The University of Portsmouth is located in the southern city of Portsmouth. It has two main sites - Guildhall which is spread through the city centre of Portsmouth and the smaller Langstone campus on the eastern side of Portsea island overlooking the harbour. It was created in 1992 out of Portsmouth Polytechnic, but has a history dating back to 1869.
The major library for Portsmouth Students is the university library itself. It's located in the heart of the City on the Guildhall Campus - right by The Student Union. Obviously the library has late opening like many other student libraries (8am - 12am term time) which definitely comes in handy for last minute revision. Obviously to take out and return books you have to return them to the building - but having your own library number means you can renew all books online or over the phone. Easy!
The Student Library consists of three zones: Silent, Quiet and Social. Different rules apply to each zone, but it just means that everyone has a place to go and study, regardless of their preferred techniques.
Basic faccilities are all there, including computer access, photocopying, archives and the like - but also available are seminar rooms and the first floor cafe. While useful this place can be a little pricey, so bringing food with you is advised! (Bear in mind cold food only, and it can only be consumed in the Social zone).
As well as the Student library there's a large central city library, along with little local libraries dotted throughout the city - there's bound to be one within a twenty minute walk from most halls.
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There are two major sports facilities within the university: the Nuffield center and St Paul’s center. Both are available for use for members. The Nuffield center is mainly the place to play sports and go to classes. Current classes include:
Sports facilities are: Tennis, squash and basketballs, badminton, netball courts. The St Paul’s center also has badminton courts but is more orientated towards fitness. It houses two cardio vascular suites and a weights room.
If you are stretched for money and don’t want to pay for the membership you can pay for classes per attendance. Alternatively you can join one of the many clubs within the university, some examples include: Dance (salsa, ballroom, street etc), karate, kung fu, cheerleading, fencing, ski and snowboarding, sailing, swimming, octoplus and many more!
Outdoor sports such as rugby and football are played on the langstone sports site, about 10 minutes away from the city center.
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But the university provided faccilities aren't the full extent of Portsmouth's sporting claims.
With several swimming pools - including one outdoor pool, and one pool with wave simulators, flumes and the like - a skatepark, multiple gyms and leisure centres you're never going to be left unfit unless you want to be. The Common also provides space for much frisbeeing, rugbying and footballing.
If you prefer watching sport Portsmouth also has its own football stadium with premiership matches regularly played there.
The university is quite well set up for dealing with all sorts of welfare issues. I'll start as if you were a fresher.
- Hall Community Support Officers
The HCSO's as they are known are many a freshers first port of call if they have a problem. With anything. Not just to do with Halls. There are 3 HCSO's, each covering a Halls campus (Guildhall, Rees/Burrell and Langstone). They tend to keep student hours, i.e. not starting till 10am or so and finishing at about 7pm. They can be found at main reception for the halls campuses (Bateson Reception for Guildhall, Rees for Rees/Burrell and Reception at Langstone). So if you have a problem ranging from bad, annoying flatmates to almost anything else
- Resident Assistants
These guy's and gal's live in Halls amongst you, but they're 2nd and 3rd years who are paid to do so. They've been there, done that, got the purple t-shirt (plus the shopping trolley, bear keg, traffic cones etc etc) and are always good people to go to. They're not just dumped in there, they've had training. If they can't help you, they'll know someone who can, and be able to put you in touch with them.
They'll normally introduce themselves in the first week or so, telling you where you can get hold of them. The times you're most likely to see them is when they're telling you where to go etc during fire alarms - they're the ones who wearing hi-vis jackets!
Another place you can go (and this isn't just limited to freshers this time) is the Nuffield Centre. Its next to the Union and Mercantile House, and houses 14 different support services from Chaplaincy to Counseling, Student Finance, Student Housing, and many more. It also has a doctors surgery on the ground floor, which is always a good place to sign up with ASAP before the dreaded Freshers Flu comes round and you find yourself needing a sicknote to explain the late coursework etc
There are three main shopping centres in Portsmouth (and when I say shopping, I'm not talking supermarkets).
