View all news

Get inspired: University of Bristol taster course opens to local pupils

Access to Bristol graduates on the stage in the Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building, in pre-COVID times Bhagesh Sachania Photography

Press release issued: 22 September 2021

A course aimed at inspiring local pupils into higher education is now open for applications.

Access to Bristol is open to state school pupils doing A-Levels or equivalent who might not otherwise consider going to university.

During the autumn and spring terms they spend their Wednesday afternoons at the University studying one of 18 subjects.

Each session is designed to give students an idea of what it is like to be a University of Bristol student. They work with academics and current students who can offer advice about higher education and their chosen subject.

Participants who successfully complete the programme are guaranteed a contextual offer or interview at the University should they decide to apply for a place and meet the entry requirements. Many are also eligible for the Access to Bristol bursary.

Bristol was the first university to bring in contextual offers, a scheme which offers students who are less likely to go to university lower entry requirements. Stats show that those who come to Bristol through contextual offers achieve better than their peers.

Doug Jennings, Deputy Head of Home Recruitment and Conversion, said: "Access to Bristol is a window into higher education; it is exciting and challenging and it helps many pupils see that university is a viable option.

“The course helps budding students pick a subject that they are passionate about, but it also prepares them for university life as a whole - from writing a good application to managing finances.

“Applications grow every year – so don’t hesitate to apply.”

The University also runs Pathways to Health Sciences, which is similar to Access to Bristol. It concentrates on Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science; taking place over an 18-month period.

The University of Bristol has run Access to Bristol since 2006 and launched Pathways to Health Sciences in 2017. In that time, over 5,000 students have completed the courses and over 800 have gone on to study at the University.

Of the 545 students who took part last year, 203 will begin their studies at the University later this month.

Applications for the 21/22 scheme are open until 15th October.

More information is available on the Access to Bristol webpage.

Edit this page