Choosing your undergraduate accommodation
Here at Bristol we have a wide range of accommodation and we know there are lots of factors that might affect which one of our residences is right for you. Included on this page are some of the key elements that might influence where you want to live, to help you decide which of our residences is best suited to you.
Your accommodation preferences
When you fill out the accommodation application form you will get to choose three preferred residences. We cannot guarantee to meet your preference but in our 2016 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 2016 (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.
Other factors to consider that might influence your preferences are detailed below:
Catered or self-catered
Some students already know whether they want catered or self-catered accommodation, but if you are unsure which to go for, here are some of the benefits of each which may help you to decide.
- No shopping, cooking or washing up = more time to spend on your studies (or social life)
- Not having to live on pot noodles for a year!
- The catered residences tend to have more communal space.
- Eating together can give you the opportunity to meet a much wider range of people and create a broader friendship base
- The catered residences tend to be larger and corridor based making it easier to build a community feel
- All of our catered residences have live in wardens.
For full details of what we offer in our catered residences, see our our catered accommodation pages.
- Eat what you like when you like – including pot noodles!
- Learn to cook
- Control your own budget – having a kitty with other students for essential can save a lot of money
- Planning, cooking and eating meals with your flatmates can be fun and create very close friendships
- Self-catered residence have more communal space within the flats – have friends round for dinner
Still can’t decide? Another option is to have the best of both worlds by buying a mealcard.
Room types available are:
Shared - a room with two sets of furniture (beds, desk, wardrobe) suitable for two students to live in together.
Standard – a single room in a flat sharing a bathroom (shower/toilet/basin) and kitchen with other students.
Standard with washbasin - a single room with a sink, 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.
Many students start out thinking they must have an en suite but you should be aware of the disadvantages:
- En suite rooms tend to have quite a bit less living space because the en suite takes up a lot of the room.
- All your visitors etc will have to use your en suite.
Shared bathrooms for standard rooms will usually be made up of a shower room and a separate toilet. The number of shower room and toilets per flat will vary with how many students are sharing the flat. In older residences, which are arranged on corridors, the shared bathrooms are usually a large block with several individual showers, bathrooms or toilets grouped together. The normal ratio is one shower and toilet for a maximum of 5 students although occasionally this will be more or less.
Studio – a room with either a single or double bed, with your own bathroom (shower/toilet/basin) and small kitchen. The University has a small number of studios for undergraduates. If you're looking for high-end studio accommodation we advise you look at Bristol's private providers.
You may wish to be allocated particular accommodation because of your LGBTQ+ identity, for social reasons, or practical reasons. or because you are transitioning. Please be sure to let us know what you need in the special notes section of the application form and we will do our best to meet your needs. As well as our en suite rooms in mixed gender flats, which you can search for on our residences page, we have a number of residences that offer gender neutral bathroom facilities:
Clifton Hill House
115 Queens Road
Or you may prefer single sex accommodation.
Single sex accommodation
The University offers catered single sex accommodation and self-catered single sex accommodation. Sometimes students in a residence will be housed in single-sex flats or in rooms on single-sex corridors.
You should be aware of the following information:
- Over 90% of students applying for single-sex accommodation are international, therefore most of our single-sex flats will consist entirely of international students.
- 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.
How to apply
You can apply for single-sex accommodation by selecting the single-sex option when you complete the online application form. Please note: we cannot guarantee an offer of single-sex accommodation to all applicants.
Selecting the single-sex option will limit the range of residences we can offer you
Alcohol free accommodation
The University offers some alcohol-free flats to undergraduates in The Courtrooms.
When living in an alcohol-free flat 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.
Alcohol-free flats are for students who choose and apply to live in them - no student will be placed in an alcohol free flat unless they apply to do so.
How to apply
You can apply for a room in an alcohol-free flat by choosing The Courtrooms as your first preference and selecting 'alcohol-free' from the preferred room type dropdown.
By accepting an accommodation offer for an alcohol-free flat, you enter into an agreement not to drink alcohol in the flat. If you do, you will receive one written warning, the second time you will be moved to another residence of our choice.
Please note, we cannot guarantee an offer of alcohol free accommodation to all applicants.
The University of Bristol will try to offer accommodation that has been adapted to meet the needs of kosher students. Those living in this accommodation will have requested a kosher environment and will be expected to follow an appropriate lifestyle.
The accommodation offered will depend on how many applicants have requested kosher accommodation. Therefore we may not be able to offer you a room in your preferred residence(s).The accommodation will normally be in standard rooms with shared bathrooms.
If you wish to apply for kosher accommodation, you should indicate this in the relevant section of your application. We will also require a letter of recommendation from your Rabbi, which will be requested once you have applied.
Please note that we cannot guarantee an offer of kosher accommodation.
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. On your preference list you can choose from the range of residences we have available for mature students:
Please note that while we will do our best to ensure that your flat is made up of mature students the students living around you will be 18 or 19 years old. We cannot guarantee a quiet environment. If this is the most important thing to you, you may prefer to consider what the private sector has to offer, as many commercial accommodation providers in Bristol offer studios.
Clifton Hill House is home to the University's global community - providing residents with an opportunity to meet and become friends with fellow students from all around the world.