Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find answers to our most frequently asked questions, as well as link to information and advice that you may find helpful.
Before you arrive
How can I find out who will be in my living circle?
If you log in to the Accommodation Portal you will see a message on your home screen telling you the name of the living circle you belong to.
You can also log in to Blackboard where you will see a list of who is in your living circle.
Or you can talk to one of your residential life team who can help.
To get to know your fellow students online you can join our new starters 2020 FaceBook group. We strongly reccomend that you do not give your personal details, such as your name, residence or room number on informal chats and groups, for your safety.
What are the social-distancing guidelines when I move in?
This year we are introducing Living Circles, to help keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic. A Living Circle is a household in your university accommodation. Your Living Circle will be the people you can interact with closely each day. Depending on your accommodation, your Living Circle could be a single flat, more than one flat, or a single floor of your hall of residence. All students should socially-distance from others in their Living Circle for the first 10 days in residence, after which you will become a household with your flatmates.
You will need to socially distance from anyone outside your Living Circle at all times and follow Government's social distancing guidance. We are asking students to wear face coverings around the campus and all students are expected to read and abide by the University's Covid-19 Behavioural Policy. Students will be given a free face covering and visor when they arrive at their residence or by their school if they are living in private accommodation.
Please follow these steps to keep us all safe
- Sanitise your hands when you enter a building
- Wear a face covering in buildings (excluding your own household) and your visor in classrooms (unless exempt)
- Maintain social distancing with those outside your living circle
Take a look at our community living pages for more details.
I am arriving from abroad and need to self-isolate - what should I do?
If you have traveled from any country not on the Gov.uk Exempt List, you must self-isolate for 10 days after arriving at your student accommodation. This means that you should follow the UK Government guidance at all times, not leave your flat under any circumstance (unless the fire alarm is activated), and you must limit contact with other students in your Living Circle until your 10 day self isolation period is complete. Please ensure a face covering is always worn when using kitchens and bathrooms shared by other students in your Living Circle.
To support self-isolation, the University is providing bedding, food, kitchen and cleaning equipment to all students travelling to the University from outside of the travel corridors. A parcel containing bedding, crockery and food will be left in bedrooms prior to arrival.
In addition to the individual self-isolation packs, the following communal equipment will be made available in all kitchens where there is at least one self-isolating student and is to be shared by up to 5 self-isolating students. This equipment should not be used by students who are not self-isolating.
- 1 x Kitchen Pack, including pots, pans, utensils and cooking equipment
- 1 x Household Pack, including washing up bowl, washing up liquid, tea towels and surface cleaner
- 1 x Cleaning Pack, including hand soap, antibacterial surface spray, cloths, bin bags and toilet cleaner
If you are an international student and believe you should have received a quarantine pack, but these items are not in your room when you arrive, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. When contacting this mailbox please be sure to include your name, student number, residence and room number.
As kitchen and cleaning equipment are shared with other self-isolating students in your Living Circle, it is important that you do not remove any of this equipment from the kitchen. This is to ensure that other self-isolating students can use it when required. Please wash up all kitchen equipment immediately after use and put cleaning materials back in kitchens after using in bedrooms.
After your period of self isolation you will become a household with the flatmates in your living circle. You will need to socially distance from others outside your living circle at all times and follow Government Covid-19 guidance - all students are expected to read and abide by the University's Covid-19 Behavioural Policy.
Am I still able to move in if my area is in local lockdown?
Under current government guidelines, students in England are still able to move into their residence from an area under a local lockdown. Students outside of England should refer to their government's own guidance, as local rules are different for different countries. Therefore you must take responsibility to check whether there are any local rules in force that may restrict you travelling from your present location.
If you are displaying any symptoms you should not move into your residence and should self isolate and get a test before making plans to move.
Unless you are a flexible arrival, your rent will become payable from 26 September even if you are unable to travel or choose not to do so.
What will happen if there is a lockdown after I move in?
If Bristol goes into a local lockdown or there is a second national lockdown, all our residences would remain open. You will be able to lockdown in your residence with your Living Circle and, using the online teaching continue your studies. Support and virtual events and activities will continue.
Please also see our FAQs for students living in private rented accommodation.
What happens if I, or someone in my Living Circle, develops Covid-19 symptoms?
If anyone in your Living Circle develops Covid-19 symptoms, all members of the Living Circle will need to self-isolate within your residence until a test is taken.
