Current students

Back to COVID-19 information

National lockdown

England is currently in a period of national lockdown. See the Gov.uk website for details

The Minister of State for Universities has outlined in a letter to all students why the Government is requesting that we make this change and you can read her letter here.

Our teaching and learning will continue to take place via our online channels until at least 8 March 2021. The only exceptions to this continue to be the ‘permitted programmes’ of Optometry and Audiology, in the College of Health and Life Sciences, plus Aston Medical School, where there is some on-campus teaching.

Before attending any on-campus teaching sessions or entering any Aston buildings, including the Library and the Students’ Union, you need to take part in twice weekly lateral flow testing to limit transmission of the virus, particularly from asymptomatic (no symptom) cases. Our on-campus asymptomatic (no-symptom) Covid-19 test centre is now open in the Aston Conference Centre

If you have not accessed our online library services, or you’re unsure how best to do so, please do reach out to our great library staff on  +44 (0) 121 204 4525 or library@aston.ac.uk or online chat, and they will do their best to guide you to the relevant electronic learning resources. All online library services and resources are accessible through the Library website and Library Smart Search.

You can book a test here.

If you receive a negative result, you should:

In the event of a positive test, you should:

If you are travelling back from overseas, we appreciate that you will have been tested prior to travelling to the UK and will then be in a period of quarantine. However, you must book in for one of these tests prior to attending any on-campus sessions so that we can all help keep our community safe.

For more information visit our COVID-19 test centre page.

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 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.

Key points

  • England is in a period of national lockdown – you should stay at home/ in your accommodation and not travel to campus to access university facilities unless you have a reasonable excuse, see the Gov.uk website
  • All teaching is online until 8 March at the earliest, with a few exceptions as detailed below.

  • The Main Building is now closed to students and on restricted access to those studying some health and life sciences courses, postgraduate research students, and staff
  • The Prayer room in the Students’ Union building will be open for private prayer from 1 March, 11am – 6pm Monday to Friday.
  • Our Vison Sciences building is open to Optometry and Audiology students 12-2pm Monday to Friday.
  • The Library is open on campus for essential study access, private individual study and book collection only.
  • Access to the Student Services Hub helpdesk is available via email and telephone as usual. For all IT queries please use Solve.
  • Before attending on-campus sessions or entering Aston buildings, students must take participate in twice weekly lateral flow testing.

  • 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.
  • 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 Arrangements for 2020/21

 

The key aspects of our arrangements for 2020/21 are set out below
  1. All assessments will take place virtually, except where accreditation requirements from Professional, Regulatory and Statutory Bodies do not allow this (students have been 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. No need to submit an Exceptional Circumstances (EC) submission. The marks for such deferrals will not be capped (unless the deferred assessment was a reassessment attempt).
     
  3. No penalty for submitting coursework up to five working days after the deadline is extended until the end of the academic year. (This excludes timed Blackboard assignments, exams and tests, viva and live presentations, as well as coursework for submission during the deferral/ referral assessment period in August).  Submission after five working days will be awarded a mark of zero, unless an EC submission has been made and approved.  This will include undergraduate projects/dissertations.
     
  4. All deferred assessments will need to be passed prior to progression/award, and credit will not be awarded where assessments have been missed, as other mitigations have already been made.  For students with a substantial volume of deferred assessments, Exam Boards may limit the amount of assessments taken in the August period, and if applicable restrict a student's ability to progress to their next stage. 

These proposals are guided by two principles:

  • To ensure that all students are awarded their qualifications or progressed fairly, and to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by the pandemic.
  • To ensure the quality and standards of Aston University’s qualifications remain secure and appropriate.

These recommendations are informed by:

  • Discussions with the Students’ Union and feedback from a range of student groups via our informal feedback mechanisms, an assessment webinar, pulse surveys, module feedback and staff student consultative committees.
  • Updated expectations from the Office for Students (OfS).

Further notes on assessment

  1. All assessment formats and timescales were reviewed at the beginning of the academic year, and amended to help students study and demonstrate that they have met learning outcomes.
     
  2. In order that staff have time to mark work where there is an extended deadline, coursework marks and feedback will not be returned to students once the summer examination period has begun.
     
