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The University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a small, friendly university with around 16,000 students. In spite of this it boasts over 200 degree courses in a broad range of subjects. It specialises in sciences, engineering but each one of its six faculties produces world-renowned research. The University precinct is situated in the heart of the city, which in 2014 was crowned the best UK city to live in by The Sunday Times. Bristol was praised for its ‘great shopping, buzzing social scene and glorious scenery’.
QS World Ranking
Times Higher Education
Complete University Guide
Guardian League Table
Teaching Excellence Framework
Graduates in Work or Further Study
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
Bristol University does not have a campus per se but most of its buildings are located in the university precinct in the Kingsdown area of the city centre. Many of its buildings precede the university’s royal charter. Among these are some of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the city. Nestled amongst the University buildings are the Royal Fort Gardens, which provide a large area of green space for the students’ use. Bristol is 1 hour and 45 minutes from London and 1 hour and 25 minutes from Birmingham on the train.
Bristol University was granted its royal charter in 1909 but it has its roots in an earlier institution, University College Bristol, which was founded in 1909. It began with two professors, five lecturers and 15 courses for the 99 day students. Bristol was the first University in which women and men were admitted on the same basis, except in medicine. In the early twentieth century members of staff vigorously campaigned for a charter to be granted. The decisive moment in the campaign came in 1908 when H.O. Wills donated £100,000 to the university. In the following years Bristol grew quickly. Its physics department was founded in 1920s and went on to house three Nobel Prize winners. In 1929, Winston Churchill became the University’s Chancellor and remained so until 1965. Recently investment has centred on the sciences with three multi-million pound building projects taking place in the last decade; the Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics Engineering, The Bristol Chemlabs Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information.
Faculties & Schools
Faculty of Arts
- School of Arts
- Archaeology and Anthropology
- Film and Television
- School of Humanities
- Classics and Ancient History
- History (Historical Studies)
- History of Art (Historical Studies)
- Religion and Theology
- School of Modern Languages
- Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
- Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
- Centre for Innovation
Faculty of Life Sciences
- School of Biological Sciences
- School of Biochemistry
- School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
- School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience
- School of Psychological Science
Faculty of Engineering
- School of Computer Science, Elecrical and Electronic Engineering, and Engineering Mathematics
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Engineering Mathematics
- School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering,
- Aerospace Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Health Sciences
- Centre for Health Sciences Education
- Centre for Applied Anatomy
- Master's in Teaching and Learning for Health Professionals
- Bristol Dental School
- Bristol Medical School
- Population Health Sciences
- Translational Heath Sciences
- Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty of Science
- School of Chemistry
- School of Earth Sciences
- School of Geographical Sciences
- School of Mathematics
- School of Physics
- Interface Analysis Centre
- Centre for Nanoscience & Quantum Information
Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
- Graduate School of Education
- School for Policy Studies
- School of Economics, Finance and Management
- Accounting and Finance
- Centre for Market and Public Organisation
- School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
- University of Bristol Law School
The Research Excellence Framework 2014 has ranked Bristol among the UK’s top research universities. Their research has shown to have a major impact on society and the economy. Thirty-six percent of the University’s research received the top 4* rating, defined by HEFCE as ‘world leading’. Geography at Bristol has consolidated its position at the top of the UK rankings. Other research areas in which the University has achieved particular distinction include: public health, health services and primary care; earth sciences; chemistry; mathematical sciences; and sport and exercise sciences. All six of the university’s faculties submitted research with 4* impact, this underlines the influence of the University’s research across a wide range of disciplines.
International & Industrial Opportunities
Depending on your degree course, you could have the option to go abroad for a semester or full year. Bristol has over 150 exchange links with top-ranking universities around the world such as Sciences Po Paris, the University of California and the University of Hong Kong. There are plenty of opportunities to study at English-speaking universities as well as at those requiring a language. If you are interested in this, look out for degree courses that include ‘with Study in Continental Europe’ or ‘with Study Abroad’ in the title. If you study modern languages, you will also have the option of taking part in a work placement in Continental Europe, Latin America or Russia. In recent years, Bristol students have worked at companies such as Clifford Chance in Madrid, Air France in Paris and M&C Saatchi in Berlin. The excellent career prospects these opportunities provide are demonstrated by the popularity of these placements. All students on European study and work placements are eligible to opt into the Erasmus+ programme, which provides students with a grant to help with travel and living costs. Many courses in the faculties of science, biomedical science and engineering also offer the opportunity for students to spend a year in industry.
