Current students

Back to COVID-19 information

An update to all students on the national lockdown from Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities

Latest news about the Birmingham 'Areas of Intervention

The Government has annouced that Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull have become 'areas of intervention' in response to the increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the region and in order to help control the spread of the virus.

You can find more information in our FAQs below

If you have coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Get a test now

Do not leave home/accommodation or flat for at least 10 days after your test

If you show Covid-19 symptoms, follow Government guidance to self-isolate, get tested and inform us via Covid-19Reporting@aston.ac.uk.

Key contacts

Emergency - Campus Safety on 0121 204 4803 or via the SafeZone app available 24/7

Student Services Team advice and guidance: thehub@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4007

General queries: student@aston.ac.uk

Aston Together

We’re proud of our Aston University community and how we look after each other. We have never needed each other more than we do today. Help us to help each other by being considerate to others and behaving appropriately at all times. By working together we can all help to make Aston a safer place.

Together we ask that you:

Be respectful

Show consideration towards other students, staff and visitors. Respect those whose personal circumstances differ from yours, and who may need to adopt different safety measures.

World Health Organisation

Be observant

Follow guidance on social distancing and health and safety measures, and adhere to signage and instructions around campus to maximise the safety of yourself and others who are sharing space with you.

Be kind

Be kind

Show empathy towards others and be supportive to those in need. Offer friendship, be inclusive, and speak out to a member of the Aston team if you think someone needs assistance.

If you show Covid-19 symptoms, follow Government guidance to self-isolate, get tested and inform us via Covid-19Reporting@aston.ac.uk

Key points

  • Term will formally end on the 19 December as planned. We will be running scheduled on-campus and online teaching up until the 9 December.
  • Aston University remains open for teaching during lockdown (5 Nov - 2 Dec)
  • Everyone is required to wear a face covering inside all university buildings, including circulation spaces, shared spaces, corridors, stairs, lifts and toilets.
  • Throughout the 2020/21 academic year we will be running all our large group sessions online. 

  • For the 2020/21 academic year, examinations will take place online, except where there is a requirement from an external accrediting body to hold in person examinations.

  • If your course has a compulsory attendance element you may need to be on campus in accordance with professional regulatory body requirements. Your School will communicate this to you.
  • The advice from Public Health England is that the overall risk to the population is at "Level 4 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation)". 
  • Aston has a team who is closely monitoring and managing the situation and is acting on advice of Public Health England, Universities UK and the NHS. 
  • We will be updating this advice as new Government and Public Health England guidance emerges.
  • For any general student queries or queries about teaching, assessments and exams please contact us.
  • For absences and visa queries please contact engagement.

Exemption cards

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please download our exemption card. Please ensure this is visible either on a wearing lanyard or available to show via your phone, plastic wallets will be available to collect from main reception so that you can attach to your lanyard.

au-coronavirus-keep-safe

Assessments 2020/21

The key aspects of our arrangements for 2020/21 are set out below

Undergraduate

  1. All assessments will take place virtually, except where accreditation requirements from Professional Regulatory and Statutory bodies do not allow this (students will be told of these exceptional cases by their Programme Directors)
  2. Automatic deferral if you cannot submit your course work or cannot attend an examination or assessment (physically or virtually). No need to submit an Exceptional Circumstances (EC) submission.
  3. No penalty for submitting coursework up to five working days after the deadline for January (11-22 January) and summer (4 May-11 June) assessment periods. Submissions after five working days will be awarded a mark of zero, unless an EC submission has been approved.
  4. No automatic extensions for in-term coursework assessments (i.e. those assessments not taken within the January (11-22 January) or summer (4 May-11 June) assessment periods and so late submissions of coursework during term-time will still require an EC submission to remove any late penalties.

Postgraduate

  1. All assessments will take place virtually, except where accreditation requirements from Professional Regulatory and Statutory bodies do not allow this (students will be told of these exceptional cases by their Programme Directors)
  2. Automatic deferral if you cannot submit your course work or cannot attend an examination or assessment (physically or virtually). No need to submit an Exceptional Circumstances (EC) submission.
  3. No penalty for submitting coursework up to five working days after the deadline for Term 1 (14-18 December), Term 2 (22-26 March), and Term 3 28 June-2 July) assessment periods. Submissions after five working days will be awarded a mark of zero, unless an EC submission has been approved.
  4. No automatic extensions for in-term coursework assessments (i.e. those assessments not taken within Term 1 (14-18 December), Term 2 (22-26 March), and Term 3 (28 June-2 July) assessment periods and so late submissions of coursework during term-time will still require an EC submission to remove any late penalties.