  3. Postgraduate projects and dissertations will be managed in a College by College basis, and students cannot expect that these will all be managed in the same way because of the wide variation of how postgraduate projects and dissertations are managed across the Colleges, including variability in timescales.
     
  4. Students experiencing technical issues submitting their assessed work should refer to Solve.
     
  5. Extensions related to a disability registered with the University’s Enabling Unit will be maintained. 
     
  6. Examination Boards will, as always, use contextual assessment data from this and previous academic years to benchmark student performance.
     
  7. We are extending the period of time allocated to referred/deferred assessments in order to help students who have more deferred assessments. The assessment period will be Monday 16 - Friday 27 August.  Assessment timetables will be sent out a week before the beginning of this assessment time.

Publication of exam results 2020/21

The majority of final year programme award boards are held in mid- to late June and progression boards (for non-final year students) are held in early July.  Results are typically released up to a week from the date of the exam board. Your College will be in touch, in due course, with more detailed information on the May/June assessment period and when award and progression results will be released.

We are extending the period of time allocated to referred/deferred assessments in order to help students who have more deferred assessments. The referred/deferred assessment period will be Monday 16 - Friday 27 August 2021 and assessment timetables will be sent out a week before the beginning of this assessment time.

Quick menu 

Access to the library building

Using the library

The Library is open on campus for essential study access, private individual study and collecting materials only, but we can only keep the building open if we all work together to keep it a safe place to study.

We have extended the library hours until midnight during the week and at weekends and encourage students who live on campus to use the library only after 6pm to enable fairer access across the day.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 9am to Midnight

Saturday and Sunday 10am to Midnight

We are committed to:

  • monitoring the use of the library and if numbers reach capacity, students can be given a study ticket to use designated computer labs in the Main Building,
  • providing real time updates and allowing re-entry as soon as possible,
  • minimising wait times.

We ask you to agree to:

  • come alone for single private study, we are unable to accommodate groups,
  • wear a face covering,
  • maintain a 2-metre distance from others,
  • be respectful and follow requests from university staff.
Who can use the library building during this time?

As you know, the Government is asking students to ‘Stay at Home’ and study away from the campus for the time being.  It acknowledges, however, that students in the following categories will need to have access to study space on campus:

  • students taking part in compulsory on campus sessions,
  • international students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation,
  • those who have remained in their student accommodation over the winter break,
  • those who have returned to student accommodation in exceptional circumstances, (for example because they are without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation),
  • those requiring additional support, including those with mental health and wellbeing issues,
  • commuter students, on an exceptional basis, who require access to university facilities to access online learning (for example because they do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their usual accommodation).

We remain committed to making sure that safe study space is available for students who are covered by the categories above. In turn we need students who access the library to respect the health and safety of fellow students and staff by following the instructions for use of the library.

Online library resources

For those of you who are currently studying away from the campus, all online library services and resources are accessible through the Library website and Library Smart Search. For help and advice with your learning or research, you can contact library staff via phone 0121 204 4525, you can also email library@aston.ac.uk or online chat. Enquiry services will operate as usual from 9-6pm. You can also make an online appointment with your Information Specialist who is happy to help with providing learning support materials.

Lockdown update
 

When will on-campus teaching sessions start?

From 8 March, students who are studying practical-based subjects which require them to undertake practical and/or practice-based work involving access to specialist equipment and/or facilities will be able to resume some in person teaching back on campus.  Your College-based staff are currently working through the details of this change and how it will impact on your specific course.  Further information will be made available early next week. 

As instructed by the Government guidance, students on courses that do not require access to specialist practical/practice-based facilities and/or equipment to complete their courses will, for the time being, continue learning online. The Government plans to review this in line with data by the end of the Easter holidays in April. We will, of course inform you if, and when, the situation changes. 

We appreciate that many of you are keen to return to on-campus teaching sessions, but we are unable to make further changes until permitted to do so by the Government. Whilst we await an update after Easter, we will continue to provide the same high level of support to ensure that your learning experience is of a high quality and provides an engaging student experience. 

