BSc (Hons) Geology – 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.

Your course will run differently this year to previous years, with most content delivered online and new guidance for practical and lab sessions.

We've moved all field trips back to teaching block 2, dependent on University and government guidelines and we'll let you know more when we can. We're also planning virtual field trips during the year, where possible.  

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.

Induction virtual field trip

Use this virtual induction field trip on Google Earth to explore our main University campus buildings and key landmarks in Portsmouth.

Virtual field trip

Meeting and working with other students

We'll encourage you to meet and work with other students online by creating student-only groups on platforms like Whatapp and Facebook. You can also: 

Learn more about communicating online.

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. Catherine Mottram

Hi, my name is Catherine, I am Course Lead for Geology and am your first port of call for questions about the geology course. I love travelling all over the world to investigate mountain building processes- from the Himalaya to the Arctic! When I'm not gallivanting around in the field, I can be found running along the seafront or hanging out with my cat Clarence.

Find out more about Dr Catherine Mottram.

Professor Rob Strachan 

Hi, my name is Rob, I have been a geology lecturer for many years, and will be teaching you throughout your degree course here. I spend a lot of time doing fieldwork, typically in northern Scotland and Shetland, and like mountain walking and listening to classic rock and indie bands.

Find out more Professor Rob Strachan.

Professor Craig Storey

Hi, my name is Craig and I am a professor of geology and have been at Portsmouth for just over 10 years now. I teach various aspects of "hard rock" geology, including fieldwork. I have a passion for looking at rocks in far-flung places, such as Antarctica and Brazil. Closer to home, I love the Scottish Highlands, where we take students to look at rocks each year. I also love our local beach and feel very lucky to live and work in such a friendly, seafront city. 

Find out more about Professor Craig Storey.

Dr James Darling

Welcome to Portsmouth! I am looking forward to helping you develop new geological skills in the field and laboratory, and sharing my experience in mineral exploration and planetary geology. When not admiring rocks, I love to run, cycle and kayak my way around lovely Hampshire. 

Find out more Dr James Darling.

Dr Dean Bullen

Hi, my name is Dean and I have been teaching in the dept for over 16 years. I enjoy many aspects of geology, including volcanoes and the extraterrestrial, but my biggest love is for minerals! I look out for potential specimens when on fieldwork but I also like visiting travelling mineral shows for those extra sparkly pieces. I will spend many an evening relaxing to Metallica, among others!

Find out more about Dr Dean Bullen

Dr Nic Minter

Hi, I’m Nic. You’ll meet me teaching on your sedimentology and palaeontology modules and on field trips. My research is on animal-sediment interactions, both when they were alive (trace fossils) and dead (taphonomy) and I use them to investigate major evolutionary events in the history of life on Earth. I’ve worked in North America. Outside of the university, you’ll probably find me competing in various running events.

Find out more Dr Nic Minter.

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

10.00am-12.00pm: Induction (Catherine Mottram)

Dennis Sciama Building 1.09


Tuesday 6 October

3.00pm-4.00pm - Online Student Mingle (via Zoom)

Join in to chat with some of our current second and third year geology students. Get advice about the course and some top tips for first year from those who have just been through it. There will be breakout rooms and activities to make the online presence slightly more fun.

Join on Zoom

Password:  296675 


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.

School of the Environment, Geography & Geosciences on social media

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Further information

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