Quick menu

On-campus COVID-19 Test Centre

From Monday 30 November, in response to the NHS National Testing Programme, we will provide an on-campus Covid-19 testing facility to allow students who aren’t showing any symptoms (asymptomatic) to access tests on a voluntary basis. This is intended to enable students to make informed choices about travel plans around Christmas and New Year.

Book your COVID-19 test online today.

How does testing work?

You will be asked to take two tests three days apart to verify that you do not have the virus before making your journey home. Once you have tested negative on the second test, you will be given a letter from the University to confirm your status at that time, and you will then be advised to leave campus within 24 hours of the result.

In the event of a positive test, you should:

  • self-isolate for 10 days
  • book in for a further test at a national centre and wait for the laboratory-tested results to confirm this status.

If you do need to self-isolate please contact our Student Services Team at thehub@aston.ac.uk or by calling 0121 204 4007 so that we can arrange the necessary support.

How can I book?

You can book an appointment via the COVID-19 test centre booking page. The test centre is safe and managed in accordance with government guidance.

Why should I get a test?
  • Keep your family, friends and the community safe - not all people display symptoms of Covid-19 and can be carrying the virus unknowingly
  • It’s free and results are fast
  • So that you can self-isolate if you test positive.
Do I have to self-isolate between tests?
No, not if your first test is negative.
Do I have to pay for a test?
No, testing is free of charge and managed by the NHS Test and Trace Team.
What if I choose not have a test?
If you choose not to have a test you should self-isolate for 10 days before returning home.
Can I use this test result as proof to allow me to return home overseas?

If you are an international student, then please note, this is not an official PCR test so cannot be used to travel outside of the UK. You will need to book a Private Test for this purpose, and there are a number of providers offering this service, for example midlandhealth.co.uk which is very close to our campus.

For more information, or for any queries in relation to the asymptomatic testing centre, you can visit the coronavirus FAQ page or email covid-19reporting@aston.ac.uk

Who can I speak to for further information about this testing?
For more information, or for any queries in relation to the asymptomatic testing centre, please email covid-19reporting@aston.ac.uk.

End of term

What is the Government Covid-19 test and trace window?

The Government asked all UK universities to roll-out and manage a student Covid-19 test and travel window from 3 to 9 December 2020. This is to ensure that all students who wish to travel home at the end of term are able to do so, while minimising any virus transmission risk to the general public. The Government have also asked that we suspend all on campus teaching sessions from 9 December.

When will the end of term be?

Term will still formally end on the 19 December as planned. We will be running scheduled on-campus and online teaching up until the 9 December, following which all teaching will be delivered online up until the scheduled end of term. These arrangements should ensure that all students can complete their studies for teaching period one.

Will anything be open on campus after this time?

The Library, study spaces, the student Hub, and College receptions will remain open as planned for students who remain on campus or in the city.

I am on a programme with compulsory attendance, does this affect me?

If you are on a programme with planned compulsory on-campus attendance after 9 December, your College will be in touch with you to update you on what the alternative arrangements will be for next term. 

I am on a healthcare placement, does this affect me?

Healthcare students currently on placement should plan to remain in their placement until the end of term and further guidance will be provided by their School of study and placement provider.

Do I still need to follow the current national restrictions?

Yes, everyone should follow the current national restrictions in place until 2 December.

Will the University be closing for the Christmas break?

Most University services and buildings will be closed from 22 December until 4 January as already planned. We are planning support measures for those students who choose to remain on campus over Christmas and will provide further information about this.

The library webpage has full details of library availability, and other support services will continue to be available online.

I'm travelling within the UK, will I have to isolate at home after leaving the University campus?

As you are studying in England, you will only be required to take further measures at home (such as self-isolation) if you are informed to by NHS Test and Trace or if a member of your term-time household has symptoms. Separate arrangements are in place for the devolved administrations, and you should check locally what you are required to do.

I am an international student planning to leave the UK, can I?

