University of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth is a public university in the city of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. It was previously known as Portsmouth Polytechnic from 1969 until 1992, when it was granted university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. It is ranked among the Top 100 universities under 50 in the world.

University of Portsmouth
UoP 2017 Logo.jpg
Former names
Portsmouth Polytechnic
MottoLatin: Lucem Sequamur
Motto in English
Let us follow the Light
Established1992: University of Portsmouth (gained university status)
1969: Portsmouth Polytechnic
1953: Portsmouth College of Technology
1908: Portsmouth Municipal College
1870: Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and Art
Endowment£1.79 m (as of 2012)[1]
ChancellorKaren Blackett[2]
Vice-ChancellorGraham Galbraith[2]
Academic staff
Students25,515 HE (2018/19)[4]
Undergraduates21,090 (2018/19)[4]
Postgraduates4,425 (2018/19)[4]
Other students
125 FE[5]
AffiliationsUniversity Alliance
The Channel Islands Universities Consortium
Universities UK

The university offers a range of disciplines, from Pharmacy, International relations and politics, to Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Paleontology, Criminology, Criminal Justice, among others. The University is a member of the University Alliance[6] and The Channel Islands Universities Consortium.[7] Alumni include Tim Peake, Grayson Perry, Simon Armitage and Ben Fogle.


The roots of the University can be traced back to the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and Art.[8] which opened in 1870 and was funded by subscription. Technical education (including science-based subjects) later became the responsibility of the local authority, which founded Portsmouth Municipal Technical Institute in 1894 to fulfil this function.[9] However, the city required a permanent purpose-built home for technical education and as a consequence Portsmouth Municipal College was constructed on a site behind Portsmouth Guildhall.[10] Portsmouth Municipal College opened in 1908 (the new college replaced Portsmouth Municipal Technical Institute, although many of the staff transferred to the new institution) and the building also incorporated the College of Art, Portsmouth Day Training College for teachers and a public library.[11] The original college building is still in use by the University of Portsmouth and is now known as Park Building.

In 1911 two Student Unions were established for male and female students; as early records from the Student Union newspaper The Galleon show.[8]

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. In 1953 the institution changed its name to Portsmouth College of Technology.[12] The college gained polytechnic status in 1969 and by the late 1980s was one of the largest polytechnics in the UK . On 7 July 1992 the inauguration of the University of Portsmouth was celebrated at a ceremony at Portsmouth Guildhall. As a new university, it could validate its own degrees, under the provision of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. On Friday 4 May 2018, the University of Portsmouth was revealed as the main shirt sponsor of Portsmouth F.C. for the 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons.[13]


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

Langstone CampusEdit

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 QuarterEdit

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.[14] 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.

A new faculty called "Creative and Cultural Industries" was opened in September 2006.

Military Technological College of OmanEdit

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.[15] 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.[16]

Organisation and structureEdit


Portsmouth is formally headed by the Chancellor, currently Karen Blackett.[17] 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 Executive Deans of Faculties, together with the Chief Operating Officer, the Director of Human Resources and the University Secretary and Clerk.[18]


The University of Portsmouth is composed of five faculties divided into 29 departments:[19]


The University of Portsmouth is worth £1.1 billion to the British economy and brings £476 million to the city, an independent assessment in 2017 has shown.[21]

Academic profileEdit

Portsmouth offers more than 200 undergraduate degrees and 150 postgraduate degrees, as well as 65 research degree programs.[22]

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.[23]


Over 60% of research submitted by the University to REF2014 was rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.[24] In two subject areas respectively - Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy, and Physics - 90% and 89% of all research submitted was rated as world leading and internationally excellent.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

In 2017 Alessandro Melis[27] and Steffen Lehmann created the interdisciplinary project CRUNCH: Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices: Operationalising the Food-Water-Energy Nexus. This is a £1.6 million research project funded by Horizon 2020, Belmont Forum, ESRC and other funding bodies. University of Portsmouth is leading the project. The partners are five universities from Miami, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Uppsala and Taiwan. Crunch involves universities, local authorities and small business.[28][29]


National rankings
Complete (2021)[30]53
Guardian (2021)[31]66
Times / Sunday Times (2021)[32]53
Global rankings
ARWU (2020)[33]501–600
QS (2021)[34]
THE (2021)[35]501–600
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[36]Gold

The University of Portsmouth is one of only four universities in the south east to achieve the highest Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).[37][38]

The University was ranked 21st by The Guardian University Guide 2020,[39] 51st by The Complete University Guide 2019[40] and 53rd by The Sunday Times University Guide 2018.[41]

Internationally, the University was ranked 98th in Times Higher Education's ‘100 under 50’ rankings of international modern universities 2017.[42]

Portsmouth was rated in the top 401 – 500 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017.[42]

Student lifeEdit

Students' Union

The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union (UPSU) is a registered charity that represents and supports all UoP students, who automatically become members upon registering for their course. The Students’ Union offers members support services, development opportunities and represent them at different levels throughout the University, in the community and beyond.

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 Union previously housed two nightclubs, Lux and Co2, but these were closed and redeveloped for other uses in 2009.[43]

The Union Advice Service offers confidential, impartial and non-judgemental support. The service delivers a range of academic & non-academic, information, advice, and guidance to the students of the University of Portsmouth and partner institutions. The service also undertakes other activities and events throughout the year to promote the health and wellbeing of students. The Advice Service is based in Gun House at The Union, next door to Cafe Coco. Portsmouth was named the UK's most affordable city for students in the Natwest Student Living Index 2016.[44]

Societies and sports clubsEdit

The Union supports a range of student-led groups that provide extra-curricular opportunities to students. There are over 190 sports clubs, societies, media groups and volunteering opportunities. Students can also create new societies with the support of the Union.