If you, or someone in your living circle, tests positive you must self-isolate as per government guidance. If you test positive you must inform the University using the Coronavirus self-reporting form so that we can inform other members of your Living Circle and provide you with support. As soon as a case is reported to us via the self-reporting form we will email all members of that living circle to let you know how to access the support on offer.
You do not need to self-isolate if someone in your residence who isn't in your Living Circle tests positive for Covid-19 unless the University contacts you to inform you otherwise.
Additional support will be available to Living Circles needing to self-isolate.
You will be able to continue your studies through online learning.
Someone in my residence has tested positive for Covid-19 - do I have to self-isolate?
In most cases, as long as no one in your Living Circle tests positive for Covid-19 you do not need to self-isolate. There is a daily review of each hall of residence by the local Public Health England incident management team, who make the decision on which residences need to self-isolate. If Public Health England decides that, for the safety of all, a whole residence needs to isolate, then we will contact you to let you know what to do.
At all times please be respectful of your fellow students and continue to follow the government guidelines to socially distance from anyone outside your Living Circle.
My living circle / residence has been told to self isolate, what support is available?
If you live in University-allocated accommodation
Please be assured that we are here to help you as we work together to support students through any periods of self-isolation. We will provide support for you 24 hours a day, throughout your period of self-isolation. As soon you let us know you are self-isolating through the self-reporting form we will email you to let you know how to access the support on offer.
We recognise it is important that you are able to maintain social interactions with one another and you will be able to continue mixing within your living circle. If you live in a Studio, you can find who is in your living circle by logging on to BlackBoard.
You will also continue to have access to online teaching and our full range of wellbeing support services.
Please take a look at our self isolation support pages for the most up-to-date information.
If you live in private rented accommodation
Please take a look at our advice or students living in private accommodation.
I’ve been isolating already and now my residence has locked down, do I need to do another 14 days?
Unfortunately, yes you do. We appreciate that you may find this frustrating but this is the requirement of Public Health England.
I want to report a breach of the rules in my residence.
If you have any concernes about other students not following the rules you can use the Report and Support link to tell us about it.
We will investigate any reports we receive and if a student is found to be breaking the guidelines, they may be subject to disciplinary action, including fines, suspension or exclusion.
Please read our Covid-19 Behavioural Policy (PDF, 95kB) for more information.
Am I allowed to return home?
If you are self-isolating
We understand that you may want to return home but this is against both Public Health England and Government guidelines. It could put others, including your family, at risk. The Government can also issue fines of up to £10,000 for those failing to self-isolate. We will support you at all times. It is important to follow self-isolation requirements in line with both the law and our acceptable behaviour policy.
If you are not self-isolating
The Government is asking students to stay in their residences to limit the movement of people across the country. Legally, as long as there are no local restrictions and we are not in lockdown you can return home. Your tenancy will remain in place and you will still be liable for your accommodation fees. If you want to leave and return home for good, please see our information on cancelling your accommodation contract.
If you are already at home
If you’re currently away from your residence, for example, because you are visiting home, and have been asked to self-isolate, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Advice and support for parents and carers
We take the health and safety of our students very seriously. Please visit our parents and supporters Coronavirus pages to find out what steps we're taking to keep students safe.
Parents, guardians and carers with concerns should speak directly with their students or contact our University hotline on 0117 3742838.
I'm self-isolating and I haven't had a food box delivered
We will supply you with an emergency food box on your first day of self-isolation. We offer meat or vegan boxes. Your box should last you 7 days.
You will be able to supplement this food box with your own online food orders.
Hopefully, you will be able to organise online food deliveries. If you are unable to, you can request a second emergency food box from your Residential Life team.
To order a food box
Please complete the coronavirus self-reporting form and request your food box on this form.
If you have not completed a coronavirus self-reporting form but your accommodation is required to self-isolate please request your food box using the accommodation portal.
If you have any specific dietary requirements please tell us using the above routes.
You must wear a face mask when you receive food deliveries.
Anyone who hasn’t received a delivery within 12 hours of filling out the form should contact their Residential Life team directly or email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can prioritise getting a delivery to you.
You can find out more information about the support available to you whilst self-isolate on The Universities self-isolating pages.
What should I do when I finish self-isolating?
When you finish your period of self-isolation please continue to keep yourself and others safe by following this safety advice:
- If you are in university accommodation, only socialise with students in your Living Circle. You can find who your living circle is by logging into BlackBoard.
- Wear a face covering when on campus and in the common spaces of your hall such as common rooms, hallways and bathrooms.