Fees & Finance
The University of Bristol offers a range of bursaries and scholarships to help with the costs of studying and living. The Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships are available to undergraduate students with exceptional musical, dramatic or sporting talent outside their normal field of study. Each year the University awards up to 20 students with a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship of up to £3,000 per annum for at least the first three years of study. Bristol was also one of the first partner universities to join the Lloyds Scholars Programme. It is open to full-time undergraduate students with an assessed household income of under £25,000. In addition, a number of International Office Scholarships are available to high achieving international students.
Home UK undergraduate students who are studying their first degree and have been nominated for the Bristol Scholars scheme, by their Headteacher or Head of Post 16 College, and have an assessed household income of £25,000 or below, are offer Bristol Scholars bursary. The bursary consists of living costs of £3,855 per year for the duration of the programme, a full waiver of tuition fees (£9,250) for the first year only. Bristol Scholars receive dedicated support and coaching to support their transition to university and ongoing university experience.
The University also runs a scheme called Access to Bristol, which gives local students a taste of life at the University by providing access to its academic expertise and facilities. Students who both, successfully complete the Access to Bristol scheme and meet the qualifying household income threshold, will be eligible for the Access to Bristol bursary. This includes a bursary for living costs of £3,855 per year for the duration of the programme. A full waiver of tuition fees (£9,250) for the first year.
The University of Bristol offers accommodation bursaries for new undergraduates living in University-allocated accommodation, and who were living in an area of low participation in Higher Education at the time of their UCAS application. The bursary consists of a discount of up to £1,040 to reduce the cost of first year accommodation.
Discretionary additional support is also available for undergraduate students who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in financial difficulty.
There are ten University libraries, all of which have extended opening hours during assessment periods, and a variety of open access study spaces around campus. The libraries provide access to print and online resources as well as specialist equipment and support for students with disabilities. Study spaces cater for both quiet and silent study and group study. IT-equipped study spaces are located across the University, with work areas and spaces for group work. There are over 2,300 PCs, printing, photocopying and scanning facilities for student use. Free wifi is available across campus. MyBristol – the University portal – provides access to timetables, library accounts and the University’s virtual learning environment, which includes lecture slides, reading lists and handouts. The University-Wide Language Programme (UWLP), formerly known as Applied Foreign Languages (AFL), offers students from across the University the opportunity to take a language course. The units allow you to start at the right level for you - from beginners to advanced. UWLP students also benefit from the School of Modern Languages Multimedia Centre, which provides access to self-study resources, including a cinema suite, a recording studio, and computers with language-specific programmes.
Bristol University offers sporting facilities to suit all levels of ability, interest and experience. The Sports and Activity Pass, gives free or discounted access to the University’s extensive sports facilities. These include the Indoor Sports Centre on the main campus featuring a gym with fitness suite, group exercise studios, indoor jogging track, sports hall and sports medicine clinic; a 33-metre swimming pool in the Richmond building and the Coombe Dingle Sports Complex with a range of sports pitches, a strength and conditioning suite and indoor tennis centre.
The University of Bristol Students’ Union (UBU) has more than 50 sports clubs, ranging from cycling to Ultimate Frisbee and American Football to sky diving. For more competitive athletes, the Performance Squad helps students continue their sporting careers without compromising academic achievements. The squad has supported Olympians, Commonwealth Medallists and World Champions. Exceptional student athletes can apply for a number of sports scholarships.
The Students’ Union is made up of six full-time officers, eight part-time officers and a network of course reps, all elected by the students. The University of Bristol Students’ Union (UBU) co-ordinates a huge range of activities and runs over 300 student groups ranging from canoeing to tea appreciation and hot air ballooning to photography. The Activity Hardship Fund was created to support those students who wouldn't otherwise be able to participate in their chosen activity due to the cost. Students can apply for up to £100 per academic year and only one grant will be awarded to a student in an academic year. The Just Ask service provides free, impartial and confidential advice to all students on everything from academic issues to welfare and housing. They also offer mentoring, mediation, student-led support groups and study skills workshops. The Richmond Building has just undergone a £30-million renovation that has transformed the building into a vibrant space in which to work and relax. Housing two theatres, a café-bar, dance studios, rehearsal rooms, pottery studio, photography dark room and a swimming pool, it is one of the largest Students’ Union buildings in the country. The Richmond Building is also home to one of the city’s biggest gig venues, the Anson Rooms.