The Students' Union offers a range of sports clubs which are administered by the Athletic Union[45] The sports range from traditional team games like athletics, football, cricket, rugby union, netball, trampolining, and table tennis to octopush (a form of underwater hockey), lacrosse and pole dancing. As of July 2017 there are 44 different sports clubs .[46]

The Students' Union runs a number of volunteering projects, such as HEFCE's Volunteering Team of the Year.[47] In 2010, the Union was awarded a £15,000 grant to work with elderly residents in the city.[48]

Student mediaEdit

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, Victory Studios the student television station and Pure FM, the student radio station, which works alongside local radio stations including Express FM.

Notable peopleEdit


  • Matthew Weait, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


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


  1. ^ "University of Portsmouth Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 July 2012" (PDF). University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b "About Us". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  3. ^ "All staff by HE institution, activity and mode of employment 2011/12" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  5. ^ "All students by HE institution, level of study, mode of study and domicile 2011/12" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  6. ^ "University of Portsmouth". University Alliance. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  7. ^ "University Partnerships:Channel Islands University Consortium". States of Guernsey Education Department. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  8. ^ a b "The institution - University of Portsmouth". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  9. ^ Thomas, James (1998). ‘To Meet All Competition: Park Building and the Provision of Education in Portsmouth 1908 – 1997 – Studies in the History of the University of Portsmouth No.1. University of Portsmouth.
  10. ^ Thomas, James (1998). ‘To Meet All Competition: Park Building and the Provision of Education in Portsmouth 1908 – 1997 – Studies in the History of the University of Portsmouth No.1. University of Portsmouth.
  11. ^ Thomas, James (1998). ‘To Meet All Competition: Park Building and the Provision of Education in Portsmouth 1908 – 1997 – Studies in the History of the University of Portsmouth No.1. University of Portsmouth.
  12. ^ Delaney, Anna. "University of Portsmouth Archive". Archives Hub.
  13. ^ "University of Portsmouth named as new Pompey shirt sponsor".
  14. ^ "Library". University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 9 February 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  15. ^ "University wins prestigious Oman contract". University of Portsmouth. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  16. ^ "University criticised for new contract with Oman military college". the Galleon. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Karen Blackett OBE announced as new University Chancellor". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Vice-Chancellor's Executive" (PDF). University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Academic Departments". University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  20. ^ "About Us". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  21. ^ Cleary, Simon. "Portsmouth University generates £1.1bn for UK – BiGGAR Economics".
  22. ^ "Facts & Figures" (PDF). University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  23. ^ Simon Baker (27 January 2011). "No relief for acupuncture students as private college collapses in debt". Times Higher Education.
  24. ^ a b "Results & submissions: REF 2014: View results and submissions by institution".
  25. ^ "University wins contract to help further education in the UK". The News. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Data Release - Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security - Portsmouth Research Portal". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  27. ^ "Dr Alessandro Melis". University of Portsmouth.
  28. ^ "The CRUNCH Project: Sustaining Food, Water and Energy in an Age of Climate Change". Urban Transformations. 17 December 2018.
  29. ^ "CRUNCH: Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices: Operationalising the Food-Water-Energy Nexus". Urban Transformations.
  30. ^ "University League Table 2021". The Complete University Guide. 1 June 2020.
  31. ^ "University league tables 2021". The Guardian. 5 September 2020.
  32. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2021". Times Newspapers.
  33. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  34. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2021". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd.
  35. ^ "World University Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education.
  36. ^ "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England.
  37. ^ Archives, The National. "The National Archives - UK Government Web Archive".
  38. ^ "Gold rating for teaching excellence at the University of Portsmouth - UoP News".
  39. ^ "University league tables 2020".
  40. ^ "University of Portsmouth".
  41. ^ "UK University Rankings 2019 - UKuni".
  42. ^ a b "University of Portsmouth". Times Higher Education (THE). 15 March 2018.
  43. ^ "Students' anger over axed clubs". BBC News. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  44. ^ "Student Living Index 2018 - Life Moments - NatWest".
  45. ^ "Activities". Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  46. ^ "Group Lists".
  47. ^ "Credits for your career : Volunteering Advice". National Union of Students (United Kingdom). Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  48. ^ "Old folk and students to learn from each other". The News. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  49. ^ "Poets: Simon Armitage". BBC. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  50. ^ "Lord Chidgey – Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on International Affairs (DfID)". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  51. ^ "The man who would have been leader". BBC News. 27 October 1998. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  52. ^ Vallely, Paul (14 January 2006). "Ben Fogle: Action man". The Independent. London. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  53. ^ Fighting with Pride. 20 November 2019. ISBN 978-1-5267-6525-3.
  54. ^ "Nick Kennedy". Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  55. ^ Tabbitt, Sue (29 October 2012). "Bouncing back from bankruptcy". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  56. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  57. ^ "Timothy Peake". European Space Agency. Retrieved 12 August 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  58. ^ "The 100 most powerful people in British culture". Daily Telegraph. 11 November 2016.
  59. ^ "Ramz on Apple Music". Apple Music.
  60. ^ Henry, Alan (3 March 2008). "Whitmarsh was groomed to be safest bet in the one-horse race to succeed Dennis". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2013.

External linksEdit

  Media related to University of Portsmouth at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 50°47′43″N 1°05′37″W / 50.795307°N 1.093601°W / 50.795307; -1.093601