University Services

UNIVERSITY SERVICES
 
Introduction

Aston is a long established research-active University, known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and the professions.  Founded in 1895, and a University since 1966, Aston is also an inclusive, forward-thinking and diverse institution, deeply committed to ensuring all of its students can maximise their achievements.

Your studies this academic year will be different due to the pandemic and the precautions we are taking to ensure the health and well-being of our students, staff and visitors. There has been extensive work by our academic staff, our professional services and the Aston Students’ Union to deliver a great student experience.  We have captured our approach in the Aston Student Pledge where we focus on providing the high academic quality and standards of Aston teaching whether your study is on campus, blended or fully online. We will provide extensive student and academic services support, before and during your studies, both online and on-campus, to help you deal with any challenges and enable you to succeed.

We take supporting our students very seriously and we are proud to have been awarded Gold status in the government’s Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), where the feedback said that “students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”.  The most recent Guardian University Guide has ranked Aston first in the UK for ‘value added’ reflecting the effective supportive environment, excellent teaching and opportunities to develop the student experience.

With the aid of our award winning Careers and Placements team, Aston’s graduates are some of the most employable in the UK. Six months after graduation, nearly eight out of ten Aston alumni are in graduate level destinations – an employability rate comparable to those of the traditional elite universities. Aston is ranked fourth in the UK for work placements, which help students gain invaluable experience, soft skills and professional growth. Whilst Covid-19 presents us with new challenges, Aston has been quick to respond and now offers a more flexible suite of options alongside the traditional placement year. In addition to on campus activities, our Learning Development Centre (LDC) also offers a range of academic tutorial support.

We are committed to delivering high quality teaching and support to give you the skills to thrive in business and the professions.  We are constantly adapting to the changing needs of our students and the wider society and in keeping with the University’s progressive motto, ‘Forward’, we pledge to continue to do so. This seems more pertinent than ever as we work our way through the challenges of a global pandemic while providing a high quality and engaging experience for all of our students.

Saskia Loer Hansen
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement

 

 

MyAston App

MyAston app is designed to improve your experience of studying at Aston and living in Birmingham and is available to download from IOS and Adroid app stores.

The app allows you to access your university email, timetable, library services, book appointments with lecturers and personal tutors and more.

For more details and download links visit our Current students’ webpage

Aston Safezone App

We’ve launched a free safety and security app designed to optimise safety around campus for both students and staff.

 Through its user-friendly interface, SafeZone enables students and staff to send location-based alerts via various electronic devices to the Aston’s Security Team by pressing a single button based on the support required.

SafeZone can be used in instances where an emergency response is required, such as first-aid, support, or other emergency response, as well as general assistance.  For more information and download links, please visit our Campus safety webpage


Student Services at The Hub

The Hub team provides support and advice to all students about all sorts of topics including your studies and your finances. The team also has a dedicated, specialist team to work with international students on issues such as visa compliance. Additionally, we offer counselling and mental wellbeing support and have an Enabling Team to assist students with disabilities.

All of our services are accessible during this pandemic and you can still call and email us in the usual ways.  During the academic year our services will be on campus and also available virtually so please do get in touch.

See The Hub Webpage for more details and to book an appointment or contact thehub@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4007


Academic Services

The Academic Services teams provide a range of administrative support services for students throughout your time at Aston, from initial application to graduation.

 The services offered by these teams can be accessed remotely (If face-to-face interaction is not possible).  All the information you need is available on the web pages below, including how to contact them.

 The Examinations Office is responsible for the administration and timetabling of all university exams. See The Examinations Office Webpage for more details or contact exams@aston.ac.uk

The Student Records Team is responsible for all student records from initial enrolment through to graduation. See The Student Records webpage for more details or contact  reg_studentrecords@aston.ac.uk  or 0121 204 4455


The Chaplaincy Team

The Chaplaincy team is based in the Martin Luther King Multi-faith Centre at the heart of campus, providing a quiet place to drop in if you need someone to talk to, or if you are looking for some support. The Chaplaincy welcomes people of all faiths and none and can also provide wellbeing support and guidance. See The Chaplaincy Webpage for more details or contact chaplaincy@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4729.


