University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth

Infobox University
name = University of Portsmouth

motto =
established = 1869 (Gained university status in 1992)
type = Public
staff = 1,264
chancellor = Sheila Hancock
vice_chancellor = Professor John Craven
city = Portsmouth
state = Hampshire
country = UK
campus =
students = 19,860cite web|url=|title= Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07|accessdate= 2008-04-12|format= Microsoft Excel spreadsheet|publisher= Higher Education Statistics Agency]
undergrad = 15,570
postgrad = 4,030
doctoral =
other = 260 FE
affiliations = Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities Association of Commonwealth Universities European University Association The Channel Islands Universities Consortium
website =
The University of Portsmouth is a British university in the historic south coast city of Portsmouth. The campus is situated in the heart of the city, where academic buildings, halls of residence, the seafront, nightlife and sports facilities are in close proximity.

The University makes a significant contribution to Britain's international and national research agenda, particularly in the areas of cosmology, biomedical sciences, Slavonic studies and European studies. It's teaching scores are excellent (QAA 2004) and the 2007 National Students Survey placed the University in the top ten mainstream English universities for overall satisfaction.

Milestones in 2007/2008 include:

* re-launch of a prestigious Centre for Molecular Design
* UK's first dedicated brain tumour research centre established
* new forensic house which provides a multi-disciplinary student environment for studying crime scene detection
* ranked as one of the top UK universities for its green credentials (2007 UK People and Planet Green League Table)

The University is the 5th most popular destination for EU students and the 10th most popular destination for overseas (Non-EU) students. The departments of Economics, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Pharmacy and Pharmacology attract some of the largest population of international students in the United Kingdom. [] Portsmouth has been rated as the 5th best modern university in the UK by The Times Good University Guide. [ [ University of Portsmouth - Times Online ] ]


The University was founded as the "Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and the Arts" in 1869. Due to the dependence on shipping and trade to the city, the main function of the college was to train the engineers and skilled workmen who went on to work at the city docks, as well as at the large Royal Navy dockyard situated in Portsmouth. However, due to a decline in shipping and population since World War II, when large swathes of the city were destroyed by German bombing, the college was forced to diversify in terms of its syllabus and teaching in order to attract new students.

This steadily continued until the 1960s when, due to a massive government-sponsored expansion in Higher Education, the college was renamed Portsmouth Polytechnic. Along with this new name came the power for Portsmouth to award degrees, accredited and validated by the centralised CNAA. The expansion of the polytechnic continued and in the late 1980s, it was considered one of the largest and the best performing polytechnics in the UK. It narrowly missed being awarded university status in its own right in 1990, and instead was awarded university status with the power to validate its own degrees along with the other polytechnics in 1992, under the provision of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.

Since then the University has continued to grow and expand its range of degrees given till this day.


The University is split between two campuses: Guildhall and Langstone.

Langstone is the smaller of the two campuses, located in Milton on the eastern edge of Portsea Island, the island on which the city of Portsmouth sits. The campus overlooks Langstone Harbour and it is home to the University's sports grounds. It also includes a restaurant and bar, as well as a 'student village', which provides accommodation for 565 students in three halls of residence; Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother (QEQM), Trust Hall and Langstone Flats. Students in QEQM and Langstone Flats have en-suite rooms. It used to be home of the University's School of Languages and Area Studies. The School has now moved into the Park Building on the Guildhall Campus.

The Guildhall site is much larger. Unlike most university campuses, it is not all enclosed on one tract of land, instead featuring various university buildings scattered throughout the centre of the city. This campus contains much of the University's teaching facilities, and nearly all of the Student Halls of residence (except the Langstone student village and two halls (Rees Hall and Burrell House) located on Victoria Promenade, the city's main esplanade).

The University Library (formerly the Frewen Library) was extended in 2006 at a cost of £11 million. [ [ Library | University of Portsmouth ] ] Originally due to open in October, ongoing delays meant that it was not complete until January 2007, when it was opened by the crime writer P D James. The University has also in recent years invested in the Faculty of Science, in particular through the renovation of its aluminium-clad main building, St Michael's which is next to popular student halls, James Watson.

