University of Portsmouth
Welcome to University of Portsmouth
Set in the heart of the historic naval city of Portsmouth on the south coast of England, Portsmouth University offers you the best of three worlds – great university facilities, city life on your doorstep and fabulous beaches just a stone’s throw away.
The university has produced some famous alumni, including British astronaut Tim Peake, TV personality Ben Fogle and former Secretary of State for Wales Ron Davies, and was also the birthplace of renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The university originally began life as a school of science and arts 1869, training engineers and skilled workers who then found jobs in the city’s docks. As shipping declined after the Second World War the school diversified, eventually becoming a university and now offers courses in hundreds of subjects.
It was ranked as a top ten “modern university” by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016 and its sports science courses were ranked second in the UK by the Guardian University Guide. Courses in health professions and chemical engineering also appeared in the top ten.
As well as offering a wide range of courses for study, Portsmouth is a city steeped in history and a great place to spend three or more years as a student. The compact nature of the city centre means you are never too far from the uni campus, bars, coffee shops or nightclubs and there is of course the beach. It’s quite flat so cycling is a great way to get around and in your spare time you can always pop to see Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, and visit the naval dockyards.
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Courses and fees
Different courses will require different entry requirements. The university uses the UCAS system and each course will use the UCAS tariff to express the number of points and subjects needed for each course. Typically, offers will be made between 260 and 300 points but for the most popular courses you can expect to get offers at the higher end of the range.
Portsmouth however, likes to take a well-rounded approach to its applicants and if they can’t offer you a place on your preferred course they will try and offer you an alternative. On top of that Portsmouth doesn’t just consider your grades but looks at your extra-curricular activities too – work placements, voluntary roles, Duke of Edinburgh awards and Young Enterprise awards to name just a few.
Portsmouth University has a comprehensive list of university departments covering a huge range of subjects. The Faculty of Science is one of the largest, covering a diverse range of subjects. The department is also a respected research centre and has been involved in studies that provided to a breakthrough in the treatment of brain tumours to reports into how much fraud costs the UK each year.
As one of the top 2% of universities worldwide, you might well choose Portsmouth when you come to study in the UK. Academic reputations aside, you can expect a friendly welcome from staff and students alike. The university’s international student ambassadors are on hand to answer any questions you might have and the international office can give you all the information you need about visas, accommodation, airport picks ups and money etc.
Like all universities, Portsmouth has to charge tuition fees and they are on average £9,000 a year for most courses. However, you do need to check the exact costs of the course you are applying for because there may be additional fees. International students will also need to check the individual costs of their course.
You may be able to get help with your fees and in some cases you might be eligible for a discount. For example, if you pay the full amount early you will qualify for a 2% discount.
Bursaries and Scholarships
There are two bursaries you can apply for at Portsmouth if you’re an international student which will give you a reduction in your first year fees provided you meet the right criteria. There are also a range of scholarships open to international students as well.
Library and study facilities
Portsmouth has invested more than £100 million in its facilities over the last decade and has an extensive library with over 400,000 books, microfilms and study aids. Not only does it offer free Wi-Fi and lap top loans, it is open 24 hours a day during exam time.
Once you’ve got your Student Card you’re free to come and go as you please through the library’s turnstiles. It also allows you to borrow books and access a number of other services like booking group study rooms.
As a student you can borrow up to 21 books for a four-week period. Just don’t forget to return them or you will have to pay library fines.
Not only do you get free Wi-Fi but you get access to computer suites across the campus. IT support is on hand seven days a week, 365 days a year to sort out any problems you might have and there is a drop-in student IT support centre where you have free access with any IT problems you might be having.
There are four open access computing areas around the campus with more than 600 PCs and Macs available for student use, working both independently and collaboratively. Shared teaching spaces can also be used when not being used for lectures.
In addition, there is a laptop loan service where you can borrow laptops, with Microsoft and internet connectivity installed, for up to 12 hours.
Portsmouth’s Purple Door service offers you lots of advice whether you are a graduate, looking for part-time work to supplement your studies, searching for work placements or volunteer positions or looking to set up your own business.
You can drop in for advice, get online guidance or make a careers advice appointment. Purple door also hosts regular events and workshops to make sure your CV is in good shape and to help you with your job hunt.
The service also has an online jobs board to help you search for part-time work whilst you study and can offer you plenty of advice on writing your CV, filling out an application and preparing for interview. The Purple Door team also works with more than 140 local and national charities to find voluntary placements for students and if your course requires you to do a year’s placement they can help you with that too.
