This page details the report and findings of the University of Oxford’s Estates Services Accessibility Adviser. Please note: the new lift into College via 83/85 High Street (next to the Treasury) is now operational. It is operated by the Lodge who may require some advance notice.
The University College site is made up of two distinct areas:
• The Main site has two Quads – Main Quad as you enter from the High Street and Radcliffe Quad to the east
• Crossing Logic Lane, there are the Goodhart Buildings, Cecily’s Court and the Merton Street complex
Due to the age and mix of the buildings within the College not all of them are fully accessible. The good news is that you can get to most of the major areas and there are plenty of accessible bedrooms. Details of many of the locations discussed below can be viewed or downloaded on this Univ Map. Information from this page is available to download as an Accessibility Report PDF or Large Print Accessibility Report PDF.
Accessibility at a Glance
On-site disabled parking spaces: 2
Parking nearby (within 200m): Pay and Display
Main entrance: Not level
Alternative entrance (level access): Yes
Door entry: Manual
Direct contact to Lodge: Yes
Number of floors: 4
Accessible toilets: 4
Lift to all floors: No
Hearing support system: Yes
A-Z of detailed access information
There are four accessible bedrooms within the College. On the main site the three accessible rooms are all located in the Goodhart Building (staircase G3), one on each floor. The rooms are large with an accessible en-suite bathroom with a wheel in shower/wet room with shower chair and adapted (shared) kitchens across the corridor. The proportion of the rooms is very generous and would suit most mobility impaired users. The doors to the room and adjacent facilities are not powered but are light for users. There is also one accessible bedroom in Redcliffe Maud House at Staverton.
There are five accessible toilets located across the main site.
The easiest to access upon arrival is located at the base of staircase 3, as you pass from Main Quad towards the Shelley Memorial the toilet is located in the corridor connecting the two, slightly behind you on the right hand side. There is another accessible toilet located within the social hub area of the main site (Dining Hall, Buttery, SCR) on the second floor. Simply exit the lift and turn right, you will see a wood panelled curved wall on your right hand side. Within the panels is a door that hides an accessible toilet.
Crossing Logic Lane, there are additional accessible toilets located in the Sykes seminar space attached to the Goodhart buildings, another two located towards the rear of the site. There is one adjacent to the Swire Seminar room and another located in 10 Merton Street.
There are also fully accessible private toilets located in the en-suites in the three accessible rooms located in the Goodhart Building.
The bar is located in the basement between Main Quad and the Fellows Garden, it can be accessed by the main passenger lift adjacent to the Dining Hall. The lift exits into a service corridor, therefore it is best to be assisted or call ahead so the bar staff can assist and make sure the route is not obstructed. Once inside there is a mix of flexible and fixed seating.
The Chapel is located at the rear of Main Quad. There are two blue doors as you view the Main Quad from under the High Street entrance archway – the chapel is the left hand door.
There is a small ante chamber prior to the chapel and a set of wooden double doors to enter the chapel itself. The chapel has tiered choral benches and an altar. The college will find any wheelchair users a suitable location to join in services. The flooring is a mix of flagstones and tiles and is technically level although due to the uneven nature and the heavy doors some users might want assistance if visiting alone.
The Dining Hall is located at the rear of Main Quad and is accessible via a platform lift. Pass through the right hand side blue door (it is normally held open), immediately to your right is a platform lift. In order to use the lift a member of staff will be needed to operate it. The staff will most likely spot you and assist but otherwise please call the main lodge (01865 276 602) and the Porters will be able to help.
The lift leads to a set of wooden doors that will be opened for you by a member of staff, pass through these into the hall. Once inside there are fixed tables and seats can be moved away for those who need wheelchair access. The top table is on a stage and a temporary ramp can be used when appropriate.
The Buttery is adjacent to the Dining Hall and is level access. The Buttery has low counters and plenty of space to get around. Some users may need help accessing items from the fridges in the self-service area adjacent.
