How studying at Bower Ashton Campus inspires my creativity.

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By Imogen, BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles

Bower Ashton is part of UWE Bristol’s City Campus and is only a 20-minute bus journey to the city centre. Right next to the campus is Ashton Court which is an 850-acre country estate and a great place to escape to when uni gets a bit stressful.

For any football fans, Ashton Gate stadium is an easy walk from the campus. Alongside hosting football games, they also have live music and recently a drive-through cinema. One of Bristol’s iconic landmarks is Clifton suspension bridge which is only a half an hour walk away which is a great place to admire the beautiful surrounding area.

What do I like most about the campus?

The Open Spaces

Before I moved to Bristol I lived in Devon and was constantly surrounded by greenery and large open spaces. I was worried that this is something that I would miss when living in the city. However, the Ashton Court Estate and the deer park next to the campus is an amazing place to escape to. During our lunch breaks me and my friends would take a walk through the surrounding grounds and take a picnic which is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The short walk up to Ashton Court carpark has amazing views of the city. From here you can also take a route through the woods close by and this will take you up to Clifton Suspension bridge.

Nearby Aston court estate.

One of the main features that attracted me to UWE Bristol is the location of the campus I would be studying on. As I study fashion textiles and take a lot of inspiration from nature and different textures and themes, Bower Ashton is an amazing location that is both close to the city centre but also surrounded by so much nature.

From the fourth floor (Fashion Textiles floor) you can get some amazing views from our studio spaces and I have found this can really help inspire my work.

Imogen

The location

Due to being so close to the city centre it is a great for those who have part time jobs in the city and finding placements or internships close by. Part of the course is usually based in the Arnolfini or the Watershed (right by Bristol harbour) for lectures as part of the Visual Culture module that most creative courses have. Its easily accessible from campus meaning you can go to the lectures and then go back to use the library or equipment. I enjoyed going to these venues as they are right in the city centre, meaning afterwards it’s a short walk to get to Bristol Shopping quarter or to go out for a meal in one of Bristol’s many restaurants and cafes!

From Bower Ashton Campus there are regular buses that take you all the way through the city centre to Frenchay Campus which is great for joining societies or going to SU events at the main campus.

When looking for a flat for second year we found that Bedminster, Southville and Hotwells are great places for Bower Ashton students to live, close by to both the campus and the city centre. Alongside this Bedminster is a great place to visit to see some amazing street art and enjoy some local independent businesses.

The Buildings and Facilities

On my UWE Bristol open day, I was really impressed by the facilities available compared to other Uni’s I had looked at. Since then part of the main building has also been refurbished and a new block has been built.

The facilities are vital for the course and every student has access to everything across the campuses.

Imogen

Inside the campus has its own art shop which has also recently been refurbished which is great for buying course supplies. The uni also provides a £70 fund for eligible students and this can be used in the art shop as well as paying for use of equipment (embroidery machines, screen printing, laser cutting.) This money has been extremely helpful when studying and any that you don’t use gets rolled over to the next year!

The new Physical Making building at Bower Ashton campus.

The Library

The library is definitely one of my favourite places to get work done in because of the lovely views of the surrounding grounds and of all the resources available. Students are able to hire out MacBook’s using their student cards and the laptops have access to software’s such as: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, etc. This is great for students who may not have access to this software on their own laptops or don’t have one. The library is a great place to research because of the large variety of books, magazines, DVDs, journals, etc available and most can be borrowed out for a whole year.

I found that their archive of fashion and textile magazine has been a great help for my course.

Imogen

Having access to the printers is another great thing about the library as you have £20 printing credit at the beginning of each year which has really helped complete my sketchbook work.

Find out more about our campuses.

How studying at the Arnolfini has opened doors for my creative career.

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By Chloe, UWE Bristol graduate.

