Whitelands College

Whitelands College has a long and distinctive history. Founded in 1841 as a teachers’ training college, it is among the oldest higher education institutions in England, and one of the very first to provide education for women.


Whitelands has developed its own sense of community and often more relaxed way of life compared to the other Colleges at Roehampton.

Whitelands hosts 300 students within its University accommodation onsite. These 300 students are quite a mix, and Whitelands is proud of the diversity it has on campus. 

Whitelands College

A very warm welcome to Whitelands. I am sure you will find that being a Whitelander is what makes your time at university particularly special and that you find living as part of the college a rewarding experience. You will be living and studying in a college alongside other first years as well as international students, students from the Glion Institute, and postgraduates from across the University. At Whitelands you’ll find that the college flat reps and the team of elected college officers have been working hard on a wide variety of activities for you throughout the year ahead. 

Whitelands is over 175 years old, and we are very proud of our long history and traditions. It is a Church of England college, although we welcome students of any faith or none. There is a regular programme of events in the chapel, and everybody is welcome to come along and participate or simply observe. 

The College Life Development Officer, Steven Taggart, is available in G047. My office is next door, in G048. We are both glad to meet you and discuss any issues you feel we may be able to help you with.

I wish you every success this year and throughout all of your time at Roehampton. 

Dr R. David Muir
Head of Whitelands College

Modern Day Student Life at Whitelands

Whitelands hosts 300 students within its University accommodation onsite which is slightly separated from the main University campus. This means that Whitelands has developed its own sense of community and often slightly more relaxed way of life compared to the other Colleges at Roehampton, although the membership of the college swells to near 2000 when those living off site are taken into account. 

These 300 students are quite a mix, and Whitelands is proud of the diversity it has on campus. Typically a cohort is formed of 60 students studying at the Institute of Glion 60 postgraduate students studying disciplines from all academic schools at Roehampton and 180 students on undergraduate courses, originating from all over the UK, EU and international destinations. 

The College has three elected student officers who work together with the College team to develop the life on Whitelands Campus and helping to arrange all the events for student and staff. Ensuring to keep to College traditions while also establishing new ones with today's generation of students, the perfect example being the College's motto of “Ora, Lege, Obedi” dates back to the founding of the College meaning “Reflect, Study, Serve”. 


whitelands student using computer


Whitelands has accommodation available for a mixture of students with blocks for Glion students, 1st year undergraduates and postgraduates. All rooms are en-suite and depending on your block can be group with between 4-10 other rooms to share kitchen facilities. Further information on the rooms at Whitelands can be found online.

Almost every flat in college where first year students live will have a Flat Rep. Flat Reps are usually second or third year students who live with our new residents to help provide a friendly and supportive welcome at the start of term and to offer advice and guidance throughout the year. If you are living in college and have any questions about how to seek help, advice or support at the university, start with your Flat Rep. They will often be able to provide you with some initial advice and let you know which members of staff can help you further.

Flat Reps aren’t appointed to police our flats, but we do ask them to take a leadership role in building a happy and friendly flat environment. They receive training at the start of the year and participate in a development programme which provides them with the resources and skills to make your experience of living in college accommodation a happy and positive one. Residents of our college flats should feel welcome to talk to their Flat Reps about the community environment and should expect a positive, helpful and supportive response.

Being a Flat Rep provides lots of opportunities to become a leader in the Whitelands community, to develop your skills, knowledge and experience. Flat Reps receive formal training and certified professional development, all of which is fantastic for building up an impressive CV.

If you think you have what it takes to become a Flat Rep in September 2021, you are welcome to apply. Applications are open to all students, whether or not you currently live at Whitelands. The application process begins in January 2021, and details will be posted on the college social media platforms and advertised on posters across college.


Whitelands is able to boast an impressive array of facilities for students to use from an on-site 24-hour computer room to their own chill out space for use during the days and evenings which include a table tennis table, fiction book exchange, large screen TV, board games and kitchen space to allow you to warm your lunch.