If you are a student from overseas and are planning on leaving the UK, please make sure you check both the travel restrictions in your home country and any quarantine periods before you leave, and consider any period of self-isolation that you might be subject to on your return.  You should not travel if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or are part of a household group which is self-isolating.

Before travelling please consider your ability to access any course materials you may need and be aware that that travel advice may change while you are overseas. Please check the relevant GOV.UK guidance pages for updates.

Students travelling to the EU should also consult relevant guidance regarding the UK and EU transition.

If you need further advice, please contact one of our International Student Advisers astoninternational@aston.ac.uk.

I am an international student and want to travel home now during the restrictions, can I?

Yes but if you are planning to travel during this period you should only do so in accordance with the guidance on the national restrictions. Travelling home is considered a reasonable’ excuse under the regulations but travel for the purposes of a holiday is not. Examples of what constitutes a “reasonable excuse” for leaving home can be found in the regulations (regulation 6, on pages 6-10).

If you decide to travel during this period, you should adhere to the  Public Health England advice  while in England to ensure that you are travelling safely. You should not travel if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or are part of a household group which is self-isolating.

I am an international student and want to travel to the UK during the period of national restrictions, can I?

The UK borders are open for international students wishing to study in the UK in person. Before travelling, please contact the University if you need details on how we have adapted our teaching in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

All international arrivals will be required to complete a passenger locator form on arrival, and passengers travelling from a country not on the exemption (travel corridor) list will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days. Please contact us at thehub@aston.ac.uk so that we can arrange the necessary support.

In England, those self-isolating can only leave their accommodation in limited circumstances, and should follow Government self-isolation guidance.

May I remain in Unite residences over the Christmas break?

Yes, you make the decision that is right for you. If you do decide to stay, please inform us via thehub@aston.ac.uk as it is helpful for us to know how many students are on campus through this period of time. We will support you as much as we are able to. If you live in off-campus accommodation and you are planning to remain over the Christmas period, please also stay in touch so we can extend our support to you.

When will we know about plans to return in January?

The Government is looking to make use of mass testing to make your return to university as safe as possible. As soon as we know what the arrangements are, we will provide further information.

Will there be on-campus Covid-19 testing?

We are awaiting confirmation from the Government on the timing and arrangements of such testing, as priority and allocation of testing kits is being given to universities where the on-campus infection rate and the volume of students living away from home is high. This does not include Aston. We will provide further details about testing once we receive confirmation.

Who can I contact for further information and support?

Our Student Services Teams remain available to offer support and guidance. If you need to speak to someone, please contact:

  • Student Services Team for advice and guidance: thehub@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4007
  • Campus Safety for emergencies: via the Safezone app or call 0121 204 4803 (24hrs) 
  • For General queries: student@aston.ac.uk

Lockdown (5 Nov - 2 Dec)

Is Aston open during lockdown?

Yes, the University will remain open for teaching during this lockdown period, in line with our social distancing safety measures. The Library, study spaces and the Students’ Union building will also remain open for students.

How will lockdown impact my teaching sessions?

The Government continues to prioritise education and schools and universities will remain open. Teaching will continue as planned with our blended-learning approach and current research activities. Travel remains permitted for work and education purposes. Many social distancing measures are already in place across campus to keep our community as safe as possible and to ensure that you can continue with your teaching sessions. 

Can I still attend my on-campus touchpoint sessions? 

We still encourage you to engage with your touchpoint sessions where you can, however if you are unable to attend, your College will work with you to ensure you have the information you need. For students on courses with compulsory attendance, your College will communicate further with you about this.  

Can I study on-campus still?

Yes, our Library and study spaces remain open for students to use whilst adhering to social distancing measures. Details about these can be found on our Covid19- FAQ webpage.  

Can I socialise with my friends?

You can still socialise with the people you live with, either in on-campus or private accommodation, so long as you remain within your household bubble.  You must not meet up with people from other households. 

Can I travel home?

While travel in and out of the area remains permitted for work and education purposes, travel is not advised for other purposes and the government strongly encourages students to remain in their current accommodation and not return to their family home. The Government is working on plans for the movement of students at Christmas and for the start of the Spring term. We will provide an update on this as soon as we receive it.

How can I help?