There is additional dining in the SCR Dining Room; to access this please enter into the Dining Hall as above, pass through the lobby adjacent to the servery (turn left after the platform lift), cross the lobby area and down a ramped corridor. Here you will find another lobby with a passenger lift and head up one floor. When exiting the lift turn right and directly in front of you is the SCR Dining Room.
The site has grown over many centuries and as such has a mix of door types.
Some of the older doors are heavy and wooden and those with strength issues might require assistance.
The main entrance to University College is located on the High Street. It is stepped with large stone steps and isn’t currently suitable for wheelchair users. You will find a doorbell adjacent to the steps (right hand side) whereby the Porters will come out and assist in whatever way necessary.
There are three level access routes into the college site depending on where you need to be.
Via Logic Lane (easiest route)
Facing the High Street steps in turn left and continue for a few hundred metres to reach Logic Lane (first lane on the right hand side). The lane is cobbled and cambered; it is uneven under foot and wheelchair user will most likely need some assistance here.
About two thirds of the way along the lane (300m) you will find a gate on the right hand side, this has keypad entry. This will unlock the gate and you can then gain access to Radcliffe Quad, Main Quad and the Fellows’ Garden beyond. Once through the gate, the existing paving is levelled out and landscaped but it is still steep in places and is made of old York stone; therefore care is advised or seek assistance should you need it.
On the other side of the lane, is another keypad entry gate. This leads to Goodhart Quad, Cecily’s Court and the Merton Street areas complex of the College.
Via Merton Street
The site can be accessed from a third gate located off Merton Street. The back pedestrian gate is not powered; therefore, disabled users entering by car will need to telephone ahead. A member of the Porters’ Lodge will come and open the gate and escort any user that have additional needs.
If you are regular member of the College you will be issued with the key codes, if you are a less frequent visitor the Porters will accompany you and provide assistance.
The main college site is split by Logic Lane, should you need to cross between the two the paving has been improved here to allow for easier transition.
The college has applied for permission to construct a ramp in the coming months from the High Street in to the main site; this will dramatically improve disabled access avoiding the cobbles in Logic Lane.
Via Kybald Street
From the High Street entrance (facing the steps) turns right, find Magpie Lane (first on the left hand side) and then turn left again on to Kybald Lane. Ahead you will see an archway, pass under this and follow the curved wall around. This will take you to the rear entrance which is also a keypad lock.
The College has a series of landscaped areas mostly within the Quads. The main garden is the Fellows’ Garden, which are more extensive and have mixed planting and seating areas. There are benches and areas of planting throughout the college; they are all accessible too so please do explore.
Hearing Support System
There are hearing support systems (loop systems) in both the 90 High Street Lecture Theatre and the Swire Seminar Room.
University College is an extensive site with many accessible facilities; however the areas listed below are currently inaccessible. The College will put in to place measures to bring services to you if you cannot access them.
Staircases 1- 8
Upper floors of the library
Staircases 9-12 (including Laundry)
Staircases G1 and G2
Goodhart Seminar Room
Upper floors of 83 High Street
84 and 85 High Street
Durham Buildings 1-3
Upper Second Floors of Swire Seminar Suite
9 Merton Street
13-18 Merton Street
The JCR is fully accessible from the rear of Durham Buildings 2 with a card operated electronic door.
There are kitchens located in many areas of the College; however there is a specially adapted kitchen in the Goodhart Building on Level 1.
Unfortunately the laundry on site is not accessible to those who need level access. In the instance of a member of College having a disability the College will gladly assist with laundry.
There is a lecture theatre located in 90 High Street; unfortunately this building is not accessible to those that require level access. The room has a lectern and flexible chairs and desks should an ambulant user need any adjustments. There is also a hearing loop system for users with hearing impairment.
There are several lifts on site.
At the rear of the Main Quad is a complex of buildings with lift access. Pass through the blue door (the one of the right as you face them.) Immediately to your right is a platform lift (operated by the Hall staff); this will allow users who cannot manage stairs to bypass the small flight of steps. The lift opens up into the Dining Hall where users can either stay and dine or pass through the doors to your left and diagonally across the hallway to a ramped corridor that leads to a lobby area, here you will find the lift to all upper floors and access to Alington Room SCR dining, accessible WC, Green and Butler rooms.
