Semester in Bristol
University of Bristol

LGBTQIA+ Friendly
New Offering

Rigorous academics in the heart of an authentic British city campus.

When you choose CIS Abroad’s Semester in Bristol program, know you’re choosing the best of both academics and location. Bristol is the “greenest” city in the UK and a great launching pad for students looking for a more affordable alternative to London (just 90 minutes away). The University of Bristol, ranked among the UK’s Top 10 universities and among the Top 50 in the world, is a great match for independent, academically committed students who are excited to get out and explore.

What to Expect:

  • Language: English
  • Average Courseload: 60 UK Credits
  • GPA Requirement: 3.0


  • The city is super walkable (free citywide buses!) and close to London
  • Cool city vibe with lots of shopping and more than 450 parks and green spaces
  • Walk in the footsteps of revered historical figures, including Sir Winston Churchill (former Chancellor)
  • Choose from hundreds of courses across all majors, creating a personalized academic program
  • Proudly independent culture with vibrant street art and attractions

Program Details

University of Bristol

The University of Bristol offers both a rich academic and campus life. A great choice for interdisciplinary majors, the University of Bristol also offers unique and flexible research opportunities that focus on real-world outcomes. Campus is embedded in the heart of the city center, with historic buildings with modern updates.

The University of Bristol has been a beacon of positive change since opening in 1876, allowing women applicants to be accepted alongside men from its inception. It is a part of the prestigious Russel Group, and is considered one of the top 50 universities in the world, one of the Top 10 universities in the UK, and in the Top 5 in the UK for research.

On campus, get ready to get involved. The Global Lounge is an on-campus team dedicated to hosting events and creating space for international students on campus, and they offer day trips outside the city and programming during welcome week. Because the University of Bristol is committed to international education and increasing access, the campus of 18,000 undergraduate students is truly global and diverse. 

The Students’ Union is the social hub of campus and includes two theatres, a café-bar, photography darkroom, pottery and dance studios, rehearsal rooms and a swimming pool, making it is one of the largest Students’ Union buildings in the UK. The campus also boasts a recently renovated sports center and swimming pool. And, when you wish to explore the similarly vibrant scene off-campus, the University’s central location makes it easy to explore all that Bristol offers!

See the campus for yourself with University of Bristol’s Virtual Campus Tours.

Areas of study which have more than 8 classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Health
  • Humanities

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

The Semester in Bristol program at the University of Bristol offers a wide range of exciting and challenging courses at one of the highest ranked universities in the world!

Most study abroad students take second-year units while at Bristol. Since the third year is the final year of undergraduate study in the United Kingdom, it is suggested that students only take third-year units if they are majoring in that subject area. For students who are interested in taking classes outside their major, first or second year would be most appropriate.

The maximum number of credits in which a student can be enrolled during a term at the University of Bristol is 60 UK credits. Most full-time students are enrolled in three or four courses for a total of 60 credits, which is a full academic workload. One can take three 20-credit courses, or a combination of 20 and 10-credit courses to reach that 60-credit maximum.

IMPORTANT: 10 UK credits can be received as 3 or 2.5 US credits, depending on the home university’s policy. It is the responsibility of the student to confirm with their home school advisor how many credits their classes will be awarded, and to maintain full-time status in the eyes of their home school.

Understanding Course Listings

Course offerings are divided into Teaching Blocks (TB), which work like semesters:
· TB1 = autumn (fall) semester
· TB2 = spring semester
· TB4 = units which start in autumn but take a full year to complete

Students will need to choose units that are running in the Teaching Blocks that reflect their planned stay in Bristol. In some areas, like Biology and Psychology, you might also see TB1b or TB2a. These are units taught over half a semester and are slightly more intensive.
C/4 = first year
I/5 = second year
H/6 = third year
M/7 = master’s

The Open Unit Status section of the unit catalogue only applies to students studying their full
degree in Bristol. Study Abroad students are able to take units listed as Open or Not Open.

Class Descriptions and Catalog

You can find a list of all available courses at the University of Bristol by consulting the unite catalogue for your intended term abroad.

Unit Catalogue: 2019/2020
Unit Catalogue: 2020/2021

You can also search for available units based on subject!