You can help to support our community by following the new national restrictions: 

  1. Stay home or in your accommodation, except for specific purposes such as education, exercise, medical needs, and shopping for basic necessities.  
  2. Minimise time spent outside of your home or accommodation and keep two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble, this includes when on campus. 
  3. Do not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. 

For further information about these restrictions see the Gov.uk website.  

 

Who can I talk to for support?

Our Student Services teams are on hand to offer advice and support and they are hosting daily online Teams check-in calls with all students who are self-isolating. Our advisors can be contacted at thehub@aston.ac.uk or on 0121 204 4007.   

If you’re struggling with your wellbeing or mental health, our qualified counsellors/psychotherapy practitioners in the Counselling and Wellbeing Service are here for you. Our advisors will be reaching out automatically to all students who report a positive Covid result to ask if they can offer any support. You can also contact them via 0121 204 4007 or at counselling@aston.ac.uk

Our Chaplaincy team is experienced at listening and offering pastoral and spiritual guidance, prayer, support and friendship. Care and support is offered to all, regardless of background. The team consists of members from different faiths and backgrounds and would love to hear from you at chaplaincy@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4729.  

If you would refer to speak to someone anonymously, all students have access to ‘Togetherall’, a 24/7 online support community, monitored by trained professionals. You can access this support free of charge using your Aston email address to register and log in at the Togetherall website

Staying safe 

What do I do if I have covid-19 symptoms or I live with someone who has symptoms?

If you feel unwell stay home or in your accommodation, and if in doubt get tested. If you have any of these coronavirus symptoms: 

  • a high temperature 
  • a new, continuous cough 
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste 
  1. Order a test for free using this link:  Get a test now 
  2. Do not leave home/your flat or room for at least 10 days after your test. 
  3. If your test is positive inform the University by emailing covid-19reporting@aston.ac.uk.
  4. Call NHS 111 or your doctor for advice. 

If you are in shared accommodation follow the instructions as outlined by your accommodation provider. See Unite accommodation for further details. For further information on what to do when self-isolating see NHS self-isolation advice

If you live with someone who shows symptoms, you will need to isolate for 14 days from the moment they start showing symptoms. If you begin to display symptoms, you will need to follow the advice above and you can also get advice from our Safezone app. You can use the app to ask for assistance, food or prescriptions during self-isolation, using the ‘Report Something’ function.

For students who are required to quarantine on arrival in Birmingham, our Nourish Team offers an isolation food parcel which includes five days’ worth of food from fresh fruit to cupboard staples such as pasta. For further information see our food parcel online order form

What is the latest Government advice on staying safe?

Make sure you damiliarise yourselves with the Government's latest advice on washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining safe social distancing. Watch this video for more information.
What are the social distancing rules I need to follow?

There are additional restrictions in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell, which mean that you cannot mix with others in your home or accommodation unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.  If you live in Student Accommodation each flat is counted as one household. You therefore should not be visiting or mixing with people from other flats.

If you live outside of the restricted areas in England, then you must not meet in groups of more than six when meeting with people outside of your household, and you must not meet with groups of more than six when on campus unless you are taking part in a university organised teaching session.

It is against the law to:

  • Socialise in groups larger than six
  • Attend a group gathering of more than six in an indoor or outdoor space
  • Have visitors to your flat or enter another person’s flat in the Birmingham area - different households are not allowed to mix

Our onsite Campus Safety Team is on hand to support students and if you are aware of any large group gatherings these can be reported anonymously via our Safezone app or by calling 0121 359 2922.

How are you helping to keep me safe on campus?

We take the health and safety of our students, staff and the Aston University community very seriously. We have made sure extra safety measures are in place through our comprehensive health and safety risk assessments across campus and these include:

  • Sanitisers at key points across campus
  • Clear signage across campus to help you to maintain 2m distance from others where possible
  • One-way systems
  • Following guidelines around social distancing in taught sessions
  • Prioritisation of touch points for cleaning throughout the day
  • Wearing face coverings on campus
  • Lift usage is limited to use by people with seen and unseen disabilities, or where transport on stairways would not be possible or safe
  • Maximum occupancy of two people in a lift, and they must remain as far apart as possible within the lift and not face each other.
How will you keep me safe in on-campus touchpoint sessions?

In addition to the health and safety measure under ‘how are you helping me to keep safe on campus’ above, if you are attending on-campus teaching sessions look out for the purple tick sticker below which indicates where it is safe to sit. These stickers have been placed to maintain a safe distance from others, in line with our social distancing measures, and we’re asking for your support to only sit in a space where you see a sticker.