The basement bar access is via a service corridors therefore advance notice or assistance is required.
In the Goodhart buildings there is a lift that takes users to all floors (expect the basement squash courts). Simply enter the building via staircase G3, the lift is located to the right of the stair lobby; this lift services the accessible bedrooms and kitchen/social areas and other student rooms.
Main Site Buildings
Staircases 1- 8
Seminar rooms: Butler Room, Green Room
Kybald House (Communications Department)
Seminar Rooms: 90 High Street Lecture Room
Staircases G1- G3
Seminar Rooms: Goodhart Seminar Room, Sykes I & II
83 – 85 High Street Seminar rooms: Bostar Hall
Durham Buildings 1-3
10 Merton Street
Social Sciences and Law Library
10 Merton Street Lecture Room
Music Rehearsal Rooms
Development Office (via Kybald Street)
12 Merton Street
Swire Seminar Suite
Number 12 Room 2
Domestic Bursary and IT
The MCR is located up one flight of stairs at the rear of the Fellows’ Garden; this area is inaccessible to wheelchair users and where possible the College will organise events in accessible spaces to accommodate user’s needs.
The Old Library is located at the rear of the Fellows Garden. The easiest way to reach it is to pass via the Shelley Memorial and Fellows’ Garden, there is a ramp leading to the Library entrance. There are large double doors (held open) and a smaller door to pass through to enter the Library. There are librarians located adjacent to the entrance and they have a clear view of the doors and are more than willing to help. Once inside the Library the space is quite compact with high shelving and rolling stacks located at the rear. There is space to manoeuvre and the desks are a suitable height for most wheelchairs. Access to the upper floor of the Library is not level, therefore wheelchair users will be restricted to the lower level, and the Library staff will fetch materials and assist wherever needed.
The College is a 24-hour operation. The Porters’ Lodge is staffed 24 hours a day. The Porters can be contacted on 01865 276 602 or on email@example.com
Other Social Spaces
There are some additional spaces that fall outside of the typical JCR/MCR/bar construct.
There is a music room in 10 Merton Street.
There is also a squash court in the basement of G2 in Goodhart Buildings, but this is not accessible to those who cannot manage stairs.
The college can arrange disabled parking located via Merton Street.
Drive down Merton Lane and turn second right after the first block of houses (you will see a gap between the buildings). You will find a gate, a member of staff will open the gate (please call the lodge: 01865 276 602). Once through the gate there is a space to the right hand side of the archway, there are no markings but this space is ample for any disabled user to park and have clearance to exit the car.
The Porters’ lodge is located just off High Street. For those that can, simply walk up the steps and the lodge is located under the archway on the right hand side. For those unable to manage stairs there is a door bell located on the street level to the right of the steps.
The lodge itself has a hatch that is quite high but the Porters are very familiar with disabled visitors and are vigilant and very friendly. To access the lodge from within the college simply head to Main Quad and look for the large archway back out towards the High Street.
The SCR is located at the base of Staircase 2 off Main Quad. There is level access and keypad (easily reached) to gain entry. Once inside it is two linked lounges with a small kitchenette for refreshments. It is open plan with plenty of flexible seating.
University College has many seminar rooms of different sizes and ages.
Accessible Seminar Rooms
12 Merton Street
Swire Seminar Room
Winter Common Room
Club Room (Boathouse)
Redcliffe Maud House (Staverton).
Inaccessible Seminar Rooms
Goodhart Seminar Room
9 Merton Street
As is evident there are plenty of options and they are mostly accessible. All Seminar rooms have moveable furniture, therefore should anyone user have specific needs the room can be set up accordingly.
The site has grown over many centuries and as such has a mix of stairs; in total there are more than 30 staircases.
Where possible the College has provided railings and tactile edgings and contrast nosing to aid those with visual and mobility impairments.