Admissions statement

1. Application process

Courses covered

Foundation in Arts and Social Sciences

The admissions team

The admissions team for this programme consists of a professional selection team, working in close cooperation with the programme directors, Jess Farr-Cox, Nazia Hussein, Amy Laurent and John McTague

Applying for the programme

You need to apply for this course directly to the University; not through UCAS.

The deadline to apply to the existing pathways has now passed, but we are accepting applications for the new pathway in Economics and Finance for entry in September 2021.

Please return the completed application form to:

If you have ‘academic’ questions about the programme or the application process, please contact the programme director Jess Farr-Cox ( For procedural or administrative questions, please contact

2. Admissions process

Assessment Methods, Interviews, and Written Work

All applications forms are considered independently by members of the selection team. All applicants will be contacted within two weeks of the application deadline to establish contact and inform the applicant of the process to be followed.

We will invite some applicants to attend an interview at the University within six weeks of the application deadline. 

We will ask some applicants to produce a short piece of written work on a specified topic in advance of the interview.  We will ensure that applicants receive information about this written work at least three weeks before it is due. This written work may well be discussed at the interview. Applicants to the Economics and Finance pathway may be asked to complete a diagnostic test in mathematics.

There are no formal entry requirements for this course*. Each application will be judged on its own merits and we are actively looking to recruit students from a wide range of ages and educational, ethnic and social backgrounds. We are looking for applicants who are highly motivated to study on the Foundation programme and who have the potential to succeed in university study beyond it.

Where a high number of applications are received, priority may be given to:

  1. Applicants without prior experience of higher education and/or who do not already hold a qualification at QCA level 3 (e.g. A-levels or an Access to HE Diploma).
  2. Applicants who have strong reasons for wishing to progress to a degree programme in the Faculty of Arts at Bristol.
  3. Applicants from groups that are currently underrepresented in higher education. This may include:
    1. Applicants from low-performing schools
    2. Mature applicants (over the age of 21)
    3. Applicants from areas where there is a low level of participation in higher education
    4. Applicants from socio-economic groups 4-7
    5. Applicants from minority ethnic groups
    6. Disabled applicants

*Please note, although there are no formal qualifications, if English is not your first language, you will need to achieve a pass in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at 6.5 or above with a pass at 6.0 for each part. Candidates interested in pursuing the Economics and Finance pathway will need to demonstrate ability in mathematics equivalent to a good GCSE during the admissions process.

Personal statement criteria

Applicants will be asked to provide a personal statement: this is your chance to tell us about your experiences of study in the past (whether positive or negative); your reasons for wanting to return to study now; why you wish to study on the Foundation programme in particular; what you would like to achieve by the end of the course; whether you would like to go on to study for a degree; your interest in any of the academic disciplines or areas related to your chosen pathway; your other hobbies and interests.

Personal statements are assessed qualitatively on the following criteria:

  • Interest in and commitment to the programme
  • Evidence of academic potential
  • Appropriateness of this programme to the interests and aspirations declared in the statement
  • Non-academic achievement/experience, extra-curricular activities, positions of responsibility
  • Written English, expression, construction, argument
  • Responses to opportunities and challenges the applicant has faced

Reference criteria

  • Applicant’s motivation
  • Applicant’s ability to work independently
  • Applicant’s powers of analysis and expression
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