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1. Introduction

A UCAM Card ('University Card') can be used as a form of identification within the University. Depending on the cardholder’s authorisation permissions, the card allows the cardholder access to a number of services, facilities and benefits. 

Facilities: This could include access to buildings, grounds, car parks, bike sheds or other secure areas.

Services: This could include libraries, printing and copying, payment systems, or subsidised bus fares on the Universal bus. 

Benefits: This could include discounts with local businesses, or access to facilities such as libraries and College grounds for purely personal interest.

Anyone who needs regular access to University or College facilities or services for the purposes of furthering the mission of the Collegiate University should be recorded in the University Card Management System and be issued a UCAM Card. Cards should not be issued solely for the purposes of providing access to benefits.

Section 2 of this policy defines the categories under which those eligible for a UCAM card may fall.

If there is anyone the Institution feels ought to be eligible for a Card who does not fall into any of the listed categories, please contact the Card Office for advice (

2. UCAM Card eligible groups

In respect of eligibility, should a short-term need for a UCAM card arise, it should be provided regardless of the length of that need. The responsibility for determining when a short-term issue is appropriate lies with the issuing institution, however the amount of time required to print and distribute the card should be taken into account.

2.1. Student cardholders

2.1.1 Undergraduate and postgraduate students

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students as defined by the University's Statutes and Ordinances.

2.1.2. Other University of Cambridge students

Any student enrolled on a programme of study at the University of Cambridge and deemed eligible by the Institution providing that programme. 

2.1.3. Visiting students

Students based at another higher education institution, making visits to a College or Department, and using the facilities or services of a College or the University.

2.2. Staff cardholders

2.2.1. University employees

All University employees appearing on the University payroll.

2.2.2. Off-payroll / freelance

Workers not employed by the University but paid directly via UPS rather than by submitting an invoice to CUFS (also categorised as UPS4 in the HR system) who have an engagement greater than 1 month. 

2.2.3. College employees

All workers employed by a College and appearing on that College’s payroll. For the purposes of this policy, the Theology Federation is included in this category.

2.3. College Fellows and other College Academic roles

College Fellows are eligible for a UCAM card if they require regular access to College or University buildings or facilities. Due to the variability of Fellow types within and between Colleges it is up to the discretion of each College to determine which of their Fellows it is appropriate, and within the spirit of this document, to issue UCAM cards to.

2.4. Additional Staff and Related Categories

2.4.1. Visiting, collaborating and voluntary staff

Visitors, voluntary workers, and employees of collaborating organisations, working with a College or Department and using the facilities or services of a College or the University for academic, research or collaboration purposes.

2.4.2. Independent organisations

Staff employed by an organisation with a close relationship to the University, from which relationship the need for a card arises.

Currently qualifying organisations:

  • The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

2.4.3. Members of Regent House 

Members of Regent House are eligible for a UCAM Card for the purposes of accessing the Old Schools Combination Room, and any other University or College facilities or service required as part of that role.

2.5. Service providers

Service Providers are roles, often long-term ones, which require an individual to have access to University or College buildings in order to provide a service. 
This category would include agency staff or other non-University employees paid via invoice, or through a third-party organisation, that regularly provide services for university staff and/or buildings for a minimum of one month, including but not limited to:

  • Cleaning
  • Catering
  • Security
  • Maintenance.

2.6. Specified as not eligible

The following have no current entitlement:

  • TES Employees
  • Spouses/partners of University staff or students.
  • Retired employees.
  • Past students or staff. 

3. Accountability

Aside from staff and students, it is up to the discretion of an Institution to determine which individuals are eligible for UCAM cards within these categories in their Institution. As such they are also accountable for those decisions, and responsible for ensuring cardholders are aware of and abide by the Terms and Conditions. They will be expected to help the University to resolve any problems resulting from any misuse.