University of Bristol
#64 Overall Influence

University of Bristol

Research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#9 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#32 World Rank
#39 World Rank
#42 World Rank
Religious Studies
#46 World Rank
#64 World Rank
Computer Science
#69 World Rank
#70 World Rank
#83 World Rank
#113 World Rank
#115 World Rank
#118 World Rank
#127 World Rank
#130 World Rank
#135 World Rank
#149 World Rank
#154 World Rank
#180 World Rank
Social Work
#198 World Rank
#212 World Rank
#215 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#260 World Rank
Political Science
#281 World Rank
#325 World Rank

Influential People

Who are University of Bristol's Most influential alumni?

University of Bristol's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Earth Sciences, Economics, and Physics. University of Bristol’s most academically influential people include Paul Dirac, David Bohm, and Angela Carter.

Paul Dirac
Paul Dirac

Theoretical physicist

view profile
David Bohm
David Bohm

American theoretical physicist

view profile
Angela Carter
Angela Carter

English novelist

view profile
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

British historian and professor

view profile
Simon Conway Morris

British palaeontologist

view profile
Bernard Lovell
Bernard Lovell

English physicist and radio astronomer

view profile
p’Bitek Okot
p’Bitek Okot

Ugandan poet

view profile
Keith Devlin
Keith Devlin

British mathematician

view profile
Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg

English actor

view profile
Sue Lawley
Sue Lawley

British broadcaster

view profile
Philip Ball

British science writer

view profile
David Walliams
David Walliams

English comedian, writer and actor

view profile

About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Bristol traces its roots to a Merchant Venturers’ school (later the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College) founded in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers, a Bristol-based charitable organization.

In 1876, a group of businessmen and religious leaders gathered to discuss the founding of a “College of Science and Literature for the West of England and South Wales.” This idea was brought to fruition in the form of University College, Bristol, that same year. A third institution, the Bristol Medical School, was founded in 1833.

In 1893, Bristol Medical School merged with University College, Bristol, while Merchant Venturers’ Technical School came on board in 1909—the year the University of Bristol acquired its royal charter and its current name.

Bristol is associated with 13 Nobel laureates, among whom we may name

  • Physicists, Nevill Mott, Paul Dirac, Cecil Frank Powell & Hans Bethe
  • Chemists, Dorothy Hodgkin, William Ramsay & Gerhard Herzberg
  • Biophysicist, Max Delbrück
  • Economist, Angus Deaton
  • Playwright, Harold Pinter
  • French novelist, J.M.G. Le Clézio

Other distinguished Bristol-connected people include the following:

  • Novelist, Angela Carter
  • Actors, Emily Watson, Carolyn Goodall & Tim Piggott-Smith
  • Film directors, Alex Cox & Michael Winterbottom
  • Philosopher, Michael Ruse
  • Astrophysicist, Philip Campbell
  • Physicists, David Bohm, Klaus Fuchs, M.G.K. Menon & Yakir Aharonov
  • Biochemist, Michael Denton
  • Aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos-Dumont
  • Historian, Linda Colley
  • Economist, Alfred Marshall
  • Journalist and author, Misha Glenny
  • TV journalist, Alastair Stewart