Can students travel back to campus?
In line with Government guidance, wherever possible, you should remain in your current accommodation and you should not travel back to campus to access university facilities until advised that face-to-face teaching is resuming. We know that there are some students for whom this will be particularly problematic, and the Government’s Guidance to HE Providers (January 2021) allows for the following categories of students to return to campus (as long as they follow the guidance for self-isolating and/or testing, as set out below):
  • international students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation,
  • those who have remained in their student accommodation over the winter break,
  • those who have returned to student accommodation in exceptional circumstances, (for example because they are without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation),
  • those requiring additional support, including those with mental health and wellbeing issues,
  • commuter students, on an exceptional basis where they are not in the first tranche of returners, who require access to university facilities to access online learning (for example because they do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their usual accommodation).
I am an international student travelling to the UK, do I need a test prior to leaving my home country?

The UK government announced on 8 January that passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken up to 72 hours before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally. Prior to departure, passengers will need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to carriers, as well as their passenger locator form. Passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list must self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their pre-departure test result. More information can be found here

 

Campus facilities open for students

The Library is open on campus for essential study access, private individual study and collecting materials only, but we can only keep the building open if we all work together to keep it a safe place to study.

We have extended the library hours until midnight during the week and at weekends and encourage students who live on campus to use the library only after 6pm to enable fairer access across the day.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 9am to Midnight

Saturday and Sunday 10am to Midnight

The upper floor of the Students’ Union building is also be open for private study space from 11am to 6pm. Face coverings must be worn inside the building and students are expected to follow the guidance on testing prior to entering the building.

We are committed to:

  • monitoring the use of the library and if numbers reach capacity, students can be given a study ticket to use designated computer labs in the Main Building,
  • providing real time updates and allowing re-entry as soon as possible,
  • minimising wait times

From 1 March the Prayer room in the Students’ Union building will be open for private prayer only and not group worship. The SU building is open 11am – 6pm Monday to Friday.

Who can I speak to about financial support?

If you are struggling with your finances, please do get in touch with our Student Services team at the Hub as we’re able to support students in cases of unexpected financial hardship. For further information see our Aston Support Fund web page (for UK students) or the Susan Cadbury Fund (for EU/international students).

COVID-19 new variants

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care made a statement concerning the new South African and Brazilian variants of COVID-19 that have been identified in parts of the UK. People living in postcodes CR4, EN10, GU21, ME15, N17, PR9, W7, and WS2 and strongly advised to get a test this week, even if they are not displaying symptoms. The Government is also advising all residents in these postcodes to stay home unless their journey is absolutely essential. If you been informed that you need to be on-campus for teaching sessions then please contact us at student@aston.ac.uk.

Information about student testing

How often do I need to take an asymptomatic (no symptom) test?

The Government has announced that all students or staff attending on-campus sessions, and using on-campus facilities, must take two lateral flow tests per week. These tests will help reduce transmission of the virus from students and staff that show no symptoms.  

Where can I book a lateral flow test?

You can book a test at our on-campus asymptomatic (no-symptom) Covid-19 test centre in the Aston Conference Centre. Book here.

Do I need to use the Aston test centre or can I find a local test?

You may also use a local asymptomatic test centre if it’s easier but you do need to report the results to us at covid-19reporting@aston.ac.uk. There is no charge for this. 

Can I book a test for the morning of my on-campus teaching session?
Yes, students who have on-campus sessions scheduled will be able to book a test for the morning of their session and will be able to attend their on-campus session if the result is negative. 
Returning to campus after a positive test result
If you have Covid-19 symptoms you are required by law to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test result, even if you are asymptomatic.  After 10 days, providing any fever has subsided, current medical science confirms that individuals are no longer infectious and there is no need to self-isolate, but you must continue to follow the guidance on wearing a face mask, hand washing and keeping a safe 2m distance from others. 
I have tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 90 days, do I need a lateral flow test?
No, if you have received a positive PCR (Covid-19) test result within the past 90 days then you do not need to take a rapid lateral flow test as you will have antibodies your system which will show as a positive result.  
How do I book an asymptomatic (no symptom) test?

