An aerial shot of Portsmouth and the University buildings

What will campus and city life be like this year?

Find out how we're keeping campus safe for our staff and students, and read our advice on how to safely explore the city

When the new term starts on 5 October, we'll have all the necessary safety measures in place to open our campus – including our teaching spaces, communal spaces, toilets, cafes and the library. 

Every building will be open in line with with government guidance. There'll be a few restrictions in place, but you'll still be able to settle into life on campus. Much of the city – including our beaches, green spaces, public transport, cafes and restaurants – are opening up too, with all the appropriate safety measures in place.

How we're keeping our campus safe 

  • All teaching to large groups will be delivered online using enhanced technology
  • COVID-19 testing adjacent to the campus with same-day and walk-in appointments available for students and staff who are feeling unwell 
  • Touch points such as doors, handles and stair rails will be cleaned regularly
  • Communal areas, including teaching areas, toilets and hallways will be cleaned daily 
  • Protective screens where there are lots of face-to-face interactions, such as in the library and reception areas, are being installed
  • The number of people using lifts will be restricted, so everyone has more space
  • One-way systems will be in place in buildings
  • Hand sanitising stations will be available around campus
  • Temperature scanning will be in place at strategic places around the campus 
  • Signs and floor markings will be in place to help with social distancing and encourage good hygiene

Face coverings and PPE

Our campus can be a busy place, so you may want to wear a face covering while you’re here, for times when social distancing isn’t possible. There will be disposable face masks available on campus too.

Some courses include practical learning where you may need to wear extra personal protective equipment (PPE), like a face shield, disposable gloves or a disposable apron. We’ll supply these if you need them.

Getting into teaching and support spaces

Getting into your classes is simple – your student card will give you access to the teaching spaces and University buildings where your small-group sessions such as seminars, workshops and labs take place. It won’t let you into any space you don’t need to be in.

If you need a face-to-face chat, you can speak with your personal tutor and any of our guidance and support teams, who are also available via video chat, phone or email. 

Just remember that when you meet face-to-face, you may need to wear a face covering if social distancing isn’t possible. Our staff may be doing the same.

Sports facilities

Our sports facilities include fully-equipped gyms, courts and playing fields, which are available to all students. 

We’re following the Government’s advice on reopening sports facilities, but when they are available again, we’re planning some changes to keep you feeling safe and protected, including:

  • Allowing fewer people in at a time to allow for social distancing
  • Smaller fitness classes to allow for social distancing

For the latest updates, keep checking the Sport Portsmouth coronavirus information page.

An aerial shot of the city of Portsmouth

Getting around the city

Portsmouth is an island city where everything is on your doorstep – including the beach and Southsea Common.

Walking and cycling

We always encourage you to walk and cycle to get around the city where possible. Portsmouth is a compact city, so this is very easy. 

If you're living in our halls of residence, you're within short walking distance of the University campus and the city centre. So you should only need public transport to get around if walking or cycling isn't an option.

MyJourney Hampshire has great tips and a route-finder when walking or cycling around Portsmouth.

Getting outside

Not only will you be living by the seaside in Portsmouth, but the city also has many large open parks and commons where you can socially distance when seeing friends or going for walks.

For more information, see our page on beaches, piers and parks.

Enjoying the city

Portsmouth is full of thriving independent businesses including bakeries, craft stores, bookshops, cafes and local restaurants who are working hard to provide a service to the residents in the city. 

Currently, most cafes, restaurants and pubs are open and many are offering a takeaway or delivery service such as £2 pizza slices or fresh bread delivered to your home.

Non-essential shops such as many high street and independent shops have also reopened in the city. Many of these shops offer online facilities so you have the option of buying online or enjoy a wander around the shops in the city. Gunwharf Quays is also open for business. 

Some of the art and craft stores are offering online classes for you to get creative in your spare time outside uni study. 

Students' Union and Freshers' Fayre '20

The Students' Union will continue to offer many opportunities for you to socialise, make friends and get involved in activities outside of your course. You can be sure there'll be something for you, whether an online event or face-to-face activity following Government guidance on social distancing.  

One of these events is the Freshers' Fayre in the week starting 5 October. This provides information on all the opportunities available to you to enrich your student experience, such as support about student life and information about sports and student groups.

This year it will be delivered in a blended format, with some activities held online and some face-to-face. The Students' Union and University are currently looking at what face-to-face activity is feasible and safe within the current guidelines. We're hoping it will include activities such as:

  • city tours and trips, for example to the iconic Spinnaker Tower and historical tours
  • treasure hunts
  • informal meet and greet sessions
  • cooking classes
  • a money saving event

Keep checking back here and on the Students' Union website for updated information.  

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