7 reasons to study in Portsmouth

04 Aug 2021
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Finding a city that captures your interest and caters to your personality and hobbies can make or break your uni experience. Our city guides share some of the best features of each uni city in the UK – helping you make the right decision when it comes to where you study.

This article looks at the reasons why you should study in Portsmouth, covering all the best parts of being a student on the south coast.

1. The university

There are a lot of great things that can be said about the University of Portsmouth. Students love studying there – with the uni ranking in the top 30 in the country for student satisfaction and many of the courses scoring 100% for satisfaction.

The University of Portsmouth was also ranked number one for boosting graduate salaries by The Economist in 2017. As a student in Portsmouth, you can expect an education you’ll enjoy and a respectable salary waiting for you once you graduate.

The university also takes pride in the support they offer their undergraduates, with Student Welcome Ambassadors ready to help you settle into uni life, offering both academic and personal support at every stage of your degree.

2. Cost of living

Portsmouth is the 5th most affordable place in the UK to live as a student – which a great reason to choose to study here. You’ll be able to save money and make your student loan last in Portsmouth without having to sacrifice meals out or clubbing. All of this means you’ll be able to enjoy the very best that university offers and keep some money aside for exploring local culture or a summer holiday.

3. The shopping

As a student, having somewhere you can satisfy your fashion and lifestyle needs once your loan drops is a must. The city might not be as big as the likes of London, Manchester and Birmingham, [SC1] but Portsmouth can hold its own when it comes to getting a dose of retail therapy. You’ll find over 90 stores in Gunwharf Quays – the shopping centre is the South Coast’s leading designer shopping outlet. Head to Commercial Road for all your well-known high street stores or visit Southsea for quirky independent boutiques. You’ll find something for everyone in Portsmouth and shopping is definitely a great reason to consider studying here. If you’re looking for a little more, London is just a 90-minute train away, making it accessible for a day trip to Harrods, Oxford Street and more!

4. The coast

Living in a coastal city is a unique benefit of choosing Portsmouth for your studies. Not many students have the beach on their front doorstep for a spot of relaxation and to take time away from their studies. The coast has an abundance of bars, restaurants and cafes where you and your friends can spend your time during the summer months. Living in Portsmouth also means students can take on exciting activities you couldn’t do in other cities in the UK. This includes things like kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding and more. Finally, whilst you’re a student in Portsmouth you can hop on a ferry to the Isle of Wight if you feel like spending your spare time exploring.

5. Cultural activities

Alongside the city’s excellent amenities and selection of bars and restaurants, Portsmouth has so much more history and culture to offer its student community. If you find yourself with a few days off from your studies – here are some great things we recommend you do during your spare time:

Emirates Spinnaker Tower
Modelled on a sail to reflect the city’s seafaring history, this landmark is the tallest climbable structure outside of the capital and offers stunning views from 100m above sea level along with a sky bar and three viewing platforms. Visit during the Sunset Sundays session and watch nature’s very own light and colour show.

Canoe Lake
Take a pedalo out on Canoe Lake and spend the day taking in the Victorian-era surroundings. It’s also a great place to grab a bucket and fishing line and spend the day catching crabs.

D-Day story
Visit the UK’s only museum dedicated to the Allied invasion in 1944. This excellent museum allows you to learn the personal stories behind this monumental historic event.

No Man’s Fort
One of three forts built to resist a predicted French invasion in the 19th century, this military museum is accessible from Gunwharf Quays via ferry. It has rooms with ocean views, a restaurant for lunch or afternoon tea and has become an adult playground with the likes of laser quest, escape rooms and cocktail making also on offer.

Hotwalls Studios
This former artillery barracks has been converted to an artistic quarter and is open to the public. Creatives and designers can use the 13 different studios for inspiration.

6. The festivals

Festivals are a must in summer during your studies when you have so much time off and having so many on its doorstep is another reason why you should study in Portsmouth. From alternative arts, culture and heritage to A-list bands at Victorious Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival just a short ferry ride away, studying in Portsmouth will ensure you’re never far from the action and give you a chance to see how the locals party.

7. The transport

Despite being located on the south coast – Portsmouth has excellent transport links to the rest of the country and Europe. Trains from Portsmouth station offer fast travel around the UK, including London in less than 90 minutes. Southampton Airport is also just half an hour down the road if you want to catch a flight to popular holiday destinations around Europe. The city also has buses running hourly and a flat landscape that makes it easy to cycle.

If you’re interested in studying on the south coast and are looking for student accommodation, we have halls dotted across the city centre.

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Staff writer at The Common Room