Access to Bristol

Access to Bristol provides local students with an unprecedented opportunity to experience life at the University of Bristol.

The programme is run in 8-week terms in the autumn and spring of each academic year.  If successful, you would attend one term (either autumn OR spring) in each academic year – and you can apply in Year 12 and Year 13.  It runs on Wednesday afternoons and transport is provided.

You’ll have a choice of which subject you’d like to study:

  • Applied Maths & Computer Science
  • Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Childhood Studies, Education Studies and Psychology in Education
  • Classics and Ancient History
  • Earth Sciences
  • Economics, Accounting and Finance
  • Engineering
  • English Literature
  • Film and Theatre
  • Geography
  • Historical Studies
  • Law (Access to HE)
  • Liberal Arts
  • Management, Accounting & Finance
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religion and Theology
  • Social Policy and Criminology
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology


Pathways to Health Sciences – If you are a Year 12 student interested in studying Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science, you may be interested in this two-year Pathways to Health Sciences programme.

Pathways to Law – This is a two-year programme for Year 12 students who are interested in studying for a career in Law.

Can I take part?

You need to apply for Access to Bristol in September.  Applications go directly to the University and they shortlist using the following criteria.

To apply you must:

  • be in your first or second year of A-level study (or equivalent), with the exception of the Pathways to Law and Pathways to Health Sciences streams, which are two-year programmes and therefore open to students in Year 12 only;
  • be resident in a BA, BS or other local postcode within an hour’s journey of the University of Bristol.

The scheme is very popular and there is high demand for places. If a subject stream is oversubscribed, priority is given to those who meet all or most of the following criteria:

  • have the academic ability to study at the University of Bristol (meeting the GCSE entry requirements for their chosen subject stream);
  • are part of the first generation in their family to go to university;
  • live in a Low Participation Area (your student support leader will be able to give you this information);
  • are in the care of the Local Authority.

Guaranteed Offer at contextual level

Successful completion of the Access to Bristol scheme will guarantee you an offer from the University of Bristol provided that you meet the full entry requirements of the course you apply for.

You will be eligible for a contextual offer for all undergraduate courses, which is usually two grades lower than the typical offer. If the course holds interviews or auditions as part of the selection process you will be guaranteed an interview or audition.

Access to Bristol Bursary

If you successfully complete the Access to Bristol scheme and firmly accept your offer to study at the University of Bristol you may be eligible for the Access to Bristol bursary, which consists of:

  • A full tuition fee waiver for your first year of study;
  • A maintenance bursary of £3,855 for each year of your course.

To be considered for the bursary you need to have a household income of £25,000 or below and be resident in England.

Access to Bristol website
Pathways to Health Sciences website
Pathways to Law website