Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship: terms and conditions

Go to an overview of the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship.


To be eligible for a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship, you must be applying for a full-time undergraduate course at the University. You must be able to demonstrate outstanding artistic, creative or sporting potential. The scheme is open to UK, EU and international students.

Awards will be made on a competitive basis but applicants will normally be expected to satisfy the following minimum criteria:

  • Music scholarship
    • a minimum of Grade 8 in examinations offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (or equivalent);
    • shortlisted candidates will normally be able to demonstrate musical distinction that has been recognised at a regional or national level, for example through membership of national or county youth ensembles.
  • Drama scholarship
    • evidence of sustained extra-curricular engagement with theatre or filmmaking;
    • distinguished achievement in relevant school subjects (eg theatre studies, film studies or other arts/humanities subjects).
  • Sport scholarship
    • considerable success at representative level - it would be unusual for an award to be given to a student who had not received international honours, at least at junior level.

The scheme is designed to attract students with exceptional abilities outside their normal field of study, therefore a Music student would not be eligible for a music scholarship, etc. Liberal Arts students who follow the Film or Theatre subject pathways would not be eligible for a drama Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship.

Recipients of a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship for sport must not hold other funded sporting grants.

Continuing students are not eligible to apply for a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship.


Scholarships for music will normally range between £2,000 and £3,000 per year.

Scholarships for drama are £3,000 per year.

Scholarships for sport will range between £1,100 and £3,000 per year.

The scholarship is awarded for three years of undergraduate study, as long as you continue to meet the criteria for renewal as stated below. Students on undergraduate courses lasting longer than three years are welcome to apply but the funding will only be guaranteed for the first three years.

The Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship is not a means-tested award and is not dependent on an application for financial support from Student Finance.

For Music Scholars, it is expected that a proportion of the award will be used to fund a programme of regular instrumental or vocal lessons throughout the period of the award to help the Scholar maintain and develop their musical abilities. An appropriate programme of lessons will be agreed at the start of each year between the Scholar and the Department of Music, who will also be able to offer advice on potential teachers.

How to apply

  1. Apply through UCAS for admission to any undergraduate course at the University of Bristol, by 15 January in the year of entry.
  2. Fill out and submit the appropriate Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship application form before the published deadline. You can apply for the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship before you are notified of the outcome of your application to study at the University.
  3. All scholarship applications must be received by the published scholarship deadline. No applications will be considered after the deadline has passed.
  4. If you choose Bristol as your insurance offer through the UCAS process, you will not be eligible for a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship.
  5. You must firmly accept your offer of a place on an eligible undergraduate course by 1 September in the year of entry. If you have previously chosen Bristol as your insurance offer through the UCAS process for the academic year for which you are applying, you will not be eligible for the Vice-Chancellors Scholarship.
  6. If your offer of a place of study is conditional, you will need to fulfil any conditions and have your place confirmed by 1 September in the year of entry.
  7. If you choose to defer your offer of a place of study, you are not able to defer an offer of a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship. You will need to reapply the following year to be considered for the scholarship.

The application process for the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship will not affect your application for a place of study at the University of Bristol.

Selection process

  1. The University's Money Advice and Funding team will collate all Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship applications and send to the music, drama or sport departments for consideration.
  2. Each department will assess applications and determine whether each one is recommended for an offer, placed on a reserve list or marked unsuccessful.
  3. Applications that are recommended for an offer or placed on a reserve list are ranked in order.
  4. Ranked applications will be sent to the Pro Vice-Chancellors for final approval.
  5. If you are offered a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship, you must confirm your acceptance of the award by emailing the Money Advice and Funding team before you start your course at Bristol.
  6. If you decline the offer of a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship award, the award will be offered to a reserve applicant.
  7. If you are placed on a reserve list and have not been made an offer by September, your application has not been successful.
  8. The selection panel's decision is final and there is no appeal process for this discretionary fund. Due to the high volume of applications, the departments are not able to offer individual feedback.

Selection process for a Music scholarship

Students who are shortlisted for a scholarship will be required to submit an audition video recording that has been certified by their school or instrumental/vocal teacher. Full details will be sent to shortlisted applicants. Please do not submit a recording with your initial application. Any such submission will be disregarded.

Selection process for a Sport scholarship

Students shortlisted for a scholarship will be required to attend a group interview with Performance Sport staff to assess your suitability for the award and becoming a member of the Performance Sports squad.

Interviews will take place in April 2023 in Bristol. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted with details of the interview.