You can book an appointment via the COVID-19 test centre booking page, you will need to make an appointment before you attend the walk-in testing centre.  

In the event of a positive test, you should: 

  • Inform us at covid-19 reporting 

  • Self-isolate for 10 days (your household should also self-isolate and there are fines of up to £1,000 for breaking this Government rule 

If you receive a negative result, you should: 

The test centre is safe and managed in accordance with Government guidance.  

Keep an eye on our coronavirus FAQ page for the latest updates. 

What time does the test centre open?

The test centre is open Monday – Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. 

Can I eat and drink before taking a lateral flow test?

You must not eat or drink for 30 minutes prior to taking a test. 

I am showing symptoms of Covid-19, can I use the Aston Test Centre?
No, the Aston Test Centre is for asymptomatic (no symptom) students and staff only. If you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 and feel unwell you should book a test at a national test centre. Book here. 
If I only have one on-campus session per week, do I still need to take two tests?
You will need to take a test on the morning of your on-campus session and if the result is negative, you will be able to attend your session. 
Do I need to travel onto campus just for a test?
No, you can book your test on the morning of your on-campus session as results will be made available to you within an hour. 
Do I have to take a test before entering any Aston building, including the library and the Students’ Union?

If you are required to attend an on-campus session as part of your studies, or if you need to use the Library in accordance with the exemptions outlined under the ‘Lockdown update’ section, you must participate in twice weekly lateral flow testing and receive a negative result prior to entering any Aston buildings. If you are only on campus once a week you will take one lateral flow test. 

If you do not take a test you must self-isolate for 10 days before entering any Aston buildings. 

For further information about the Government guidance on the return to campus and student testing please see the Department for Education guidance. 

Do I need to take a test before returning to my accommodation?
Before you return to your accommodation for the first time you should take a lateral flow test to help reduce transmission of asymptomatic cases of the virus.
I am a commuter student travelling into campus twice a week to enter the library building, do I need to take a lateral flow test each time?
You will need to follow the Government guidance and participate in twice weekly lateral flow testing prior to entering the library building. 
I want to travel back to campus, should I get a lateral flow test before I leave home or when I arrive at Aston?
It may be more convenient to get a test at a local asymptomatic test centre before travelling back to Aston and if the result is negative this is acceptable as one of the required tests for entering Aston buildings. You will need to report the result to us at covid-19reporting@aston.ac.uk
I am an international, student travelling to the UK, do I need to a test prior to leaving my home country?
The UK government announced on 8 January that passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken up to 72 hours before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally. Prior to departure, passengers will need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to airlines as well as on their passenger locator form. Passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list must self-isolate for 10 days, even if their pre-departure test result was negative. More information can be found here.
I am an international student and have been tested prior to leaving my home country, do I still need to book lateral flow tests before entering Aston buildings?
We appreciate that you will have been tested prior to travelling to the UK and will then be in a period of quarantine. You must, however, book in for a test prior to attending any on-campus sessions so that we can all help keep our community safe.  
Do I have to pay for a rapid lateral flow test?
There is no charge for a lateral flow test at the Aston Test Centre or a national asymptomatic test centre. 
Can you post me a self-testing kit?
Yes, if you live in a remote area and don’t have access to testing, a postal test kit can be sent to you. Please contact safety@aston.ac.uk to request one.
Do I need to show my negative result to obtain entry to a building?
No, but we are actively monitoring those that have been tested and keeping a record.
Can I still enter an Aston building if I don’t take a lateral flow test?
Yes, but we’re asking all students and staff as part of their civic duty to help protect each other and our community to participate in twice weekly testing as outlined by the Government. 
What if all the test appointment slots are full?
We actively monitor the slots and if they start to get full, we open more slots. There should always be capacity.
How can I help to control the virus?

You can help control the virus by: 

  • observing social contact rules 

  • keeping your distance when on campus and where possible 

  • washing or sanitising your hands regularly 

  • downloading the NHS COVID-19 app before attend on-campus activities, if possible, and checking in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters. 

After I have had the vaccine will I still need to follow all the infection control advice?

Following vaccination, you will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes.

