Good University Guide 2023

University of Portsmouth

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Portsmouth

Contact details


University House, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, PO1 2UP,

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The return to campus helped Portsmouth to jump more than 50 places on our two measures of student satisfaction this year, contributing to a 26-place rise in the overall table. The university is now in the top 35 in the sections of the National Student Survey focused on teaching quality. In 2023-24 the university is continuing with its “blended and connected approach”, with most teaching delivered in person, but up to 20 per cent of learning taking place online.

Portsmouth earned a gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework, with assessors praising high levels of student engagement and commitment to learning. Yet applications have dropped by a third since 2014, after seven successive declines. The numbers taking up places were down by a fifth in 2021, despite the university dropping out of the top 100 for average entry grades. 

A £400 million campus development programme may help to boost applications. The striking new £57 million Ravelin Sports Centre at the heart of the campus will be ready for the start of the 2022-23 academic year, and the university is spending another £135 million on a 12-storey academic building in the city centre with large, flexible spaces for teaching, research and collaboration, which is due to open in 2024. A new £7 million Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR) opened in 2022, bringing together an unprecedented variety of XR technologies, enhancing the work of the Future Technology Centre, which opened in 2019.

Much of the university’s recent investment has been on simulated facilities to give students hands-on experience to prepare them for careers. Students on healthcare courses, for example, learn to dispense medicines in a pharmacy and to treat NHS patients at a dental clinic. The ability to generate ideas and develop creative solutions of benefit to society and the economy is one of the ten “hallmarks of a Portsmouth graduate” that will apply to the new intake.

A good performance in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework has moved Portsmouth into the top half of our research quality index. More than three quarters of its work was considered world-leading or internationally excellent, the top two categories. Portsmouth entered more than 600 academics, twice the number involved in the previous national assessment in 2014. 

The university has been branching out in the south of England. A University Centre in Basingstoke will offer professionally focused higher-education courses in partnership with the University of Reading, and a partnership agreement was signed this year with Ryde town council on the Isle of Wight. There have also been talks with Waltham Forest council on the establishment of a London campus in the borough in the northeast of the capital.

Three new degrees were launched this year, in primary education, global communication, and criminology and environmental justice. Portsmouth’s 19 degree apprenticeship programmes have seen considerable growth recently, but are expected to stabilise at 1,000 apprentices in 2022-23.

More than a third of the undergraduates qualify for financial support, which includes a £750-a-year bursary for all students with a household income of less than £25,000. There are also scholarships to encourage progression to postgraduate courses where this will help a student’s career plans. Portsmouth Football Club contributes one scholarship of £3,000 a year for students from low-income homes in the city and the Isle of Wight to raise aspirations and awareness of higher education.

Nine out of ten undergraduates are from non-selective state schools and Portsmouth is in the top 20 for the proportion who are white working-class males, the most underrepresented group in higher education. The university set up a multi-academy trust in 2022, bringing together two primary schools in the city and one in nearby Gosport. 

The university has pioneered new approaches to student wellbeing. Academic staff, including personal tutors, are trained in mental health awareness and how best to support their students. Portsmouth was the first university to use WhatsUp?, a mental health app that promotes better communication between students and pastoral services. A student leadership programme develops resilience and community-building skills, encouraging students to make a contribution to an environment that helps every student to flourish.

Most of the university’s residential accommodation is close to the central Guildhall campus, although many students live in neighbouring Southsea. The university has almost 3,500 residential places — enough to guarantee accommodation to all new students who apply by the deadline and make Portsmouth their firm choice.

A £6.5 million student centre includes alcohol-free areas. Facilities at the new sports centre include an eight-lane 25m swimming pool, an eight-court sports hall, a 175-station fitness suite, squash courts and a ski simulator, while outdoor facilities are at the Langstone Sports Village, three miles from the city centre and reached via the university bus service. The university’s seaside location provides an excellent base for watersports and other leisure activities, while the city’s nightlife is lively.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 62 (88)
Teaching quality 77.2 33rd=
Student experience 73.2 46th=
Research quality 39.1 61st
Ucas entry points 112 108th=
Graduate prospects 73.7 62nd=
Firsts and 2:1s 76.3 78th
Completion rate 84.9 71st=
Student-staff ratio 16.8 75th
World ranking - 701= (651=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 22,110/4,410
Applications/places ratio 5:1
Overall offer rate 84.3%


Places in accommodation 3,512
Accommodation costs £100 - £165
Catered costs £135 - £175
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £925
Fees (overseas year) £925
Fees (international) £16,200 - £18,300
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,000


Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 40=
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 91.4%
Grammar school admissions 5.1%
Independent school admissions 3.4%
Ethnic minority students (all) 31.7%
Black achievement gap -19.4%
White working class males 7.6%
First generation students 45.6%
Low participation areas 17%
Working class dropout gap -1%
Mature 15.6%
EU students 5.1%
Other overseas students 11%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Music 86.2%
History 84.6%
English 84.5%
Mathematics 84.4%
Art and design 83.6%
Education 82.4%
Accounting and finance 82.3%
Communication and media studies 81.7%
Psychology 81.5%
Anatomy and physiology 81.2%
Drama, dance and cinematics 81%
Geology 80.4%
Geography and environmental science 80.2%
Anthropology 79.9%
Creative writing 79.9%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 79.9%
Business, management and marketing 79.3%
Information systems and management 79%
Social work 78.4%
Radiography 78.2%
Pharmacology and pharmacy 77.8%
Physics and astronomy 77.6%
Economics 77.1%
Biological sciences 76.3%
Sports science 76%
Law 75.9%
American studies 75.3%
Civil engineering 75.2%
Criminology 74.8%
Sociology 74.8%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 74.1%
Subjects allied to medicine 73.9%
Politics 73.6%
Chemical engineering 73.4%
Mechanical engineering 73.4%
Computer science 72.1%
Nursing 71.5%
Building 70.8%
Architecture 70.2%
Electrical and electronic engineering 67.4%