Information for new students

Life at University

Students on beach with pier in background

Being a good neighbour

As a student of the University of Portsmouth, you should have high expectations of your time with us. We equally have high expectations of you.

Being away from home for the first time can be an exciting and daunting prospect, and Portsmouth is a vibrant city with plenty to do and explore. We work closely with agencies in the city to build a healthy and responsible environment, and we expect our students to look out for each other’s safety and welfare as members of the University community.

The University has a major physical presence in Portsmouth and with it the potential to make an impact, for better or worse, on the city’s environment. We take this responsibility very seriously and expect you, as a member of the University community, to share it. When you are out and about in the city, and if you’re living in private accommodation, we expect you to be a good neighbour and responsible citizen. Students are expected to behave responsibly and respectfully towards our neighbours and the local community and do nothing that might damage the University’s reputation.

You can read the University of Portsmouth Student Charter for more information.

The Student Neighbour Liaison Service located in Student Housing can offer advice about being a good neighbour and assistance to help you resolve any problems that may occur.

While at the University you will also have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community and boost your CV through local volunteering programmes, work placements and part-time jobs.

Working and volunteering

University’s employment services, Purple Door – many students work part-time or take a vacation employment. It is an excellent opportunity to earn extra money and gain valuable work skills and experience.

Volunteering – according to a recent Deloitte Survey 80% of HR Executives said they would be more likely to hire a graduate with skilled volunteer experience. Make sure you get some whilst you’re studying at Portsmouth! Look out for the Volunteering Fair in October.

The Students' Union also offers volunteering opportunities, which you can fit in around your studies and a part-time job.

Sports Volunteering Hub – register your details now to find out about coaching, officiating and activator roles, and many more.

Sport, music and languages

Sport and recreation – whether you are an elite athlete or just want to keep fit, we pride ourselves in the breadth of our sports opportunities for all ambitions and abilities. We have extensive sports facilities across three sites, including a gym, sports halls, grass pitches, racket courts, netball courts, astroturf pitches and our recently refurbished 3G pitch.

Free Get Active membership – stay active and healthy at University: we provide all students free Get Active membership with access to free or discounted sports sessions in our facilities.

Campus Sport – we offer five-a-side football, badminton and tennis.

Coaching and volunteering programme – you can also enhance your employability by learning and developing sport-based skills. We can help you access sports volunteer placements in community groups, schools, sports events and local clubs.

Musical activities – bring your musical instrument and musical talents to University! Whether you are a beginner or an advanced performer, and regardless of which degree you are studying for, we offer lots of ways for students to get involved in music making. We pride ourselves on helping individuals to realise their musical potential.

Groups on offer include: Choir, Orchestra, Wind Band, Big Band, and the Dramatic and Musical Society. A variety of smaller ensembles, such as string quartets and brass quintets, can also be formed. We provide numerous listening and performing opportunities, links with the curriculum and musical tuition.

If you are a musician or interested in our musical events and activities, please register here.

Learn a Language  the University also offers the opportunity for all students to learn a new language for free, enabling you to broaden your horizons and add to your CV.

Life on campus

Your Hall, Your Home – if you’re allocated to Halls, this will be your home, along with many other students. We want you all to have fun in a safe, comfortable and peaceful study environment, and you have the right to live in your Halls free from harassment from others. We therefore expect you to respect the rights of other residents, local neighbours, the University property and the staff who maintain it. All of the Hall rules and guidelines are designed to protect these rights and help you to meet your responsibilities and live comfortably.

Food on Campus – if you are hungry while on campus pop into one of our food outlets and get great discounts by registering for our loyalty scheme. Find out more by searching on MyPort for ‘food on campus’.

Supermarkets – those nearest the University are:

  • Tesco, Crasswell St, Portsmouth PO1 1HT
  • Asda, The Bridge Shopping Centre, Somers Road North, Portsmouth PO1 1SL
  • Sainsbury’s, 315 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, PO1 4BS

Don’t forget to collect your NUS extra card from the Students’ Union shop or apply online on the Students' Union website – you can get some fantastic discounts!

Getting around

Walking – Portsmouth is quite flat and compact, so it’s ideal for those who like walking around the city  everything is within easy walking distance.

Cycling – Portsmouth is a great city to cycle around too, and has some lovely scenic rides along the coast. Many of our students choose to ride their bikes to University and make good use of the secure and accessible bike sheds available across the campus.

Here are some safety tips:

  • Register your cycle online using (this will not insure your belongings but it will help if the police find your lost/stolen property)
  • Record the make, model, frame number, and any other identifying features of your cycle
  • Use a ‘Sold Secure’ approved D lock
  • Do not leave your cycle in isolated places
  • Lock the frame of your cycle to the locking point and whenever possible include the wheels, especially if they are quick release
  • When on campus, use the secure cycle storage provided by the University

University Bus the University inter-site bus service is a free service provided for students and staff, between Langstone campus and the city centre. The bus service runs between 7.40am and 10.40pm during the week in term time, and between 10.00am and 5.40pm at the weekends and during holiday periods (Uni Bus Portsmouth app).

City buses  regular services are provided by Stagecoach and First Bus to all parts of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.

Trains  there are four train stations in Portsmouth: Hilsea, Fratton, Portsmouth Harbour and, the station nearest the University campus, Portsmouth and Southsea. All stations serve regular trains to London, Southampton and Brighton. Trains are also a great means of transport for those living off the island in nearby locations, such as Cosham, Fareham and Hilsea. Trains to and from these destinations run regularly, taking between 7 and 15 minutes to get to Portsmouth and Southsea station. If you are aged between 16-25 don’t forget to purchase your railcard for a third off your travel.

Taxis – you’ll find lots of meter taxis, alongside two main taxi firms – Aqua Cars and CityWide. Uber also operates in Portsmouth.

Exploring the city

Once you’ve arrived in Portsmouth, you’ll probably be itching to explore, so here are a few pointers to help you find your way.

City Centre – Commercial Road in the city centre offers a great selection of the usual high street stores. Guildhall Walk has a number of different bars and clubs and the impressive Guildhall hosts a variety of musical acts, comedians, exhibitions and more. You’ll also find here the beautiful Victorian New Theatre Royal.

Gunwharf Quays – you’ll easily be able to locate Gunwharf Quays as the Spinnaker Tower is based here. At 170m high, Spinnaker Tower offers an amazing 360o panoramic view of Portsmouth Harbour, the south coast and the Isle of Wight. Gunwharf is packed with designer shops at discount prices, restaurants, bars and cafés to enjoy the harbour view, as well as a 14-screen cinema and bowling alley. Just next-door is the Historic dockyard, home to the HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, the HMS Alliance and the Mary Rose Museum.

Old Portsmouth  the original historic part of the city around Broad Street is a quiet, picturesque area where you’ll find traditional pubs and quaint tea rooms lining cobbled streets. The old defences are still in place and you can walk along the hot walls, part of the fortifications for the harbour entrance.

Southsea  just a short walk away from the University, covering the southern tip of the island, Southsea offers plenty of attractions. Four miles of beach, Clarence Pier and Southsea Common are great locations great for meeting friends and having picnics in the summer. The common also hosts a range of activities throughout the year, including a rural and seaside show, international kite festival, charity running and lots of live music events. Albert Road, at the heart of Southsea, is a bustling road of independent traders, quirky shops, fabulous restaurants, trendy bars and cafés, retro clothes, antiques and crafts. The restored Edwardian Kings Theatre and department stores can also be found here.