Find out more

College Merchandise

Whitelands College Hoodies and T-Shirts 

Our selective line of College clothing is sure to show off your College Community spirt. Just follow the link below to order and have delivered straight to your door! 

To the Merchandise Shop

Whitelands College Guild Merchandise

Our College Guild has many amaxing items for sale also. See here for a list of the items you can order and their cost, any questions please feel free to reach out to them on their Whitelands Guild Page.
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Below you'll find information on the staff and elected officers that work hard to help run Whitelands College.

Feel free to contact them with your questions or arrange a meeting with them to discuss any issues related to Whitelands College, they will be more than happy to help you.

Find out more

David Muir
Dr R David Muir

Head of College
Office: G046 – G047

Steven Taggart

College Life Development Officer
Phone: 020 8392 3511
Office: G047

Jo Eskdale

Sudent Wellbeing Officer

Dr Daniel Eshun

Phone: 020 8392 3516
Office: Chaplaincy Office

Sabiha Iqbal

Muslim Chaplain
Phone: 020 8392 3185

Shai Danmole-Ellis

Senior College Warden
Phone: 020 8392 7297

Maheer Shaukat

College Warden
Phone: Security +44 (0) 20 8392 3333

Marcy Mary Cottrell Claughan

May Monarch “Queen Marcy”

Yasamin Mehrasa

Student President

Francesca Watson

Student Deputy President


Our chaplaincy provision offers support for people across a range of faith traditions, reflecting the heritage of the four colleges and the identities of our students today.

We are committed to exploring ecumenical and inter-faith work across the campus and to demonstrating the common commitments of all faiths to nurturing a happy and supportive community.

Find out more

Whitelands College Roots

Whitelands College has a long and distinctive history. Founded in 1841 as a teachers’ training college, it is among the oldest higher education institutions in England, and one of the very first to provide education for women. Whitelands was established by the Church of England, and continues to retain its Anglican ethos and links with the church, whilst welcoming students of all faiths or none now in the modern day. 

Whitelands takes its name from the Georgian building in King’s Road, Chelsea that was its first home. It moved to Putney in 1930 and finally to Roehampton in 2004-5, where it occupies a beautiful 14-acre site overlooking Richmond Park. The college buildings include a Grade-I listed Georgian villa, Parkstead House. Built in the early 1760s for the 2nd Earl of Bessborough, the house was extended and renamed Manresa House after the property became a Jesuit seminary in the mid-nineteenth century.

Today, these historic buildings are complemented by a contemporary style lecture theatres, seminar rooms, computer rooms, laboratory spaces, chapel and modern residences which provide self-catering, en-suite accommodation for students. Life at Whitelands includes a whole host of events which happen annually over the year and the College will often hold one off events inspired by the students studying at the college. 

As part of the University of Roehampton, the college is home to the School of Life and Health Sciences and the School of Psychology and offers state-of-the-art lecture spaces, seminar rooms, and laboratories. The college’s social facilities are open to all staff and to residential and non-residential students.

In 1877 Whitelands’ recently appointed principal, John Faunthorpe, was able to engage the interest and patronage of John Ruskin, who proceeded to gift books, pictures and artefacts to the College. Then in 1881, disliking the idea of a formal prize giving, Ruskin instead suggested an annual May Day ceremony. Read more here.

Whitelands house

The history of Whitelands College

Whitelands College is one of the oldest higher education institutions in England, predating every university except Oxford, Cambridge, London and Durham. The Church of England’s National Society founded the College in 1841 as a teacher training college for women. It took its name from Whitelands House, a Georgian building in the King's Road, Chelsea, previously used as a school.

The stated aim of the new establishment was 'to produce a superior class of parochial schoolmistresses'. During the early years the conditions at Whitelands were cramped and unsanitary and students were forced to work long hours with little or no leisure time.

Amy Ida Louisa King, Ida, as she called herself, was a lecturer in English at Whitelands College from 1921 until retiring in 1941. She left a very good record of her education and career but far fewer details of her personal journey are known. Read more here.