Following this interview, you will be informed if you have been selected to receive the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship.

Selection process for a Drama scholarship

Students who have applied for the drama category will be selected on the strength of their application and not be expected to attend an interview or audition.

Other criteria

Year one

For the Music scholarship, you will be expected to successfully audition for one of the following:

  • University Symphony Orchestra;
  • University Chamber Orchestra;
  • University Singers;
  • University Chamber Choir (keyboard players will participate in chamber ensemble playing, as approved by the Department of Music).

You will also be asked to participate in occasional additional concerts and workshops organised by the Department of Music.

For the Drama scholarship, you will be expected to contribute substantially to the drama output of the University. In previous years this has required significant involvement with the Bristol Students' Union Dramsoc, Spotlights or Music Theatre Bristol societies, or the Theatre departmental society, InterAct.

For the Sport scholarship,you will be expected to become a member of your sporting club, compete in BUCS league and attend the Performance Squad residential week in September in the year of entry.

The above activity will take place upon arrival at the University in welcome week.

You also need to submit a termly report to the Money Advice and Funding team outlining the contribution you have made during the previous term. The departments will provide feedback to the Money Advice and Funding team on your contribution to the music ensemble, sports squad or student society. If satisfactory contribution has been made, the next instalment of the award will be paid.

Years two and three

The scholarships will be awarded in the first instance for a period of one year, once all the further conditions of the award are met. For renewal for subsequent years, you should satisfactorily progress to the next year of study on your course and:

  • Music scholarship: Successfully audition for the University's symphony orchestra, or a chamber orchestra, or University Singers or chamber choir (keyboard players would participate in chamber ensemble playing, as approved by the Department of Music);
  • Drama scholarship: Contribute substantially to the InterAct programme run by the Department of Theatre;
  • Sport scholarship: Become a member of the Performance Squad.

This activity will take place upon return to the University at the beginning of the new academic year, in order to renew the award.

If you are deemed not to have contributed satisfactorily, the scholarship will be withdrawn and cannot be reinstated at any point regardless of future contribution.

Award payments

    1. The Money Advice and Funding team will receive notification from the Departments of Music and Sport, and the society presidents of Dramsoc, Music Theatre Bristol and Spotlights that you have fulfilled the conditions of your award during the University introductory week.
    2. The Money Advice and Funding team will write to you confirming you have met the conditions of your award within the first four weeks of the academic year. You will be advised of the payment dates and amounts.
    3. Awards are split into three equal instalments. Payment dates are likely to be the end of October, mid-January and mid-April.
    4. You must enter your bank details into the University portal in order to receive payment of your award directly into your account by BACS.
    5. If you do not enter your bank details into the University portal, you will not receive your award.

    Change in circumstances

    Withdrawal or suspension of studies

    • If you suspend your studies, you will not continue to receive the award for the remainder of that academic year. After returning from a period of suspension, you should contact for information about resuming their place on the scholarship.
    • If you withdraw from your studies you will also have your scholarship withdrawn. If you reapply for a new course in a future academic year, you would also need to reapply for scholarship in that year.
    • If you withdraw or suspend, you will not be asked to repay any award already received.

    Transferring to a new course

    • Transferring to an alternative course will not affect your award, providing the new course remains outside the activity for which your scholarship has been awarded. For example, a music scholar could not transfer to BA Music and continue to be eligible for the scholarship.
    • The award is only guaranteed for the first three years of your undergraduate study at the University. Transferring to a four-year course would not extend the length of your scholarship.

    Repeating a year of study

    • If you repeat a year of study due to exceptional circumstances as approved by your faculty, you may be considered for an additional award in your repeat year. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances and if there is available funding from the budget.
    • Awards will not normally be available if you are repeating a year of study for academic reasons.

    Changing from studying full-time to part-time

    • If you are changing to part-time study as approved by your faculty, and approved by the Departments of Music, Drama or Sport, you may be eligible for an additional award in your additional part-time year. Due to budgetary constraints, it may be necessary to continue the payments of the award on a pro-rata basis.

    Year abroad or year in industry

    • Awards will not be paid to students who are on a year abroad or a year in industry, as they will not be able to satisfy the conditions of the award (eg participating in extra-curricular activity at the University of Bristol).
    • Even if you are studying at another university during your year abroad and continue to engage in drama, music or sport at that institution, you will not be eligible to receive the award during that year.
    • Students who intercalate to another university will not be eligible to receive the award during their intercalation year.
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