Neha Patil (Editor)

University of Portsmouth

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Former names
Portsmouth Polytechnic


Sandi Toksvig

Number of students


Lucem Sequamur (Latin)

£1.79 m (as of 2012)

+44 23 9284 8484

Undergraduate tuition and fees
9,250 GBP (2017)

Black, White, Purple

Motto in English
Let us follow the Light

1992 - University of Portsmouth (gained university status) 1960 - Portsmouth Polytechnic 1869 - Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and the Arts

University House, Winston Churchill Ave, Portsmouth PO1 2UP, UK

Notable alumni
Ben Fogle, Simon Armitage, Grayson Perry, Claire Barratt, Ron Davies

University of Southampton, University of Brighton, Southampton Solent University, University of Hertfordshire, Bournemouth University


University of portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth is a public university in the city of Portsmouth, England. The history of the university dates back to 1908, when the Park building opened as a Municipal college and public library. It was previously known as Portsmouth Polytechnic until 1992, when it was granted university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.


The university offers a range of disciplines from Pharmacy, International relations and politics, Mechanical Engineering, Paleontology etc. With courses like Pharmacy appearing in the top 20 in the UK, furthermore 89% of research conducted in Physics and 90% of research in Allied Health Professions,i.e., Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy have been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF2014.

The University is a member of the University Alliance and The Channel Islands Universities Consortium. Alumni include Tim Peake, Grayson Perry, Simon Armitage and Ben Fogle.

Union tour university of portsmouth s students union


The history of the university dates to 1908, when the Park building opened as a Municipal college and public library. The focus was on chemistry and engineering. The roots of the University can be traced back even further to the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and the Arts. Shortly after in the year of 1911 a Student Union was established; as early records from the Student Union newspaper The Galleon show.

From 1945 to 1960 the college diversified its syllabus adding arts and humanities subjects after World War II, in response to a decline in the need for engineering skills. This did not hinder its expansion or reputation, as from 1960 to 1980 it opened the Frewen library, gained Polytechnic status and became one of the largest polytechnics by the late 1980s. On 7 July 1992 the inauguration of the University of Portsmouth was celebrated at a ceremony at Portsmouth Guildhall. As one of the new universities, it could validate its own degrees, under the provision of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.


The university is split between the University Quarter, which is centred around the Portsmouth Guildhall area, and the Langstone Campus.

Langstone Campus

Langstone is the smaller of the two campuses, located in Milton on the eastern edge of Portsea Island. The campus overlooks Langstone Harbour and it is home to the university's sports grounds. It also houses a restaurant for the students and provides accommodation for 565 students in three halls of residence: Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother (QEQM), Trust Hall and Langstone Flats.

Langstone Campus used to be home of the University's School of Languages and Area Studies, which has since moved into Park Building in the University Quarter.

University Quarter

The University Quarter is a collection of university buildings located around the centre of the city. This area contains most of the university's teaching facilities and nearly all of the Student Halls of residence (except the Langstone student village and two halls (Rees Hall and Burrell House) located on Southsea Terrace.

The University Library (formerly the Frewen Library) was extended in 2006 at a cost of £11 million. It was opened by the crime writer P. D. James. The University has also recently invested in the Faculty of Science, in particular by renovating the aluminium-clad main building, St Michael's, adjacent to James Watson Hall, named after the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.

A new faculty called "Creative and Cultural Industries" was opened in September 2006. It provides a unique environment in which all aspects of creative thinking will flourish and develop by combining creative schools from across the university.

Military Technological College of Oman

On 7 June 2013, the University of Portsmouth announced its partnership with the Military Technological College of Oman. This involves the University of Portsmouth providing academic guidance and academic accreditation for the education of 4,200 students with technical roles in armed services and a few civilian employers in the Sultanate of Oman. This has been criticised by the student Amnesty International Society and by Campaign Against the Arms Trade who consider Oman an authoritarian regime, likely to use military capabilities on their own citizens or in regional conflicts.


Portsmouth is formally headed by the Chancellor, currently Sandi Toksvig. The Chancellor is largely a ceremonial role; Portsmouth is run day-to-day by the Vice-Chancellor, presently Graham Galbraith, along with a single integrated decision-making body known as the University Executive Board. This includes Pro Vice-Chancellors, the Director of Finance and the Deans of faculties, together with the Chief Operating Officer, the Director of Human Resources and the University Secretary and Clerk. .


The University of Portsmouth is composed of five faculties divided into 29 departments:


In the financial year ended 31 July 2013, the University of Portsmouth had a total income of £185 million and a total expenditure of £171.04 million. Key sources of income included £107 million from tuition fees and education contracts, £50 million from funding council grants, £7 million in research grants and contracts, £0.52 million from endowment and investment income, and £23.5 million from other income.

