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Portsmouth University

UCAS Code: P80

Location: Portsmouth, south coast of England Show on Map

Site: Single city-centre campus; partner colleges

A modern university; a member of the University Alliance group of universities.

Student Population

Total Students:23,830
FE Students:1%


Total undergraduates:19,685
Full Time:88%
Mature on Entry:13%
UK Students:86%
State school entry:95%

Teaching Staff

1126 (full- and part-time).

Broad study areas

Business, law, economics, accounting, marketing, criminal justice, languages, politics, history, psychology, pharmacy, earth & environmental studies, physics, biological sciences, healthcare, dental hygiene & therapy, geography, sport & exercise sciences, engineering, computer science, cosmology, creative technologies, architecture, art & design, film & media, journalism, international studies, education.


Admission Information:AS-levels accepted in combination with 2+ A-levels or equivalent, depending on course. UCAS tariff used for most courses.
Points on Entry (Mean):266
Drop Out Rate:6%
Accommodation:About 70% of first years are housed.


Founded:1869 as Portsmouth & Gosport School of Science & Art; became Portsmouth Polytechnic 1969; university status 1992.
Site:Single campus in city centre.
How to get there:By train to Portsmouth & Southsea station; by coach to Portsmouth Harbour; by road via A3/M27 and onto M275.

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Specialist support and advice on finance, housing, academic skills, careers & recruitment; disability advisers; health centre; international student advisers; counselling; chaplaincy; student nursery.
Amenities:Purpose-built SU with learning space, bars, coffee shop, cafe, copyshop, bookshop, convenience store and IT service centre. Creative space to take pictures, make newspapers or broadcast on the radio; exhibition space and artists’ studios.
Sporting facilities:Wide range over 3 sites (St. Paul’s gymnasium, Spinnaker Sports Centre and Langstone Campus sports grounds): indoor sports centre, state-of-the-art fitness studios and gymnasium, floodlit synthetic turf pitch, multi-use game area. Sports scholarships for elite athletes.
Accommodation:Some 75% of first year students in halls. 2990 places (600 more planned), all with high-speed broadband, telephone and television service: 700+ catered/part-catered at £95− £122 per week, 2200+ self-catered at £78−£110 pw (£124 pw for studio rooms); all on 37-week contracts. Some rooms for students with disabilities. Private rental market is good: average rents £75 pw plus bills for self-catering; £75−£95 pw for lodgings room only or half board (usually including utilities). University runs special days in September to help new arrivals with private-sector house-hunting.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Central library; some 400,000 volumes, 19,500 periodicals, over 800 study places; short loan collection; access to electronic resources on and off-campus. Information provision, £105 pa spent for each student (FTE). Inductions for all new students and a welcome desk; staff available on each floor of the library. 2000 PCs and Macs for student use around campus (including library) with high-speed printing facilities; self-issue laptops; quick access terminals and state-of-the-art interactive touch tables; wireless network for students’ own laptops. Students have 5 Gb of online storage, which can be accessed from anywhere. Technical support to midnight in term time, telephone support 24/7 all year.
Other learning resources:Mock court room, health simulation suite, model pharmacy, forensic house, bloomberg suite for potential city traders, newsroom for journalism students, TV studio, sports science building, swimming flume and two Olympic- accredited climatic chambers.
Study abroad:10% of students spend a period abroad. Formal exchange links with over 100 European institutions, many open to non-language specialists.
Careers:University employability service, Purple Door Careers and Recruitment, helps students with early careers guidance and information to volunteering opportunities, work placements and finding their first graduate job. Employability skills and work related learning integrated into all courses. Employability-based elective units (including learning through experience).


Living expenses budget:A minimum budget of £6000−£7000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by university.
Term-time work:University allows part-time work in term time for full-time students (60% believed to work); recruitment service helps find jobs.
Financial help:Bursary of £3000 in first year (£1030 pa in subsequent years) for English students whose household income is up to £25k pa; of £1000 in first year (£1030 pa thereafter) where it is £25k−32k pa; or £500 (then £515 pa) where family income is £32k−42.6k pa. Additional bursaries for Foyer residents or those who have been in care (£1550 pa). Also sports scholarships. University's own funds £500,000 (especially for students narrowly missing bursary entitlement); government access to learning fund £366,988; variety of other funds eg for short-term loans.
University tuition fees:Home students pay £8750 pa for first degree courses. International students typically pay £9500 pa (many business courses), £10,500 (most other classroom-based courses), £11,000 (mixed classroom/lab-based courses), £11,900 (lab-based). Students may pay by instalment.


Academic features:

Some engineering courses include a foundation year. Final-year top-up degrees available in some areas

Awarding body:

University of Portsmouth

Main undergraduate awards:

FdA, FdSc, BA, BSc, BEng, LLB, MEng, MPharm

Length of courses:

Typically 3 years; 4 years sandwich; some 5 years.

