The earliest antecedent of the university was the engineering department of the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College (founded as a school as early as 1595) which became the engineering faculty of Bristol University. The university was also preceded by Bristol Medical School (1833) and University College, Bristol, founded in 1876, where only 99 students attended its first lecture.[ The university was able to apply for a royal charter due to the financial support of the Wills and Fry families, who made their fortunes in tobacco plantations and chocolate, respectively. The Wills Family made a vast fortune from the tobacco industry and gave generously to the city and university. The royal charter was gained in May 1909, with 288 undergraduates and 400 other students entering the university in October 1909. Henry Overton Wills III became its first chancellor. The University College was the first such institution in the country to admit women on the same basis as men. However, women were forbidden to take examinations in medicine until 1906.
- Faculty of Arts
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Biomedical Sciences
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Halls of residence