Social and cultural activities

Happy student taking part in a social activity at the festival of culture

Take it all in

Explore the social scene at university and opportunities to soak up the local culture

Discover the social and cultural activities you can get involved with on campus and throughout Portsmouth. Whether you're a new student, looking to improve your existing social life, or soak up some of the local culture, you'll find opportunities in Portsmouth to make the most of your free time at uni.

Here's how you can get started and get involved in the social scene at university:

Join a student society

If you're a new student, it's a great idea to check out student societies on campus. You can do this by attending the Freshers Fair at the UPSU, where you'll get to meet the society members.

There are over 150 societies so you should find a group that interests you. These include cultural societies like the Cinema Society, Book Club or the Harry Potter Society as well as national groups including the Bengali Society, the Czechoslovakian Group or the Afro-Caribbean Society.

It's a good idea to attend as many societies as you want, then suss out if they are for you, before you pay the membership fee. If you don't find a society based on your interests, you can start your own.

Find out more about student societies

Find a social event in halls

You'll find regular organised events at your halls of residence run by students (Residence life assistants) for students.

Look out for film nights, weekly quiz nights, games nights, karaoke nights, Jenga and pizza nights, talent nights, art nights, cake decorating and yoga.

To find out more please speak to any member of our Residence Life Team or look out for promotions on hall digital screens, Res Life and your hall Facebook groups or email the Res Life Team at

Students playing a boardgame at the wellbeing cafe

Spend an afternoon playing a board game or just chatting with other students at the weekly wellbeing cafe.

The Wellbeing Café

Take part in wellbeing activities with like-minded people. Or simply chat, play board-games and enjoy the free tea and coffee.

The activities cover a wide range – from crafts such as crochet, to mindfulness exercises and wellbeing walks, as well as informal discussions about common concerns such as managing stress and anxiety, or getting a better night's sleep.

Plus, we've got a range of board games, instant ping and quirky coffee table books.

There is always something offered each week for students to listen to and get involved with, but for those who want to simply come and hang out, there are crafts and games always available too.

  • Dates: Wednesdays
  • Time: 4.00pm to 5.30pm, drop in
  • Venue: Café Coco (please use the entrance at the back next to the Students’ Union office)

Discover more wellbeing events

Join a Global Office event

The Global Office runs an exciting programme of trips out, social and cultural events which are open to all students.

Global Office events:

Saturday 14 March 2020 – £30

Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the world; a famous pre-historic monument standing in beautiful English countryside. It is 5,000 years old and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery to this day.

After visiting Stonehenge, the coach will take you on to the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury; typically English and full of medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Victorian architecture, as well as shops, cafes and attractions.

Saturday 25 April 2020 – £18

Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times, and is a World Heritage. It's home to the only natural hot springs you can bathe in in Britain and the famous Roman Baths. The Georgian architecture of Bath is like something straight out of a Jane Austen novel, and the streets are filled with independent and quirky boutique shops and cosy tearooms for traditional English afternoon tea

Year of the Ox – February 2021

The Chinese Society hosts an annual show to celebrate their Lunar New Year through traditional dance, songs and other performances.

March 2020

Global Week celebrates the global culture we have at the University of Portsmouth.

It's a free week-long programme of events, from open lectures to fashion shows, sports sessions and cultural society events. The highlight is the Festival of Cultures, an exhibition-style event celebrating the diversity we have on campus with an evening of food, music, costume and more.

If you'd like to meet other students in a friendly, informal environment then Global Café is for you. You can meet students from other countries and share knowledge and experience of other cultures and languages, or just a chat over a hot drink.

Global Café meets on Wednesdays from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. The café is free and all students are welcome.

For further information and location of the cafes, contact

HOST UK is a scheme where you can spend a day or weekend with a British family anywhere in the UK. You will get to learn more about British culture and share your culture with them. This is a great opportunity to fully immerse yourself in British culture and to make new friends along the way.

You can choose a weekend visit costing £25 or a day visit costing £15.

Join the social activities at the Chaplaincy

Meet new people within a peaceful and impartial environment at the Chaplaincy. Social activities include:

  • Festival of Light
  • Film and Games nights (Xbox and board games)
  • Mug painting
  • Christmas Carol Service

Anybody within the University community is welcome to visit the Chaplaincy and participate in any of the social events and speak with the Chaplains, socialise with friends or to just have a space for quiet and reflection.

Social and cultural activities outside Uni

Exploring Portsmouth will expose you to many activities, events, festivals and communities. Find out more about our music scene, the arts and cultural communities in the city and sport in Portsmouth.

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