Musical Theatre BA (Hons) – Year 1: Induction information


Welcome to Portsmouth and the first year of your degree. We hope you're excited to start your new life at university.

Welcome message from Professor Trevor Keeble, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

I’m delighted to welcome you to the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) at the University of Portsmouth. I’m so pleased that you have chosen to come and study with us and hope that your time at Portsmouth will be challenging, rewarding and fun. I’m very proud to work alongside the many talented people who make up our academic, technical and professional support teams in CCI. We have been working incredibly hard to ensure that your experience as a new student in the Faculty is excellent in spite of the challenges that we currently face as a consequence of the pandemic. Things will obviously be done slightly differently to how they have been done before but I know that working safely together, we will thrive. Have a great year. I wish you every success in what you do and hope that your time at Portsmouth is a very happy one.

Jump to your induction timetable

Staying safe on campus

Classes will be taught online, and you'll partake in sessions such as short lectures, discussion groups, online forum posts and individual tutorials. Any practical work will be done individually or in small groups.

You'll work with other students and staff in staying safe – including wearing appropriate PPE and any temperature check or use of hygiene stations in drama studio and other buildings.

We'll make sure our drama studios are used in a way that'll avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing. On a programme that involves singing and dancing, this may seem strange – but fear not. We're working within government parameters for safe practice, including reducing or rethinking how singing happens on the course. Our University guidelines will remain in place, but they won't hinder you in doing what you love. When it's safe to do so again, we'll gradually reintroduce live group performance, rehearsals and practice into your learning.

During practical work, you'll need to keep your volume to a minimum. This follows current government guidance on aerosol transmission of the virus through shouting or loud sustained conversation.

If you feel unwell before class, upon entering a building or during class, you must inform your tutor, the Production Technician and First Aider in White Swan Building. This will help us deal with any problems in a safe and proactive manner. If your temperature exceeds the maximum limit twice in a 15-minute period, you must return home, inform your lecturer and seek medical advice.

You may wear PPE in class if you feel comfortable doing so. Sometimes your tutor may ask that certain PPE is worn or not, and you'll be told of this ahead of time depending on the type of practical work, the room location, ventilation, space, class size and in line with the pandemic context that day.

International and EU students

If you're joining us from overseas, find out about our International Orientation events and what you need to do during your first week.

If you can't travel to the UK, or you don't feel safe to travel, your course's first teaching block will be delivered completely online. Our International Orientation events will also be online, so you'll still be able to get involved in welcome talks and social activities, as well as meet other new students.

Meet your lecturers

During induction week, you'll meet members of your course teaching and administration team, Faculty support staff and other new students. You'll be assigned a personal tutor in your first week, who is an experienced member of academic staff.

Dr Ben Macpherson (Course Leader)

Induction week virtual office hours: Wednesday 7 October 2020, 2pm–4pm

Find out more about Ben

Meeting and working with other students

During induction week, you’ll meet other students online and in person where appropriate. You’ll use Google Meet or Cisco Webex for induction meetings with year tutors, and for virtual classrooms through your course. More details will be available nearer to the start of your first week, including details of a pre-induction meeting, to be held on Monday 21 September 2020 at 10am for all who can make it.

Depending on current guidance, your induction week may also include an induction in White Swan Building — your drama studios – in small tutor groups. At this time, you’ll meet one of your lecturers, who will talk through the course in more detail and offer specific advice regarding building usage, rehearsal opportunities and how the blend of online and face-to-face teaching will ensure staff and students’ welfare and be flexible enough to transition to full in-person teaching as need be, or – should another lockdown happen – delivered entirely online, with no break in your learning.

In induction week, you'll also meet the Years 2 and 3 Course Representatives, who'll help you with a small induction week project and ensure you’re added to any student-led social media groups.

Read our best practices in communicating digitally to get the most out of your online learning.

Welcome from Dr Catherine McNamara, Head of the School of Art, Design and Performance

Hello, my name is Catherine McNamara, and I'm the Head of School for the School of Art, Design and Performance here at the University, and I want to take a couple of minutes
just to offer you a very warm welcome to the school and to the University and say a little bit about what we do here.

My job as the Head of School is to manage all aspects of what happens in the School, and I do that by working alongside about forty-five staff in the School, some of whom you'll see and meet on a very regular basis as part of your course team.

In the School of Art, Design and Performance – or ADP, to make that a little bit quicker – there are around 800 students altogether, and those students will be studying
on BAs – or undergraduate programs – and postgraduate courses too. All of the courses – all of those 800 students are working in the subject areas of graphic design,
photography, illustration, fashion and textile design, drama and performance and musical theatre.