Academic profile

Portsmouth offers more than 200 undergraduate degrees and 150 postgraduate degrees, as well as 65 research degree programs.

The university validates a professional doctorate programme in chiropractic for the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, a private college. The university formerly validated BSc (Hons) degrees in Acupuncture and MSc courses in Traditional Chinese medicine that were carried out by the London College of Traditional Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, a private education provider that collapsed in early 2011.


The Research Assessment Exercise 2008 classed research in eight departments contained elements of 'world-leading' research, with 'Allied Health Professions and Studies', 'Applied Mathematics' and 'European Studies' among the top ten in the UK for research quality.

In 2015, the University of Portsmouth won a £272,000 award from the Education and Training Foundation to research how best to deliver study programmes in the UK.

In 2016, Dr Victoria Wang and Professor Mark Button, of the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, were awarded £299,355 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to investigate unintended consequences of data release, including those associated with issues of trust, identity, privacy and security. The project is in partnership with Swansea University's Department of Computer Science, the DVLA and other government agencies.


The University of Portsmouth was ranked 59th by The Complete University Guide 2016, 43rd by The Guardian University Guide 2017, and 57th by The Sunday Times University Guide 2015

Internationally, The University was ranked 85th in Times Higher Education's ‘100 under 50’ rankings of international modern universities 2015.

Portsmouth was rated in the top 301-350 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13.

Student life

The Students' Union provides a wide range of services and learner support to students of the University. The Union is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. It exists as a students’ union within the definitions of the Education Act 1994. In June 2010, the University of Portsmouth Students' Union was the first students' union in England and Wales to register as a full charity in order to comply with legislation introduced in 2006.

The earliest record of the Union is in the September 1911 edition of The Galleon student magazine. From 1965, the Union was based in Union House - now St Paul's Gym - on St Pauls Road. In 1983, it moved to the ex-NAAFI building, Alexandra House, where it remained for 19 years. Since 2002, the union has been situated at the north end of Ravelin Park. The current Union building was voted best Union in the UK in the New Musical Express in 2004. It houses a student activities centre, a social learning space, a bar, a radio station and a computer help store. It is also connected to a Co-Op and Blackwells bookshop. The Union previously housed two nightclubs, Lux and Co2, but these were closed and redeveloped for other uses in 2009.

The Students Union facilitates a range of activities which are organised into five different co-operating bodies: Athletic Union, Societies, Student Media, Volunteering and RAG (Raising And Giving).

Athletic Union

The Students' Union offers a range of sports clubs which are administered by the Athletic Union The sports range from traditional team games like athletics, football, rugby union, netball, trampolining, and table tennis to octopush (a form of underwater hockey), lacrosse and pole dancing. Every year, the sailing club enters a team for the annual Cowes Week regatta on the Isle of Wight. There is also a range of extreme sports available, including wakeboarding, surfing, climbing, skiing and snowboarding. As of September 2014 there will be 43 different sports clubs.


As well as sporting activities, the union offers social groups, such as the Amnesty Student Group, Afro-Caribbean, LGBT, Pagan and Spiritual, Christian Union and Geography societies. There are also course-oriented societies such as the Politics Society, Brightsparks Enterprise Society (affiliated with the Portsmouth Centre of Enterprise), the Property Development Society (based in the School of Civil Engineering & Surveying), and the Student Law Society. The University is also home to the longest-running university paintball club in the UK.


Despite not offering a degree in Music, the University has a full-time music department offering instrumental lessons and ensembles. These include the Choir; Orchestra; Wind Band; Big Band and the multiple-time University Gospel Choir of the Year finalists, Portsmouth Gospel Choir, and Dramatic Music Society.


The Students' Union runs a number of volunteering projects, such as HEFCE's Volunteering Team of the Year. In 2010, the Union was awarded a £15,000 grant to work with elderly residents in the city.

Student Media

The university has four main media outlets. The Galleon the student newspaper, Pugwash the student magazine and is the oldest student media attached to the university, UPSU TV the student television station and Pure FM the student radio station, which works alongside local radio stations including Express FM.


Notable students of the University of Portsmouth and its predecessor institutions include

  • Simon Armitage
  • Politician Ron Davies, former Secretary of State for Wales
  • Politician David Chidgey, Baron Chidgey
  • Television presenter Ben Fogle
  • Team principal of McLaren and Chief Executive of the McLaren Racing Martin Whitmarsh
  • Astronaut Timothy Peake
  • Artist Grayson Perry CBE RA
  • Rugby union player Nick Kennedy
  • Entrepreneur Rachel Lowe
  • Paleontologist Darren Naish
  • References

    University of Portsmouth Wikipedia

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