Widening participation

The University of Bristol is committed to the diversification of our postgraduate student body. We recognise the value of a varied cohort and want to encourage people from a range of backgrounds to apply for postgraduate study with us. The Access Postgrad scheme aims to increase high-quality applications to postgraduate programmes at the University of Bristol from prospective students less likely to pursue postgraduate study with us.

Access Postgrad scheme

As a prospective postgraduate student, you may have reservations about the time, skills and resources needed to access postgraduate study. The Access Postgrad scheme provides peer mentoring and skills development sessions to help current University of Bristol undergraduates decide whether postgraduate study is right for them.

Access Postgrad will begin in October 2019 with all participants due to complete by May 2020.

The minimum time commitment for the programme is 16 hours for final year undergraduate students and 20 hours for second year undergraduate students: 

  • 4 x one-hour peer mentoring sessions
  • 3 x half-day skills development sessions

The skills development sessions will cover the following topics:

  • How to apply and fund your postgraduate study.
  • Advice on writing a personal statement for your programme of interest and networking with academic and School staff.
  • Study skills at postgraduate level, highlighting the main differences between undergraduate and postgraduate study and what resources are available as a postgraduate student.
  • Careers support and advice demonstrating the value of a postgraduate degree, alongside help in planning your future career.

Those taking part in the scheme will also have access to optional extras such as teaching sampling, social activities and more.

Selection criteria

To be considered for the Access Postgrad scheme you must be:

  • a second or final-year undergraduate student at the University of Bristol
  • a home fee paying student
  • interested in studying at postgraduate taught level with us in the future

Applicants will be selected based on criteria the University has identified as central to widening participation on our postgraduate programmes. As part of the selection process, we will take the following into consideration:

  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • disability
  • parent/guardian education
  • receipt of maintenance grant at undergraduate level
  • dependents/caring responsibilities
  • participation in undergraduate access programmes
  • programme of interest at postgraduate taught level
  • statement in application form

How to apply

Applications will open on 23 September 2019 and close on 25 October 2019. For further information on the scheme, including how to apply, please email the Postgraduate Recruitment team: postgraduate-recruitment@bristol.ac.uk.

I found the compulsory workshops so useful. Each one put my mind more at rest about the transition to postgraduate study – the library session helped massively with navigating complex databases for research and the finance session helped plan how I would fund my postgraduate course. The mentoring scheme was also really useful! My mentor was really nice and easy to get along with, and as she was a current postgrad student at Bristol, knew how the application process worked and was able to help me look at the variety of courses (and individual units) on offer.

Lee (Access Postgrad Graduate 2018)
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