- Maintain social distancing wherever possible.
- Practice good hygiene and wash your hands regularly.
- When you go out in the city, follow government guidance.
I am an international student and I want to return home
Please see the advice to international students wishing to return home from the UK government.
I'm self-isolating in a catered residence - what food will I get?
Self-isolating catered students should see our self-isolating food delivery schedule for information on when their food will be delivered.
Please note that in order to receive self-isolating food deliveries you must let us know that you are self-isolating by filling out the coronavirus self-reporting form.
I am living on my own, can I transfer to another living circle?
Unfortunately, we are not allowing transfers at this time, however, if you are living alone you are eligible to form a support bubble with another living circle/household. Please see the government guidance on support bubbles. You should also seek the support of Residential Life if you are feeling anxious or concerned.
I am an international student, should still come to my accommodation now the UK is in lockdown?
The Government is discouraging travel by international students. If you are an international student travelling from outside the UK and can change your travel plans, you should do so. For international students who have already booked travel or are en-route, we are ready to welcome and support you on the understanding that your teaching will be online under current circumstances unless you are on an exempt programme. Airport transfers are available as part of our welcome.
All international arrivals will be required to complete a passenger locator form before arriving in the UK, and passengers travelling from a country not on the exemption (travel corridor) list will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for ten days. The government's 'Test to Release' scheme offers you the option to take an accredited Covid-19 test from a private testing provider after five days of self-isolation, and a negative test result would release you from the need to isolate from day six.
From mid-January 2021 all travellers to England and Scotland from overseas will need to test negative for coronavirus before they are allowed to enter the country. The test will need to be taken up to 72 hours before departure and failure to comply will result in an immediate £500 fine. This does not replace other controls at the border, so the mandatory ten-day quarantine or five-day "test to release" policy still applies.
Please check the most recent government guidance before you travel.
I have a flexible arrival room booked but I am no longer able to arrive due to Covid-19 restrictions, will I be charged?
The current Government guidance states that students should remain where they are wherever possible, therefore, you should not travel to Bristol unless unavoidable.
Please be reassured that we will continue to hold your new room for you until you are able to arrive and you will not be charged rent while travel restrictions prevent you from moving in.
If you have any questions about your accommodation, please email us at email@example.com.
Can I return to my University accommodation during lockdown?
The current Government guidance says that wherever possible, students should remain at their vacation accommodation and should not travel to their university accommodation until the resumption of face-to-face teaching. You should also avoid returning to the University to collect any belongings left here over the winter break. However, you can travel back to collect any medical equipment or items required for online learning if it is essential.
If you are currently away from your student home and unable to remain where you are, you are allowed to return to your university accommodation but once here you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. To minimise the risk to yourself and others students should access local community testing programmes to get a lateral flow device (LFD) test before you travel back to university
If you have any questions about your accommodation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have moved in to my new residence but I don't like it/my flatmates, what can I do?
Students can sometimes feel disappointed with their room when they first see it. Empty rooms can feel very different to your expectations. Moving home is a big change and it's normal to feel like the room is the problem. Please take the time to unpack, settle in and make it feel like home. Meet your flatmates and get to know them and you'll start to feel settled.
If there are issues with your room such as disrepair, please report this to team relevant to your building (see your residence guide for how to do this).
If you are feeling really unhappy please contact your Residential Life team for help and support.
Can I transfer to another room?
Because of the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in student residences and in order to keep both students and staff as safe as possible, the University has a strict no-transfer policy for 20/21. We absolutely have to do all we can to limit mixing of our Living Circles at what is a very risky time as students join us from all over the country and world. Please visit our page on transferring accommodation for help and advice available to help you settle into your room.
I want to move out and cancel my accommodation
When you accepted your accommodation offer, you signed up to a tenancy agreement for the dates of your contract. If you want to cancel your tenancy agreement, you need to notify us formally and the next steps will depend on your circumstances. Please visit our cancelling your accommodation page for full details and the steps you need to take.
How do I get my U1 bus pass?
Undergraduate students living in University-allocated accommodation are entitled to a Bristol Unibus U1 pass at no extra cost. This gives you unlimited term time free travel for the 2020/21 academic year on the U1 service plus four other First services connecting the campus to other parts of the city (restrictions apply – see Bristol Unibus website for details).
To get your unique code please go to your local student support centre who will be happy to help.
Once you have your code follow these instructions to download the First Bus app and get your pass.
