Local and commuting students

Local and commuting students are an integral part of the Bristol student community, and we want to support you to make the most of your time on campus.

What do we mean by 'local' and 'commuting' students?

  • A Local student is a student who grew up in/ already resides in Bristol or surrounding areas.
  • A Commuting student is a student that decides not to live in student accommodation/ in the city of Bristol, but commutes into the University from elsewhere. The length of commute will vary based on individual circumstances.

You may consider yourself to be either a Local or Commuter student.

You may consider yourself to be both a Local and a Commuter student.

Preferential offers for Local students

If you are a Local student and apply to study at the University of Bristol, you may be eligible to receive a contextual offer, guaranteed offer, or both.

Commuting has helped me see past the university bubble. When I am commuting, I blend in with those going to work and it gives me a realistic sense of what life can be like post-university.

Emmie (BA Hispanic Studies)

"Going to university in my hometown meant that I was already familiar with the city. I didn’t have to worry about finding my way around as a fresher and it was easier to stay connected to my friends." - Belnice, Medicine student and Bristol Scholars participant.

Useful advice for all new students‌‌

Before you start university, we recommend you find out what you need to do before you arrive at Bristol. This advice is useful for all new student communities, including Local and Commuting students. This will include information regarding registration, IT, accommodation, health and wellbeing, and more.

Living and travel options‌

Commuter students

For many students, living at home and commuting to University can be a great way to save money on accommodation and continue to be well supported by family or friends during your Higher Education journey. Commuting to university may also provide greater opportunity for you to support your family or friends with caring (or any other) responsibilties at home.

But commuting to university can also have it's challenges, which is why it's important to consider your priorities and plan ahead. For example, you may need to think about how and when you will be travelling to university, as well as how to fund your travel. We recommend you check out our travel advice page for more info about how to plan your travel, as well as our sustainable travel options for students.

If you're a postgraduate student with an interest in distance learning, you may wish to explore our online study options.

Managing travel disruptions

Sometimes your travel plans may be unavoidably disrupted when commuting into university - these things happen! It can be really frustraing when your transport doesn't quite go to plan, particularly if you're travelling a long way.

We would recommend downloading your university email account on to your phone so you can easily contact any staff or peers who may need to know when you're running late.

Local students‌

As a Local student you can decide whether to apply to live in University accommodation in your first year, live at home, or in private accommodation. We know that sometimes your circumstances or preferences may change, so where you choose to live may also change throughout your time at university. We offer lots of advice on how to find rented accommodation in Bristol, as well as guidance on other common housing issues such as concerns with your landlord or understanding your tenenacy agreement. 

If you're a Local student that commutes into university, the main Clifton campus is located in the city centre and is easily accessible by foot, bike, and public transport. We recommend students do not travel by car unless it is essential (for example if you have a disability) as parking is limited. For more information, see our sustainable travel options for students.

Study spaces on campus‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌

Students working at computers in a library.

If you're considering commuting to university, you may be particularly interested in learning more about the facilities and study spaces available at the university. The great news is, we have a fantastic range of spaces available for you to use whether you want a quiet study space, to grab a bite to eat, go to the gym, or relax in a more social environment. This means that you do not need to travel home in between lectures (saving you money on travel and making the most of your time with us!).

Check out our Bristol SU Living Room for a relaxed social space where you can meet new peers, and visit our webpages for more information on study spaces and sports facilities.

Student life‌

university of bristol rowing club and student in Queens Square in the winter sunshine.

Don't worry if you choose not to stay in university accommodation, there are so many other opportunties to meet people and make friends at a range of events throughout the year.

Our active Students' Union offers over 400 clubs and societies so that you can enjoy the best of student life at Bristol. You may decide to continue doing something that you already love, or you could try a completely new sport or hobby! Society meetings and social events are often timetabled in advance, so you can easily plan ahead if you are commuting. 

Clubs, societies, and other extra-curricular activities such as volunteering or mentoring can also have professional development benefits. Our Bristol PLUS Award rewards you for extracurricular activities you have completed at any point during your degree, and provides a structure to reflect on the skills you have developed. The PLUS Award is open to all students at the university, and can be completed during any year of your studies. 

Re-discover Bristol‌‌‌

A student standing in front of the Wills Memorial Building on a sunny day.

If you consider yourself a Local student, you probably already know that Bristol is a fantastic place to live and study! By joining the University of Bristol as a Local student, we want to invite you to re-discover Bristol from a whole new perspective. Don't forget that as a Local student, you will be joining a diverse student community from many different backgrounds from across the UK and beyond - giving you a great opportunity to explore the city and fall in love with Bristol all over again.

Bristol is proud to be an independent city, with a thriving arts scene, a gateway to green spaces and nature, and has a longstanding reputation for being a warm and friendly place

Contact us

Contact us at choosebristol-ug@bristol.ac.uk

Are you a mature student? Contact mature-students@bristol.ac.uk

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