Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES)
The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences was formed in 1997, however geology and applied geology have been taught at Portsmouth for over 40 years. The School is housed in the Burnaby Building which contains purpose-built laboratories, research equipment and lecture theatres. We have 24 academic staff supported by 12 technical and administrative staff and around 440 undergraduate students, 45 MSc students, and a further 20 research students. We are a busy school with a strong sense of community, in part fostered by our active student society, Earthsoc, which organises a range of student-centred extra-curricular activities.
Our students rate our teaching very highly as shown by the excellent results in recent National Student Survey data. Teaching on campus is delivered via a mix of lectures and practical sessions. All of our teaching is delivered by our academic staff, with qualified research students used only in a supporting capacity, for example to help in practical sessions. In addition, fieldwork teaches invaluable practical skills and is integral to all of our degree courses. Final year project work often involves use of our excellent laboratory and analytical facilities. This provides students with important experience that will be of value to potential employers.
Upon arrival at the University in induction week, all students are allocated to a personal tutor and assigned to a tutorial group. Each personal tutor group is timetabled to meet with their personal tutor on a regular basis. The function of the tutor is to act in both an academic and pastoral role, guiding students with aspects of the course such as option choices, development of transferrable skills, and careers advice. Tutorials offer a focused opportunity to discuss academic progress, and to identify any difficulties or particular obstacles to learning. For undergraduates, tutorials are held each week in the first year, and every alternate week in the second year. During the third year they are held on a one-to-one basis.
Preparing you for employment
We will provide you with all of the skills necessary to find employment in your chosen subject area after you graduate. Many of these skills are provided through the taught lecture, laboratory and fieldwork programmes. In addition, all students participate in personal development planning (PDP), a component of the University’s Set UP for Life programme which is administered through the tutorial system. Our own ‘Professional Skills’ courses that are compulsory for all students involve preparation of cv’s, interview practice and assistance in preparation for job applications. All of our undergraduate courses are accredited by the relevant professional bodies, either the Geological Society of London or the Institute of Environmental Sciences.
Research and Professional Activities
All our staff are involved in research and professional development. In the 2008 national assessment of research in the UK, 90 per cent of the research carried out in our School was deemed to be of international standard, with evidence of world-leading research in both the earth and environmental science areas. Many of our research projects and professional activities feed directly into the teaching delivered at third year level. We have a growing group of PhD students and always welcome enquiries from prospective research students.
We welcome all visitors and the University’s programme of preview and open days provide opportunities for visiting the School through the year. If after looking through these web pages you have questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.
Dr Rob Strachan
Head of School