Pre-registration information

Information here applies to all applicants for our PhD programmes (PhD Politics, PhD Sociology, PhD East Asian Studies and PhD Security, Conflict and Justice and PhD Global Political Economy), who have been made an offer of a place within the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. 

If you have been accepted as a SWDTP funded 1+3 student you will be completing the MSc in Social Science Research Methods before moving onto the PhD programme. Visit the taught postgraduate pages for information on Welcome Week and registration.

If you have any specific questions about the process please email  


The latest information and advice can be found on our Student experience and study in 2021/22 webpages. 

Please see our plans for teaching in 2021/22 webpages for information about how the University intends to operate as well as links to information about the support that will be provided to international students travelling to Bristol this September. 


The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law will email all students who have accepted their offer (via the online application system) with a registration pack containing information about registration and other important matters that you will need to deal with before you arrive.  You can also find registration information on the University's new students pages.

A timetable of local events will be published here in August as venues and dates are confirmed. 

  • All new students must first register online via this website Online registration dates are yet to be confirmed.
  • If your nationality indicates you are subject to immigration control, a Document Checklist will have been created when you completed online registration which confirms you need to complete Right-to-Study check.
  • PhD student registration will take place online (dates to be confirmed). New students must complete a Start your Studies form when they are due to commence their programme. Details of the School and Faculty's induction programme will be circulated in early September.
  • University Welcome Week will take place alongside the registration period. To complement the  School and Faculty Welcome Week activities, a range of induction activities will also be arranged by the University of Bristol Students Union, the Bristol Doctoral College and the University of Bristol Global Lounge.  
  • International students should look at the Global Lounge Welcome programme. It includes fun student life webinars – current students sharing tips about different aspects of student life, daily Ask me anything sessions, Social activities, Virtual and Campus tours.
  • A collaborative welcome programme of community-building events for all students is now available through the Welcome App (including events from Bristol Student Union, Global Lounge, Sport, Multifaith Chaplaincy, Volunteering, Bristol Hub, Inclusion Team, Careers, ResiLife, Library, Wellbeing)
  • All taught units will start after the Welcome Week (dates TBC). 

Seminar Timetable

Timetables for the first teaching block seminars are normally available a couple of days after registration.  You can check online via MyBristol after you have registered. 

All new students will be automatically enrolled on the 3 mandatory core research training units.

  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Philosophy and Research Design in the Social Sciences    

These units can provide you with the necessary skills to support you during your research, as well as transferable skills which may help with employment after you have finished your Doctorate.

If you have covered the material taught in these units previously you can apply for an exemption.

Before you arrive

  • Please make contact with your supervisors before arrival; their email details are on your offer letter.
  • For international students that need a CAS and Student Visa - you should check with Student Visa Services for guidance on the process. 
  • Contact if you have any questions on your tuition fees or scholarship in advance of your arrival.
  • The Accommodation Office has information on accommodation application deadlines and criteria.
  • Read the information for international students to find out important information about Bristol, travel advice, health information and important documents to bring. 
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