The School of Art, Design and Performance is one of four schools within the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. So, we work alongside three other schools. That's the School of Creative Technologies, the School of Film, Media and Communication and the School of Architecture. And together we make up this larger faculty, Creative and Cultural Industries. And there are five faculties at the universities. Others are Business and Law, Humanities and Social Sciences and so on.

Most often, you'll work within your course group – or your year group, but you will work with lots of other people outside of that small group too. That might be working with technicians in some of our workshops, with other students in other year groups on your course or in other courses, even outside of the School, across the University.

And I hope very much that you will engage with some of the student services that are available. So that might be to do with finance, accommodation, health and wellbeing. It might be the Students' Union or members of staff who work in the Hub. And you'll hear a lot about the Hub and what the Hub can do for you. Essentially, the Hub is a first point of contact for anything that you need to ask about, anything that you need. Staff in the Hub are really helpful and will be able to send you in the right direction.

Just a little bit about the School and how we work. So we think of ADP – Art, Design and Performance – as a community. So as a place of safety, if you like. There's a lot of work to be done as you embark on the beginning of your course. We will always be aiming to challenge you and push you to be your best self, to find a new kind of creative
directions and do things that perhaps you can't quite even imagine at this point at the very beginning. But we will always be working to do that by holding on to some core values and those values, for me, are around respect and around kindness.

So you'll meet lots of different people as soon as you start with us. You'll be meeting people all the time. You'll encounter lots of different lived experiences as you meet people. And I invite you to be really excited about that, to be open and to be ready to embrace everything that you encounter as you meet people. There are students that come here to the University from many different places. So students come to us from the city of Portsmouth itself, from all around the UK and from over 40 different countries around the world. So lots of different cultures, lots of different education experiences, all different backgrounds. We have students who come to us of all ages. So at different stages of life, we have students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual. We have straight students. We have students who are trans and non-binary. We have students with and without disabilities. These differences – this huge array of different life experiences – is, for me, it makes this community what it is and it gives us all kind of strength and the vibrancy.

So if we're all to work with these values, these values of kindness and respect, for me, that means that we all are making a commitment to be anti-racist in all aspects of our work. We're aiming, for example, to be trans-inclusive in everything that we do. So in essence, what we're doing here in the school and the university – but it's really important for me as the Head of School – that we're trying to create a welcoming and a supportive learning environment and place of work and study for every single person who's part of our School. That's really important to me. It's really good. It's really exciting to be part of a community.

It can feel a bit lonely, I think, especially in the early days as you start a new course, you're part of a new group, you're at this new institution, and I would just say to you: just remember in those moments, you're not alone. But I understand that you can feel that way. There's always somebody who's there, ready to help. We don't want you to feel lonely or alone or lost or confused. We want to be able to help you. So please reach out.

You'll have lots and lots of questions at the start. I've mentioned the Hub, and you'll hear lots more about them. They are honestly there to help. Obviously, have a course team who are there. They're really important people in your daily and weekly life as students. You have each other, and you'll quickly be kind of facilitated to connect with each other. So ask questions, find people who have the answers to those questions. You won't be the only one who needs the answers to that question. You're doing other people
a favour by asking it.

And yeah, generally, I just wish you the warmest of welcomes to the School of Art, Design and Performance.

At some point, I'll get to meet you in person or see your work. And I look forward to that very much.

And I hope that your time with us is positive, creative and enjoyable.

Your induction timetable

You'll need your student account details to access many of your online induction activities. If you haven't already activated your student account, please activate it now. Your username will consist of 'UP' followed by your student ID number (for example, UP123456).

Log into your Moodle course page

If you're having problems logging into Your Student View, please contact the Service Desk – call +44 023 9284 7777 or email

Monday 28th September

10.00am-11.00am: Pre-Induction Meeting

Online Live

Monday 5th October

10.00am-11am: Induction Meeting 

Online Live

11.00am-12.00: Health and Safety

Online Live

2.00pm-4.00pm: Pompey Project Introduction 

Online Live

Tuesday 6th October

9.00am-10.00am: Online Editing Tutorial

Online Live

11.00am-12.00pm: Introduction to Moodle & Video Conferencing

Online Live

3.00pm-5.00pm: Pompey Project Rehearsals


Wednesday 7th October

5.00pm-7.00pm: Virtual Choir Induction


Thursday 8th October

2.30pm-4.00pm: Pompey Project Virtual Check-in


8.00pm onwards: Student Virtual Open Mic Night

Online Live

Friday 9th October

10.00am-11.30am: Pompey Project Showings

Online Live

3.30pm-4.30pm: White Swan Orientation and Check-in

Studio 1 - Group 1

Studio 2 & 3 - Group 2

Studio 4 & 5 - Group 3

White Swan Building

Keep in mind that event times and locations might change at short notice.

We recommend you bookmark, favourite or save a link to this webpage so you can revisit it before you arrive and when you're on campus.

Further information

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