Next Step Bristol

The University of Bristol's Next Step Bristol programme is a fantastic opportunity for year 13 students from Black or Asian backgrounds to experience the University through a series of virtual events.

Applications open now! Apply here

Applications close 30 September 2022 

The programme

This programme is a collaboration between current University of Bristol students, societies and the Widening Participation team. We will provide advice, information and support during your final year of school/college. We will support your transition to becoming a University of Bristol student.
Examples of virtual events during year 13 may include:
  • A programme launch, with a student panel for your questions

  • Transparent conversations about the lived experience of Black and Asian students at Bristol. Conversations take place during virtual events and with Student Advisors
  • Academic taster sessions
  • Opportunity to attend an on-campus Visit Day (government COVID-19 guidelines permitting). Receive a travel bursary to support your attendance
  • Student-led society events
  • Support with your UCAS and student finance applications. Where applicable, support with interviews (for Medicine and Dentistry applicants)
  • Information on the support you can receive when you are a student at the University of Bristol

All virtual events will run during after-school hours, and in less busy periods of your school year. Throughout the year there will be approximately 11 hours of contact time. Exact dates and times will be confirmed upon joining the programme.

Guaranteed contextual offer to the University of Bristol

We are committed to attracting the very best students. We hold Next Step Bristol participants in high regard.

Completing our Next Step Bristol programme guarantees you an offer from the University. You must meet the entry requirements for your degree course and apply via UCAS before the deadline. This includes meeting specified grades and subject requirements for your degree course. If you need to attend an interview or audition for your course, we offer a guaranteed interview or audition instead

You will be eligible for a guaranteed contextual offer for the undergraduate course that you select on your application form. The contextual offer is usually two grades lower than the typical offer. It may be possible to change which course as long as it's within the same Faculty.


Bursaries at Bristol

We have a new programme of scholarships which will support around 130 Black and mixed-Black heritage students over the next four years, totalling more than £1million in bursaries. One part of our new programme to support Black heritage students, is to provide 20 Black Futures Scholarships. A scholarship comprises of a £2,000 bursary, targeted support from the Careers Service and funding to support employability opportunities. To find out more and apply for this bursary, please click here.

Support at Bristol

We are committed to continuing our support for our Black, Asian and Minority Ethinic students at the University of Bristol. Find out more information about Black Men and Women Talk, the work of our Success Advocates and our upcoming events here.

Eligibility criteria

Next Step Bristol is open to all students who have not taken part in a University of Bristol Widening Participation programme (Access to Bristol, Bristol Scholars, Pathways to Health Sciences, Insight into Bristol and the Sutton Trust summer school) and meet the following criteria:

  • Apply for a course at the University of Bristol via UCAS. You may get a place on the programme before you submit your UCAS application
  • Be in your final year of A-level study (or equivalent)
  • Attend a state school/college
  • Identify as Black/Asian* or of mixed background featuring one of these groups
  • Have the academic ability to study at the University of Bristol (including meeting any GCSE entry requirements for your chosen course). Have the potential to meet the contextual entry requirements where eligible
  • Are resident in the UK and eligible for home fee status

*We will also consider applications from students who identify as belonging to another Minority Ethnic group, where these students meet multiple priority criteria (listed below). The priority criteria would remain the same.  

Find out more about our accepted qualifications.
These priority criteria will be taken into account when allocating places:
  • Are from an ethnic group that is under-represented* in the Faculty where the applicant is applying at the University of Bristol (*Asian Pakistani; Asian Bangladeshi; Black Caribbean; Black African; mixed backgrounds featuring one of these groups);
  • Are part of the first generation in their family to go to university;
  • Live in an area of low participation in higher education as defined by POLAR4. This is a score of 1 or 2 for the category 'POLAR4 young participation quintile';
  • Are or have been eligible for free school meals;
  • Have spent three or more months in Local Authority Care; or are an Estranged Student (considering university without the support of a family network);
  • Are a Young Carer.
As this is a pilot programme, we need to analyse its effectiveness in supporting students to enrol at the University of Bristol. In order to do this, we may use some aspects of random allocation in our selection process.
We are dedicated to ensuring our programmes are inclusive and welcoming to all. We welcome applications from students living with disabilities, learning difficulties and other physical and mental health conditions.

Contact us

If you have any further questions about this programme, please contact

Apply now!

For students who will be in year 13 in September 2022, apply here

If you do not have your predicted grades, we will ask for them in September 2022.

You must submit your predicted grades to be part of the programme.

Click here to watch a video explaining the Next Step Bristol programme.

“It was such an amazing opportunity to listen to BAME students, their experiences and the support Bristol provide to their students.”

Definitely would recommend as the programme helped me through my application immensely, providing emotional support as well as materials that I would not usually be able to access. This programme gave me an opportunity to apply to Bristol and increased my chance of getting an offer.”

“It was a great way to meet new people who are looking to study the same or similar courses as me, as well as helping us to understand the application process, accommodation and fees better.”

“I have learnt a lot about how the university is creating an inclusive place, especially for BAME students which feels really welcoming.”

Next Step Bristol participants 2020-21

Click here to read a blog post by Arjun, a Student Advisor on the Next Step Bristol programme in 2020-21.

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