University of Portsmouth
University of Portsmouth coat of arms.png
Coat of Arms
University of Portsmouth
Former names
Portsmouth Polytechnic
MottoLatin: Lucem Sequamur
Motto in English
Let us follow the Light
Established1870 (Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and Art)
Budget£282.5 million (2020/21)[1]
ChancellorKaren Blackett
Vice-ChancellorGraham Galbraith
Academic staff
Students28,280 HE (2020/21)
Undergraduates22,170 (2020/21)
Postgraduates6,110 (2020/21)
AffiliationsUniversity Alliance
The Channel Islands Universities Consortium
Universities UK
UoP 2017 Logo.jpg

The University of Portsmouth is a public university in Portsmouth, England.[3] It is one of only four universities in the South East of England rated as Gold in the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework.[fn 1][5][6] With approximately 28,280 undergraduate and postgraduate students, the university is the 25th largest in the United Kingdom by higher education student enrolments.[7] Comprising five faculties, 24 schools and several other services,[8] the university employs approximately 3,500 staff.[9]

In the 2023 edition of the Good University Guide – compiled by The Times and Sunday Times – the university ranked 62nd out of the 132 universities in the United Kingdom.[10] In the Times Higher Education REF ranking, the university was ranked third in research power for modern post-1992 universities.[11]

Research conducted by the university has a significant global impact; in the latest edition of the Research Excellence Framework, 77 per cent of research submitted by the university was ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent, with impacts across society, health, culture and the environment.[12][13]


The roots of the university can be traced back to the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and Art.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[14]

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.[18] The college was renamed Portsmouth Polytechnic after it 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.[19]

In December 2022, an employment tribunal ruled that when the university failed to reappoint Dr Kajal Sharma to her job, it had racially discriminated against her.[20]


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.

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. It also used to be home to three halls of residence: Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother (QEQM), Trust Hall and Langstone Flats. These used to house 565 students, however these have now been closed, in favour of those closer to the majority of the university buildings. These have now been demolished.[21]

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.[22] 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 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.[23] 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.[24]

Organisation and structure


Portsmouth is formally headed by the Chancellor, currently Karen Blackett.[25] 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.[26]


The University of Portsmouth is composed of five faculties divided into 29 departments:[27]


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.[29]

Academic profile

Portsmouth offers more than 200 undergraduate degrees and 150 postgraduate degrees, as well as 65 research degree programs.[30]

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.[31]


Over 60% of research submitted by the university to REF2014 was rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.[32] 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.[32]

In 2017 Alessandro Melis[33] 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.[34][35]


National rankings
Complete (2023)[36]69
Guardian (2023)[37]75
Times / Sunday Times (2023)[38]88
Global rankings
ARWU (2022)[39]501–600
QS (2023)[40]651–700
THE (2023)[41]501–600

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).[42][43]

Most recently, in the 2022 edition of the Good University Guide – compiled by The Times and Sunday Times – the university was ranked near the bottom at 88 out of 132.

Internationally, the university was ranked 98th in Times Higher Education's ‘100 under 50’ rankings of international modern universities 2017 but did not make the list in any subsequent year.[44]

Portsmouth was rated in the top 501 – 600 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.[44]

Student life

Students' Union
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.[45]

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.[46]

Societies and sports clubs

The Union supports a range of over 150[47] student-led groups that provide extra-curricular opportunities to students, including 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[48] 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, polo and pole dancing. As of October 2020 there are 38 different sports clubs .[47]

The Students' Union runs a number of volunteering projects, such as HEFCE's Volunteering Team of the Year.[49] In 2010, the Union was awarded a £15,000 grant to work with elderly residents in the city.[50]

Student media

The university has two functioning student media outlets. Spyglass, the student magazine, and Pure FM, the student radio station, which works alongside local radio stations including Express FM. The university formerly had an active newspaper, The Galleon, as well as a video production society called Victory Studios.

