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Free encounters with universities - Gatsby Benchmark 7

University of Bristol

Bristol is proud to be a university at the heart of the education community.

Our mission is to diversify the student body at the University of Bristol by empowering and supporting prospective students from underrepresented backgrounds to access university.

We work in collaboration with Schools, Colleges, educational charities, community organisations and with colleagues across the University on a diverse range of programmes and events.

Virtual Resources

The University of Bristol is pleased to be able to offer its prospective students a selection of virtual resources to support home-learning and super-curricular development.

By signing up to access our virtual resources, you are signing up to a fantastic opportunity to enrich and broaden your knowledge in a particular subject, as well as to gain more information about the university application process and student life at the University of Bristol.

Our resources have been specifically designed to support students in Year 12, Year 13, and those who are undertaking an Access to HE qualification. The presentations, videos, and recommended resources for faculties should give you an insight into what it could be like to study your subject of interest at the University of Bristol, whilst at the same time extending your super-curricular knowledge, and enhancing your UCAS application.

Access to Bristol

The Access to Bristol scheme is for local students taking A-levels, BTECs, Access to HE courses or equivalents. Taking part shows a commitment to further study that will strengthen your application when you apply to university. On completion, you will be guaranteed a contextual offer/interview from Bristol, a top-ten UK University (QS World University Rankings 2020).

Students attend a series of sessions, held at the University on Wednesday afternoons during the autumn or spring term. You will choose to study one subject stream from a selection, representing many of the degree subjects available at Bristol.

You will get an idea of what it is like to study at the University of Bristol, working with academics and current students who can offer advice and guidance about higher education and their subject area.

Pathways to Health Sciences

The Pathways to Health Sciences scheme is for local students taking A-levels, BTECs, Access to HE courses or equivalents. Taking part shows a commitment to further study that will strengthen your application when you apply to university. On completion, you will be guaranteed a contextual offer/interview from Bristol, a top-ten UK University (QS World University Rankings 2020).

Pathways to Health Sciences will consist of a wide variety of sessions designed to give you an insight into our health science programmes.

You will take part in academic taster sessions, delivered by our leading academics, NHS Clinicians, and current students. You will also have the opportunity to practice clinical skills and talk to professionals from your chosen field.

In addition to the academic and professional sessions, the programme will provide you with personal statement and interview workshops to help you prepare for your application to university.

Bristol Scholars

The Bristol Scholars scheme is an innovative offer for post-16 students studying in the City of Bristol.

Bristol Scholars will take part in a range of outreach activities, receive free academic tutoring and be eligible for a tailored offer for a place on an undergraduate programme at the University. These activities are designed to empower Bristol Scholars to succeed at post-16 education and therefore enable them to progress to study with the University.  Participants on the scheme receive on-going support throughout the transition to university as well as opportunities during their time at Bristol to ensure they have the best chance possible to excel on their chosen undergraduate programme.

The scheme is intended to capture the talent we know exists in our locality; to demonstrate the University's commitment to Bristol's schools and colleges; and to provide alternative entry routes into our programmes.

School eligibility and nomination process

The Bristol Scholars Scheme allows Headteachers and Heads of Post-16 to nominate individual students on the basis of their academic potential. If eligible for the programme these students will receive a guaranteed, tailored offer from the University of Bristol. The tailored offer is intended to reflect that a students' predicted results, or performance in Year 12, may not reflect their true academic ability. Tailored offers are made with the understanding that students who have overcome particular challenges during their studies will have every chance of succeeding at the University, especially when engaging with the bespoke support offered as part of the Bristol Scholars programme.

Insight into Bristol Summer School

Insight into Bristol is a great opportunity for students from a diverse range of backgrounds to experience the University of Bristol through a residential summer school. The programme will include academic sessions, social activities, exploring the city and much more.

We offer a variety of different subject streams which consist of lectures and seminars led by our world-leading academics, in addition to lab-based experiments and trips to local organisations and businesses showcasing the academic links to our city.

However, the week is also about getting to know more about student life outside of your studies and figuring out if the University of Bristol is for you. You will get to try out a variety of sports and society activities, explore the city and speak to current students throughout the programme and see what it’s like first-hand to live in halls of residence.

For most courses, successfully completing Insight into Bristol guarantees you an offer at the contextual offer, provided that you meet the full entry requirements of the course applied for. Students undertaking the appropriate subjects but not predicted the contextual offer will usually be made an aspirational offer. If the course holds interviews as part of the selection process you will be guaranteed an interview (for example, Medicine or Dentistry). The interview will only be guaranteed if your predicted grades meet the contextual entry requirements and you meet the GCSE subject requirements.

Covid-19 Update:

We appreciate that this is a worrying and difficult time and recognise many of you are understandably anxious, given the unprecedented circumstances the world faces with the current coronavirus pandemic.

