International students standing in a group and smiling

What to expect in your first week

What lies ahead as a new student with us

During your first weeks in Portsmouth, you’ll get to take part in an exciting programme of Orientation events, both in person and virtual. You’ll also get all the support you need to register with the University and pay your tuition fees.

Arrival programme and International Orientation 

Orientation activities start on Wednesday 17 January. We recommend you do join us for this exciting week of activities to get the best possible start to your studies. When you arrive, you can join campus tours, social events, student information fairs and speak to Global staff who can help you settle into University life. You’ll receive your orientation and registration programme by email before your first week.

Your orientation will be mainly in person, with a few online events.  If you are unable to join us for any sessions or you need a reminder, you will be able to use the On Demand section.

Your orientation includes

  • Course registration and ID checks
  • Welcome Plenary, workshops and social events
  • Collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP card) at your ID Check appointment if you applied for a Student Route visa
  • Live Q&As with current international students
  • Workshops and inspirational talks to get you motivated for the year ahead
  • An Information Fair once you have been here a few weeks to answer the questions you didn't know you had when you arrived

For help finding your way around the university, see our maps and directions page.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

You need a biometric residence permit (BRP) when you apply to stay in the UK for more than six months. You can use your BRP to confirm your identity, your right to study in the UK, access healthcare and to open a bank account. You do not need your BRP to prove your right to work or right to rent in the UK as you can do this online instead

Collecting your BRP

If you applied for your Student Visa outside of the UK, you must collect your BRP:

London Campus

You will need to collect your BRP card from the local Post Office:

Walthamstow Post Office 
240 Hoe Street
E17 3AX

Portsmouth Campus

  • From the Post Office named in your decision letter: Take your passport and Entry Clearance Office decision letter with you to the Post Office. The Post Office is open Monday to Saturday 9.00am–5.30pm (Tuesdays 9.30am–5.30pm).
  • You will be able to collect your BRP card when you attend your in-person ID Check appointment, if you selected the University (ACL)
  • If you receive an email from UKVI confirming your BRP card has been delivered to the University and is ready for collection please disregard this as your BRP card will only be available for collection at your ID Check

Sometimes there are delays in getting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card. Do not worry if this happens to you. If you are picking up your BRP card from the University and it was not there during your ID check, we will email you when it arrives. If you are picking up your card from the Post Office and there is a delay, they will tell you what to do next.

If you are from the European Economic Area or the European Union and you used the 'UK Immigration: ID Check app', you will get your visa as an online digital status instead of a card. You must show proof of this digital status when you register at the University and while you are studying in the UK. Keep your online digital status information safe.

For more information please see the government's guide to biometric residence permits.

If your BRP has the end date of 31 December 2024 but your course ends after this date, please visit and read the information. This may be correct even if your visa actually ends after this date.

Registering for your course

New students will receive an email at the end of August with details about how to Register.  If you have not received this email by the end of August, please check you have completed all the necessary actions in your Application View as you must formally accept your Unconditional Offer before you can register.

There are THREE parts to registration and you must complete them all to be a fully registered student.

  • Online Registration
  • Tuition Fee Payment / Confirmation of Sponsorship
  • In Person Identity (ID) Check

You need to complete the first two steps before you can complete the ID Check.  Once you have completed the first two steps, you will be sent an email to make an appointment to attend the ID Check.

At the ID Check you will need to confirm your identity and personal details as well as your right to study in the UK. If you selected the ACL and are eligible for a BRP, you will be able to collect it at the ID Check. 

If you have dependents with you in the UK who are also collecting their BRP, they will need to attend the ID Check with you.

If you fail to produced requested documentation, you are at risk of exclusion.

If you're transgender and can’t provide documentation that reflects your gender identity, get in touch with and we’ll resolve this for you in a confidential and respectful way.

Student Card

You will receive a separate email from the University about how to submit a photo and apply for your Student Card. If you submit your photo in time, you will be able to collect your Student Card at the ID Check. You will only be issued with your Student Card once you have completed all three steps of Registration. 

Transferring from another university

If you’re transferring from another university and don’t yet have a visa for the University of Portsmouth, you’ll need to show evidence of your visa application – such as your visa application checklist or visa application payment receipt/acknowledgement – before you’re allowed to register onto your course.

Paying your tuition and accommodation fees

You can pay your fees by logging into your Student View and accessing payment links via the My Finance tab.

See more advice on how to pay your fees on our website.

You must pay 50% of your tuition fees to be able to complete online registration.  You will not be able to register if you do not pay this amount and the funds have cleared into the University account.  You cannot pay this amount in instalments.

Joining your course and your attendance

You should try to avoid joining your course late as this will negatively affect your studies and may not be possible. Your term start date and the last date for registration is in your offer letter.

If you hold a Student Route visa, you will need to attend all of your scheduled sessions in person as a condition of your visa.

If you can’t arrive before the last date of registration, you will need to email the Registration Team at as soon as possible to let them know when you expect to arrive and see if this is possible.

If you're travelling to the UK and will be staying in university accommodation, you'll also need to contact the Student Housing team at to let them know when you'll be arriving. 

To provide you with the best opportunity in succeeding on your course, the University of Portsmouth recommends that your term time address is no greater than a 30 minute journey away by public transport from the University. This will enable you to attend your lectures and seminars and will provide you with the opportunity to regularly access the University's support services. 

Finding Accommodation in the UK

Wherever possible, you should try to secure your accommodation before you travel to the UK.  The Student Housing Team has lots of information and advice about how to do this.
If you do not have accommodation before you travel, make sure you have sufficient funds to stay in a hotel while you are looking.

If you are travelling to the UK with your dependents, we recommend you travel alone initially to find accommodation before your family joins you.  The University does not have any family accommodation available and hotels can be expensive while you are trying to find somewhere.

Staying safe in the UK

Education UK has produced some helpful advice about living and studying in the UK including a booklet about Staying Safe in the UK.

If you have any questions about joining the University please contact the International Student Advice team.