What's student life in Portsmouth like?
Explore all our city has to offer – from where to go and what to see, to useful advice for settling in
We are proud that students have ranked us a TOP 25 university in the UK for student satisfaction (Times Higher Education, 2023). When it comes to choosing a course, we know it's about finding the right mix of academic support, great facilities and picking a great place to live and study.
Find out more about student life in Portsmouth – from where you'll stay, to the places you can go and things you can do once you're here – read the success stories of our recent grads, and get all the help and advice you need to make the right choice on where to study.
Life outside study
Amazing places to eat, fantastic independent shops, great green spaces – everything you need to work, rest and play is waiting for you in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth: Your time, your place
There are plenty of great reasons to choose Portsmouth for your university adventure – here are some of the best.
Discover Portsmouth | City Guide
Portsmouth is a great place to live as well as study. We're the UK's only island city and life as a student in Portsmouth is unbeatable. We’ve got beaches, great places to eat, heaps of independent shops and music venues, cultural and artistic hotspots, and stacks of green space. Portsmouth is one of the most picturesque, welcoming and interesting places to live in the UK, and was voted the in the top 10 trending hotspots by Airbnb (2022).
I think Portsmouth is very forward thinking.
It's got such a really friendly atmosphere and even though it's a city, it’s quite a small city, so it feels really welcoming and homely.
When I first came to the open day for Portsmouth, I instantly fell in love with it.
When the sun is shining, there is nowhere better than Portsmouth.
Welcome to Portsmouth, the UK's only island city and home to the University of Portsmouth.
Join us today as we show you some of our favourite spots so you can take advantage of studying at the heart of our community.
It's a very cosmopolitan city, it's got so much to offer.
You have the commercial road, you have the city centre ar the heart where it's all lively.
Student nightlife is really, really good. You’ve got lots of nightclubs, lots of stuff to do.
But then as soon as you come to Southsea it’s more of a lazy seaside town, you get to go to the beach.
You just have to go down to the beach or the common on a sunny day and everyone's having picnics. It's just beautiful.
Fuelling up for the day, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice.
Everyone I know has a different favourite café spot.
We’ve got you covered for freshly roasted coffee, doughnuts, fish and chips, vegan food and artisan bread.
And that’s before we even get to the restaurants and bars. Cheers.
Okay, shopping. I love to shop local myself and the top spots for that are Palmerston Road, Marmion Road or here, Castle Road.
Commercial Road has you set for your shopping essentials. Or pop down to Southsea for charity shop bargains and quirky independent businesses to browse for something unique.
Or join us in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth's Waterfront Shopping Centre to check in on your favourite brand outlets or catch the lights at Christmas.
I love that kind of vibrancy of the city
It's got a real independent spirit about it.
I think it's got a really good mix of independent businesses.
There are so many local independent businesses.
There are entertainment activities in terms of lots of bars and restaurants and loads of cool places to eat.
There's so much to do right here in the place you live.
There's an island’s worth of beautiful coast to explore and unique green spaces like Canoe Lake and the Rose Garden to enjoy with your friends or by yourself as a space for study or reflection.
Or for something a little different, you could wander into an art gallery, try an escape room, or book a table with your friends at DICE, the local board game café.
And don't forget the nights. There's a ton of live music events happening every week as well as karaoke comedy nights and live theatre.
There are lots of cultural events, art galleries, music venues.
And there are so many shows. You've got kite festivals.
The big one that really helps the town is Victorious Festival.
It is such a really lovely community.
And I think after you've been here a while, you feel part of the community.
It just makes you feel like you're at home away from home.
Portsmouth is a one of a kind place, a place for you to explore and thrive.
There's something for everyone here, and we can't wait for you to be part of it.
To find out more about our city, book an open day and get exploring, visit port.ac.uk.
Take a look at where you'll stay when you study at Portsmouth, how much it'll cost, and what you'll get for your money – plus where to get housing support and how to get a guaranteed room in our halls.
Careers and employment
Our graduate employment rates are among the UK's best, with 94% of our students in work and/or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2020/21). We're in the top 20% of all universities in England for graduate start-up activities (Knowledge Exchange Framework 2022).
Guidance and support
Find out about the guidance and support you'll get if you need a helping hand with academic life – or life in general – when you study with us at Portsmouth.
Studying with us is a great decision, but don't just take our word for it – read stories from our graduates about why they chose Portsmouth and how studying with us changed their lives.