To continue to protect yourself, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: 

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current University guidance
Will I still need continue to have the lateral flow tests after I have been given the vaccine

Yes. We don’t yet know whether individuals who have been vaccinated could still transmit COVID-19 disease to others. To protect yourself, colleagues, family and friends, you should still test and act accordingly if you get a positive result.

Could vaccination cause a false-positive COVID-19 lateral flow device (LFD) antigen test result, or a false-positive PCR test result?

No. The LFD test detects a different protein of the virus than the one encoded in the vaccine, and the PCR test detects different genes of the virus than the one included in the vaccine.  There is no possibility of cross reaction or a false positive.

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?

We are doing all we can to keep our community as safe as possible. Before attending on-campus sessions or entering Aston buildings, you must take two rapid tests three days apart to verify that you do not have the virus. This is one way in which we can all contribute to keeping each other and our community safe.

Our on-campus asymptomatic (no-symptom) Covid-19 test centre is now open again in the Aston Conference Centre and you can book here

If you receive a negative result, you should:

In the event of a positive test, you should:

  • Inform us at covid-19reporting@aston.ac.uk
  • Self-isolate for 10 days
  • Book in for a further test at a national centre (we have one on campus situated on Car Park 6, but if you’re not local to campus please see the Gov.uk website) and wait for laboratory-tested results to confirm this status

If you are travelling back from overseas we appreciate that you will have been tested prior to travelling to the UK, and will then be in a period of quarantine. However, you must book in for one of these tests prior to attending any on-campus sessions so that we can all help keep our community safe.

For more information visit our COVID-19 test centre page.

If you are self-isolating and you are struggling to get any food, please contact our Campus Safety team campussaftey@aston.ac.uk and we can arrange for a food package to be delivered to you.

Emergency – Campus Safety: on 0121 204 4803 or via the Safezone app 24/7

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 attending on-campus activities.

Who can I speak to for further information?


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

If you are self-isolating and you are struggling to get any food, please contact our Campus Safety team campussaftey@aston.ac.uk and we can arrange for a food package to be delivered to you.

Emergency – Campus Safety: on 0121 204 4803 or via the Safezone app 24/7

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 120 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 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.

Who do I speak to if I want to complain about my learning experience?

If you do have any concerns about your learning experience or the support you’re receiving, we do have a complaints process and you can find out more about this by contacting registry_feedbackto@aston.ac.uk

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.

What study skills resources are available to me?

Don’t forget that the Learning Development Centre  (LDC)  has a number of online resources to support you with your studies: 

The LDC Blackboard Module - for a range of study skills including maths, academic writing, critical analysis, and revision and exam strategies.  

One-to-one appointments on MS Teams - for academic writing, study skills and referencing. Email ldc@aston.ac.uk to book.   

Mathematics support  - Maths support resources, including topic notes, videos and practice questions with worked solutions are available at the Maths Support @ Aston Blackboard Organisation and you can see our Maths YouTube channel. Email ldcmaths@aston.ac.uk to book an appointment.

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

Student wellbeing check in calls

We’re here to support you all through these challenging times and know that some of you would like to feel more connected with the University, and indeed other students. Your SU VP Welfare, Safa-Atiya Ahmed, is working with colleagues in our Student Wellbeing Team to launch a student wellbeing call centre initiative, run by students for students. Our friendly team of students will be calling you for a quick check-in chat to see how you are and to signpost you to resources that you may find helpful.  

Look out for a call from (+44) 121 204 5100 and please pick up as our team of student volunteers would love to talk to you. 

If you would prefer not to receive a call, please contact your College representative on the emails below: 

Business and Social Sciences: Rachel Ford r.ford3@aston.ac.uk 

Engineering and Physical Sciences: Namrata Gajoram n.gajoram1@aston.ac.uk 

Health and Life Sciences:  Nikita Vadhia n.vadhia1@aston.ac.uk 

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

All accommodation on and around the Aston University campus is offered by private providers. We are liaising with our local private accommodation providers to address student concerns about contractual and rental issues during periods of Covid-19 Government restrictions. As the University does not own the accommodation, only the private providers can make decisions about releasing students from contracts or pausing rent payments.

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.