- Download the First Bus app to your phone. Just search ‘First Bus’ in your app store
- Set your First Bus region to Bristol, Bath and the West
- From the m-tickets menu select Bristol, Bath and the West and then Bristol
- Select Student Travel and add University of Bristol - Unibus U1 Uni Year (£199) to your basket
- Checkout and sign up for an account, then enter your unique voucher code to get your Bristol Unibus U1 pass free*
- Your Bristol Unibus U1 pass will automatically activate and appear in the active area of your ticket wallet
Scan the QR code as you get on the bus, every time.
£50 UPGRADE OFFER: Your Unibus U1 pass gives you free travel on the U1 and First services 3, 4, 9 and 72. You can upgrade to a First Bus mTicket that covers the Bristol Zone by selecting University of Bristol - Uni Year – Bristol Zone (£329) in the First Bus app and using your voucher code at checkout to buy it for just £50. This upgrade offer is also available until the 31 January 2020 by emailing email@example.com
NOTE: You will be responsible for sharing your own personal data with First in order to open a First Bus app account and obtain your Bristol Unibus U1 pass. The University may need to share with First personal data it holds separately on students solely for the purpose of managing their Bristol Unibus U1 pass. You give permission for this by using the First Bus app to obtain your Bristol Unibus U1 pass.
How and when do I pay my accommodation fees?
For full information on how and when to play please read our page on paying your accommodation fees.
I want to report a repair or maintenance issue with my residence
For University-owned residence please report the problem through the Accommodation Portal.
For Partnership residence please check the individual residence guide under the ‘Repairs section’ and follow instructions.
I want to make a complaint about my residence (not repair or maintenance)
If you have experienced any issues with your accommodation, or the service you have received from the Accommodation Office, details of how you can resolve this are provided on our reporting problems page.
I will be under 18 when I start at Bristol, will this affect my accommodation?
Students who will be under 18 when their studies start can apply for any of our undergraduate residences, apart from New Bridewell.
I have a disability, health need or other special requirement for my accommodation
Put details of your disability or ill-health, special requirements and anything you need in your accommodation, in the space provided on your online application form. We will contact you for further details. Our disability and health section provides examples of the information we may need.
Can I apply for accommodation if I am intercalating at Bristol?
Intercalating students are guaranteed an offer of accommodation subject to the normal conditions of our accommodation guarantee. You will be able to apply online, the form you will use will be separate from our main undergraduate application and can be found on our intercalating page.
What options do you have for mature students?
Mature students can apply for any of our undergraduate residences. If you would prefer to live with other mature students you can apply for Orchard Heights, Riverside, Winkwork House and Hiatt Baker which will have flats exclusive to mature students.
If you are 21-years-old or over and wish to share with other mature students, you should indicate this on the accommodation application form and select from these residences as your preferences.
What does alcohol-free flats available mean?
The University offers some alcohol-free flats to undergraduates in a small number of our residences. When living in an alcohol-free accommodation you, or your guests, are not permitted to drink alcohol within the flat. However, you can store alcohol in your room and drink alcohol outside the flat.
What does single-sex flats available mean?
The University offers single-sex accommodation in a number of its residences. Sometimes students in a residence will be housed in single-sex flats or in rooms on single-sex corridors.
Students living in single-sex accommodation can have visitors or guests of the opposite gender in their accommodation. University staff or contractors of either gender may enter the accommodation from time to time; you will be given notice of this in advance. Over 90 per cent of students who apply for single-sex accommodation are international, therefore most of our single-sex flats will consist entirely of international students.
Can catered halls cater for specialist diets or food allergies?
I am unable to login to the Accommodation Portal.
Once you become an official student at The University of Bristol you will need to use your ‘Student Single Sign-On’ details to log in to the Accommodation Portal, rather than your application username/password which will no longer be active. You can access the SSO option by clicking on the Student SSO Login button on the log in page.
If this does not resolve the issue please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you give me a rent reference?
Please complete Rent Reference Request form
My landlord would like a reference sent directly to them is this possible?
A reference can only be sent to a student.
Information and resources for students in our residences concerned about COVID-19.
If you think you have coronavirus
Check if you have symptoms. If you do:
- Stay at home and follow advice on how to self isolate.
- Don’t attend classes and avoid socialising with others.
- Book a coronavirus test if you haven't already done so.
- Tell us by completing the coronavirus self-reporting form.
We will tell your school and University residence.
Contact the Information Point if you have any questions: