Student Life

Students on a beach

What's student life in Portsmouth like?

Discover life as a student in Portsmouth and explore all our city has to offer – from where to go and what to see, to useful advice for settling in


We know when it comes to choosing a university, you'll look beyond our courses, rankings and facilities. Because when you choose a place to study, you're also picking a place to live, work and play.

Find out more about student life in Portsmouth – from where you'll stay, to the places you can go and things you can do once you're here – read the success stories of our recent grads, and get all the help and advice you need to make the right choice on where to study.

City Guide
Why Portsmouth?

Portsmouth has fantastic local, independent businesses from art galleries, to bars, restaurants and delicatessens. Hear why local people and students chose and love Portsmouth. Explore more of what Portsmouth has to offer for your life outside study.

Cerys: When I first came to the open day for Portsmouth, I instantly fell in love with it. 

Imogen:  It's got such a really friendly atmosphere, even though it's a city it's quite a small city, so it feels really welcoming and homely. 

Andy:  I think Portsmouth is very forward-thinking. 

Joanne:  It's got a real independent spirit about it. 

Antony:  With the waterfront, the historic dockyard, a really good mix of nationalities. 

Lee-Anne:  Half my friends are from Nigeria, other half are from places like Czech Republic, and it's very interesting to meet new people.

Steve:  There's lots of cultural events, there's art galleries, there's music venues. 

Ben:  There's a great restaurant scene and a great nightlife scene as well. 

Claire:  There's always new things popping up, new restaurants, new art shops, new things. 

Gareth:  Entertainment activities in terms of lots of bars and restaurants and loads of cool places to eat. 

Anthony:  And then there's so many shows you've got kite festivals. 

Rikki:  Food festivals. 

Anthony:  Big one that really helps the town is Victorious Festival and I think they're on their tenth year next year. 

Connie: It is such a really lovely community. 

Simon:  And I think after you've been here a while, you feel part of the community. 

Erin:  The mood is just unrivalled. You've got the beach. There's also a nice sense of community. 

Megan:  The community feel just makes you feel like you're at home, away from home. 

Rikki:  I think it's got a really good mix of independent businesses. 

Luke: There's so many local independent businesses. 

Daniel:  You can walk everywhere. 

Samantha:  When the sun is shining, there is nowhere better than Portsmouth. 

Holly:  You're only ever five/ten minute walk away from the seafront. 

Antony:  It's a very cosmopolitan city. It's got so much to offer. 

Nehanda: Commercial Road, you have the city centre and the hub where it's all lively.  

Nathan:  Student nightlife is really, really good. Lots of nightclubs. Lots stuff to do. 

Nehanda:  But then as soon as you come to Southsea it's more like a lazy seaside town like you get to go to the beach. 

Samantha:  You just have to go down to the beach or the common on a sunny day and everyone's having picnics. It's just beautiful. 

Holly:  Or you can enjoy the pubs and the clubs or the theatre in the main city centre. 

Gareth:  I love that kind of vibrancy of the city. 

Lee-Anne:  The weather is milder than other parts of England, so if you're someone who doesn't really want it to be cold, always, it's perfect here. It will rain, but it's still perfect. 

Antony:  I think that it's the perfect place to come and study a degree. 

Gareth:  I love it. I would highly recommend it for anyone. 

Eliska: It's a big enough city to not be afraid to express yourself, but it's also small enough to be heard.