I'll start with the newest: Gunwharf Quays. This place is all about outlet shopping, with hot branded stores and lower prices. Stores include HMV, Ralph Lauren and Nike. Obviously you're paying for more expensive goods so it's not the cheapest place in the world, but you do get some good designer bargains. My particular favourite is the Cadbury's Shop - with cheap chocolate offcuts! In the complex there's also a variety of other things to be doing. With a couple of clubs and countless restaurants, pubs and bars - along with a cinema and bowling alley - you're never going to bored. What's more everything is right on the waterfront so you can sit and relax once you've gotten tired out. With bus stops, ferries and a train station right outside it's not difficult to get to either . The nearest (free!) university bus stop is only a few minutes' walk too.
Commercial Road is the city centre of Portsmouth. It's where all the council buildings and public services are etc, but it's also shopping central. Easily accessible - right beside the Guildhall campus - with trains and buses galore too, you'll not be stranded after a day out. This place is your typical shopping centre with all the well known shops. Topshop (+Man), Primark, New Look, Burton etc etc - not forgetting TK Maxx for yet more designer bargains - as well as Wilkinsons and Woolworths (RIP) for those student budgets. There's an indoor and outdoor mall, so weather never has to be an issue.
At the end of the precinct there's a medium sized Tesco, and if you walk all the way up Commercial Road, follow the road round to the left and cross the traffic lights, you'll find a Sainsbury's tucked away behind some billboards, complete with 80s decor (!)
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, there is also a market down Commercial Road selling lots of things, including fruit and veg (much cheaper than buying it at the supermarket).
Palmerston Road is a lot smaller than either of these other two, with more specialist shops though a bit of a nicer atmosphere. You've got a Debenhams and a John Lewis, and several fast food outlets and cafes; perfect for taking out onto the very nearby Common and Seafront and picnicking with. A summer favourite is to buy BBQ food and a portable BBQ from the Iceland here and drag it all down for dinner in the sunshine. There's also a Waitrose - though the food there certainly does not fall nicely into my budget! As you head out of the main precinct there are also several tiny cafes and boutiques which are always worth a venture round.
Some people would say I should also include Albert Road here. This isn't so much a shopping centre as a long road with many, many student bars and several boutiques thrown in among them. Whether you're looking for more alternative clothing or an unusual gift Albert Road is the place to be.
Down Commercial Road, there's pretty much a branch of every well known bank: Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays. Natwest, RBS, Nationwide, Halifax and the co-operative bank.
Barclays and Natwest ATMs are situated at the students' union, but at peak times expect there to be a huge queue! More often than, not the Barclays one isn't working properly, and the Natwest one has a squiffy screen which on occasions goes blank!
There are actually spaces for 4 ATMs in the wall at the side of the union, but it appears they never filled the fourth one, and the Halifax machine that used to be there has disappeared recently, never to be replaced, it seems.
If both are broken/having an off day and you desperately need cash, then the nearest ones are the HSBC/Natwest/Lloyds ones in Gunwharf Quays or the Barclays ones in the telephone boxes outside Walkabout, or the HSBC one in the telephone box outside the co-op if you walk across the Guildhall Square.
The university offers a bus service around the city. It runs from Langstone to the North Campus, Gunwharf, the Library then back to Langstone. Takes about half a hour or so to get from Langstone to Guildhall. Stops near Fratton Station, Lidl, and a HUGE Asda. Its free if you show your Purple Jupiter ID Card.
As well as the free uni bus services there are multiple buses, trains and ferries to get you to quickly to all the surrounding areas of Portsmouth. There are four railway stations in Portsmouth, and bus stops plastered everywhere - and I mustn't forget the numerous taxi ranks should you ever need one.
All this definitely comes in useful if you find yourself homesick and need to go home every couple of weekends!
Both the Student's Union and the University have what amount to Job Centers to help students find jobs, the JobShop and Purple Door
The JobShop is based in the Students Union and caters for most of the types of part time work that you'll find in towns - retail, bar work, call centres etc etc They also deal with the employment of students within the Union. So if you fancy working there, that's where to go.
Purple Door is the University-run jobs service (the Union and University are separate entries - take a look a the Uni's wikipedia entry for more info) and mainly deals with more professional job placements - i.e. with companies rather than retailers. The people who run it have got very good links with local companies so there are always things going. They also deal with Volunteering schemes, which is a good thing to have on you're CV. They're based in the Info Center, underneath James Watson Hall, but its advisable to phone or email them before and book to see them, as they're normally running around out of the office. Head to  to get contact info.
Its worth noting that many university departments employ students in different roles, mainly as guides on open days. It well worth your time exploring this option, as the University is probably the highest paying employer for students in the area. E.g. a guide job can net you up to £7.50p/h compared with the typical £5.50p/h in most retailers.
To get more Info on these jobs, go to your faculty admin offices or ask in the Info center about marketing guides
There are specially dedicated Muslim Prayer rooms in the Nuffield centre and the Chaplaincy team maintain a good sized portion of a floor in said building for people of any denomination or religion to come in and see them, on a drop-in basis.
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The Union is run by 2 bodies - UPEL who deal with the business side of the place, and UPSU who deal with most things students are bothered with - clubs and societies.
Although UPSU (University of Portsmouth Students Union) is in effect, every student studying at the uni, it is represented nationally and to the University's Board of Governors by 5 elected students, normally who are taking a year from their studies to take up the posts.
There are 6 in total
- VP - Education and Democracy
- VP - Activities
- VP - Sports
- VP - Welfare and Community
If you want to know more head Here for detailed info
Clubs and societies
At last count the Union has about 150 different clubs and societies running, ranging across a wide variety of sports and issues.
You have your typical sports
- Rugby (Men and Women's)
- Football (Men and Women's)
- Sailing (We are a coastal uni - apparently Scumhampton's sailors are heading down here cause its better!!! w00t!)
...and then the more varied sports clubs...
- Scuba diving
- Cricket (I thought everyone went home for the summer?!)
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Cheerleading (though its regularly debated if this is a sport club or a society)
Again there are the more conventional societies
- People and Planet
...and again there are the more varied...
- Dr Zoigberb Appreciation Society
- 101 things (first activity they did - watch the extended edition of all 3 Lord of the Rings back-to-back)
- Media and Volunteering
We have student run publications and broadcast at Portsmouth as well as RAG (Raising And Giving) who do charity sky diving and VIP (Volunteering In Portsmouth)
- Pugwash (Magazine)
- Pugwash News (Newspaper)
- Pure FM (Radio)
- UPSU TV (TV)
Something for everyone!!
Situated right on the sea's doorstep, with countryside easily accessible by train or bus and the urban lifestyle Portsmouth's local area has got to be perfect for just about everyone. On a summer's day Southsea becomes packed with people taking advantage of the sunshine. Frisbee and BBQs on the Common are a favourite. The Common is a massive expanse of grass, which everyone has free use of. It is frequented by circuses and travelling fairs - and kite-flyers. If you're still not persuaded to come down here (in the summer months) the Bandstand should do the trick. With live bands of different genres every Sunday, for free, it's not surprising that this is another thing that makes the Common a Pompey highlight.
Although the looong beaches are pebbly, sunbathers and swimmers are by no means put off - and if you do brave the water and get out far enough you'll find the sand no problem. Along the seafront there are also bars, museums, a skatepark - and a nudist beach for those that are keen. The two piers are also worth a visit, for cheap arcade games and Portsmouth's very own rollercoaster, log flume and other rides!
If you're looking for other things to do there's masses of shops, bars and clubs, as well as the more cultural museums and art galleries. The Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf also offers magnificent views of the city if you're feeling extra touristy. Golf courses and indoor paintballing are also around if you can get the money together.
And the best thing about all of this? Portsmouth's island location makes most things in walking distance of each other - so leaving more money for drinking and other similar student occupations.
Applying to Portsmouth
Thinking of applying to Portsmouth? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?
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