Portsmouth, University of


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Overall ranking: 59th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Born as a school of arts and science, became a technical institute, municipal college, college of technology, Portsmouth Poly and, finally, a university in 1992.

Address: Most university buildings are close to the city centre, with the marine labs, sports pitches and some of the halls of residence across the city at Langstone Harbour. Most students live in the seaside resort of Southsea.

Ambience: University buildings vary from modern tower blocks to lovely listed buildings and ex-army barracks. Portsmouth is compact though not bijou. The beaches and historic docks are within walking distance of the main university buildings. The harbour was refurbished as a part of a £112m millennium project, bringing Gunwharf Quays with its designer outlets, bars, restaurants and clubs providing a source of entertainment and student work opportunities.

Who's the boss? Professor Graham Galbraith joined the university in September 2013, taking over from Economist Professor John Craven who retired after 16 years as vice-chancellor.

Prospectus: 023 9284 4444 or order one here.

UCAS code: P80

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Keen on widening participation, so they take students without traditional qualifications if they have the potential. Some courses like psychology and pharmacy require high A-level grades.

Vital statistics: One of the best of the former polys, its degree work goes back to the early 1900s. Big proportion of undergraduates are over 21 at the start of their course, and almost 30 per cent of undergraduates come from areas of widening participation.

Added value: Right by the sea which some halls of residence overlook. Excellent for water sports. It has an ultra-modern £11m 'green' library, a new creative arts faculty and a £300,000 virtual reality centre. All students have web access and free PC facilities. Own on-campus recruitment consultancy, Purple Door Recruitment, aims to help graduates straight into permanent jobs, part-time jobs and volunteering positions. A £9m University of Portsmouth Dental Academy trains 80 student dentists, dental technicians and dental nurses together as part of a team and provides improved access to NHS dental services opened earlier this year. The university recently opened a new £14m wing on the Eldon Building to include an exhibition space, artists' studios and a 250-seat professional theatre and film screening facility.

Teaching: 51th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 61st out of 126 with 66.2 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes, a range of rooms in different halls of residence are available. Self-catered accommodation ranges from £82 to £129 per week, while catered is £102 per week for a shared bathroom and £99 or £127 for an en-suite room. See here for more details.

Cheap to live there? Not bad, with private rents at around £70 per week.

Transport links: Good for cyclists because the ground is flat. Main rail station a quick stroll across Guildhall Square (one hour and 15 minutes to London). Cross-Channel ferry port and cheap cabs about town.

Fees: For full-time home and EU undergrads, tuition fees will be £9,000 for 2014/15 intake. Postgrads, international students, part-time students and students on NHS-funded courses pay varying fees.

Bursaries: All eligible full-time English students whose assessed household income is £25,000 or less can receive a bursary of £2,100. Students from a household bringing in less than £42,620can also receive financial help. To see if you might be eligible, click here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: A £6.5m student centre boasts a well-stocked bar and an alcohol-free area. Various bars and clubs throughout Portsmouth, a city that attracts some big name bands.

Price of a pint: Expect to find pints for around £3 in the city.

Sporting reputation: 46th out of 145 in the current BUCS league, so not too bad. Sports scholarship scheme to help support elite sportsmen and women develop their sport alongside their academic studies.

Notable societies: Give the combat simulation sport Airsoft a try, or spin some plates with Circus Skills Society. You can even skydive here!

Glittering alumni: Poet Simon Armitage; MP Andrew Miller; former MPs David Chidgey and Diana (now Baroness) Maddock; Ron Davies, ex-Welsh Secretary; Ben Fogle, TV presenter and Castaway 2000.

Alternative prospectus: Sneak a peek at how current and recent Portsmouth students rate their university experience on What Uni?, from city life and job prospects to eye candy and the Students' Union.