Rubble after natural disaster

MSc Crisis and Disaster Management

Explore starting your degree and your first week at Portsmouth


Whether you're starting your Master's degree with us or returning after your first year, we're pleased to welcome you to the University. We hope you enjoyed the summer and are excited to get started.

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 week 1 timetable

Explore your course on Moodle

Staying safe on campus

We’ll have all appropriate safety measures and a few restrictions in place. And every building will be open in line with Government guidance – including teaching spaces, communal spaces, toilets, cafes and the library. For more information about how we're ensuring your safety on campus, head to the 'Campus and city life 2020/21' page.

Due to coronavirus, we've made some changes to teaching to keep you safe. You'll take part in most large teaching sessions online. And any face-to-face teaching will be in small groups with social distancing measures in place. We've set up sanitisation stations across campus, one-way systems in busy areas and protective screens at certain locations.

Due to changing circumstances as a result of the pandemic, we may need to make further changes to courses to ensure your safety and to ensure compliance with Government guidelines. We'll provide you with as much notice as possible of any such changes. Your course leader will inform you of these changes.

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. The majority of 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.

Take the tour

Meeting and working with other students

We'll encourage you to get to know each other online and set up your own group chats. You should also stay up to date with the course Moodle chats and forums.

Meet your lecturers

We're looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you to your first lecture. Below you'll find information of key lecturers who'll teach you during your first teaching block.

Dr Carmen Solana

Reader in Volcanology and Risk Communication

Hi, I am the director of the MSc in Crisis and Disaster Management. I will be your first port of call for anything referring to the MSc. I am a volcanologist by training but throughout my career I have also had the opportunity to experience and support the response to hurricane and landslide crises and emergencies, as well as contribute to plans to reduce the impact of natural hazards - I look forward to sharing my experiences with you! I am originally from the volcanic island of Tenerife and l am in love with the sea, so Portsmouth is a perfect base for me. I hope you enjoy our course!

Professor Richard Teeuw 

Professor of Geoinformatics and Disaster Risk Reduction

I run the Resilient Futures Lab and lead the UoP 'Risk Reduction and Resilience' Research and Innovation team. I ran the Crisis and Disaster Management MSc course for its first 10 years but have now taken on more of a research role, applying satellite imagery to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, specifically in island states (Dominica, Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands). My current research involves uses of satellites, drones and phones for emergency management and disaster damage assessment. I look forward to meeting you all.

Naomi Morris

Teaching Fellow in Humanitarian Response and Health

Hi, I am Naomi Morris and will be teaching you Humanitarian Emergency Response and Recovery and Disaster Management Techniques. I am a Portsmouth graduate and started my career as a humanitarian in Haiti in 2001, and returned there after the 2010 earthquake. I have since worked -and continue to work- for a variety of INGOs and UN agencies in a range of settings and strive to incorporate this continuously into material used throughout the course, including the annual multi-partner simulation exercise.  A huge part of the course is the bringing together of experience in the room, on which I look forward to facilitating the discussions and interactions of all, structured around key learning objectives.

Phil Crook

Teaching fellow in Emergency Planning

Hello, I am Phil Crook. I retired from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2019 after 30 years’ service. I focused on specialist operations including technical rescue and national and international disaster response with secondments to UK government and project work with the EU and the UN. I continue to provide technical advice to a variety of organisations on specialist response and large-scale exercise and simulation planning and delivery. This course always has many people with a wide variety of knowledge and experience from many backgrounds and I look forward to another good year.

Dr Jessica Roberts

Teaching fellow in Hazard and Risk Assessment

Hi all, I'm Jessica Roberts. I'm a Geographer that specialised in geological hazard assessment and then trained as a social scientist during my PhD. My research usually places me at the interface of the natural and social worlds, examining how environments and society impact and respond to one another. My past projects have included assessing the value of volcanic geoheritage to indigenous communities, the emergence of community groups in hurricane preparedness and the adaptation of farmers and fishers to climate change. I honed my skills at Portsmouth Uni in SEGG, so I know you are going to have a great experience here. 

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 week 1 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).

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

Thursday 8 October

1.00pm-3.00pm - Induction (Carmen Solana and Richard Teeuw)

Lion Gate 2.04c

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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