What is the Safezone app?

As well as our Student Services Team, whose contact details are at the end of this email, did you know that if you need support at any time you can request this via the Safezone app , using the ‘Report Something’ option. You can use this if you need help or support for any number of reasons, for example:

  • You need some food
  • You need some medication
  • You are struggling with your mental health
  • You are worried about someone else
  • You have an emergency

       

We have a number of support services available to you and once you have reported something using the app, we will direct you to the right team so you can get the support you need as quickly as possible.

If you would like to order a food parcel or a meal package, we also have some options available via our Aston Catering Team ‘Nourish’. You can order online at the Nourish webpage.

We have a wide range of both staff and students who are part of our Aston University volunteering team, and they are based all across the city, so even if you don’t live directly on our campus we can still provide you with support if you need it.

What is the NHS test and trace

You may have seen that the NHS has launched a new Covid-19 app as part of its test and Trace initiative, which students and staff are encouraged to download and engage with in support of our safety measures on campus. At the entrance to each building you will see a QR code to scan when entering. The graphic below provides a step-by step- illustration of how this works.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

Everyone is required to wear a face covering inside all university buildings, including circulation spaces, shared spaces, corridors, stairs, lifts and toilets. Student ID cards have had a token added to them for you to collect a complimentary pack from Café Tierra, the food court on the ground floor of the main building.

Do I have to wear a face covering all the time?

Face coverings must be worn in entrances, staircases and lifts and when moving around the buildings. During the period of national lock-down from the 5th November 2020 face covering must be worn in on-campus lecture or small group learning session including the library. Face covering may be removed when:

• eating, drinking or taking medication
• speaking to a person who lip-reads.

We recognise that in certain laboratory situations, it may not be appropriate to wear a mask and separate advice will be given by your Academic College where this is applicable.

I am exempt from wearing a face covering, what should I do?

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering we encourage you to download our exemption badge and ensure that this is clearly visible on your person, or available to show via your phone. If you wish to display a copy on your lanyard this can be collected from Main Reception.  

Do I have to wear face covering all the time?

Face coverings can be removed if you are in an area where you are keeping 2-metres away from others, maintaining safe social distancing and doing one of the following: 

  • participating in an on-campus lecture or small group learning session 
  • eating, drinking or taking medication 
  • speaking to a person who lip-reads. 

We recognise that in certain laboratory situations, it may not be appropriate to wear a mask and separate advice will be given by your Academic College where this is applicable.  

What are the rules on social distancing and keeping apart from others?

We expect all staff and students to maintain 2-metre social distancing from others wherever possible, in line with government advice. We also advise everyone to wash their hands frequently and to use the hand sanitiser stations provided around entrances to university buildings. 

General study

What does blended learning mean?

Given the ever-changing Covid-19 situation, we have made every effort to be as flexible as possible with our learning offer:  The 'Aston Approach'. This is a blended learning approach that will be adopted for all taught programmes at the University.  You will study both in person (on-campus) and online, adopting the most appropriate form of learning for each task, and taking into account the accreditation of professional bodies that are so important for our professionally-oriented degrees.

The approach has been guided by the following three key principles:

  • To keep our students, staff, and their families as safe as possible
  • To continue to offer a high-quality learning experience which enables students to maximise their learning, and their academic and employability outcomes
  • To provide flexible delivery modes which suit the circumstances of a wide range of learners and the discipline being taught, and which can be adapted as Covid-19 parameters change.
Are my lectures going to be online all year?

Throughout the 2020/21 academic year we will be running all our large group sessions online.  We have continued to invest in staff development to enable our lecturers to design, deliver and assess online in an innovative and interactive way.  We will be running smaller group sessions in a combination of on-campus and online modes.  Where there are lab-based professionally-orientated programmes we are concentrating our on-campus activities on clinical and lab work.  For all students there are opportunities for small group learning sessions, academic study skills and careers support, as well as access to the library, study space and computer facilities. 

Are my assessments going to be online all year?

For the 2020/21 academic year, examinations will take place online, except where there is a requirement from an external accrediting body to hold in person examinations.  You will be given detailed assessment information by the module tutor for each of your modules

How do I access my online learning materials and lectures?

