We have been delivering swimming lessons for over 20 years, providing a positive learning environment for children and adults to develop their swimming ability.
Find out about:
About our Swim School
University of Bristol Swim School offers a range of group and individual lessons for both juniors and adults, from beginner to advanced ability level. All of our programmes are based at the University Swimming Pool located at our Clifton campus.
We follow the Swim England Learn To Swim Stage Awards syllabus for our Junior Swim Lessons, designed to reward your child for their development of the essential aquatic skills they need to be confident, competent and safe in the water.
We also offer various fun and friendly aquatic sport activities, including Mini Water-Polo and Junior Swim Fit, to give your child the opportunity to continue their swim development outside of the traditional lesson environment.
Our lesson programmes continue for 49 weeks of the year, breaking for two weeks at Christmas and one week at Easter. We offer additional intensive swim lessons and courses for juniors during school holidays.
You do not need to hold a University of Bristol Sport membership to join our programmes, however we do offer a Junior Membership option for our under-16 visitors. With a Junior Membership you will benefit from discounted lessons, free entry to public swimming sessions and free swim lesson badges and awards, plus other benefits at our other facilities.
Junior Swim Lessons
University of Bristol Swim School follows the Swim England 'Learn To Swim Stages 1-7' to structure our swim programme. The progressive stages form part of a national syllabus for learning to swim, for primary school age children, and ensure that your child learns how to be confident, competent and safe in the water.
Our Swimming Pool features a Teaching Pool and Main Pool. Swim lessons take place across both pools and lesson location is dependant on the swim stage.
- Stages 1 - 4 group lessons.
- Stage 5 group lessons (Monday-Thursday)
- Stage 5 group lessons (Saturday)
- Stage 6 group lessons
- Stage 7 group lessons
If you are new to swim lessons, we recommend familiarising yourself with the Swim England Learn To Swim Stages 1-7.
For discounted group and individual swim lessons, free access to public swim sessions and free lesson badges and awards, sign up for our Junior Membership.
16:00 - 16:30
9:00 - 9:30
10:30 - 11:00
|16:30 - 17:00|
|Saturday||9:30 - 10:00|
|17:00 - 17:30|
|Saturday||10:00 - 10:30|
|Stage 5||Monday &
|17:30 - 18:00|
|17:00 - 18:00|
|Saturday||9:00 - 9:30|
|Stage 6||Monday||16:30 - 17:00|
|16:00 - 16:30|
|Saturday||9:30 - 10:00|
|Stage 7||Monday||17:00 - 17:30|
|16:30 - 17:00|
10:00 - 10:30
Junior Acquatic Sports
Join us outside of your lessons for a fun and friendly sports session.
Mini Water Polo
In these sessions you will build your confidence in the water and improve your swimming ability, all whilst playing a game of water polo in our Teaching pool. These sessions will focus on teach the water-polo backstroke, how to control the ball in the water, and stay vertical using the eggbeater kick. Session ratio is 1:10.
- Wednesday at 18:00 - 18:30 Beginners
- Wednesday at 18:30 - 19:00 Improvers
Junior Swim Fit (9-12yrs)
Aimed at Stage 8 - 10, these sessions are for anyone who has completed Stage 7 wants to develop their stamina in the water. You will learn lane etiquette, how to use the lane clock during swim sessions and will develop skills in dive work, starts and turns. Sessions will take place across two lanes in the Main Pool. Session ratio is 1:8.
- Saturday from 10:30 - 11:00
Teen Swim Fit (13-17yrs)
Aimed at Stage 8 - 10, for teenagers wanting to continue to swim without the competitive swim club environment. A 45min session to develop stamina in the water, learn lane etiquette, how to use the lane clock, develop skills in dive work, starts and turns. Sessions will take place across two lanes in the Main Pool. Session ratio is 1:10.
- Saturday from 11:00-11:45
University of Bristol Swim is the only provider of the RLSS Rookie Lifeguard course in central Bristol.
Rookie Lifeguard is a swim programme developed by the Royal Life Saving Society, in partnership with Swim England, to give your child the skills they need to be confident in the pool or sea. It offer parents the comfort of knowing their children are aware of how to avoid dangers and enjoy the water safely. The Bronze, Silver and Gold stage awards ensure children have a solid safety education, and have learned rescue and resuscitation techniques.
