Your questions

Making your application

After you have applied

Making your application

Can I arrange to visit the School and meet and an Admissions Tutor?

No provision is made for individual visits prior to application. If you are considering an application to the School, we encourage attendance at a University Open Day, generally late June or early September. If that is not feasible, we suggest you visit the University site and surrounding area to get a feel for this vibrant city locality.

If we make you an offer, we will invite you to one of our Post-offer Visit Days, which run throughout Spring Term*. These events provide an opportunity for you to hear more about the School and its courses, to ask questions, tour our facilities and meet current students. Parents are also welcome on these occasions.

* For international candidates with offers only, we will make every effort to show you around the School and discuss matters on alternative days, if attendance on organised days is not possible. We advise international candidates to contact the International Office for additional information and assistance.

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I am especially interested in human geography but you only offer F### code courses. Should I still apply?

Most definitely. We still offer, as a popular route through our programme, a predominantly human geography syllabus and we maintain an extremely high-profile in this discipline. To simplify matters, administration is now conducted solely by the Faculty of Science. 

Important note: You can transfer between Geography degree programmes at Bristol after an offer has been made and also while undertaking the course (final deadlines and criteria for this decision vary between courses).

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What are your standard entry requirements at A2?

Our standard offer is AAA. The standard contextual offer is ABB. 

We offer AAB or BBB (contextual offer) to students studying three of the following A level subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computing, Design and Technology: Product Design 3D, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Sciences, Further Maths, Geography, Geology, Human Biology, Information Communication Technology, Marine Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics.

Visit the Undergraduate Prospectus page for information on other qualifications. 

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I am undecided about which Geography course to take at Bristol, should I put down more than one?

No. Your application will follow the same route and criteria. Also, we can make the switch after an offer is made if you change your mind.   If we reach the quota for one of the study abroad programmes and you are above the threshold for F800 or other, you will recieve an offer for the alternative programme.

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What subjects count towards conditional offers?

The list is broad but excludes General Studies & Critical Thinking.

There is no correct combination or set of combinations of A-level subjects that we require. However, at a practical level, some approved subjects are more useful than others. We are more likely to make offer to students with a background in subjects that are more relevant to Geography in terms of analytical and conceptual skills training.

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What A-level subjects have your current students done?

A very wide range of subjects and combinations. Virtually all have done Geography to A2 or equivalent and have combined this with, in descending order of frequency, Mathematics, Economics, History, English, Modern Languages, Chemistry, and Physics. Small numbers have Geology, Design & Technology, Computing, Archaeology, Psychology, Media or Communication Studies, Politics, Law, Sociology, Art and Design, Religious Studies or Music.

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Are there specific A-level combinations to avoid?

Combinations of subjects that have have overlapping material such as Geography and Environmental Science, Biology and Human Biology, Economics and Business Studies are considered less suitable preparation for our courses. However, applications with this combination will be considered in the same way as all other applications.

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Will my AS level grades and subjects be considered in the admissions process?

AS levels do not form part of the offer and are not considered as part of the selection process, unless there are mitigating circumstances. 

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Can I do a joint honours degree in geography and another subject, such as Geology?


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After you have applied

What will I hear from you, and how quickly?

We are committed to the UCAS requirement that all applications received within the normal admissions period receive fair and equal consideration. For this reason, we have to put some candidates on hold for longer.

See the Undergraduate admissions statement.

You should expect the following stages of contact, as appropriate:

      • Within 4 weeks, acknowledgement of receipt of your application from UCAS;
      • Within 8 weeks, either
        • offer of place and invitation to a Visit Day,
        • notification that your application is still being considered, or
        • application declined

What part do interviews play in selection?

In most cases, none at all. We interview candidates only in exceptional circumstances where the UCAS form contains insufficient information for us to be able to reach a decision. This is commonly the case for mature student applications, and others from non-standard school backgrounds. 

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I have gained a place at Bristol in another department. Can I change course to Geography?

The answer varies depending on one or more of the following:

      • We evaluate transfer requests in line with our normal admissions criteria, since it is in nobody's interest to undermine UCAS procedures. We need to be fair to the candidates who applied to our courses in the first instance, and competition is more intense than for some other courses.
      • Criteria for offering places vary among courses, and transfer requests are judged accordingly. You may or may not have appropriate strengths for our course.
      • More broadly, our scope to accept transfers is limited not only by the geographical strengths and interests of our original applicants, but (in the summer) by the results obtained by our original applicants - if we have filled our target numbers from our applicants holding offers, we will not be seeking to increase intake further.

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Can I visit halls of residence when I visit the School of Geographical Sciences?

Yes. We run a coach tour on School visit days that will visit a hall of residence. It is also possible to visit a hall of residence during one of the University's Open Days.

Please see the University's Accommodation website for more details, including virtual tours of some of the University's residences.

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Our Admissions Advisors are happy to answer any further questions that are not covered here.
Please email queries to

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