A new faculty called "Creative and Cultural Industries" was opened in September 2006. It aims to provide a unique environment in which all aspects of creative thinking will flourish and develop by combining creative schools from across the university.

Academic organization


The University's teaching in pharmacology and pharmacy, biosciences, mathematics, electronic and computer engineering, statistics and operational research has been rated "excellent" by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).Fact|date=June 2007

Social sciences are also a strength of the University, with education, modern foreign languages (with increasing provision for Mandarin and Arabic), politics and psychology also rated as excellent by the QAA. The University has also delivered one of the longest-running MBAs in the UK and has in 2007 received accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA).


Portsmouth Business School
* Department of Accounting and Law
* Department of Economics
* Department of Human Resource and Marketing Management
* Department of Strategy and Business Systems
* School of LawFaculty of Technology
* Department of Civil Engineering
* School of Computing
* Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation
* Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering
* School of Environmental Design and Management
* Department of Mathematics
* Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering
* Technology Extended CampusFaculty of Science
* School of Biological Sciences
* School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
* Department of Geography
* School of Professionals Complementary to Dentistry
* School of Health Sciences and Social Work
* Institute of Marine Sciences
* School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
* Department of Psychology
* Department of Sport and Exercise Science Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
* Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
* School of Education and Continuing Studies
* School of Languages and Area Studies
* School of Social, Historical, and Literary Studies
* Sigma Research (based in London)"'Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
* Portsmouth School of Architecture
* School of Art, Design, and Media
* School of Creative Arts, Film, and Media
* School of Creative Technologies
* Portsmouth Centre for Enterprise
* Institute of Industrial Research

tudent activities

The University offers a wide range of sports clubs, and fields teams in many competitions and in BUSA leagues. The sports on offer vary from traditional team games like football, rugby union, and cricket to Octopush, a form of under-water hockey and mens lacrosse. Notably, the University is home to the longest running university paintball club in the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly given Portsmouth's rich maritime history and location, Sailing and Rowing are also very popular, and the sailing team enters a team the for the annual Cowes Week regatta on the Isle of Wight.

Despite not offering a degree in Music, the University has a full time music department offering instrumental lessons and ensembles. These include the Choir, Orchestra, Wind Band and Big Band.

The faculty of technology enters a team into the inter-university motorsport challenge, [ Formula Student] .

tudent Union

The University of Portsmouth Students' Union was voted best Union in the UK in the New Musical Express in 2004. Formerly housed in the ex-NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes) building Alexandra House, a new £6.5 million purpose-built Union was opened in 2002 at the other end of Ravelin Park, to the north of Frewen Library, though the main entertainment area has been significantly altered recently.

The Union houses a bar. It also has 2 nightclubs (Lux and C02) and a Balfours/Co-Op grocery shop, along with Blackwells bookshop, Connect up the university's computer help store(part run by pcideals) and also its own radio station, Pure FM ( [] ).

Since the summer of 2005, a restructure resulted in the division of the Union into the UPSU Charity - whose broad remit covers such areas as the running of University clubs and societies - and its trading-orientated operations, under the remit of the University of Portsmouth Enterprise Ltd., a company owned by the University of Portsmouth to " [offer] to business, industry and the public sector the wide range of skills and knowledge in the University".


The Union's media outlets include radio and magazine- and newspaper-format printed materials, as well as various periodical publications.

;Pure FM - [] The Union's student radio station is run as a society as part of the UPSU Charity, with a remit to broadcast student-orientated content suitable for a wide range of audiences. The station, currently broadcasting over the internet via its website, has recently undergone a revamp in terms of website design as well as a whole host of new presenters and programs being added to the structure.

;Pugwash magazineThe student magazine is called Pugwash and is published every month. In its time it has won the Best Student Magazine award from the National Union of Students, among other awards. [] [ [ The Rundown | Student Media - National Student Journalism Awards shortlist announced ] ]

; Pugwash NewsPugwash News is a new bi weekly paper from UPSU incorporating Purple Wednesdays and a new News/Features and Reviews Section.