Based in the heart of the city centre the Students’ Union offers you loads of advice and activities. From Rag Week when you start where you can find out about all the different societies, meet fellow first years and socialise to your heart’s content, to the Grad Ball where you can celebrate the end of your degree, there is plenty to do.
The Union has an impressive line up of bands, musicians, shows and comedians appearing regularly and also boasts a bar for meeting up with fellow students for a quick pint.
But the Union also has a wider remit than just attracting the best bands and providing excellent entertainment! It represents the student voice and as such everything is run democratically. If you want to get involved in the running of it during your time at Portsmouth you can. The staff can also offer you advice on everything from academic issues to health and wellbeing and social issues.
If you enjoy journalism, then there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the different student media within the Union. Lovers of the written word might want to work for Pugwash Magazine (Portsmouth University Guild of Writers and Student Hacks), the university’s official student magazine or The Galleon, the university’s official fortnightly newspaper. The Union also runs Pure FM radio station and UPSU TV, both great experiences if you want to learn about professional broadcasting media.
There are more than 50 weekly drop-in sessions in everything from badminton and rowing, to swimming and squash. Whatever your sporting desire you can be sure to find it at Portsmouth. There are also a number of organised leagues and events you can get involved in and if you’re a gym bunny then join St Paul’s gym. With more than 100 stations and cardio machines spread over four storeys there’s really no excuse not to stay fit!
Portsmouth University also boasts one of the biggest intramural sporting leagues in higher education. If you enjoy competitive sport, there are weekly organised leagues you can take part in. There are more than 130 teams taking part in 24 leagues and they are a great way, not only to enjoy sport but to socialise as well.
If you are a competitive sportsman or sportswoman, you could be eligible for funding or a scholarship from the university. Portsmouth is proud to help its elite athletes fulfil their potential alongside their study and some have gone on to compete at international or Olympic level.
Medical and Welfare Services
For whatever reason you may experience difficulties from time to time at university and the Student Wellbeing Service is there to offer you confidential help with a range of personal and emotional issues. The university also offers a counselling service as well as workshops and courses which can provide you with a great way of getting to grips with some of the more common issues.
For medical problems, most students register with a doctor’s surgery close to the university. There are two nearby but ideally you should register with one close to where you live. It’s particularly important if you have an ongoing health condition such as diabetes or asthma.
The same goes for dental surgeries – you can choose any NHS surgery you like though it is up to them whether they accept you as a patient. Don’t delay though, most surgeries can’t give you an emergency same day appointment unless you are registered. Don’t wait until you get a toothache, get registered now!
What would suit you better – a sea view or a city centre pad? With Portsmouth ideally located on the south coast you can have the best of both worlds and there are several options to choose from. Portsmouth can also offer a room in halls to all students who make the university their firm choice.
Halls of residence
Portsmouth has invested a lot in its halls of residence in recent years and now has enough accommodation to offer a place to everyone who accepts a firm offer from 2017. Living in halls is a great way to socialise and make new friends, especially in your first year.
There are four locations to choose from at Portsmouth. The Guildhall Halls are in the city centre and close to the main campus, Rees and Burrell Halls are near Southsea Common and very close to the beach and Langstone Student Village overlooks the harbour. Halls at Portsmouth offer both catered and self-catered options.
Prices in halls range from £88 per week for self catered up to £155 a week for catered but check with the university for current rates.
Other housing options
You might prefer to live out of halls, especially during your second and third years, and rent in the private sector. You can pick who you live with and people often make their choices based on who they have formed the best bonds with in the first year.
Portsmouth has been billed as one of the top ten most cost-effective cities to study in so you can expect to pay around £75 to £85 a week plus bills.
You could also try lodging which usually involves renting a room in a house where the landlord is present such as family houses or guesthouses. You can expect to pay anything between £80 and £100 a week and often utility bills, and sometimes even meals, are included.
A great way to find out if Portsmouth is the right place for you is to go to one of their open days. The university holds several in the summer and autumn. You will be able to take a tour of the campus, meet lecturers and students, explore the city and see what the facilities are like.
Open days are very popular though and you need to make sure you book in advance to get the best out of your visit. For full details of the university’s upcoming open days click here.
Portsmouth really does offer everything you could want as a student. Historic dockyards and maritime heritage sit comfortably with modern developments and a buzzing nightlife. The city is just 90 minutes from London and within easy reach of Gatwick and Heathrow. There are also regular ferry crossings to the France and Spain, putting Europe firmly on your doorstep.