Notable people



See also: Category:Alumni of the University of Portsmouth

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


  1. ^ out of a total of 16 universities in the South East of England.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "University of Portsmouth - How We Spend Our Money". Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  2. ^ "University of Portsmouth - Our People". Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  3. ^ "University of Portsmouth - GOV.UK". Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  4. ^ "University League Tables 2023". Complete University Guide. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Gold Rating for Teaching Excellence". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  6. ^ Students, Office for (19 June 2019). "TEF outcomes - Office for Students". Office for Students. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Where do HE students study? | HESA". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  8. ^ "Academic Structure". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  9. ^ "University of Portsmouth - Our People". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  10. ^ Times, The Sunday. "Good University Guide". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  11. ^ "National recognition for world-leading quality of University of Portsmouth research". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  12. ^ "University of Portsmouth : Results and submissions : REF 2021". Research Excellence Framework. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  13. ^ "National recognition for world-leading quality of University of Portsmouth research". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  14. ^ a b "The institution - University of Portsmouth". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Delaney, Anna. "University of Portsmouth Archive". Archives Hub.
  19. ^ "University of Portsmouth named as new Pompey shirt sponsor". 4 May 2018.
  20. ^ Weale, Sally (12 December 2022). "Portsmouth University loses discrimination case against Indian lecturer". Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  21. ^ "Demolition of Langstone Student Village, Portsmouth - H&S".
  22. ^ "Library". University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 9 February 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  23. ^ "University wins prestigious Oman contract". University of Portsmouth. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  24. ^ "University criticised for new contract with Oman military college". the Galleon. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Karen Blackett OBE announced as new University Chancellor". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Vice-Chancellor's Executive" (PDF). University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  27. ^ "Academic Departments". University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  28. ^ "About Us". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  29. ^ Cleary, Simon (12 June 2017). "Portsmouth University generates £1.1bn for UK – BiGGAR Economics".
  30. ^ "Facts & Figures" (PDF). University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  31. ^ Simon Baker (27 January 2011). "No relief for acupuncture students as private college collapses in debt". Times Higher Education.
  32. ^ a b "Results & submissions: REF 2014: View results and submissions by institution".
  33. ^ "Dr Alessandro Melis". University of Portsmouth.
  34. ^ "The CRUNCH Project: Sustaining Food, Water and Energy in an Age of Climate Change". Urban Transformations. 17 December 2018.
  35. ^ "CRUNCH: Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices: Operationalising the Food-Water-Energy Nexus". Urban Transformations.
  36. ^ "Complete University Guide 2023". The Complete University Guide. 5 July 2022.
  37. ^ "Guardian University Guide 2023". The Guardian. 24 September 2022.
  38. ^ "Good University Guide 2023". The Times. 17 September 2022.
  39. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 15 August 2022.
  40. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2023". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. 8 June 2022.
  41. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2023". Times Higher Education. 12 October 2022.
  42. ^ Archives, The National. "The National Archives - UK Government Web Archive".
  43. ^ "Gold rating for teaching excellence at the University of Portsmouth - UoP News".
  44. ^ a b "University of Portsmouth". Times Higher Education (THE). 15 March 2018.
  45. ^ "Students' anger over axed clubs". BBC News. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  46. ^ "Student Living Index 2018 - Life Moments - NatWest".
  47. ^ a b "Group Lists".
  48. ^ "Activities". Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  49. ^ "Credits for your career : Volunteering Advice". National Union of Students (United Kingdom). Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  50. ^ "Old folk and students to learn from each other". The News. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ "Poets: Simon Armitage". BBC. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  54. ^ "Lord Chidgey – Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on International Affairs (DfID)". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  55. ^ "The man who would have been leader". BBC News. 27 October 1998. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  56. ^ Vallely, Paul (14 January 2006). "Ben Fogle: Action man". The Independent. London. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  57. ^ Jones, Craig (20 November 2019). Fighting with Pride. ISBN 978-1-5267-6525-3.
  58. ^ "Nick Kennedy". Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  59. ^ Tabbitt, Sue (29 October 2012). "Bouncing back from bankruptcy". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  60. ^ "Staff - University of Portsmouth". Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  61. ^ "Timothy Peake". European Space Agency. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  62. ^ "The 100 most powerful people in British culture". Daily Telegraph. 11 November 2016. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  63. ^ 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.

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