Brian F. G. Johnson
1991 - 1999 Professor Alan Cuthbert
1988 - 1990 Professor Gordon Cameron
1981 - 1988 Professor Sir James Holt
1971 - 1981 Dr Edward Miller
1966 - 1971 Dr Walter Wyatt Grave
Censors of Fitzwilliam House
1959 - 1966 Dr Walter Wyatt Grave
1955 - 1959 William Washington Williams
1924 - 1954 William Sutherland Thatcher
1907 - 1924 William Fiddian Reddaway
1890 - 1907 Tristram Frederick Croft Huddleston
1881 - 1890 Francis George Howard
1869 - 1881 Ralph Benjamin Somerset