The benefits of studying at the Arnolfini

For the last three years, I have studied BA Fashion Communication at UWE Bristol. My primary campus was at the Arnolfini (Part of UWE Bristol’s City Campus), and one of Europe’s leading centers for contemporary arts; hosting guest speakers, art exhibitions, music and film events.

Prior to moving to Bristol, I lived in a small village in the countryside, but studying at the Arnolfini allowed me to become immersed in city life. As a graduate from UWE Bristol, I really enjoyed studying at the Arnolfini due to the central location, the opportunity to collaborate, and the support provided by staff.

The city centre location

The Arnolfini is situated on the picturesque Bristol Harbourside, surrounded by thriving bars and restaurants, it is one of my favourite spots to go to in the city. The campus is accessible by bike, bus or train and within walking distance of the major shopping centre, Cabot Circus.

A real benefit of studying at Arnolfini is being located within walking distance to both arts, historical and cultural landmarks including the city Cathedral, Bristol Hippodrome, MShed Museum and Watershed Cinema. With so much going on around you, it enriches your experience and studies with the range of activities and events.

A beautiful Bristol Harbourside sunset.

Support and collaboration

Inside the UWE Bristol campus, students have access to a number of computer suites where IT Staff provide technical support, offer workshops and help to bring your ideas to life. Across the creative campuses, collaboration is encouraged especially when sharing the facilities with Fashion Communication, Graphic Design, Illustration and Fine Art.

I enjoyed being able to work with fellow creatives on internal projects, which has now given me the confidence to approach external individuals and network.

Chloe

As a graduate

Studying at the City Campus in Arnolfini, I became familiar with the city, surrounding businesses and prospect work opportunities. Since graduating in June 2020, I have worked as an in-house graphic designer and now secured an internship in a Bristol-based creative agency. My confidence to network and collaborate is down to studying at UWE Bristol, in the heart of the city.

Find out more about City Campus.

How being in the right learning environment is helping me to thrive.

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by Chloe, BA (Hons) Creative and Professional Writing

Delights on campus

Moving to a new city and starting a new chapter at university is by far one of the most exciting things I have ever done. There is so much exploring to do in Bristol, from the Clifton Suspension Bridge to Millennium Square, not to mention all of the amazing independent businesses and quirky stalls in the popular markets. However, it never occurred to me that there were so many hidden gems on the UWE Bristol campus itself!

As well as having quick and convenient bus links to and from the city centre, amazing resource centres and helpful career hubs, Frenchay Campus boasts some beautiful spaces to work and chill with your friends. Due to the fact there is so much choice, there is always somewhere you can go.

Whether you prefer somewhere that you can have a bite to eat or somewhere quieter, there is no doubt that you can find it on campus.

Chloe

Frenchay Campus library

One of my favourite places to study is the library, which has a range of zones over five floors! Each level has a different purpose which means you can study in a variety of environments, allowing you to find a space perfect for you.

From Help Zones (Level 2), Quiet Study (Level 3) to the main Study Zone (Level 4), to silent Study (Level 5) you can find the perfect spot to work on assignments and research.

You can also book study spaces and individual study rooms which are so useful if you have a group project and want your own room, or even if you have a conference.

The Library Lounge on Level 4 gives you the chance to buy drinks and have a quick break in between sessions, which is a huge bonus to keep yourself refreshed and stay focussed.

For me the library has been somewhere that I have used most frequently since joining UWE Bristol because you can stay focussed in any zone that makes you feel comfortable – plus the staff in the help pods are so helpful and approachable.

Chloe

I think that having such a good environment to use and enjoy, with so much choice, has enhanced the way I look at studying and means that me and my friends can use each zone depending on how we feel when we come in.

Business school booths and the Atrium cafe

Talking of places that you can get a bite to eat, another one of my favourite places on the UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus is the beautiful Business School.

This is one of the newest builds on campus and one of the most gorgeous buildings inside and out! It has such a modern feel and the Atrium Café on the ground floor is a great place to just hang out even if you haven’t come for a lecture or self-study. The food on offer is really tasty, quick and healthy – no wonder it’s such a popular spot!