We will run a two-part programme, combining face-to-face and online delivery for the 2021 summer school. Please ensure you are available for the online summer school (part 1) before applying. The face-to-face residential summer school (part 2) is optional to attend and dependant on Covid restrictions. Keeping students and staff safe is of paramount importance and therefore we will continue to monitor the government guidance and the developing situation.

2021 dates

  • Part 1: Online summer school = Week of 19 July 2021
    • The online summer school is an essential part of the programme and you will need to complete it in order to qualify for the physical residential as well as further support in Year 13 and your guaranteed offer or interview.
  • Part 2: Face to face residential summer school = Week of 26th July 2021 (exact dates tbc, 2 days).
    • This is optional and will be dependent on government-issued Covid-19 restrictions.

To apply for the Insight into Bristol 2021 summer school, please click here.

Sutton Trust Summer School

The Bristol Sutton Trust Summer School offers students the opportunity to experience student life in one of the UK’s most exciting cities. We offer 160 places across 10 different subject streams, designed to provide an insight into undergraduate courses at the University.

We offer a variety of different subject streams which consist of lectures and seminars led by our world-leading academics, in addition to lab-based experiments and trips to local organisations and businesses showcasing the academic links to our city.

We also offer the chance to try out a variety of sports and society activities, as well as the chance to experience student life outside of studying with quiz night, team challenges and a celebration party at the end of the week.

For most courses, successfully completing the Sutton Trust summer school at the University of Bristol guarantees you an offer at the contextual offer, provided that you meet the full entry requirements of the course applied for. Students undertaking the appropriate subjects but not predicted the contextual offer will usually be made an aspirational offer.

If the course holds interviews as part of the selection process you will be guaranteed an interview (for example, Medicine or Dentistry). The interview will only be guaranteed if your predicted grades meet the contextual entry requirements and you meet the GCSE subject requirements.

Covid-19 Update:

We appreciate that this is a worrying and difficult time and recognise many of you are understandably anxious, given the unprecedented circumstances the world faces with the current coronavirus pandemic. 

We are organising a two-part, face-to-face and online summer school programme for 2021. Please ensure you are available for the online summer school (part 1) before applyingThe face-to-face residential summer school (part 2) is optional to attend and dependant on Covid restrictions. Keeping students and staff safe is of paramount importance and therefore we will continue to monitor the government guidance and the developing situation. 

Sutton Trust Summer School 2021

In summer 2021, the University of Bristol Sutton Trust summer school will run on: 

  • Part 1: Online summer school = Week of 19 July 2021. Participants must attend Part 1 in order to be invited to Part 2. 

  • Part 2: Face to face residential summer school = Week of 2 August 2021 (exact dates tbc, 2 days). *This is optional and will be dependent on government issued Covid-19 restrictions.

Applications are now open. To apply click here. Applications close at midday on Tuesday 2 March 2021.

Next Step Bristol

The University of Bristol's Next Step Bristol programme is a fantastic opportunity for year 13 students from Black or Asian backgrounds to experience the University through a series of virtual events.

This programme is a collaboration between current University of Bristol students, societies and the Widening Participation team. We will provide advice, information and support during your final year of school/college. We will support your transition to becoming a University of Bristol student.

Completing our Next Step Bristol programme guarantees you an offer from the University. You must meet the entry requirements for your degree course and apply via UCAS before the deadline. This includes meeting specified grades and subject requirements for your degree course. If you need to attend an interview or audition for your course, we offer a guaranteed interview or audition instead.

You will be eligible for a guaranteed contextual offer for the undergraduate course that you select on your application form. The contextual offer is usually two grades lower than the typical offer. It may be possible to change which course as long as it's within the same Faculty.

Bursaries at Bristol

We have a new programme of scholarships which will support around 130 Black and mixed-Black heritage students over the next four years, totalling more than £1million in bursaries. One part of our new programme to support Black heritage students, is to provide 20 Black Futures Scholarships. A scholarship comprises of a £2,000 bursary, targeted support from the Careers Service and funding to support employability opportunities. To find out more and apply for this bursary, please click here.

Writing Wrongs

This project aims to improve your extended writing and inform you about applying to study a Humanities or Social Sciences course at university. Through a combination of engaging workshops and individual feedback from academics, professional writers, and current students, you will be supported to create your own piece of writing on a social issue that you are passionate about. All participants receive extensive individual feedback from our writing team and career advice from a range of professional writers. Prizes will be awarded for the best pieces of writing.

This year the programme will be entirely online, which makes participating easier! There will be four ‘live’ sessions, supplemented by pre-recorded materials which will be sent to participants throughout the programme. The live sessions have been scheduled to be accessible to as many of you as possible.

Work Experience

The Faculty of Life Sciences offers a range of work experience opportunities that allow year 10 or year 12 students to build their self-confidence, gain an understanding of what essential work skills are and start to develop them.  There will be the chance to meet and communicate meet new people such as other students, as well as academics and current undergraduate & postgraduate students at the university.

