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As exams loom and final years start to look ahead to graduation, Music student Ping Bai looks back on his time at Bristol and what he’s learned inside and outside the classroom.

My first impressions of the University were very strong – the open day was welcoming and I was immediately impressed with the sights of the city and the Victoria Rooms building, which holds the music department.

Music also ranked first in the year I was applying and it continues to stand in the top five in recent years. I like the broadness of the course, the strong calibre of the staff and its international reputation.

The university is an energetic, fun and exciting place to be. With music you are constantly involved with productions and concerts – there are endless opportunities to participate.

Underground culture

You can feel very involved and right at the cutting edge of society whilst never being too far away from the peace and quiet of the numerous parks and green spaces.

I enjoy the heritage of underground culture in Bristol. You will never be bored to find new and exciting things to do! My favourite place to explore is Stokes Croft with lots of independent bars and restaurants.

Expanding horizons

The opportunity to take open units outside of my immediate field of study meant I could draw on the vast pool of knowledge from across the University and this really expanded my academic horizons.

Our three-day ‘Music hack’ in partnership with Radio 6 Music and UWE was an opportunity to see how music can be linked to social enterprise – it was a real learning curve! In a team we developed an app featuring an interactive map of Bristol with GPS tags showing points of cultural and musical interest.

University has pushed my boundaries and has encouraged me to probe outside of my comfort zone both academically and in how I can apply what I’ve learned in the real world.

Future steps

The University has strong links with Teach First and I’ve been informed about their graduate opportunities since I started. I have now received an offer to participate in their leadership development graduate programme.

Music performances are conducted throughout the year – see

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