As well as this, X block as it’s more commonly known, flaunts teaching and office spaces and booths over seven floors, so there is more than enough space to find a spot.

The Students’ Union

Now the real community hub of UWE Bristol is the Students Union! This is where students hang out, go to events and a hot spot for food and drink. There is always something being run either at the SU building or online, meaning there is never a dull moment. UWE Bristol wouldn’t be complete without the SU – it’s all part of the experience!

The SU team run so many competitions where you can win some ace prizes and connect with new people. It is a great place to mingle and I met some students there that are now still close friends.

It’s good to have somewhere that isn’t study related where you can chill out and just have a break.

Chloe

The variety on Frenchay Campus at UWE Bristol is something that has made my experience at UWE Bristol both productive and fun. The choice is unbelievable and there is always somewhere to go that has exactly the vibe you want. Being comfortable and confident is so easy when there are so many options to hang out and I think that’s what is so unique about UWE Bristol – we aren’t just a university, we are a community.

Find out more about campus life.

My experience of Bristol Pride

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by Dev, MSc(Hons) Marketing Communications

Bristol Pride 2019 was a glorious event. Thousands of us celebrating our queerness in the heart of Bristol was a sight to behold! Although the size of the event stopped me from finding the UWE Bristol float, they were there once again as one of the sponsors. Here’s my experience of Bristol Pride 2019, plus everything you need to know about Bristol Pride 2020.

Continue reading “My experience of Bristol Pride”

Advice I would give to my first-year self

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by Rapha, BSc(Hons) Urban Planning

There’s so much I would do differently if I could go back in time!

Not because of regret but because I know better now and the main advice I would give myself would be to live more and to bring fewer things from home.

By live more, I mean spend less time in my room, meet more people and spend more time outside exploring Bristol. I spent a lot of my first year trying to become a different person and constantly focusing in my insecurities. And to be honest this just made me think other people were focusing on my insecurities too. Like being self-conscious that everyone was going to talk about that one pimple I had on my forehead, which no one ever did? Unfortunately this meant I spent more time in my room and it stopped me getting to know Bristol as much as I wanted!

So if I could, I would tell my younger self to go out more, explore Bristol as much as possible with friends or even alone doesn’t really matter, but just go see the world outside!

Get out and explore Bristol! I love the harbourside and Clifton but even just an autumnal walk, on your own through the city centre is great!

It’s been nearly three years since I have been living in Bristol and I am yet to visit Bristol zoo, Stoke Park as well as other many amazing places in Bristol that are so close by. So go explore! Especially when you’re a fresher, as this is the time when you should learn and see the most. Like attending events or trying new restaurants or cafes.

Côte Brasserie (left) and The Athena (right)- two of my favourite restaurants in Bristol!

My second big bit of advice advice is when you move from home, be selective about what you bring. And I say this with experience! When I first moved in, I read many blog posts which advised to solely bring essential items. Items you will need for your daily basis, a limited but a calculated amount of clothes and some sentimental objects and so on.

Despite that, I made my self excuses like, what if I can’t go back home during a certain time? Or what if I want to make my room more homely? This led me to bring all of my six, year 10 scrapbooks and all of my snow globes (there were a lot of them). Spoiler alert I never touched them and by the second time I moved I had no clue where they even were!

My room one week after moving – you can see why I lost things!

At first, I was proud I managed to fit everything in the space given and my room looked nicely tidy and decorated. However, it only lasted a week until it was complete chaos because there were too many things and it was all being stuffed everywhere. At times, I felt like I was in a tug war with my drawers! That was not ideal, especially when you are running late, let me tell you that.

Therefore, I highly recommend being really honest with yourself when packing and be aware that you will most likely buy things and it will build up. So if you bring everything like me and end up moving places, you will be annoyed at yourself when packing and carrying endless piles of boxes around.