Please note: Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science and all post-graduate level units are not available to Study Abroad students. Chemistry and Law are available to full-year students only.

The unit catalogue provides information that is useful for deciding whether a class has the right content and whether it is equivalent to a unit at your home university.

Each unit description provides:
· a general description of the unit, including required prerequisite knowledge;
· learning objectives;
· teaching and assessment methods;
· course texts;
· the credit point value (Bristol credits).

Some units have pre-requisite conditions, listed in the unit catalogue, which students will be
required to meet by having taken similar classes at their home university. A small number
of units have mandatory co-requisites. These are units that are designed to complement each other and will rely on knowledge gained in one unit to support learning in another. If students choose a unit with a co-requisite, they are required to take both classes listed.

It is strongly recommended that students have a longer list of units approved by their home university in advance, so that they can easily choose alternative units if one is unavailable or does not fit their timetable.

Why Life in Bristol

Bristol is a great size – at 450,000 residents, it’s big enough to have something new to explore every weekend, but you’ll still get to know the city. Located 90 minutes west of London, Bristol has a lot of surprises in store – including being 30% more affordable than its neighbor (hello, weekend travel!). With a vibrant mix of heritage buildings and modern street art, Bristol’s creative industries like media, film, and TV thrive alongside technology, electronics, and aerospace engineering sectors.

Bristol is the greenest city in the UK, both in its commitment to sustainability and its lush natural spaces (450 parks!). Explore Bristol’s botanical gardens, river, and harbor or venture to nearby nature reserves well-known for hiking and recreation. Whether you’re into music, movies, museums, or theatre, Bristol doesn’t stop with options for entertainment and adventure. And it’s easy to get around – Bristol’s walkability includes free citywide buses.

Locals are self-described as liberal, laid-back, and welcoming, and they know Bristol to be a hub of activism and LGBTQIA-friendliness. Between its vibrant arts scene, walkable layout, commitment to independent shops and local food-focused restaurants, (and remember that ease of access to London!), Bristol is an ideal study abroad destination. While you’ll likely find just about everything you could want in the city, if you’re getting the urge to travel, use Bristol’s convenient airport as your gateway to Europe.

Live La Vida Local

  • Independent Spirit

    From its abundant independent shops to its own community currency, Bristol is proudly independent. You'll find plenty of public artworks, performances, and a generally playful spirit, as evidenced by colorful buildings and houses.

  • Vibrant Arts & Culture

    Between film, theatre, music, and museums, Bristol boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene. There's also a zoo, aquarium, and roller disco, so you may not feel the need to visit London for all your entertainment interests!

  • Gateway to the South West

    From your base in Bristol, you can easily explore Bath, Cardiff, the coast, ancient forests, and national parks.

  • Foot-Friendly City

    Ranked among the most active cities in the world, Bristol is a delight to explore on stride. Marvel at the city's medieval architecture, soak in the tranquility of the plentiful green spaces, or walk to earn your fish and chips.

Housing in Bristol


CIS Abroad students stay in University of Bristol student residence villages within walking distance or a short (free) bus ride of campus.

Living in University of Bristol residential villages provides abundant social and sporting opportunities, similar to what you might expect from a residential campus in the US. Your residence may host activities such as theatricals, music, dance, exercise classes, sports coaching, recreational play, and more.


Breakfast and dinner are included! Gotta love a meal plan 🙂

Inclusions and Amenities

  • 24-hour security
  • Bathroom
  • Bed linens
  • Cleaning Service
  • CommutePublic TransportationWalking
  • Desk
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Laundry
  • Meal PlanPartial
  • Microwave
  • Printer
  • Private Room
  • Study Areas
  • Wi-Fi

What's Included


Program fees are in U.S. dollars and include the following:

  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CIS Abroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • University of Bristol transcript
  • CIS Abroad orientation
  • Excursions
  • On-site support
  • On-campus wi-fi
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

Upon arrival, take part in a comprehensive orientation program. Your site director will show you the lay of the land and how to get around town. Discuss topics like how to stay safe, what to do in case of an emergency, and who to contact if you have any questions. Also learn all about the favorite places in town, like the best theatres, museums, parks, restaurants to visit during your stay. To end your orientation, sit down for a traditional and delicious welcome meal  – perhaps fish and chips, which are a must in Bristol!

