Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge


We are one of the more modern colleges within the University of Cambridge, and we enjoy a large and tranquil site within reach of all the major faculties and departments.

Fitzwilliam is a 15-minute walk from the city centre (down Castle Hill), is conveniently located for the West Cambridge Site  and is just five minutes from the Mathematics Faculty.  It is 30 minutes to the New Museums Site and Downing Site, and 15-20 minutes to Sidgwick Site and University Library via Grange Road. The University-subsidised bus service (the 'Universal Bus') stops in Madingley Road (400 meters from College). Fitzwilliam's Sports Ground is in Oxford Road and is just 0.4 miles from College.

Traffic: Huntingdon Road and Castle Hill are busy with traffic. Pavements are accessible for wheelchairs but care should be taken when crossing the roads - make use of the pedestrian crossings.

Services and shops: Convenience store, café, pubs and restaurants on Castle Hill. Supermarkets and local shops on Histon Road (10-15-minute walk from College). Wide range of shops in the city centre.

Parking: Plenty of parking at front (Storey's Way) and back (Huntingdon Road) entrances. Three designated disabled bays. Disabled students must obtain a permit from the Tutorial Office. Disabled conference guests can also park here.

Other transport options: The 'Universal Bus' stops on Madingley Road. Various city buses stop directly outside the College on Huntingdon Road.

A manual wheelchair is available to borrow from the Porters. A map showing routes for wheelchair users and locations of toilets and lifts is available.

Smoking: No smoking in any College building or main grounds. 

Medical facilities: Our Student Health Advisor, Dee Williams provides confidential advice and information on a range of physical and psychological issues, including help with managing long-term conditions, minor illnesses and injuries.  Please e-mail to book an appointment.  The College Counsellor can be contacted on There is a sick bay in the Porters' Lodge. EpiPens and Defibrillators (AED) are available in the Porters' Lodge and in the Buttery.

Emergency procedures: Advise Porters' Lodge if you will need help evacuating in an emergency. 

AccessAble has created over 200 detailed Access Guides across 16 different Cambridge Colleges. They are 100% facts, figures, and photographs and give you useful information to work out if somewhere is going to be accessible to you. You can check out everything from parking to hearing loops, walking distances to accessible toilets.  Please view Fitzwilliam AccessAble information here.

Wheelchair-accessible rooms: Four en suite rooms for wheelchair users.

Other rooms: Some en suite rooms, and some with lift access, but not many that are suitable for wheelchair users. Rooms can be adapted according to individual need with plenty of notice being given.

Live-in assistants and assistance dogs: Live-in assistants are a possibility. Assistants have been accommodated for conference guests. Live-in dogs are no problem. Please discuss your needs in plenty of time before your arrival.

Early induction and vacation stays: Early induction is possible.Three contract lengths are available, and staying over vacation should not be a problem as long as you have the correct contract. Please discuss this with our Accommodation Officer.

Catering: The Buttery serves lunch and dinner every day, as well as regular formal halls. Plates are normally handed over the counter, but if there is difficulty holding plates, they can be passed round the side to avoid this. Breakfast is available in the Coffee Shop. Kitchen facilities depend on accommodation but are generally small. Two kitchens have the ability to be adapted for wheelchair users. Students may be permitted to keep a small fridge/freezer in their room for medical or religious reasons.

Special diets: The Catering Department can cater for all specific dietary requirements (with notice) and staff are always available to assist guests where required. Discuss your needs with the nurse at the start of term, or directly with the Catering Manager. Cafeteria can give information on ingredients.

College grounds: Level front and back entrances to College. Mostly smooth slabbed paving, level or sloping, and steps can be avoided. Some benches around site.  

College buildings: Lifts in Gatehouse Court, Auditorium, Central Building and the Library. Security system on some doors operated by proximity card. All public areas of the College are wheelchair-accessible.

Coffee Shop/Bar: Level access from main entrance (side entrance has a wheelchair accessible lift), with a few moveable chairs and tables. Disabled toilet is on the same level.  

Buttery: Self-service cafeteria, with plenty of space. Disabled toilet nearby, on the same level.

Dining hall: Level access to hall, with moveable chairs and long benches. Smooth and spacious inside. Disabled toilet nearby.

Chapel: Flight of stairs up from main entrance, with two handrails. Chairlift access for wheelchairs to the back of the Chapel, on prior arrangement. Smooth and spacious inside, with moveable chairs.