I can proudly and happily say that I have learned from those experiences. Since then I have donated, sold and taken many of my items home. Plus, I now attempt on visit somewhere new in Bristol or nearby at least once every two weeks to ensure that I keep exploring and live life to the fullest!

To find out more on how to prepare for university visit the preparing and arrival page.

The heart of Bristol: living in the city centre

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by Razaan, BSc(Hons) Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hi, I’m Razaan, and I am currently a third year student at UWE Bristol. I’ve been living in the city centre ever since I started studying here, and it has its pros and cons. In this post, I’ll walk you through what it’s actually like living in the centre as a UWE Bristol student.

Continue reading “The heart of Bristol: living in the city centre”

Why choose Bristol?

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by Mercedes, BA(Hons) Drama and Creative Writing

To choose to live in Bristol as a student is to choose to enter into a completely different way of exploring, moving, creating and living. There isn’t a corner of the City that isn’t signed with some form of creativity and individuality, and they’ve left no room to question the authenticity of the people and appreciation of the history.

Bristol has mastered a way of being all-inclusive

Mercedes

Bristol has mastered a way of being all-inclusive — from the party-goers to the theatre-goers, to those who prefer artisan coffee shops and a good page-turner, to those who are desperate to keep the kids entertained for half-term, to the history fanatics, to those who love a good shaded spot on the grass with good company, to those who love a bit of ‘me time’ — there is something here for everybody.

To all of the foodies out there, you won’t be left disappointed. I’m yet to find a cuisine that doesn’t have its own place. They’re dotted all over the City too: Harbourside, Stokes Croft, Gloucester Road, Clifton, Cabot Circus, Cribbs Causeway — thank me later, and “Bon appetit!”

Creatives, whether on your own or with a group, a whole weekend can be planned to get the creative juices flowing. You can go to places such as the Arnolfini or Spike Island, or get lost in the fresh air up at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, or even in the array of quirky cafes to plan your next project.

Bristol has an amazing understanding of community

Mercedes

Bristol has an amazing understanding of community, and it’s almost as if everyone and everything is working in tandem to keep the buzz of the City alive. Every campus has a different atmosphere, but all comfortable in their own right, and you can feel the drive of each student independently yet collectively working together to create two of the best Universities in the UK.

No matter where you’re coming from, Bristol is definitely a home away from home — and the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.

Find out more about living and studying in Bristol

Christmas time at UWE Bristol

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by Meg, BA(Hons) Business Management with Marketing

With Christmas right around the corner, we asked Meg to create a vlog about things you can get involved in on campus and in Bristol to get into the festive mood.

Some of the events that were held by UWE Bristol were:

  • Christmas SUesdy – a Christmas Party held at the Students’ Union.
  • UWE Bristol Christmas Concert – an evening of music, held annually at the Bristol Cathedral, presented by students and members of UWE’s Centre for Music.
  • Winter Warmers – a free end of term celebration where you can build a gingerbread house, watch a festive film, grab some non-alcohol mulled-wine, mince pies and other festive treats.

If you’ve missed out – no need to worry, there are still Christmas events yet to happen at UWE Bristol:

  • Visit the Bristol Christmas market – 21 December – a trip to the city centre as a group to go and explore the Christmas market where you can explore up to 50 unique store and treat yourself to some food and drink.
  • Carols around the tree – 21 December – outside the Business Building and the SU there will be carolling which you are more than welcome to join.
  • Christmas Lunch – 25 December – Get in the festive spirit by joining other students who are staying on campus or in Bristol over the winter break for a delicious Christmas Day lunch followed by festive movies and board games.

For a full list of ongoing events visit here.

Why my course was the best thing for me

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by Mercedes, BA(Hons) Drama and Creative Writing

So, University? Well, I can do nothing but congratulate you on your decision, as you’ve decided to take this route and start a new journey filled with adventure, exploration and memories. However long your course is, it flies by so quickly that you sometimes forget to make good use of what’s being offered to you. But UWE Bristol has some of the best facilities I’ve seen, has impressive networking connections that can get you some more experience under your belt, and some of the most supportive and down-to-earth staff I’ve met — it’s very hard to miss out!