Key information and resources available through our virtual learning environment, Blackboard Learn. You can login to Blackboard at vle.aston.ac.uk using your Aston username and password. You can find dedicated support information on the TLC website.

Here is a link to a video that will give you a step by step guide on how to use Blackboard.

How do I access my timetable?

Here is a link to a video that will give you a step by step guide on how to view your timetable.

How do I use WASS

You can use WASS to create and sign up to bookable events - these are typically labs, tutorials and workshops associated with your modules, but could also be to book appointments with advisers in the Hub. For more information, download the student user guide.

What is get Ahead?

At Aston we want to ensure that all new students have a smooth transition into university life and as such we are launching our ‘Get ahead’ programme, an engaging learning platform to help orientate all new students to life at Aston. You can find more information here.

You can access Get Ahead and welcome events using Blackboard, click here for more information.

How do I get to my campus-based sessions?

If you have a session on campus, you will need to understand how to read your timetable to get to the correct room.

You may see your module number on the event, but you will also see your room number.

Anything on the Ground floor in our Main Building will start with the letter G, for example:

G18 – is in the Main building Ground floor room 18

Anything on a higher floor will start with the letters MB

MB226 means Main Building 2nd floor room 226
MB303 means Main Building 3rd floor room 303

We also have two wings coming off the main building. South Wing and North Wing, so rooms in these areas will begin with SW or NW.

SW404 means South Wing 4th floor room 404
NW502 means North Wing 5th floor room 502
You may occasional be in a room starting with NX, this still refers to the North wing, but is on the 10th floor.

The lecture theatres sometimes are referred to by name. The following are in the Main Building:

Sumpner Lecture – 6th Floor MB
Wright Lecture Theatre – 6th Floor MB
Byng Kendrick – G11 MB
The Susan Cadbury and Adrian Cadbury Lecture Theatres are in the Aston Business School Building (where the Conference Aston Hotel is).

Lecture Room 4 (ABS) and Lecture Room 5 (ABS) are also in the Aston Business School Building 

Anything in the Vison Sciences building, which is located behind the library will start with the letters VS.
VSG03 means Vison Sciences Building Ground Floor room 3

Anything that starts LIB means it is in the Library and events marked as MLK are in the Martin Luther King Centre. 

What do I do if I haven't received my Student ID card?

If you haven’t yet received your university ID card, or it has been posted to your home address while you are on campus, you can request  a replacement via our Solve Portal. We are currently unable to issue cards face-to-face for health and safety reasons.

Please do not worry. It will only take a few days for the card to get to you, and we want to do everything to make sure you are safe on our campus and don’t need come onto campus if you don’t have to. It is expected that all students carry their student ID card with them whilst on campus.

How do I complete my enrolment?

If you haven’t enrolled yet, or are experiencing issues with the process, you can find instructions on how to do it and what documents you’ll need on our website. We’ve also made a short video guide, which you can access by clicking the image below:

If you are a Home student, once you have completed Pre-Enrolment, you should go to your MAP homepage and click on ‘Complete Enrolment’. This will ensure you’re fully enrolled.

If you’re an International student, you should send us details of when you will be arriving on campus, so we can complete your enrolment for you. Please send your arrival details to casqueries@aston.ac.uk.

The Government has announced tighter national Covid restrictions. Universities remain open and the start of term will commence as planned on Monday.

Which study spaces can I use on campus?

We have increased the amount of study spaces on campus for you to use. These include:

  • Library – this is our key building for accessing study space and PC/laptops
  • Library 2 in Main Building room 231
  • Student executive study space – this new space is accessible along the left corridor of the upper foyer
  • Café 66
  • Main Building areas by the skylifts
  • Students’ Union building

As part of our covid safety processes, furniture has been positioned in teaching spaces to keep everyone at a safe distance so please do not rearrange this. All teaching rooms are cleaned in between teaching sessions which means these are not available for use as study space.

Can I borrow a laptop?

If you need to borrow a laptop you can do so from the library. These can be taken out of the library to be used on campus but they will not work off campus.

Why am I still paying my tuition fees?

The University is still offering you the same high-quality teaching that it always has, and we have moved to a blended learning approach to allow us to meet the government safety guidelines and give you the best possible learning experience.  As a student you still have access to continued learning hours, individual study and pastoral support, and access to resources such as software and library information whether you are studying via a blended approach or fully online.

