Frequently asked questions
Bristol is my insurance choice, when can I apply for accommodation?
You can only apply when you have accepted a Conditional Firm or Unconditional Firm offer to study at Bristol.
Am I guaranteed an offer of University-allocated accommodation?
The University guarantees an offer of accommodation for the first year of study to all UK, EU and International undergraduates who applied for accommodation by 30 June 2018, providing that they meet the conditions of the accommodation guarantee.
We may make you an offer for a room that is not in one of our advertised residences. Occasionally we need to offer temporary accommodation or a place in a shared room with another student.
Applicants who do not meet the guarantee can still apply for accommodation, but are not guaranteed an offer. Please visit our non-guaranteed page for further information.
How can I make sure I get one of my preferred residences?
When you fill out the accommodation application form you will get to choose three preferred residences - we cannot guarantee to meet your preference and there is no way you can ensure that you get into your preferred residence.
In our 2017 intake of students, 90% of applicants got either their first or second option. Because some residences are oversubscribed (see the applications to spaces ratio for 2017 (PDF)), not all residences are available for each preference. Details of the residences available per preference (PDF) will help you to see which options you have for each of your choices.
Read our choosing your accommodation page for more information on other factors that might influence your preferences.
What should I put in my personal statement?
Personal statements are only looked at after your residence is allocated. They are used to try to match you with suitable flatmates. Therefore, you should tell us about your lifestyle and character, for example: do you like a quiet life? Are you very sociable and hoping to have lots of friends round? What are your interests? Can you live with other peoples' mess or do you prefer things clean and tidy?
You have 1000 characters for your statement (including spaces). We advise that you write your statement before you start your application, as the system times out after 1 hour and students have said they they run out of time because of writing their statement.
Here are some examples of the sorts of things you might say:
I love going out to listen to live music, I really like R&B as well as Drum and Bass. I play the guitar (a bit) and I would like to meet people who also play musical instruments. I am hoping to share with people who like to do lots of things.
I am a member of Amnesty International, I am especially interested in international affairs and I am very politically minded. I am planning on joining the Feminists Society and probably other societies too. I need a lot of sleep!
My perfect evening would be staying in with friends, getting a takeaway and a good film: rom-com rather than action films. I am very easy going and tolerant, my friends say I am easy to get along with. I hope to make good friends with my flatmates.
I am a quiet person and can’t deal with too much going on. I like a quiet environment to concentrate on my studies. It would be good if I could share with someone who likes to play chess or other board games.
I can’t tolerate mess! I like to cook but the kitchen needs to be clean, please don’t put me with messy people. Classical music, especially opera, is my passion and it would be great to have someone to go to see shows with.
I am gay, it’s not a big deal to me but I wouldn’t want to be with people who thought it was. I like reading, and my favourite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller. I am sports-mad, especially football. I love playing and watching it and my team is Liverpool. I am hoping to join a 5-a-side team. I go running and like to be very active. I don’t need much sleep.
How can I change my preferences, or something else, in my application?
Unfortunately, it is now too close to the application deadline for us to accept requests for changes to your application.
I want to share a room with a friend, how do I tell you about this?
Please give the name and student number of the student you wish to share with in the notes section of your application. They must do the same with your details in their application.
Please note: we cannot guarantee to meet your sharing preferences.
I won't be able to access the internet over the summer, what can I do?
A parent or guardian can apply on your behalf as long as you have given them your consent to do so, and they have your name, date of birth and University of Bristol student number.
Make sure they have all the information they need - including your list of preferred residences - before you leave.
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?
Residences and rooms
What do your room types mean?
Standard – a single room in a flat sharing a bathroom (shower/toilet/basin) and kitchen with other students.
En suite – a single room with your own bathroom (shower/toilet/basin), in a flat sharing a kitchen with other students.
Studio – a room with either a single or double bed, with your own bathroom (shower/toilet/basin) and small kitchen.
See choosing your accommodation for more information.
Can I visit the residences?
A limited amount of accommodation will be open on the main University open days. If you are not able to visit during our June and September open days, you can arrange your own visits with the residence you are interested in. Contact the Student Support Centre for the residence to arrange this, you can find their contact details on each residence page.
Which residence do you recommend?
We cannot recommend a residence as peoples' needs differ and our residences also vary. We will look at your preferences when we allocate you a residence, and then consider your personal statement when we allocate you a room.
Your website shows a range of rents for the same room types, why is that?
Rents will vary depending on the size and location of the room, location of the residence and the on-site facilities it offers. Find out how our accommodation fees are calculated.
What happens if I'm not happy with the room/residence I get offered?
Offers cannot be changed or cancelled when they are first made. We recommend that you accept your offer of accommodation so that you are guaranteed somewhere to live. Our transfers list will open after the first two weeks of term, is you are still unhappy with where you are living after that time, you can then apply for a transfer. New rooms starts to become available again after the first few weeks of term.
If you would like to talk to someone about your offer, please contact us.
I've been offered a temporary shared room, what does that mean?
We occasionally need to double up some rooms at the start of term. In 2017 a total of 150 students had to share a room at the very start of term. By the end of November, all students who wanted their own room had been moved. Some of these temporary sharers chose to stay sharing for the rest of the academic year.
If your offer is for a temporary share, please do keep an open mind. These temporary shares are very short-term, can be a great way to meet new people at University and, because you pay a reduced fee while sharing, it's a cost-saving option too.
What happens if I want to cancel my room after I move in?
Later in the academic year, after the waiting list period ends, you can cancel your accommodation but you will remain liable for the rent. No payments will be refunded until a replacement tenant is found. You could be charged a re-letting fee of up to £100.
When a replacement tenant is found you are no longer liable for the rent. The balance of any payment due under the Conditions of Residence, or tenancy, will be refunded. Please see our current student pages for full details of the process.