There’s a moment in every students life, where you absolutely regret every decision you’ve made to lead you up to this point. Maybe you aren’t adjusting to the pace and weight of everything just yet, or maybe you haven’t made as many friends as you’d anticipated, or you’re just plain old homesick. It happens. Are you even a student if at some point you don’t question everything though? University is an amazing time, but a challenging transition in your life. During my gap year, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to accept the offer they’d given me anymore due to fear of not giving it my all; Nevertheless, finding the courage to make that jump has changed my life for the better, and I know for a fact that UWE Bristol was the best for me.

The Campus was so full of energy and people just being themselves. What more could I ask for?

I remember coming to the Open Day on my own, really nervous and really vulnerable and it wasn’t like I had to speak to over 200 students to convince them that this course was the best one — my only job that day was to show up! I remember sitting in a room full of strangers who seemed to already know each other and waiting for the presentation to begin. I remember sitting there and thinking “You know what? Maybe this isn’t for me.” But, then I remember the course leader standing centre stage (Being a drama course, they do set the atmosphere for you. You’ll see what I mean), introducing himself and I kid you not, I knew there and then that this was where I was supposed to be. The course structure was genuinely what I needed (No written paper exams and a choice to perform my dissertation? Um, hello?!), all of the module leading staff were so welcoming and their presentations sounded so interesting, and the Campus was so full of energy and people just being themselves. What more could I ask for?

Drama and Acting is such a jam-packed course, and there are very little gaps for anyone to say that there isn’t anything for them! They make their modules so interesting that you don’t even realise that you’re learning half the time, and in such a subtle way they allow you to evaluate not just how the task worked practically, but personally how you connected to it. They’ve found a very intrinsic way of connecting the personal to the practical so you know what works best for you, which helps you in the future with catering study to your needs. Secondly, their connections with theatres all over Bristol give you some awesome venue choices to make and perform your work. It’s like this big, odd but fun family in the City Campus where everyone’s doing their own thing and it’s somehow working together to create this magnetic energy.

UWE Bristol makes you more confident, more determined and more open.

After many conversations with my bedroom wall and ceiling in the late nights, I remembered that my future was just that — mine. There’s something quite freeing with being a student, it’s as if you have this backstage pass to so many opportunities that can cater to your course, and things that have nothing to do with it. You meet so many people from completely different walks of life, and University is the perfect place to allow your mind to open; your way of living isn’t the only way! Honestly, second year in, it can still be quite daunting being around so many new people, in a completely different city, but believe me — it gets so much easier and so much better. Your independence increases each year and with that freedom comes more adventures to take in order to pursue your career. UWE Bristol has this great way of allowing the student to dictate their career choices and the level of excellence they want to get. This place makes you more confident, more determined and more open. If you need stretching without dictating force then this is the perfect place for you.

Explore. Save your money (please). Make friends. Live a little. Laugh. Cry, seriously. Join the societies. Study, most importantly and enjoy yourself. Your future is yours, it’s up to you to get it!

Find out more about our Creative Arts courses

Experience UWE Bristol through the eyes of our students

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Welcome to our student views blog

Choosing where you want to spend the next three years of your life – or longer – isn’t easy. So you need an opinion you can trust. You’ll want to hear from the students who actually study here.

Our eager team of students have joined together to tell you about their experiences of living and studying at UWE Bristol.

Through a series of podcast, blogs and short films they’ll tell you about the whole university experience in their own words. From the clubs and societies they’ve joined, to living in Bristol and the accommodation and facilities on offer here. Find out how they felt about coming to university at the start, the challenges they may have faced and the advice they have to offer.

Keep an eye out for regular posts and articles designed to help you experience UWE Bristol through the eyes of our students and give you an insight into what it’s really like to study here.