;Purple WednesdaysThere was a weekly sports and societies newspaper called "Purple Wednesdays". The name stems from the ubiquitous day for BUCS (British Universities Sports Association) activities and the fact that purple is the corporate colour of the University (though strangely enough, it doesn't feature prominently on the University's armorial bearings). Sporting 'colours' (awarded annually for achievement and effort) are thus "Purples" and "Half Purples".

"Purple Wednesdays" is also the name given to the weekly nightclub and bar event held at the Union.

;Pompey GuideThis is published annually to coincide with the start of the academic year, and is designed to offer new and returning students alike a snapshot of the range of facilities on offer throughout the Union, the University, and in the wider context of Portsmouth.

;Website UPSU.netPrimarily controlled by the UPSU charity and media teams, the Union's website was recommissioned in 2005 to provide a single point of reference for each and every activity within the Union. The site covers news, support, general and contact information, as well as listing clubs and societies, details of democratic process and so forth for the UPSU (Charity) side of the Union.

The UPEL (trading) side of the Union is represented under the "Social:Life" heading and its aim is to ensure customers are fully aware of the Union's events and other trading activities. To that end, this can be considered the only part of the website which has a clearly-defined and comparatively tangible role as that of an advertising platform. is one of the first students' Unions in the country to transfer its membership registration process online, a move which has reaped many rewards for the Union both in terms of reducing the inconvenience associated with the issue of student memberships, and the accuracy and security of the Union's data collection processes.

In the future, the Union have stated their aim to expand the use of the website to capitalise on the ease with which students and non-students alike can provide feedback, as a way of improving the Union's relationship with its customers.


University of Portsmouth Enterprise (UPEL) is a limited company, which operates trading functions within the Students' Union, including bars, catering and entertainments.

Following financial difficulties in 2005, UPSU was re-structured and is now a registered charity, with its trading arm (UPSU Trading Ltd.) placed under the direct control of the University, through the auspices of UPEL (University of Portsmouth Enterprise Ltd, previously only used for commercialising research). As a result of this new investment, in October 2005 the Union was redeveloped.


University officers

On 16 May 2007, Sheila Hancock OBE was appointed Chancellor of the University. [ [ Portsmouth Today - May 16 2007] accessed May 16, 2007]

The former Chancellor was Lord Palumbo of Walbrook, a property developer who was once Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain. He sits as a Conservative peer in the House of Lords and was educated at Eton College and also Worcester College, Oxford.

The Vice-Chancellor is Professor John Craven who was appointed in 1997. Professor Craven is an economist, and was educated at the University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He previously was a Professor of Economics at the University of Kent.

Deputy Vice Chancellor is Rebecca Bunting. Pro Vice Chancellors are Professor David Arrell and Professor John Turner.

Notable alumni

* Simon Armitage - Poet
* David Chidgey, Baron Chidgey of Hamble-le-Rice in the County of Hampshire - Liberal Democrat politician
* Shirley Conran - Writer
* Ron Davies - Former Labour Politician and Former Secretary of State for Wales
* Kate Edmondson - Television presenter of TMF UK's 'The Loaded Hour'
* Malcolm Evans (computer programmer)
* Ben Fogle - Television presenter and Travel writer
* Simon Hill - Sports Commentator
* Rizwan Khan - Journalist
* Rachel Lowe - Game Designer, Entrepreneur & Head of RTL Games
* Diana Maddock, Baroness Maddock - Liberal Democrat politician
* Andrew Miller - Labour politician
* Nick Duffy Artist Musician and Filmmaker
* Grayson Perry - Artist winner of the 2003 Turner Prize
* Ricky Salmon - Radio presenter
* Howie Watkins - Television presenter and "Performance Biologist"
* Asha Tanna - Television five news presenter
* Adam Hamilton - Distinguished explorer and adventurer


External links

* [ University of Portsmouth] – The University of Portsmouth official website.
* [ University of Portsmouth Students' Union (UPSU)] – The University of Portsmouth Students' Union official website.
* [ Pure FM] – The University of Portsmouth student radio official website.
* [ Formula Student Portsmouth] - The University of Portsmouth Formula Student Racing Team website.

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