Our Student Charter outlines our responsibilities as well as those of students.

Can I study remotely?

You should be able to access all of your materials online as normal as outlined by your School.

If you hold a Tier 4 visa, then please log in and use Blackboard Collaborate to attend your sessions, and these will count as active engagement with you studies. If you don’t have any activities to attend, then please use the MAP engagement task to ‘Check In’ once a week so we can see you are still engaging with your studies. This will allow us to protect your visa for the UK, even if you are currently overseas.

If you are currently unable to continue with your studies for any reason, please email us and we will advise you of your options.

Students studying programmes with compulsory attendance requirements

Where there is a compulsory attendance element to your course you may need to be on campus to participate in accordance with professional regulatory body requirements. If you are unable to return to campus in term one, due to travel restrictions, health concerns etc, then please contact your programme director or programme office as soon as possible to discuss what the options are for you and if any special arrangements can be made. 

In the event of change to the Government social distancing guidelines (e.g. a local or national lockdown) that prevents us being able to provide the on-campus activity that requires your attendance, alternative measures will be put in place.  This may mean scheduling these activities at different times or providing the activity off-campus.  Your School will inform you of any necessary changes should this occur.

I am worried about how my attendance will be affected if I can't attend university. What will happen?

Whilst we record attendance we have stopped using it for monitoring purposes so there is no need to be concerned that not being on campus will have a negative effect on your overall attendance.

You will be able to access your record of attendance through the MyEngagement system. If you have a session on campus, You should ‘check in’ to timetabled classes by placing your uniCARD on wall mounted readers on entry. For more guidance please visit the How to check in page. Further information about this system can be found at the MyAttendance TLC webpage.

If you are an International Student with a Tier 4 visa, please continue to log in to your sessions via Blackboard Collaborate, or complete the online engagement task in MAP so we can continue to sponsor your visa.

What is MyEngagement?

For those of you attending on-campus sessions we encourage you to log onto the MyEngagement platform to keep track of your studies. The platform provides you with real-time feedback and tips on how you can progress in your course. Log into MyEngagement to find out more.

I'm having trouble accessing the University systems. What can I do?

Solve is our online portal for students and staff and is the single portal for your digital questions. You can use Solve to: 

  • Source digital solutions and guides
  • Search for services and forms
  • Report digital issues
  • Make requests for digital support and track progress
  • Communicate with a digital services team member

You can log into Solve with your university credentials via solve.aston.ac.uk

You can also email our digital services team at solve@aston.ac.uk or call on 44 (0) 121 204 3445

Please include relevant details including programme and/or module code so that this can be communicated to programme teams.

I'm having trouble accessing specialist applications for my course. What can I do?

Our new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) will allow you to access specialist applications required for your course, whether on or off-campus. The VDI allows you to make use of a powerful, windows-based machine from a variety of types and ages of PC, which will improve your access to university applications and systems. For more information about see the How to Access Software section of the quick start guide at Solve quick start guide

 You can keep up with the latest news by visiting the Contact Us page.

What if I need to speak to my tutor for dissertation support?

One-to-one supervision, dissertation and office hours can be provided by phone, Skype etc.  Alternative modes of assessing progress and achievement will be provided as necessary 

Who can I speak to if I am concerned?
If you have any specific concerns or queries please contact us or report via our Safezone app

Wellbeing and Mental Health

Who can I contact for support?

Our team in The Hub is here to offer advice, help and support. They can help with finance advice, academic support, and advice for international students. The team also offers counselling and wellbeing services and the Enabling Team is ready to assist students with disabilities. For information about how to access these services, please visit the Hub webpage.

You can contact our Student Services Teams on thehub@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4007.

If you’re struggling with your wellbeing or mental health, our qualified counsellors/psychotherapy practitioners in the Counselling and Wellbeing Service are here for you.

You can contact them via 0121 204 4007 or counselling@aston.ac.uk.

Our Chaplaincy team are here for you whether you belong to a faith community or not, you are welcome to talk confidentially with a Chaplain about any problems or concerns you may have.

You can contact our Chaplaincy Team on chaplaincy@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4729.

Our Enabling Team offers advice and support for students with disabilities, ongoing health conditions and learning differences.