College offices: Many offices are on the ground floor. Tutorial Office is upstairs, but staff can meet you elsewhere on arrangement and can be contacted on

Common rooms: JCR is on the same level as the Coffee Shop. It is spacious and level, with disabled toilet nearby.

Music rooms:  Accessible, with disabled toilet nearby.

Computer facilities: Fully accessible computer suites in the basement of the Library. Network connected and wi-fi throughout with some fixed computers on all floors and space for personal laptops. Wheelchair accessible toilet in the basement.  

Fellows' areas: Temporary metal ramp available for access to Fellows' areas in The Grove. No disabled toilet.

Gardens: Gardens are within the College site. Steps can be avoided. Mostly slabbed paving, with a small amount of gravel. Some benches.

Laundry: There is a small step into the laundry.

Library: Level access to the front door, card proximity to access or use the doorbell. A fully accessible, bright and spacious building with a variety of study spaces, including height adjustable desks. Spacious lift to all levels with audio alerts and braille buttons. Wheelchair accessible toilet in the basement (left-hand transfer) and on the second floor (right-hand transfer - requires a key which can be obtained from the Librarian).

Auditorium: Good access, including lift and toilet nearby.

Porters' Lodge and post room: Level access from Storey's Way to the Porters' Lodge and pigeonholes (and to the North Lodge in Huntingdon Road via card access or intercom).

Sport facilities: The new gym (alongside the squash courts) is situated near the Porters' Lodge. The gym is set over two floors. The sports fields is just 5 minutes away in Oxford Road, where there is level access to pavilion itself, one step to changing areas, but no disabled toilet.

Toilets: Disabled toilets on all three floors of Gatehouse Court, in Wilson Court, in Auditorium, near music rooms, in the Central Building near Bar/Hall, in the Library and opposite the Chapel.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

Computer facilities: Special hardware and software for visually-impaired users would be acquired as necessary. Please contact the IT Department for more information.

Large print, Braille and audio: Large print letters and information on request.

Library and magnification equipment: The Library is well-lit with additional fixed desk lamps and also extra portable lamps. Photocopiers can enlarge and other special facilities for text enlargement could be provided as required (with notice). Please contact the Librarian.

Signs and wayfinding: Good directional signposting and lighting around College.

Lighting: Excellent lighting in Chapel and the Central Building, and generally around College.

Most steps and stairs have markings.

Induction loops: Infra-red hearing enhancement system in auditorium, which operates with either headsets or individual loops. Induction loops hired in if needed.

Alarms: Two vibrating pillows and visual alarms in adapted rooms.

Other: Generally quiet around College. Additional quiet revision room available during exam period.

Arrangements for students with Specific Learning Difficulties are on an individual basis, in conjunction with the Disability Resource Centre. Discuss your needs with your Tutor.

This helpful guide explains Diagnostic Assessment.

University Funding:

There are a number of funds available to support disabled students studying in the UK.  Information is available on the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) website.

College funding, from the Fitzwilliam College Student Opportunities Fund, is provided for the following:

  • Rent Rebates are available if you have specific room requirements as detailed to us by the University’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC).  The level of the rebate will be calibrated to reflect the difference in rent levels between rooms of different sizes and with different facilities, allowing you maximum flexibility (alongside all other students) in choosing between the various rooms available. If the DRC states that you require an en suite room then we can award a maximum fixed rebate of £26 per week.  If the DRC states that you need a large room (quiet location, large amount of light etc), then we can award a maximum fixed rebate of £17 per week. If your requirements are for a large en-suite room (wheelchair accessible for example) then the maximum rebate will be £43.00 per week. For Freshers we can rebate down to £140.50 per week, reflecting the specific rooms assigned to this group.  These rebates will be credited to College Accounts each term. 

  • The College can purchase (or buy back) small fridges for students requiring such a facility in their room in order to store medicine or food due to long term health conditions, as detailed by the University’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC) or in a letter from a Doctor (GP). The fridge will belong to the College and must be emptied at the end of each academic year. Students must first apply for permission to have a fridge in their room and provide the relevant recommendation from the DRC or a Doctor (GP).

  • Students with disabilities may also apply direct to the Student Opportunities fund for help with any additional costs of travel required for study (additional taxi requirements or bus passes for example).

The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) offers a confidential and accessible service for all disabled students supporting access to your teaching and learning during your time at Cambridge.

Dr Paul Chirico - Senior Tutor

Telephone: 01223 332027