- Course type: Continuous
- Date and time: Monday, 19:00-19:45
- Who can attend: Swimmers at Stage 7 or above
How to sign up:
To enrol for the Rookie Lifeguard course there are two payment options:
Continious enrolment, payment via Direct Debit.
Blocks of 10-sessions, payment is a one-off fee.
To sign up, please complete our online form
If you have any questions please contact our Swim Team
Adult swimming lessons
|Beginner||Monday||18:00 - 18:30|
|Beginner||Wednesday||19:00 - 19:30|
|Improver||Monday||18:30 - 19:00|
|Improver||Wednesday||19:30 - 20:00|
All about gaining confidence to enter the pool safely. It also covers the ability to move around the pool and achieve the basic core aquatic skills. Including entries, exits, buoyancy, balance and aquatic breathing. Building up to swimming independently over short distances (5 to 10 metres).
By this point you’ll be able to swim independently, the focus of these group lessons are to improve stroke technique for Frontcrawl, Backstroke and Breaststroke. Building confidence to swim distance 100m-200m.
Group ratio 1:5
Book 10-weeks of consecutive lessons.
Direct Debit option is also available.
Individual Premium lessons
Swim lessons can be booked on a 1:1 or 2:1 basis with one of our swim teachers.
1:1 lessons cost £25 per lesson.
1:2 lessons cost £35 per lesson.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not sure which Stage is suitable my child?
Find out more about Swim England Stages
We offer Stage 2-10
Do your lessons run all year round?
Our lessons continue for 49 weeks of the year, during half terms and holidays.
We break for two weeks at Christmas and one week Easter.
Do you offer additional intensive courses during school holidays?
Yes, we offer intensive swimming lessons during the school holidays.
We also offer other aquatic activities during the holidays such as mini waterpolo and rookie lifeguard
How much are children and adult sports courses?
£28.60 per month - guaranteed continuous enrolment
Block of 10 lessons:
I'm not sure whether I would be 'Adult Improvers' or 'Adult Beginners
The four Adult Learn to Swim Awards
- Be Water Confident – this Award is about gaining the confidence to enter the pool safely. It also covers the ability to move around the pool with confidence and to achieve basic core aquatic skills. These are entries, exits, buoyancy, balance and aquatic breathing.
- Be a Swimmer – by the time you earn this Award you will have the necessary skills to start swimming independently over short distances (5 to 10 metres). You won’t need support or floatation equipment.
At this stage, we recommend you also try the Adult Distance Awards – 5 metres, 10 metres and 25 metres.
- Be a Better Swimmer – by this point you’ll be able to swim up to 400 metres independently. You’ll also have the confidence to try other pool activities, such as Aquacise or lane swimming.
At this stage, we recommend you build your stamina even more, with our Adult Distance Awards – 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres
- Be a Master Swimmer – gaining this Award means you can confidently enter the Masters section of a swimming club (find more on Masters swimming here). It’s about more advanced swimming skills to enable you to compete at different levels and in different sports such as triathlon, open water swimming and lane swimming.
At this stage you can also achieve our most advanced Adult Distance Awards – 800 metres and 1 mile.
In case there are no spaces, how long are the waiting lists?
It depends on the progression of the participants on the course. We anticipate it should be maximum of 10-15 weeks.
How much are your private 1:1 lessons?
1:1 £25 / 20% reduction for sports members per 30mins lesson
2:1 £35 / 20% reductions for sports members per 30mins lesson
Payment to be made in advance of your lesson via your online account or by contacting one of our Sports Centres
Pool Reception (0117) 3118577
Coombe Dingle (0117) 3940281
Indoor Sports Centre (0117) 4283200
Do you offer a Junior Membership?
£70 for 12 months
What is the address of the University pool?
University of Bristol Swimming Pool,
Bristol BS8 1LN
0117 331 8577
Location swimming pool
Is there car parking available near the pool?
Unfortunately, there is no designated parking for visitors to the Richmond Building. The area is part of the Queens Road and Clifton Village Resident Parking Scheme, Pay and Display parking is available (£1 p/h) via meters on surrounding roads.
We advise arriving in good time for your swim to allow time to find parking.
Free swimming during pregnancy
Download and return our free-pregnant-swim (PDF, 510kB) form and email to email@example.com. You will need to scan a copy of your NHS prescription exemption card as proof of eligibility. No membership required.
If you have any questions about our Swim Programmes which aren't answered on this page, our Swim Team are happy to help via email.