Our story

Colourful seating pods in Faculty of Technology

We've been making waves since 1869

Since we first opened our doors, almost everything has changed, with one exception – we've still got the same ambition to go further, do better and achieve more. Here are a few of the landmark moments we've enjoyed along the way.


The Park building opened as a Municipal college and public library. We focused on chemistry and engineering.


Our Student Union got up and running. The opening was featured in the earliest edition of our Student Union newspaper, The Galleon – still an important part of life at Portsmouth today.


After World War II, we started teaching arts and humanities subjects to respond to a growing demand from students.


We became Portsmouth Polytechnic.


Three years of building work began on Frewen Library – on the site of what is now our University library.


After a decade as one of the largest and best performing polytechnics in the UK, we out-grew our old name and received university status. The University of Portsmouth was born.

2005 to today

Across the last decade and a half, we've been investing in all areas of the University, improving our campus and our services along the way – check out a few of our highlights below. 

2006: New Library, halls and sports centre
Student standing on balcony in University of Portsmouth Library
2009: Dennis Sciama Building opens
Students chatting outside Dennis Sciama Building, Portsmouth
2011-onwards: new partnerships flourish
Interior of Third Space, Portsmouth
2014: Eldon Building
Stairs in foyer of Eldon Building, Portsmouth
2017: Rebrand and 25th Anniversary
University logo sculpture in The Hub, Dennis Sciama, Portsmouth
2018: Our Future Technology Centre
People in colourful seating pods in Faculty of Technology, Portsmouth