Last Wednesday I visited the University of Portsmouth to have a little nosey around their Diagnostic Radiography and Biomedical Science courses. Portsmouth isn’t too far away from home and one train an hour runs from my local station to Portsmouth & Southsea, which is located on the universities doorstep! It is therefore super conveniently located, so what did I think of it?
University of Portsmouth
As well as checking out a few courses for myself, I was also having a look around the university as my friend, Lily, is starting a course there in September. It’s a bit different than some of the other unis I have looked at as there doesn’t appear to be a specific ‘campus’ (although I could be wrong here, don’t quote me!), the university buildings are dotted around a small area of Portsmouth, but there’s good links between them all. Of course when you’re a student here you would know which buildings you needed to go to.
After quite a confusing check in at the Portsmouth Guildhall, I headed to an information fair in the same building. There were a few desks detailing about life in Portsmouth as a student and student finance, but as far as subject desks go, there was only one desk for the entirety of the faculty of science. This was ok for me as both courses I was interested in were within this faculty. The other faculties were set up elsewhere but this didn’t seem very well communicated to me, I’m sure other people eventually found what there were looking for! An interesting thing I found out at the information fair was that they offer languages and even BSL (British Sign Language) that you can integrate and study alongside your degree. I thought this was a good idea!
After that, I headed away from the Guildhall to look at one accommodation block, Harry Law Halls. This was quite an old block and I found it to be quite dark and dingy – however all the rooms were en-suite and had adequate study space. The kitchens were quite small especially as they were made to be shared between about 5 students. This set of accommodation was on the much cheaper side though, which could explain the dingy-ness and lack of space I suppose!
After looking at the older accommodation, I headed a bit further out to check out some much newer accommodation. I visited two newer blocks, Margaret Rule & Chaucer House (two older blocks have been combined to create a refurbished new block) and Greetham Street (the newest halls). Both of these halls were quite similar and actually very nice! They both had spacious en suite rooms and kitchens and very bright and pleasant open common and study areas! In Greetham Street there was a common room near the top of the building with amazing views over Portsmouth and Southsea!
All the halls and university buildings are all within walking distance to the university buildings and local shops (eg. Gunwharf Quays) which saves money on transport! Great for students! However I did find it to all be a bit unorganised as a whole as you were never guaranteed to have lectures etc in a specific building – you could be literally anywhere or at least that is how they made it sound…
Once I visited a few halls, I went to a diagnostic radiography talk. The radiography department is in the basement of one of buildings – I guess this is because of the radiation issues that could be caused by the students using the x-ray scanner in the department. The talk was held in a small lecture theatre, which is good because it allowed me to engage a bit more with the lecturer. The talk was interesting and covered some key points – including that they were no longer running their therapeutic radiography course, for which they didn’t give any specific reason…
I didn’t do much more at the university, if I’m honest. I didn’t visit the library, I think that there are two libraries the university is affiliated with. One of them, I believe is the public library and the other is the university’s own library which appears to be on the outskirts of the ‘campus’.
Overall, I think that the university is quite good, it holds a TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) Gold, which is the highest possible award (it’s like being an Ofsted outstanding school). Personally though, I am not going to apply for it I don’t think. The same courses are being held at unis that I prefer the feel of more, such as St George’s for Radiography. I can understand why some people really like it there though, and Portsmouth is also meant to be a super affordable city which is good for us poor, debt ridden students!
I hope you enjoyed my post, and understand why I’m not applying to Portsmouth even though I think that it is a nice university! Next post to come is Surrey and then Southampton unis! More normal posts will return soon too!
Thanks for reading!