Only a narrow 15-14 defeat for Biology graduate Hay to Calum Johnston in the semi-finals prevented an all-Bath epee final.
Edinburgh’s Johnston went on to edge out defending champion Edwards 13-12 to take gold, with Hay sharing the bronze medal with Aberdeen City’s Neill Tannock.
Sports & Exercise Science Masters student Edwards was disappointed to relinquish his title, saying: “If someone had offered me second place at the start of the day I would have been OK with that but I fenced really well and felt I deserved to win it overall.”
Hay, who is Interim Athlete Support Officer at the University of Bath, added: “I was very happy with how I fenced but it was a shame we couldn’t have made it an all-Bath final and brought back the gold.”
Santander Sports Scholar Edwards finished second in his poule, meaning he had a tougher encounter than expected in the last 32, but he won it 15-14 to ensure he would return for day two of the competition.
He then overcame number two seed Nick Perry 15-12 after a fantastic display before easing to comfortable wins in the last eight and semi-finals.
Hay, meanwhile, was seeded 33rd after losing three of his poule fights, meaning he had to contest the round of 64. He recovered from 13-11 down to win 15-14 and then produced his best performance of the day to beat number one seed Laurence Peplow in the last 32.
Two further wins on the second day put Hay into the semi-finals, where he was unfortunate to lose to the eventual champion.
Hay and Edwards have been invited to attend training camp with Pentathlon GB during the summer and help their athletes prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“We are very grateful to have the support of Pentathlon GB and the University of Bath,” added Edwards, who is also assisted by Team Bath’s Dual Career programme.
Two Santander Sports Scholars competed in the men’s sabre. Mathematics student Noah Rogerson was tenth, while Stuart Scott, who studies Chemical Engineering, was 19th.
Meanwhile, fellow epee fencer Philip Marsh – who also trains at the Sports Training Village with Bath Sword Club – missed out on a Rio 2016 place when he competed in the European Zone Olympic qualification event in Prague.
Only the winners of each discipline went through to Rio and Marsh, despite a brave performance, was beaten 15-10 in the last 16 by home favourite Jiri Beran, who went on to claim overall victory and the Olympic place.
Mathematics & Computing graduate Natalia Sheppard, who represented Team GB at London 2012, missed out a second Olympics after being edged out by Greece’s Aikaterina-Maria Kontochristopoulou in the women’s foil quarter-finals.
Pictured top are Tom Edwards (left) and Chris Hay (right) along with their fellow epee medallists at the British Fencing Championships