Tributes have been paid to a university student who has died suddenly.

Maria Stancliffe-Cook, 20, from Weymouth, was described by her family as a "beautiful and intelligent girl and a hard-working student".

Maria was a chemistry undergraduate who was studying at the University of Bristol. She died in the city earlier this month.

A statement released on behalf of her family said: "Maria was a beautiful, intelligent girl who was much loved and will be deeply missed by her family and friends.

"She was a hard-working and diligent student. Words cannot express how saddened we are by her unexpected absence from our lives."

Her death, on August 1, was confirmed by a spokesman at the Russell Group university.

The statement said: "We have received the very sad news that Maria Stancliffe-Cook, an undergraduate student studying Chemistry at the University of Bristol, has died.

"There is nothing harder for our community than the death of one of our students.

"We have offered our support to Maria’s family and friends, and our thoughts and sympathies are with them all."

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "Police were called to a concern for welfare incident at an address in the Kingsdown area of Bristol on Thursday, August 1.

"Sadly a 20-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is not being treated as suspicious and has been referred to the coroner."

Bristol University has come under scrutiny in recent months for the spate of student deaths since September 2016 – Maria is the 13th student to die suddenly while studying there in the past three years.

In May this year, senior coroner Maria Voisin wrote to University of Bristol's Student Health Service and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, raising concern that future deaths may arise.

Earlier this month Bristol University introduced a new suicide prevention scheme.

The university alerted the parents of 36 students that there were serious concerns about their mental health.

Speaking about Maria's death, the university added: "We encourage any members of our community who are affected by this news to make sure they contact University wellbeing services for help, even if they are away from Bristol for the summer holidays.

"They should also seek support from their own friends or family."