What is a Students' Union?

The University of Portsmouth Students' Union - we call ourselves UPSU for short!

Read on to find out all about what a Students' Union is and how we're here for you!

Your Students’ Union is a charity run by students for students. We represent the wants and needs of the students.

But we’re also so much more.

Fun Fact! We started representing students in 1911 and we were the first Students’ Union in the country to be a registered charity!

Your Elected Officers

Your Union is run by five Elected Officers, which are voted in by the student body every year and they represent five different aspects of the student experience. We have:

  • Your Welfare Officer: Natasha Layley
  • Your Learning Experience Officer: Jade Underwood
  • Your Student Development Officer: Mike Kiddell
  • Your Academic Representation Officer: Sapphire Rance
  • Your Democracy and Campaigns Officer: Dom Owen

They represent you at the highest levels of University, always fighting for your rights and representing you as a student. They run different campaigns throughout the year, all focussing on your student experience, both academic and personal.

You can get in touch with the Elected Officers by emailing electedofficers@upsu.net.

The Union Building

The Union is located on campus, right in the heart of the city. We’re on Cambridge Road, next to the Library, Ravelin Park and the new Sports Centre which will be opening in Autumn 2021.

We don’t currently have a bar, but we have do have The Union Shop and the Print Shack (for all your personalisation needs), Third Space (which is perfect for events and studying - when we can!), Amazon Lockers and the lots of spaces where you can hang out with friends for studying, chilling and lunch. We also have activity and meeting rooms which you can book out for student group meetings and any other meetings you might need.

Pop by to say hello!


Throughout the year we put on social events for students. We've really missed having students on campus and we hope we can make this year bigger and better than ever!

We know a lot of students will be wanting to find out more about one of our biggest events of the year - FRESHERS' FAYRE!

But we don't give you just one week of warm welcomes, we give you A WHOLE MONTH. Yes, that's right, a whole month of exciting events and experiences to welcome you to Uni. Can you guess what it's called? Yep - Welcome Month! We'll have trips, activities, drag bingo and so much more you won't want to miss!

Not on campus? Well over the last year we've become pros at virtual events too - so you won't be missing out. 

We’ve also hosted Pride Night, talks, and Black History Month, Student Elections and a whole range of other events, just for you! We want to make your student experience exciting, thrilling and the best it can be, giving you the chance to try new things and have fun!

Student Groups

We also help run all the different student groups and sports clubs, with Sport and Recreation running the competitive sports groups at the University. 

These groups give you a great opportunity to continue a hobby or try something new! Ever wanted to play Quidditch? Perhaps try Archery? American Football? These are only a couple of student groups you can join from the 100+ sport and groups UPSU has to offer. You can check out all our groups here. The groups will be a Freshers' Fayre so you can pop along to see them too!

Don't see a group you want to join? You can always start your own group or adopt a group that is no longer active! You can find out more about that here

Advice Service

We want university to be one of the best experiences of your life! But, we also know it has its ups and downs, and it can be tough. You’re never alone. You can speak to the Advice Service for any personal or academic issues you might be having.

The Advice Service offers confidential, impartial and non-judgemental support. They deliver advice and guidance on a range of academic and university issues that may affect your experience. This means helping students understand university policies and procedures as well as supporting students in university meetings.

You can pop in and visit our Advice Service in Gun House, behind Café Coco, or speak to someone online

When you join The University of Portsmouth, you automatically become a member of the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union.

We can’t wait to see you in October!

Contact us

The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has a vision of creating a positive impact with every Portsmouth student during their time at University.

© 2020 UPSU. Registered charity number 1136115, a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales number 3934555.

Site designed, developed and managed by MemPlus