Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sarah Purdy

Special responsibilities:

  • Student wellbeing
  • Student inclusion
  • Student voice

The PVC Student Experience is responsible for the continuing development and leadership of student engagement, inclusion and wellbeing within the University. This includes working with colleagues across the University to provide a highly positive, inclusive, engaged and rounded experience for undergraduate and postgraduate students.


Sarah is Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience at the University of Bristol.  Sarah is also a Professor of Primary Care within Bristol Medical School. Her research focuses on reducing the number of avoidable hospital admissions and emergency care use. 

From 2015 to 2019 Sarah was Associate Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Head of School for Bristol Medical School. Sarah led on the creation of the Medical School bringing together the former Schools of Social and Community Medicine and Clinical Sciences and the medical education team and subsequently providing leadership for research and teaching within the new School. 

Sarah was appointed as a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Bristol in October 2006 after being awarded a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship and became a Reader in 2011 and Professor in 2014. Prior to coming to Bristol, she worked at the Hull York Medical School where she was involved in designing and delivering an innovative problem-based learning curriculum and in developing a research strategy for the new organisation and it's academic and NHS partners. Previously, Sarah worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne as a Lecturer, subsequently Clinical Senior Lecturer, in Primary Health Care. She was a visiting fellow at Harvard University from 1995 to 1997. Sarah has a MD from the University of London and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. She graduated in medicine from the Medical College of Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Edinburgh. Sarah is an alumnus of the executive education programme at INSEAD in Fontainebleau.

Sarah was Deputy Director of NIHR CLAHRC West from its foundation until July 2015 and Director 2018-19. Sarah also leads the Bristol Health Partners Avoidable Admissions Health Integration Team (HIT).  Sarah was a Non-executive director of an NHS board for seven years. She works clinically as a general practitioner at Sea Mills Surgery in Bristol.



You may contact Professor Sarah Purdy through Lillie Dineen, Executive Support Assistant, Vice-Chancellor's Office.


You can view Professor Sarah Purdy's expenses for the period 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020 in the Senior Management expenses summary: 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020 (PDF, 411kB).

Professor Purdy did not incur any expenses for the period 1 February 2020 to 31 July 2020.