Collage of student union activities, including lacrosse

Get involved at the SU

Find out more about your Students' Union – from how to get involved, to the many clubs and societies you can join

If you want to meet new people, get involved with one of more than 140 student groups, or check out what's happening on campus each week — the Students' Union is the place to go.

Run by students, for students as an independent charity, the mission of the University of Portsmouth Students' Union (UPSU) is to make a positive impact on every Portsmouth student. The Union is buzzing with young and inspiring people who are improving their skills, taking on new experiences and motivating others to get involved. 

Supporting you throughout your student life, the Union gives you access to activities and services that broaden your horizons, increase your employability and helps you make lifelong friends.

Joining the University soon? Sign up for UoP societies before you arrive

Get ahead of the crowd - complete this form and choose which student societies you’d like to join before Freshers’ Fayre, from gospel choir, gaming, to beer pong.

Sign up now

University of Portsmouth student union volunteer speaking to new students
Up for Uni Residential; June 2019

Get involved in UPSU

If you're studying at the University, you're already a member of UPSU, but there's more you can do.

As a member of the Union, you can:

  • Vote in elections for your representatives at all levels
  • Provide feedback and influence key decisions about the direction of your Union
  • Suggest and campaign for improvements to student life and services through the 'Have Your Say' initiative
  • Give your classmates a voice on how you're learning as a Course Rep 
  • Feedback on your course via the StART Tool.
  • Become a voice for underrepresented students, become one of UPSU’s People of a Global Minority (PGM) Ambassadors.
  • Represent students' academic interests as a Faculty Rep
  • Become an Elected Officer and spend a year promoting student rights and leading uni-wide initiatives, whilst being paid a full-time salary
  • Work at the Union as a casual staff member, develop real-life work skills and become more employable for when you graduate

Join a student group

There are loads of student-run groups, covering sport, culture, politics, gaming, faith and much more. Meet like-minded people and share experiences over a game, a night out or a society-run event. Depending on your interests, you can:

  • Play for one of our 24 sports clubs – just for fun or for British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) glory
  • Get involved in the annual Fusion Festival run by the Afro-Caribbean Society as part of Black History Month
  • Write for the student magazine or help run a radio show or write for the student-run media collective.
  • Get to know people and cultures across shared backgrounds through groups such as the Korean, Tamil or Nigerian societies
  • Meet lifelong friends and campaign with the LGBT+ Society
  • Learn salsa with other beginners and take it to the local Latin club with the Cuban Salsa Society
  • Cook up a storm with the Cooking and Baking Society 
  • Share your passion for computing with the IT Society
  • Check out Portsmouth's local acts and alternative music with friends at the Rock Society

Plus many, many more…

Community spaces at the Students' Union

The Union Shop

The Union Shop in the reception of the Union Building in Cambridge Road is at the heart of the student community. It's home to all our University of Portsmouth merchandise and a hub for students to make general inquiries.

See our branded clothing and accessories range, which includes t-shirts, hoodies, sweaters, varsity jackets, mugs and water bottles. Collect your free TOTUM (the UK's No 1 student discount card) to start getting discounts online and in stores around the country, and pick up discounted tickets for local events. There's also a what's on noticeboard for our clubs and societies.

The 3rd Space

Our Student Union building features The 3rd Space, an open plan area for you to chill with your friends, study in a casual environment and check out what's happening around the university. 

The 3rd Space is home to community and society events such as Feel Good Fest, Nerdvana and Fight Night. There's also a flexible stage and live performance setup, where we've hosted the likes of British rapper, writer and activist Akala, a live broadcast of BBC Radio 4's Any Questions and a Radio 1 professional meet and greet for students to learn about the radio industry.  

The Common Room

Fancy a chilled environment to catch up with friends or work on a team project? The Common Room is situated downstairs in the Union building and features soft furnishings, air hockey, table tennis and foosball. It’s also hosted several in-year events, such as Student Election Q&As, Vintage Vera Kilo Sales and more.

Meeting and activity rooms

There are 5 bookable rooms available in the Union building that are used for conferences, meetings, training, workshops and rehearsals.

Rooms are generally booked on behalf of societies, sports clubs, volunteering and student media groups. Individual students can book out the rooms for academic purposes by requesting in person.

Find out more about the rooms and how to book them on the Union website.

Gun House Green

Just outside the Union building is Gun House Green, an outdoor space that's bright and sunny in the summer.

Hang out with your classmates by the benches and enjoy the weather, take a nap in the shade, or set up a little picnic on the grass. It's also a good space for events during the warmer months, such as society socials, wellbeing and outreach events, and July Open Days.

Students and visitors gathered in Third Space in the Students' Union

Events at the Union

Union-run big-ticket events throughout the year include:

Welcome Month and Freshers' Fayre

Welcome Month is your gateway into student life and the highlight is the Freshers' Fayre.

With a live DJ setup on Gun House Green, stalls for clubs, groups and volunteering groups (the Union hosts more than 150), plus discounts and giveaways, Freshers' Fayre is where it all starts. It's a great opportunity to start making your contacts and friends for life, as well as getting involved in our vibrant student community. 

The Union also offers free BBQs when you arrive, guided city walking tours, Give Me Sport taster sessions run by Sport and Rec, and various nights out during September.

Charity events

Our student groups are active in helping the local community and good causes nationwide. We run events throughout the year to spread awareness and raise funds for charities.

We've got a particular focus on helping mental health charities provide support to people when they need it most. For instance, our Music Society has raised funds with Tonic Music for Mental Health and the Gaming Society has run events with the proceeds going to Special Effect.

Purple Wednesdays

The Union teams up with Eskimo 11 and bars including Tokyo Joes, The Astoria and Popworld Portsmouth to host Purple Wednesdays – a dedicated student night every week.

You can get together with your friends, society or housemates for a top night out. A portion of the money you spend also goes back into the Union, so it can keep putting on bigger and better events throughout the year!

The Union Advice Service

We hope University will be one of the best experiences of your life! But if you do need help, the independent Union Advice Service is here to help.

They offer free, confidential, impartial and non-judgemental support. This includes providing advice and guidance on a range of academic and university issues that you may face throughout your studies.

They can help you understand the University's policies and procedures, as well as support you with any University meetings. Their team of trained staff and peer advisors are on hand all year round and work closely with the University to resolve issues that may arise and ensure that all students are treated fairly.

Find out more about life in Portsmouth

Take a closer look at more of the exciting things on offer in our amazing city.

Places to eat in Portsmouth

Hungry for adventure? Here's a taster of the great food and drink you can savour in the city.

Busy meal at table from top-down
Grub's up

Beaches, piers and parks

Portsmouth is a bustling city with the sea on our doorstep and green spaces all around.

Ferry in the sea
Start exploring

Sport in Portsmouth

From water sports to football and quidditch - few cities can compete with Portsmouth's sports opportunities.

Portsmouth FC vs Exeter City FC
For UoP internal use only
Let's play

Portsmouth's music scene

Want to get involved in Portsmouth's music scene? Here's all you need to start.

Rapper Krept, University of Portsmouth graduate, performing
1, 2, 3, 4...