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Disability at Oxford

There are over 2,500 students with a declared disability at Oxford, representing around 11% of the total student body – so you are not alone.

“Disability” is a category that is much broader than many people think. The definition of a disability we use is that described in the Equality Act 2010 and includes a wide range of conditions, both visible and invisible, which have a substantial and long-term impact on day-to-day activities. Disability can include:

  • Specific learning difficulties (SpLD)

  • Sensory or mobility impairments

  • Mental health conditions

  • Autistic spectrum disorders

  • Long standing illnesses or health conditions.


Little known facts about common “invisible” disabilities at Oxford:

  • Around 40% of students with disability have a specific learning difficulty. This includes dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD, for example

  • Around 20% of disabled students describe a mental health condition. This includes long-standing clinical depression, an eating disorder, or a bipolar condition.


Disclosing a disability

We strongly encourage students and offer-holders to tell us if they have a disability or mental health condition that might affect their wellbeing and studies while at Pembroke. You are not obliged to tell anyone about your disabilities, but if you do it makes it much easier for the University to give you any help you need and this may improve your overall experience at Oxford. The University is bound by the Equality Act to make adjustments for its disabled students but beyond that it is committed to encouraging and welcoming disabled students. You can find a number of disabled students’ profiles sharing their experiences of Oxford here.


Pembroke College Disability Lead and Disability Coordinator

The Academic Director, Nancy Braithwaite, and Academic Registrar, Annette McCormack, work together as the College’s Disability Lead and Disability Coordinator respectively. Together with the other sources of support in college, they can provide information and advice about disability-related processes (including requesting reasonable adjustments and alternative exam arrangements) to applicants and students. Please contact them initially via the Academic Office.

Find out more about the role of Disability Lead and Disability Coordinator within Oxford's colleges here.


The Disability Advisory Service (DAS)

The Disability Advisory Service (DAS) provides information and advice on disability issues at Oxford and facilitates support for all UK and international students with disabilities. The team of advisors will discuss with you your experiences and expectations of study and support and consider how they might be met here at Oxford to ensure you can get on with your studies.

The DAS works with you, with Pembroke, and with your subject department to identify any support you might need. One of their key jobs is to make recommendations for your support. They do this by discussing your disability with you to understand the impact of your disability on your study and gather any medical or educational evidence they might need. They will then write a student support plan with you, to summarise their recommendations. This information will be shared with Pembroke and your Department who are responsible for implementing your support. They will also provide you with a copy.

The Service is open 09:00-17:00, Monday to Friday. There is Level/Lift access throughout, hearing Support System in meeting rooms, and automatic doors at main entrance and throughout.

Tel: 01865 280459

Email: Disability Advisory Service


Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

To access the full range of disability-related support while at University, all UK students are encouraged to make an application for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

This is available for students undertaking undergraduate and graduate studies, including those studying through the NHS Bursary Scheme and those working with the UK Research Councils. A step by step guide to applying for Disabled Students' Allowance and other related support can be found here.

Continue browsing information for disabled students at Pembroke using the menu to the left-hand side of the page.