The University of Portsmouth can trace its history back to 1869 and the formation of the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and the Arts.
Portsmouth is a coastal town, and its dependence on shipping meant that the principal focus of this college was the training of engineers and dock workers.
As the city developed after the Second World War, maritime industry became less prominent in the area and the college diversified. It was renamed Portsmouth Polytechnic in the 1960s, and grew to be one of the biggest such institutions in the country.
University status was granted to Portsmouth in 1992, when the institution began to validate its own degrees (degrees had previously been validated by the Council for National Academic Awards).
In 2009 the university’s School of Law opened a mock courtroom, giving students the opportunity to take part in realistic recreations of course cases.
In the last few years, a number of new academic buildings have sprung up on campus. In 2014, a £14 million wing of the university’s Eldon Building opened, housing facilities for creative arts students - including a cinema-quality screen room with 200 seats, creative studios and seminar rooms.
This was followed in 2015 by the White Swan Building, attached to the New Theatre Royal providing performance space for students, and the Forensic Innovation Centre, set up with local police and giving students the opportunity to work with practitioners of forensic science.
Alumni of the University of Portsmouth include television presenter Ben Fogle and artist Grayson Perry.