Religion & Spirituality
The Multifaith Chaplaincy Centre offers support to all members of the University regardless of belief or background. The centre hosts a number of worship and meditation groups, as well as lunches and other opportunities to explore faith and spirituality. The Chaplaincy team works together to provide you with a welcoming, supportive and inclusive experience. They help run the chaplaincy, facilitate events, offer you support and can put you in contact with local faith communities in Bristol.
Health & Wellbeing
Bristol is one of only two universities in the UK to run a full NHS GP practice, with all the usual GP services. There are also a range of programmes that are designed to help you make healthy lifestyle choices. The Student Counselling Service offers a wide range of services including individual counselling and therapeutic group sessions, a well-stocked resource library and workshops covering topics such as how to cope with stress. Disability Services provides advice and study support for students with long-term health conditions, mental health difficulties (e.g. anxiety, depression), specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia), autism spectrum conditions (e.g. Asperger syndrome), sensory (vision and hearing) impairments, and mobility difficulties.
Student Wellbeing Service is a central support service open to all students. It is based in academic faculties and each school has a team of Student Wellbeing Advisers that acts as the first point of contact if you are experiencing challenges, or are wanting some extra support.
Big White Wall is a digital support and recovery service for people who are stressed, anxious, low or not coping. It provides an anonymous online community who share troubles and support each other. It is a safe space as it is moderated by trained professionals who are available 24/7.
The Careers Service can prepare students for their future career from the moment they begin their degree. Students can drop in any time to browse resources, look for vacancies (including part-time and internship opportunities) and get advice on CVs, job applications and interviews. Tailored support is available for international students and services are free for three years after graduation.
Bristol has connections with hundreds of employers, from small businesses to global organisations, who mentor student entrepreneurs and share their knowledge at careers fairs, networking events and workshops. Their connections allow Bristol to offer its graduates high quality, paid work experience through the University of Bristol Internship Scheme. The Bristol PLUS Award, endorsed by many leading graduate recruiters, rewards students who have developed significant life and professional skills through work experience, volunteering or other extracurricular activities. Students who demonstrate exceptional skill development can progress on to the Outstanding Award. Students and graduates also benefit from the talent, knowledge and experience of Bristol’s global, alumni network.
Catered and self-catered
Catered (per week)
Self-catered (per week)
Bristol guarantees to make an offer of accommodation to all new undergraduates, subject to terms and conditions. They have accommodation to suit all tastes, from shared Georgian townhouses in colourful Clifton to large modern residences right in the city centre and there is a mix of catered, self-catered, en suite and shared rooms. In 2018/19 prices varied between £90 a week for a self-catered shared room and £200 for catered accommodation with en suite. Many residences are within walking distance of the main campus, and those that aren’t benefit from a free bus service to and from campus. Most residences have a TV room, study rooms, launderette and bike storage. The largest hall of residence, Hiatt Baker, is situated just five minutes from the University’s Coombe Dingle sports complex and a 40-minute walk from the main campus. It offers a mix of catered and self-catered accommodation for more than 700 students alongside a gym, bar, café and shop. Together with five smaller halls nearby it forms something of a student village. All residences have a warden who looks after the welfare of students, and who is assisted by deputy wardens and senior residents. They also all have a Junior Common Room (JCR) committee, which is run by students and organises social and sporting events throughout the year.
Arts & Social Science
English Language Requirements
Entry requirements vary for each course so check the course listings for details of specific entry requirements.
Bristol boasts students and staff from over 140 countries. Their dedicated International Advice and Support Team is here to support international students from the moment they accept an offer right through to graduation. This includes: guidance on applying for a visa to study in the UK; advice on finding work in the UK; a meet and greet service at Heathrow and Bristol airports; an exciting programme of welcome events in September each year.