It will increase their awareness of different job sectors and subject areas and opportunities leading to increased aspirations towards science careers that they might not have considered.   The sessions will all be interactive and be a mix of theory and practical elements delivered in an engaging way.  The students will gain a deeper understanding of some scientific techniques and equipment that different subject use and get to see scientists undertaking lab-based experiments or conduct them themselves!

Pre-16 activities

The University hosts a number of events which enable students to explore higher education.

We work alongside community and specialised partners to support young people at all stages of their education. We have a long-term partnership with two local IntoUniversity Centres in the South and East of Bristol and are proud to work with them on a range of activities from primary school upwards. We host visits on campus and many of our students regularly visit the centres to support with University Focus weeks and Academic mentoring.

By partnering with The Brilliant Club we are able to engage our research community with school aged learners across the country. We participate in the Western Outreach Network to enable schools from across the region to request talks from HE staff and support excellence in careers advice and guidance through Career Pilot. We are also a partner in the Future Quest programme, a city-wide initiative bringing together HE providers, schools, colleges, employers and partners to encourage young people into university and to expand their range of opportunities.

We are a proud co-sponsor of the Venturer’s Trust group of nine schools.

Contextual Offer

In addition to outreach programmes we support prospective students from under represented backgrounds through the admissions system with our contextual offer scheme. Our contextual offer is a grade reduction of up to two grades below the standard entry requirements and is made to those from backgrounds who, generally, are less likely to come here. Once here, data shows that our contextual offer students achieve above average academically. If you complete one of our post 16 programmes you may be eligible for a guaranteed contextual offer. We work in collaboration with our colleagues in the Student Inclusion Team to ensure that students are supported to achieve their potential when they arrive at Bristol.

Open Events and Virtual Tour

We hosted a virtual open week in September. Watch webinar recordings, on-demand presentations and view other resources from our open week here.

Take a virtual tour around the beautiful city of Bristol and experience being on campus first-hand from the comfort of your own home.

Teachers and advisers

If you are a teacher and want to find out more about working with the University of Bristol, you can sign up to our schools and colleges newsletter.

Visits and events

We attend a variety of events organised by schools and colleges across the country, from exhibition-style careers fairs to virtual visits and presentations. We know how important these events are in the school calendar and we are committed to supporting such activity in order to support as many students as possible.

If you would like to request attendance at an upcoming event, please complete our online booking form. Please note, in line with COVID-19 guidance we are currently prioritising requests for virtual delivery.

KS5 Conferences

Our KS5 Conferences normally run in September (Year 13 only), January and June. Our Conferences give you the chance to bring up to a whole cohort of Year 12s to the University of Bristol.

Conferences are comprised of an introductory talk (including information on choosing a university/the application process, personal statements, and what the University of Bristol has to offer students), a choice of academic taster session (usually a choice between STEM/Arts/Social Science subjects), a campus tour, and a Q&A session with our fabulous student ambassadors, who are currently studying with us.

We are currently assessing our KS5 Conferences due to run in June in line with COVID-19 restrictions and safety regulations. We will be in contact as soon as we have a concrete plan of what our offering will look like for June.

Register your interest in attending our June KS5 Conferences here.

Interactive Virtual Science for Life Roadshows

These subject-specific Science for Life Roadshows are designed by Postgraduate Research students and map across their unique research projects with relevant topic on the A-Level and BTEC science curriculums.  They introduce theory, encourage participation, test learning and stress the relevance science learning to real life jobs.  They can be delivered virtually or physically to KS4 or 5 students and are available free to all state schools but priority will be given to schools with high numbers of BAME, Pupil Premium students or aspiring state schools.

Supporting schools and colleges virtually

In addition to taking bookings for virtual workshops and presentations via our online booking form we also offer a range of exciting virtual resources, online events and taster sessions for Yrs 12 and 13. These have been designed to support home-learning and super-curricular development. Students can sign up here.

We offer a range of pre-recorded presentations, made by members of our Widening Participation team, which you could share with your year groups/tutor groups at your convenience. They include:

  • An introduction to university
  • Things to consider when choosing your university
  • Choosing the university course for you
  • Understanding admissions information
  • Personal statements
  • Preparing for university
  • Accommodation at the University of Bristol
  • Applying to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences: The basics
  • How and why do universities use MMIs for Medicine, Dental Surgery and the Veterinary Sciences?

For more information about any of the above please email schools-colleges-liaison@bristol.ac.uk

Contact us

Teachers and advisors can complete our online booking form to request a talk or workshop, or email schools-colleges-liaison@bristol.ac.uk with specific outreach-related enquiries.

For other questions regarding study and admission to the University, as well as open days, campus tours, interviews and visit days for offer holders, please contact choosebristol-ug@bristol.ac.uk