Of course, there is the Isle of Wight, which is just a short ferry ride away and great for the odd day trip with your friends. Portsmouth is also pretty flat, making it easy for cycling and getting around. Eastleigh beach is a nice spot to spend a sunny afternoon and take a break from your studies or why not take a trip up the city’s iconic Spinnaker Tower.
Here’s what a few current and former students have to say about the city:
“I visited during an open day and absolutely fell in love with the city and university, so much so, that I couldn't wait to start there.”
“I've had lots of fun at Portsmouth, I've met great people and I love my course! All my mates have had great fun this year and are looking forward to next year.”
“Portsmouth does have many things going for it, lots of things that are unique to Portsmouth which you won't find anywhere else.”
“If you're into history, Portsmouth is the place to be really. There are loads of places to visit in Portsmouth that have had a significant part in history. Portchester Castle (Roman), The Historic Dockyard (lots of stuff), Palmerston's Follies (forts on the hill), Titchfield Abbey (Shakespeare was there at some point), Southsea Castle (where Henry VIII watched HMS Mary Rose sink) and Charles Dickens' birth place.”
“The best thing about Portsmouth for me is that you can get on a ferry and go to France for the day or a weekend. I've done this on many occasions!”
The university is located in the heart of the city rather than on a separate campus so you are very much part of city life as well. There are three main areas; University Central, University South and University North all within easy reach of one another.
University Central is where most of the halls of residences can be found but University North, where the business school, engineering and environmental labs are located, is just a five-minute walk away. University South is home to the library, the students’ union and the Spinnaker Sports centre as well as the dental academy. Just a bit further south you will find Southsea common and beach where you can enjoy fantastic views over the Solent.
Langstone Student Village is around two and a half miles away from the centre and is where the university’s sports fields are situated. With regular free buses though you are never more than 15 minutes away from the centre. Rees Hall and Burrell House both offer catered student accommodation and are just ten minutes from the centre campus.
There is always plenty to do on campus when you’re not studying, whether it is visiting the St Paul’s Sports Centre gym or heading to the Students’ Union for a drink or a bite to eat.
Sports and recreation
If sport and fitness is your thing, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Portsmouth. There are two sports halls and an outdoor sports complex, two dance and martial arts studios, a 100-station gym, squash courts, a hockey pitch and grass pitches for football, lacrosse and rugby so there really is no excuse not to get active.
In addition, the Athletics Union has more than 40 sports clubs you can choose to join, in everything from skydiving to kickboxing and pole dancing. Many of the teams compete at national level with other universities and are a great way, not only to keep fit, but to meet like-minded people and make friends.
Portsmouth University is also committed to helping people reach their full sporting potential and has already produced two Paralympians. There are plenty of links with elite clubs and coaching programmes to help you reach the top of your game. If you fancy volunteering and coaching locally as well, there is opportunity for that too.
It goes without saying the Students’ Union is a hive of activity with events taking place every week. The Union is home to many different clubs and societies covering all aspects of cultural, spiritual and political life.
There are plenty of well-known bands, comedians and shows appearing regularly at the Union from around the country as well as big student events such as the Grad Ball for those finishing university and the rite-of-passage Rag Week for those just beginning. Rag week isn’t just for settling you into your first year, it is an important way for the Union to raise funds for charities.
It’s not just the Students’ Union that offers good entertainment though, the city itself has plenty of theatres, cinemas and events to keep you busy throughout your studies. The city is host to a number of important sailing events throughout the year and the Great South Run in October. It’s also a great place for music festivals with the Mutiny Festival in May and the Victorious Festival in August.
Portsmouth Guildhall holds events throughout the year and hosts some big name musicians and shows whilst if it is history you prefer, then Portsmouth Museum and the D-Day Museum have plenty to offer as well. The historic naval dockyard, home to the wreck of the Mary Rose, is full of interesting attractions, ships and museums.
You can’t beat a night out in the Students’ Union with your friends and there are weekly themed nights which take place throughout the year such as a regular comedy club. The bar in the Union is also a pretty popular place to hang out after lectures and enjoy a pint or two with friends.
In the city itself there are plenty of bars and clubs to make the most of. Lots of them are located in Gunwharf Keys which is just a short walk from most halls. Guildhall Walk has a great mix of clubs open to all hours and there are plenty of pubs along Albert Road.
You can catch a film at one of the city’s multi-screen cinemas or you can head to the No.6 Cinema – the place to go for independent and international cinema and located in historic Boathouse No. 6, part of the historic dockyard.
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