You can contact them on enablingteam@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4007.

The University has also signed up to ‘Togetherall’ which is an anonymous 24/7/365 days a year on-line support community, monitored by trained professionals who keep the community safe. You can access this support free of charge through using your Aston email address to register and log in at the Togetherall website.

I am isolating, who can I speak to about support?

MyAston, also integrates with SafeZone – our safety and security app, which enables students and staff to send alerts to our Campus Safety Team by pressing a single button. SafeZone can be used in instances where an emergency response is required, such as first-aid, or other emergency response, as well as general assistance. You can also use the app to ask for food or prescriptions during self-isolation, using the ‘Report Something’ section.  We ask all students who are on coming onto campus to sign up to SafeZone.

Our Student Services Teams are on hand to offer support so please get in touch at thehub@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4007. Our advisors are checking in with students who are isolating by phone and video calls.

Accommodation

For all Unite accommodation queries see the FAQs on their website.

I live in private halls or a shared house, do I still have to pay?

If you need help and support with your rent contracts for other providers, please contact the Advice and Representation Centre in the Students’ Union.

Careers and Placements

Our sector-leading Careers and Placements team is committed to giving you the advice, tools, and guidance you need to help you plan your career, whether you are on campus or working remotely. The majority of their events, activities and appointments are currently being delivered online, but there are also opportunities for you to meet with the team on-campus via their ‘careers touchpoints’. All events and touchpoints are bookable online through Aston Futures. For more information, please visit the Careers and Placements website.

For more information about how to access the Careers and Placements online and on-campus offering visit: www.aston.ac.uk/accessingcareerssupport

More information is available to view answers to some of the most frequently asked Careers and Placements related questions.

International

How can I access the University systems remotely when I am from overseas?

Whilst access to some platforms may be limited, we are continually working on providing the best options we can. Should you have any particular issues then please let us know via our Solve portal.so we can investigate alternative solutions where possible.

Solve is our online portal for students and staff and is the single portal for your digital questions. You can use Solve to:

  • Source digital solutions and guides
  • Search for services and forms
  • Report digital issues
  • Make requests for digital support and track progress
  • Communicate with a digital services team member 

You can log into Solve with your university credentials via solve.aston.ac.uk

You can also contact our digital services team at mailto:solve@aston.ac.uk or on 44 (0) 121 204 3445

Please include relevant details including programme and/or module code so that this can be communicated to programme teams.

For more details, please visit our Solve portal.

Our new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) will allow you to access specialist applications required for your course, whether on or off-campus. The VDI allows you to make use of a powerful, windows-based machine from a variety of types and ages of PC, which will improve your access to university applications and systems. For more information about see the How to Access Software section of the quick start guide at Solve quick start guide

 You can keep up with the latest news by visiting the Contact Us page.

Tier 4 Visa Engagement

We have a responsibility to the Home Office to monitor engagement with your studies whilst we are sponsoring your visa.

During these uncertain times we understand that you may have chosen to stay in your home country for now. Please be aware of the quarantine requirements in different countries and any restrictions in place that may prevent you from coming to the UK. If you decide to come to the UK, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can protect your visa.

We will continue to monitor your engagement remotely, through Blackboard collaborate sessions, and visa in person check ins should you be on our campus, as we need to continue to show you are actively engaging with your studies.  

Wherever you are, please ensure that you use the brand new task in MAP once a week which will act as your virtual 'Check In’ if you need to.

As long as you have informed us of your location and you are accessing university systems regularly we will continue to sponsor you visa until. The 60 day absence rule does not currently apply, so please do not worry. We will inform you of when you are required to return to campus based studies.

Graduation

Information about graduation can be found by viewing our FAQs.

For any graduation questions contact graduation@aston.ac.uk

Degree Apprenticeships

For all questions relating to degree apprenticeships, please see our dedicated key information page.

Finance

How can I contact Finance?

Email: FIN_OPERATIONS@aston.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 204 4355

The finance team can also be reached via SOLVE, and your query will automatically have a call reference. This will provide you with notification and updated status of your query.

When are scholarships going to be paid?
Payment will be in bank accounts on 30th October. But you must complete the bank details on the Scholarship Page in MAP
What are the payment dates, and how do I pay me fees? 
The first payment date is 31st October, and you can pay online. Payment details are on the University webpage