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

After living in such a lively city as Bristol, returning home and re-entering your home culture will likely throw you for a loop. A broadened horizon and an expanded worldview will make things look and feel different even when you return to previously familiar places. Not to worry – this is all a natural part of the process and your site director will walk you through what to expect. Reflect on your time in Bristol and prepare you for your transition back home over a final group meal – our treat!

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Day Trip to London

Day Trip to London

Join us for a day-trip to the hustle and bustle of this cosmopolitan capital city. Meet students from our London programs and explore some of the most iconic sights the city has to offer. How about trying traditional Afternoon Tea?

Day Trip to Bath & Stonehenge

Day Trip to Bath & Stonehenge

This is a day of not one, but two (!) World Heritage Sites! We’ll visit Stonehenge, one of the most iconic prehistoric monuments in Europe, and then stroll through the lively streets of Bath, the only city in the United Kingdom designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The world-famous Roman Baths date back to 43 A.D. and still give the city its unique feel. A visit here is almost like traveling through time!

Weekend Trip to Wales or Scotland

Weekend Trip to Wales or Scotland

Why not spend a weekend exploring a completely different part of the United Kingdom? Depending on the semester, we’ll visit either Scotland or Wales, most likely with our London students. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera to capture the scenery!

Site Director

Travel Tip:

Save money on your Oyster Card and walk everywhere. There are so many different neighbourhoods that await to be explored and hidden treasures to be discovered. Get lost in the city and take time to enjoy the experience!

Travel Tip:

Save money on your Oyster Card and walk everywhere. There are so many different neighbourhoods that await to be explored and hidden treasures to be discovered. Get lost in the city and take time to enjoy the experience!


Anna holds a B.A. in English and German from Ca’Foscari University of Venice. The Italian village where she was born was never enough for her, and from a young age she decided she wanted to see the world and meet a lot of people from different cultures. Fascinated by foreign languages and traveling, she first studied abroad in London when she was in high school and then at Humboldt Universität in Berlin a few years after. New York City holds a special place in her heart, ever since he was an intern at the Italian Cultural Institute there. After volunteering and working for the not-for-profit association AFS Intercultural Program, helping hundreds of high school students enroll and prepare for their experience abroad, she moved to London and focused on working with university students. She has been part of the CIS Abroad on-site team in London for almost five years now and has extensive knowledge about all our London programs. She loves musicals, fashion, playing tennis, hiking, drinking green tea and matcha, and is an intrepid backpacker.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team
Travel Tip:

We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us—be it through a text, phone call, email or personal visit—you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Hadley Byrne
Travel Tip:

When in doubt, reach out! More often than not, locals will respect and respond matching the effort that you put into communication. Practice makes perfect, and leaving your comfort zone means expanding your comfort zone!

Linda Hallbäck
Travel Tip:

Be patient with yourself and kind to those you meet along the way. Show gratitude daily, laugh often, and give thanks for the journey you are on. There will be hard days, but remember, the magic is in the journey and each day makes that journey complete. Smile!

COVID-19 Plan

COVID-19 Plan

We believe that study abroad is still possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, but certain policies and procedures will need to be in place to ensure every student can be safe and healthy during their semester abroad.

We monitor international indicators and health standards in the country and our risk management team makes decisions based on those and our own policy. We will make a decision no less than 45 days before a program starts what options are available to you and what the contingency plan is for your program. We will do all that we can to support you during this time.

Learn more about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management Team’s three step process for operating  our programs around the world and important program refund policies.

Program Suspended

This program is currently not available for the Academic Year 2020/21. Please consider other options by exploring our Open Spring 2021 Programs or consider a Virtual Internship.

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline: May 15
  • Arrival: September 19
  • Departure: December 21
  • Price: $19,890
  • Application Deadline: Oct 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: January 20 (Estimated)
  • Departure: June 6 (Estimated)
  • Price: $19,790 - $21,790 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

Spring Terms: Standard Housing: $19,790, Premium Housing: $21,790

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

CIS Abroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.