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

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.

Professor Mike Fowler

Professor of Geochemistry


I have been teaching geology, chemistry and environmental science for many years and am now your Course Leader for MSc Environmental Geology & Contamination. Please come to me with any questions that you may have. I have particular interests in igneous petrogenesis, environmental geochemistry of heavy metals, environmental mineralogy and “dusty forensics” (including air quality). I look forward to exploring with you the influences of geology on our environment, with a focus on metals contamination. When I’m not playing with rocks and minerals, I like running around a squash court or sitting on a beach.

Find out more about Professor Mike Fowler

Claire Dickinson


Dr Derek Rust

Reader in Applied Geology


 I am fortunate to have worked in many geologically exciting parts of the world, pursuing my long-standing research interest in applied geology, and I enjoy sharing this experience through my teaching.  I’m particularly attracted to recent tectonic and volcanic problems and my work typically involves detailed field-based studies within a multidisciplinary approach, often in collaboration with a wide range of talented international researchers.

Find out more about Dr Derek Rust.

Dr Malcolm Whitworth

Reader in Engineering Geomorphology and Natural Hazards


Dr Malcolm Whitworth is a Reader in Engineering Geomorphology and Natural Hazards at the University of Portsmouth, with extensive commercial experience in natural hazard assessment and terrain evaluation, working with re-insurance, engineering geology and infrastructure clients, applying his field geomorphological mapping, hazard assessment, GIS and remote sensing skills on a range of geohazard and terrain evaluation projects. His research interests span global modelling of natural hazard distributions to landslide susceptibility assessment in mountainous regions of the world. He has a particular interest in spatial modelling using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing; and the application of numerical simulation and probabilistic modelling to study and forecast natural hazards.

Find out more about Dr Malcolm Whitworth

Dr Andy Gibson

Reader in Engineering Geomorphology


Andy is an engineering geomorphologist involved in the investigation and management of geological hazards and adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Andy has current research projects looking at landslides in China, the geotechnical properties of the Hampshire Basin, and the impacts of geohazards on the UK economy and tourism industry. 

Find out more about Dr Andy Gibson

Dr Philip Benson

Reader in Rock Physics


Philip is a rock physicist with research that combines rock deformation with new laboratory tools for measuring rock fracture via Acoustic Emission, the laboratory analogue of tectonic seismicity, under controlled conditions of elevated pressure and temperature. 

Find out more about Dr Philip Benson.

Dr Mohammad A Hoque 

Senior Lecturer in Hydrogeology


Dr Mo Hoque is a Senior Lecturer in Hydrogeology with global experience in contaminant hydrogeology and groundwater resources. His research aims to improve the understanding of the groundwater system, and its responses to human perturbation, in particular, the vulnerability of groundwater to contamination and/or its depletion by combining fieldwork, lab studies, and numerical modelling. He has a particular interest in the behaviour of arsenic in the alluvial aquifers and methodologies to identify low-arsenic zones in the affected regions.

Find out more about Dr Mohammad Hoque.


All fieldwork has been pushed back until teaching block 2. We intend to go on fieldwork to the Isle of Wight (this trip is in an optional module) and have a residential trip to SW England (in a core module), subject to current University and government guidelines.

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!

Watch welcome video

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 servicedesk@port.ac.uk.

Wednesday 7 October

1.00pm-3.00pm: Induction (Mike Fowler)

Richmond Building: LT1

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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