Firstly be prepeared to pay a lot of money for just about everything, prices aren't quite london, but it's close and there's no extra loan. The halls here are fine, no better or worse than anywhere else, but I'd suggest living the Clifton halls (Clifton Hill House, Goldney, and I can't remember the other), as they're much closer to uni than the stoke bishop halls which are about 3/4 hour walk away. The Student union isn't the best, but the bar is cheap, again it's in Clifton. There are loads of clubs in the union, everything for everybody. The sports clubs are particually good, with healthly competion from UWE.
The night life in Bristol is superb. There's far too many clubs to name. No matter what you type of night out your after you'll find it in Bistol. From heavy metal to hard core dance to shady little pubs with regulars. All close together around the city center.
As a biochemist my work load isn't too much, the only people who work their socks off are medics (but that's the same anywhere), and engineers.
Bristol is quite a rich university with lots of rich students driving around in new cars from mummy and daddy, this isn't all that bad, just get them to buy you drinks!