BSc (Hons) Geography – 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.

Message from Professor Sherria Hoskins, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Faculty of Science. Many things about our world are very different at the moment, but one thing that hasn't changed is our commitment to giving you a fantastic experience at University.

You'll soon get to know the other students on your course. Many of the friendships you make now will last a lifetime. And our staff are here to guide and support you to reach your potential.

This year, approximately 1,500 students graduated from one of our programmes. I feel immensely proud that we have made such a significant contribution to the pool of scientists and health practitioners.

Science and health studies represent an adventure of the mind, seeking truth that can make a difference to the world, as we have seen more than ever in recent times. I hope we give you an understanding of how to use your knowledge and an understanding of its intrinsic value to yourselves and others.

I also hope that we inspire you with confidence and curiosity throughout your studies so that you can go on to realise your own vision; to know the world as it is and be able to imagine it as it might be, to glimpse the possibilities of change, of improvement and of your contribution.

Jump to your induction timetable

Staying safe on campus

We have all the appropriate measures in place to keep you safe. 

We’ve invested £8 million in reopening the campus with hand sanitiser stations, temperature scanners, one-way systems, enhanced cleaning, protective screens and two Covid-19 testing sites. These safety measures give you access to Covid-safe teaching rooms, the library and other student services across campus – plus IT resources and laptops you can borrow

We’ve made some changes to teaching, following Government safety advice. Most teaching sessions will be online to start with, and any face-to-face teaching will be in small groups with social distancing measures in place. 

As circumstances around the pandemic change, we may need to make further changes to courses for your safety and to comply with Government guidelines. Though it’s a fast moving situation, we'll provide you with as much notice as possible of any changes. The University and your course leader will inform you of these changes.

Find out more about campus and city life and what your study experience will be like.

We are making some module changes because we need to delay or cancel some planned trips. We'll update you when we know more.

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.

Meeting and working with other students

You'll be able to meet and work will your fellow students in face to face course sessions and your weekly tutorial meetings. We also encourage you to use the online platforms below, some of which will also provide an opportunity to communicate with a member of the academic course team. You can contact any of the academic team through email.

  • Moodle chat page: This course chat page is specific to your year group. You can use this as a general discussion platform, to introduce yourself at the start of the course, organise meet ups with other students, and more. As term progresses you can use this space to discuss learning activities and assessments. Programme Lead Dr Caroline Day will check in daily to address any questions you have. 
  • Moodle forum page: This course forum page is specific to your year group. This space will be ideal if you want to post questions to your fellow students or the academic course team. Programme Lead Dr Caroline Day will check in daily to address any questions you raise.
  • Other social media platforms: We'll encourage you to use other platforms such as WhatsApp, Snapchat or others to create student-only groups. Students in previous year used these tools for peer support throughout their studies. Using these platforms will be student led, without interaction from the academic course team. 

Learn more about communicating online.


Fieldwork is a key part of every geography degree programme. We hope to be able to offer you fieldwork opportunities while you undertake your course. However, this will depend on the University and government guidelines. We are currently planning for all situations, including running local and virtual fieldtrips where necessary. We'll let you know more when we can and will keep you updated at all times. 

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 Caroline Day

Principle Lecturer in Human Geography and Programme Lead for Geography and Environmental Science

Hi I’m Caroline. I am a Human Geographer with a research focus on development issues in sub-Saharan Africa. My research focuses on children and youth, transitions to adulthood, education and vocational training, and violence against women and girls in Zambia. I am your first port of call for questions about BA and BSc Geography as well as teaching you about the Geographies of Development and Gender and Development. I love to travel, particularly to Africa where my research centres, and I am also a keen singer and performer as part of the local amateur dramatics scene. 

Find out more about Dr Caroline Day.

Dr Mark Hardiman

Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography

Hi, I am Mark. I am a Physical Geographer whose research focuses on past volcanic eruptions, wildfire and the effects on humans and the Earth's natural environment. I am particularly interested in understanding how future climate change will impact the landscapes in which we live. I have been in the department for seven years and love living in Southsea by the sea.

Find out more about Dr Mark Hardiman

Dr Clare Boston

Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography

Hi, I'm Clare, I specialise in glaciers and the landscapes left behind by glaciers. My research examines landforms and sediments deposited during the last ice age, such as in Britain, and also looks at how present-day glaciers, such as in Norway and Greenland, are responding to current climate change. You'll meet me teaching fieldwork and GIS skills alongside glacier theory. In my spare time I enjoy lots of different sports and as well as walking in the South Downs and further afield.

Find out more about Dr Clare Boston

Dr Julia Brown

Principal Lecturer in Human and Environmental Geography and Associate Head for Global Engagement in the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences

Hi I’m Julia. I am a Human Geographer and an expert in Environment and Development, particularly the management of natural resources in developing countries. My research is focused on water management in rural Uganda, East Africa, and I work in both the development and humanitarian sectors with NGOs, Government Officials, local Ugandans and refugees. I am passionate about global engagement, hence my role as the Associate Head for Global Engagement. Outside of work I love to travel overseas or spend time walking my dog in the countryside. 

Find out more about Dr Julia Brown

Dr Sabine Wulf

Reader in Physical Geography and Environmental Change

Hi, I am Sabine and I am a Reader in Environmental Change. My research focuses on the detection of volcanic ash in lake, peat and ocean sediment cores from the UK, central Europe and the Mediterranean. I then use these for dating and reconstructing past climate and environmental change and natural hazard events (storms, Tsunamis, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions). You’ll meet me teaching you about environmental change, natural hazards and geological processes.  I love being out in nature, which is why I recently moved to the Isle of Wight.

Find out more about Dr Sabine Wulf.

Professor Donald Houston

Professor of Economic Geography

Welcome to your journey on becoming independent Geographers.  I'm still on mine and loving every minute!  I teach data analysis, transport and regional economic development and inequality - important skills and areas of knowledge for the careers Portsmouth Geography Graduates go into.  My research seeks to identify the key factors leading to some places to be more economically successful than others, in particular the effects of infrastructure, skills, population and mobility.  My most recent research is about the geographically imbalanced impact of Covid-19 on unemployment across the UK.

Find out more about Professor Donald Houston.

Welcome from Michelle Hale, Head of School

Welcome to the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences! We are a diverse, multidisciplinary School with enthusiastic lecturers who are really looking forward to meeting you and supporting you to succeed in your studies. We are based across two adjacent buildings: Burnaby and Buckingham Buildings. Teaching and assessment are going to be a little bit different this year, but we are following best practice in developing a blended learning approach to the delivery of your modules. We will be taking a flipped learning approach to a lot of teaching delivery, where you will be able to cover lecture content online, in your own time, and face-to-face teaching will be focused on applying the knowledge that you have learned in laboratory, fieldwork, workshop and seminar sessions in small, socially distanced groups. In the first week, you will meet your personal tutor and they will be your first port of call for support and guidance, so please attend your tutorials and let your tutor know if you have any issues. Wishing you all the best for an exciting year of learning!

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 5 October

13.00pm-15.00pm: SEGG Induction Group 1 (Mark Hardiman/Caroline Day)

Buckingham Building 3.05

15.00pm-17.00pm: SEGG Induction Group 2 (Caroline Day, Mark Hardiman)

Buckingham Building 3.05

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.

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