Main subjects offered:

  • Accountancy
  • Acting
  • American Studies
  • Animal Science
  • Animation
  • Architectural Design
  • Architectural Technology
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Banking
  • Behavioural Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Broadcasting
  • Building Studies
  • Building Surveying
  • Building Technology
  • Business Administration
  • Business Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Cell Biology
  • Childhood Studies
  • Chinese
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce
  • Communication Engineering
  • Communication Studies
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Technology
  • Computing
  • Construction
  • Creative/Performance Writing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Dental Technology
  • Development Studies
  • Drama
  • E-business
  • Earth Sciences
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Engineering (General)
  • English
  • English as a Foreign Language
  • Environmental Biology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Estate Management
  • European Business Studies
  • European Studies
  • Fashion
  • Film Studies
  • Finance
  • Forensic Science
  • French
  • Genetics
  • Geochemistry
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geoscience
  • German
  • Graphic Design
  • Health
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • Hospitality Management
  • Human Biology
  • Human Resource Management
  • Humanities
  • Illustration
  • Informatics
  • Information Science
  • Information Studies
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Interactive Games Production
  • Interactive Multimedia
  • Interior Design
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • Internet Technology
  • Italian
  • Journalism
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law
  • Leisure Studies
  • Logistics
  • Management
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Engineering
  • Maritime Studies
  • Marketing
  • Materials Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Media Studies
  • Media Technology
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Multimedia
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Nursing
  • Performance Arts
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Politics
  • Product Design
  • Production Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Radiography
  • Risk Management
  • Social Policy
  • Social Science
  • Social Studies
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Software Engineering
  • Spanish
  • Speech Sciences
  • Sports Sciences
  • Sports Studies
  • Statistics
  • Structural Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Systems Analysis
  • Telecommunications Engineering
  • Textiles
  • Tourism
  • Town/Country Planning
  • TV Studies
  • Urban Estate Management
  • Video
  • Youth & Community Work

Student view

Godfrey Atuahene Jnr, Union President


What’s it like as a place to live?

Portsmouth is a vibrant and lively city with plenty to do. There is a nice mix of local residents, students and the Royal Navy which provides a diverse community to live in. The nightlife is amazing with a range of clubs and pubs offering great offers on food and drink. Gunwarf Quays is the main attraction in the city, with a bowling alley, cinema, restaurants and the world famous Spinaker Tower which offers fantastic views over the harbour and the Solent.

How’s the student accommodation?

University accommodation ranges from basic to very plush. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can get a room with an ensuite, shared kitchen and living area, or if you opt for the cheaper option you can get your basic room with shared bathroom and kitchen. Private accommodation varies drastically, which is why it is always important to look around. The usual rent for private accommodation is £250 (per person per month, excluding bills) for a 3–4 bedroom house, although there are some houses for 5+. Most private rented accommodation is within 20–30 mins walk of the university.

What’s the student population like?

The student population is very friendly with lots of interaction through the union in sports and societies. The population is also very diverse with students from over 100 countries coming to the University.

How do students and locals get on?

Students, locals and the Navy tend to keep themselves to themselves, but through the work of the students union more community links are being made which benefits everyone on the island.


What’s it like as a place to study?

Portsmouth is a fantastic place to study, the courses are very well taught and the resources available are second to none. A new library was opened in 2008 and a new teaching building in 2009. The Langstone campus offers many sports facilities and there is a university gym and 2 sports halls.

What are the teaching staff like?

As with most institutions, the teaching staff varies across the subjects. In the most part, academic staff are friendly and very well qualified, and you even see the odd lecturer out in the union on a Wednesday night.


What are student societies like?

The students' union offers over 100 sports clubs and societies catering for all interests. Visit www.upsu.net/au and www.upsu.net/societies to see a list of them all, but to give you a taste there are football, rugby, golf, sailing, hockey, boxing, juggling, go karting, rock, geography and fantasy role play! The union even offers volunteering opportunities and regularly raises money for its charities.

What’s a typical night out?

Wednesday night is the best night out, starting with a few drinks in your local pub followed by a cheesy dressing-up theme at the students' snion, drinking the drink of Portsmouth – snakebite!

And how much does it cost?

On a Wednesday night you can expect to spend between £20 and £30 depending on your choice of drink.

How can you get home safely?

The university bus runs until midnight, but the quickest and cheapest way home is the local taxi firm; a typical journey home will cost you £4.


Is it an expensive place to live?

In most cases the student loan will pay for you to live a basic lifestyle at university. However, most people work part time so they have a little bit of extra cash. The student union job shop advertises many local vacancies. Portsmouth is not an expensive place to live so long as you look around for the best deals!

Average price of a pint?

£1.80 in most pubs;some clubs offer special offers on certain nights.

And the price of a takeaway?

9-inch pizza, garlic bread and can of coke for £7.

What’s the part-time work situation?

The student union job shop helps students find part-time work, most jobs are above minimum wage. There are always jobs available especially in the local call centre.


What’s the best feature about the place?

The seaside and beach, nothing better than having a BBQ by the beach after the summer exams.

And the worst?

Living near the sea, when winter comes you really know about it!

And to sum it all up?

The best city in the UK; it may be an island but Portsmouth offers the best overall university experience.

More info?

Try visiting www.upsu.net.



University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue


023 9284 8484





Student enquiries:

Assistant Registrar (Admissions)



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