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University of Bristol

PhD Programmes

Arts, Design & Architecture (5)
Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences (2)
Agriculture & Forestry (1)
Hospitality, Leisure & Sports (1)
Journalism & Media (1)
Law (1)



University College, Bristol was founded in 1876, and became the University of Bristol in 1909. It was the first higher education institution in the UK to admit men and women on an equal basis. Thirteen Nobel Prize winners are linked to the University, including Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965), University Chancellor from 1929 to 1965, and our current Chancellor, Sir Paul Nurse.


Our outstanding learning environment and research-led education attracts the brightest students and staff from across the world. More than 24,000 students currently study here, alongside inspirational academics who are experts in their fields, creating a vibrant academic community.

We aim to equip our students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in their chosen career in a competitive global market. With a comprehensive choice of subjects, our students engage with intellectually challenging courses and programmes that encourage independence of mind. Bristol degrees are shaped by the latest thinking, informed by our cutting-edge research and our strong connections with employers.


The University of Bristol is at the forefront of global research. A member of the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, Bristol is a top five UK institution for research intensity (joint fifth in THE analysis of REF 2014). We aim to bring together the best minds in individual fields, and we encourage researchers from different disciplines and institutions to work together.  Our research tackles some of the world’s biggest issues in areas as diverse as infection and immunity, human rights, climate change, and cryptography and information security. The University currently has 40 Fellows of the Royal Society and 15 of the British Academy.


Thanks to our strong connections with hundreds of organisations worldwide, the University is ranked 9th in the UK for graduate employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings, 2020) and Bristol alumni are among the highest paid in the country (top ten, Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2018). Bristol is the fourth most-targeted UK university by leading graduate employers (High Fliers research, 2020).

Our Careers Service provides advice, inspiration and events including employer presentations, networking events, workshops and careers fairs. Our professional partnerships, internship schemes and enterprise support give you the best possible start to your career.

University Ranking

QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
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QS World University Rankings is one of the top international rankings measuring the popularity and performance of universities all over the world.
Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University
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ARWU World University rankings is the first world university ranking. It ranks the world's top 1000 colleges and universities based on objective indicator.
World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
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World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
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Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report presents all the top universities from the U.S. and 60 other countries around the world.


Student services

Our comprehensive network of student services ensures you have access to support for all aspects of university life – academic, personal and practical. Throughout your studies, we support your academic development through services including study skills training, personal tutors or research supervisors, and peer support.

Our Students’ Health Service, Student Counselling Service and Multifaith Chaplaincy are here to help you maintain your physical and mental wellbeing. Our International Office supports students from overseas before and during their time at Bristol. We run a University day nursery for children up to five years of age, and Disability Services offers tailored advice and support. 

Housing services

We have a range of University accommodation for undergraduate and postgraduate students, from historic Georgian townhouses to large, modern residences. Our residences provide pastoral support, 24-hour security, and extensive opportunities to get involved in sports and social events.

The University has several flats available for couples and families, as well as some single-sex accommodation and housing for those with special requirements. The Accommodation Office also has a dedicated adviser who can offer help and expertise when choosing private accommodation in Bristol.

Library services

The University has nine libraries, offering study spaces, specialist subject librarians and millions of research and learning resources. There are three managed study centres with individual and collaborative study spaces and group working rooms. Our fascinating Special Collections comprise a rich and diverse range of printed books and journals, archival resources and artefacts.

ICT services

All Bristol students have access to high-quality and convenient IT facilities including 2,300 PCs, many with 24-hour access; powered study spaces; and free wireless internet across the University. Our IT Service Desk offers advice and support, as well as dedicated laptop and mobile clinics.

Medical services

Bristol is one of only two universities in the UK to run a full National Health Service doctors’ practice. Practice staff have significant experience working with students.

To help you stay healthy and active during your time at Bristol, we offer outstanding sporting and fitness opportunities on and off campus. We also provide comprehensive mental health support to help you manage your wellbeing.

Student Life

Campus life

The University campus is at the heart of the city of Bristol, in the south-west of England. Big enough to be exciting but small enough to be safe and friendly, the city is known for its independent spirit, grand architecture, beautiful parks and vibrant cultural scene. It’s no surprise that Bristol has been named the UK’s best place to live (Sunday Times, 2017).

Bristol is only 90 minutes from London by train and has a busy international airport but is surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Sports facilities

Our wide range of sporting activities and excellent facilities will help you lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Whether you are looking to compete at the highest level or just want to keep fit, we offer something for you. There are more than 70 sports clubs to choose from.

Our facilities include: an indoor sports centre on campus, featuring a gym, free weights room, studios, sports hall and sports medicine clinic; a 32-metre swimming pool; a sports complex with grass and artificial pitches, an indoor tennis centre and an Olympic weight-lifting gym; and a boathouse on the River Avon.

Student clubs

Bristol Students’ Union supports more than 400 societies and clubs covering a wide range of interests, allowing you to take part in music, drama or dance, or enjoy new food, games or hobbies. Representing our diverse international community, Bristol students run over 40 country-based societies, as well as several religious groups. You can also develop your skills while helping the community with our extensive volunteering opportunities.


Many of our courses and programmes are accredited by professional bodies, societies and institutes, meaning your degree will be recognised widely around the world.

Bristol, England, United Kingdom