Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for applicants and prospective students

We will do all we can to support applicants and anyone thinking of applying to Bristol during the coronavirus pandemic.

This page is split between undergraduate and postgraduate information.

If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us.

Undergraduate applicants 

We recognise that applicants for entry in September 2021 or deferred entry in September 2022, will have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Advice and guidance may change throughout the year, so we recommend you check this page regularly. We also advise that you check the latest UCAS guidance.

In this section (for 2021 entry):

Application deadline changes

We will honour any changes to deadlines set by UCAS due to the impact Coronavirus has had on your education.

Deadlines summary 

All decisions on applications submitted by 29 January were made by 20 May.

You have until 10 June to respond to your offers via UCAS, if you got all your responses by 20 May. We’ll accept all decisions made by this deadline and will not pressurise or incentivise you to make decisions earlier.

You’ll then have until 8 September to meet the conditions of your offer. 

Science practical requirements for A-level Chemistry, Biology and Physics

If you have applied to study with us to start in 2021 and your offer states that you must pass the science practical for A-Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics, the science practical element is no longer required.

Exams: Summer 2021

We are closely monitoring communications from the Department for Education and Ofqual in England, and the relevant organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as internationally, regarding the awarding of qualifications in Summer 2021. We welcome the commitment from the governments to finding appropriate alternative arrangements of assessing the ability and potential of students. We continue to monitor the impact on other vocational, global and international qualifications.

We will consider A-level, AS-level and GCSE qualifications awarded in August 2021 on the same basis as these quaifications awarded in other years.

We continue to monitor the impact on other vocational, global and international qualifications.

BTEC Results in summer 2021

We are aware that some BTEC candidates completing assessments in summer 2021 will be awarded overall qualification grades, but will not receive unit-specific grades.

In most cases, our BTEC offers are based on overall qualification grades, and we will assess applicants on the basis of the overall grades awarded.

In some areas, our offers do specify grades required in particular units. Where we have made offers including unit grades, this requirement will be disregarded and applicants will instead be assessed purely on the overall grades they are awarded.

Private Candidates (Summer exams 2021)

We are pleased that the announced arrangements for summer 2021 A-levels include those candidates who had been planning to take examinations outside of a school or college. We will consider A level or other qualifications awarded to private candidates on the same basis as those awarded to candidates sitting through schools and colleges.

Extenuating circumstances

We expect school, exam board and government policy to take into account the significant disruption to education in 2020 and 2021 when awarding grades in 2021.

If you have been particularly and specifically disadvantaged, through the coronavirus pandemic or for any other reason, we encourage you to complete our extenuating circumstances form so we can consider your situation both when deciding whether to make an offer and assessing your performance against any offer made.

Interviews and Assessments

All interviews and other assessments will be conducted online in the 2020/21 application cycle. See our interviews page for more information.


Deadlines for completing the LNAT assessment for all 2021 entry applicants has now passed. 

Gaining work experience during the pandemic

If your course needs work experience to support your application, you can find guidance for gaining work experience during the pandemic and advice on alternative ways to develop your understanding of these healthcare roles before and during the application process.

Events and visiting us

To help you decide your next steps we run open events to give you the opportunity to access our departments and residences, and experience student life in Bristol. 

Register your interest for our virtual open week taking place in September 2021.

We hope to be able to welcome visitors to campus later in 2021. Find out more about upcoming events.

Postgraduate applicants

Accepting your offer

The deadline to accept your offer is stated on your offer letter, it will not be extended. However, if circumstances mean you are unable to start the course your acceptance will not prejudice any future applications you make to the University.

Paying a deposit

If you are required to pay a deposit it will be clearly stated on your offer letter, along with a payment deadline. If your deposit deadline is after the deadline for accepting your offer, you can simply accept your offer and pay the deposit later (but by the deposit deadline).

If you are unable to pay your deposit on time for any reason, we are able to consider requests to extend your deposit deadline (even if your deadline has lapsed) for many of our programmes.

To request an extension please email

Unfortunately, we cannot consider a deposit extension request for the following programmes:

  • Communication Networks and Signal Processing (MSc)
  • Computer Science (MSc)
  • Data Science (MSc)
  • Financial Technology with Data Science (MSc)
  • Image and Video Communications and Signal Processing (MSc)
  • Optical Communications and Signal Processing (MSc)
  • Wireless Communications and Signal Processing (MSc)
  • Engineering with Management (MSc)

Deposit refunds

If the coronavirus pandemic means you are unable to travel to Bristol, or if we are unable to deliver any of your programme on campus when the course starts, you will be entitled to a full refund of your deposit, minus a £200 admin fee. This applies in addition to the grounds for refund set-out in our International Deposit Refund Policy.

Parents and supporters

We take the health and safety of our students seriously. Find out what steps we're taking to keep them safe.

Our plans for teaching in 2021/22

We are currently planning for next year. Find out more about plans for next academic year.

International applicants

We are aware that travel restrictions may delay some students arriving in Bristol for the start of the 2021/22 academic year. Most international students who are unable to come to campus for start of term will be offered access to online learning until they are able to join us.

International students will have at least until 15 October 2021 to join us on campus. This may be extended for some programmes, depending on the COVID-19 travel situation during the Autumn term.

We urge you to keep up to date with the latest UK government guidance to ensure that your visa application and travel to campus takes place at the best possible time.

Support for international students travelling to Bristol in September 2021

The University of Bristol will support you when you arrive in the UK, whichever country you are arriving from.

Green, amber and red list countries

The UK government has placed overseas countries into three categories for coronavirus: green, amber and red. Each category has different conditions for people travelling to the UK from or through those countries.

Green list countries have the fewest restrictions on arrivals, and red list countries have the most. You can check which list your country is on, and find out the conditions for arrivals, on the UK government website.

Travel support from the University

We will help with the costs of coronavirus testing and quarantine where required. We are one of the first universities in the UK to commit to refunding the costs of mandatory quarantine for students travelling from ‘red list’ countries.    

List colour Financial support* Special information
Green The University will cover the cost of the test package you need.  
Amber The University will cover the cost of the test package you need. You will need to spend 10 days in quarantine. We will cover the cost of a 'Test to Release' package and provide basic essentials during your quarantine period, including meals.
Red We will reimburse you for the cost of your quarantine hotel stay (currently £1,750)  You will need to spend 10 days in a manged quarantine hotel. 

* This support is available to all new international students who will be arriving in Bristol for the start of the 2021 academic year. 

If you leave the UK during the academic year, you may require a further period of quarantine or testing when you return. The University will not be able to provide support to you for any additional periods of quarantine.

The University is not able to provide support for quarantine or testing for any dependents or family members who travel to the UK with you.

If the government guidance and requirements change, the University reserves the right to review this support package.

Please be assured that if you are unable to travel to Bristol due to travel restrictions in your country, you can study online until you are able to join us (unless you are studying a course that requires in-person teaching, in which case we will contact you with further advice).

Further details of the support available, and guidance on how to book testing, will be provided to you by email before you begin your journey to Bristol.

COVID-19 vaccine

Every person living in England, including international students, is entitled to free Covid-19 vaccinations as well as other National Health Service (NHS) treatments. If you are living on campus or in the surrounding area you will be able to register with a doctor on campus.


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