Swimming programmes

We have been delivering swimming lessons for over 20 years, providing a positive learning environment for children and adults to develop their swimming ability.

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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.

Teaching Pool:

  • Stages 1 - 4 group lessons.
  • Stage 5 group lessons (Monday-Thursday)

Main Pool:

  • 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

Junior Group Lessons Timetable


1 and 2




16:00  - 16:30




9:00 - 9:30

10:30 - 11:00

Stage 3 Monday
16:30  - 17:00
Saturday 9:30 - 10:00
Stage 4  Monday
17:00 - 17:30
Saturday 10:00 - 10:30
Stage 5 Monday &
17:30 - 18:00
Tuesday &
17:00 - 18:00
Saturday 9:00 - 9:30
Stage 6 Monday 16:30 - 17:00

Tuesday &

16:00 - 16:30
Saturday 9:30 - 10:00
Stage 7 Monday 17:00 - 17:30
Tuesday &
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


Rookie Lifeguard

Rookie Lifeguard promo image

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

Group lessons

Adult Group 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

Adult Beginners

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).

Adult Improvers

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.

Register your interest for individual lessons

Frequently Asked Questions


Free swimming during pregnancy

Download and return our free-pregnant-swim (PDF, 510kB) form and email to sports-members-admin@bristol.ac.uk. You will need to scan a copy of your NHS prescription exemption card as proof of eligibility. No membership required.

Contact us

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.


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