Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

Find out about the Study Abroad (Subject pathway) programme and how to apply.

Programme details

This programme allows you to continue to specialise in your core academic subject while you're at Bristol.

You will take most of your units (classes) within one subject, with the option to take a small number of credits in other academic areas of interest or from our Centre for Academic Language and Development.

Application deadlines 2023/24

You must apply and send the Centre for Study Abroad Inbound team your supporting documents by:

  • 18 June 2023 - full year and autumn semester (September 2023 entry)
  • 29 October 2023 - spring semester (January 2024 entry)

Who can apply

You can check with your home university or the Centre for Study Abroad Inbound team about which Study Abroad programme you should apply for.

Students on the Study Abroad (Subject pathway) programme will be nominated by their home university to a department at Bristol which best matches their current degree programme. If you have already been nominated for a placement at Bristol by your home university, this information is included in your nomination email.

Direct-enrol students and independent applicants can apply for any of our Study Abroad programmes. The Study Abroad (Subject pathway) programme allows you to specialise in one subject, however it is not offered across all subjects at the University. Please contact the Centre for Study Abroad Inbound team for more information if you wish to apply to the Subject pathway as a direct-enrol student.

How to apply

1. Check you are eligible

To be eligible you must meet both:

2. Choose your units

You will select most of your units (a minimum 40 out of 60 credits) within your host department at Bristol. It may be possible to register for a small number of units from another department. You can also choose units from the Centre for Academic Language to develop your academic skills, such as presenting, writing essays, etc.

Read the guidance on choosing your units

Read through the guidance on how to choose your units before you start your application to Bristol. The guidance will take you through how our unit catalogue works and which levels are most suitable for you, depending on your academic background.

Check the subject Study Guides

Every subject at Bristol has a specific list of units that are open to inbound Study Abroad students. Not all units in every subject are open to Study Abroad students. Check the subject Study Guide for the subject you have been nominated to. 

Study Guides will start to be published from April onwards for the following academic year.

Check the unit catalogue

Check the unit catalogue for further information for about units that are open to you that you would like to study, including a unit description, assessment details and teaching weeks.

3. Complete a Learning Agreement

You need to complete a Learning Agreement after choosing your units. You will need to submit this along with your other supporting documents. Check with your home university if they have a Learning Agreement template that they would like you to use. If not, you can download and complete a Bristol learning agreement template 2023-24 (Office document, 48kB)

4. Apply

Applications for the 2024-25 academic year will open in 2024. The application form will then become available.

5. Send your supporting documents

As well as completing the online application form, you will need to provide:

  • a PDF copy of your online application form (created when you submit your application), signed by you. We can accept e-signatures
  • scanned copies of official transcripts from all universities you have attended, translated into English
  • evidence of English language proficiency if English is not your first language
  • a colour copy of the personal details page of your passport
  • A signed PDF copy of your Learning Agreement.

If you do not meet the academic requirement you must also submit:

  • a letter of recommendation from a member of the academic staff at your institution
  • a statement from you on why your average does not accurately reflect your academic ability and your motivations for study abroad.

Email your supporting documents to before the application deadline.

After you apply

Find out what you need to do after you apply.

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