Employability Services

Our Careers and Placements team is here to help you to find a placement, a part-time job, perfecting your CV, interview technique and much more. See the Careers and Placements webpage for more details and our programme of employability events

Aston Futures

Aston Futures is an online platform run by Careers and Placements which allows you to receive job alerts, apply for roles and more. For further information see the Aston Futures webpage


JobShop

 Our JobShop team can help you secure work experience - from volunteering to part-time jobs. For further information see the JobShop team webpage or contact jobshop@aston.ac.ukor 0121 204 4844.


Placements support

Our Placements Team is on hand to help you find an incredible placement that will give you a year of real-life work experience and make you stand out from the crowd.

For further information see the Placements team webpage. Each individual School at Aston has a dedicated Placement Coordinator, so book an appointment with yours on Aston Futures today.

 

Contact the Careers and Placements Team

The Careers and Placements Centre and JobShop are located in the Main Building on the 1st Floor, South Wing.  Due to the ongoing situation with covid-19, we’re unsure when these will be physically open again but you can still access all the support you need via our virtual channels.

 Contact careers@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4757.



Outreach opportunities

Aston’s Outreach team provides exciting opportunities for students to take part in mentoring and tutoring with local students across Birmingham, including: Aimhigher, a mentoring programme for Year 9-13, Aston Progression Pathways Mentoring, a Law, Business and STEM-specific mentoring programme for Year 12 and the Access Project - GCSE tutoring for Year 10-11. Contact Outreach@aston.ac.uk

Student Ambassadors

 Aston University student ambassadors are current Aston students who help the Student Recruitment and Outreach Team to promote university and student life to school pupils, prospective students and their families.  

For more information about getting involved visit the Student ambassador webpage


Diversity and Inclusion

We believe that the diversity of our staff and student community is fundamental to creative thinking, innovation and intellectual challenge, and we are committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly, regardless of gender, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or nationality.

 We have ambitious diversity goals and an excellent record of achievement (such as meeting widening participation targets, and earning Athena SWAN awards).  Please see our HR Policies page and Inclusive Aston webpages for more details.

If you have any questions about diversity and inclusion at the University please contact the Inclusive Aston team at diversity@aston.ac.uk.



Digital Services

Aston University has extensive IT facilities with over 1,500 desktop computers specifically for student use, offering a range of networked software packages, database systems, modelling tools and computer-aided learning materials. We have also created WiFi Study Spacesaround the campus that are open to students. For students studying remotely we have a range of support available which can be accessed through the Solve Portal https://solve.aston.ac.uk.

To help you make the most of the IT facilities, we have created several guides and solutions which contains information on all of the services provided including email, Printing and much more. You can view the guides on the Solve Portal https://solve.aston.ac.uk

WiFi is available across the campus and is called _Aston Connect. It is really simple to use - Just connect your phone, tablet or notebook and enter your computer login details when requested.

Useful links:


My Aston Portal (MAP)is an internet portal that acts as a secure single point of contact for many of the services you use as a student, including personalised teaching timetables, the modules you are studying and Blackboard VLE which is our virtual learning environment.

Blackboard VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) is a web-based resource that can be accessed any time from any place via MAP.  You will be able to log onto all of your modules, access lectures, slides, notes, read course announcements, complete assignments and collaborate with your classmates.

The Digital Services Helpdesk on the ground floor of Main Building is available from 8am to 6pm during term time and can provide assistance with any issue relating to your IT services or the operation of your uniCARD for building access.

Due to the ongoing situation with covid-19, we’re unsure when these will be physically open again but you can still access all the support you need via our virtual channels.

Contact digital_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 3445

Centre for English Language and Communication at Aston (CELCA)

CELCA specialises in teaching English for Academic Purposes and providing language, communication and academic skills support to Aston students.

CELCA tutors can help students to improve their accuracy and fluency when using spoken and written English, pronunciation, academic writing, giving presentations, and other academic skills such as taking part in seminars or listening to lectures.

For more information or to book a tutorial, please visit our website: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/clipp/english

Email: celca_programmes@aston.ac.uk

The Learning Development Centre (LDC)

The LDC provides academic and pastoral support for students throughout their studies at Aston through a range of activities including one-one appointments, taught sessions and peer-mentoring schemes. Services include tutorials and workshops on maths, academic writing, referencing and other study skills. For more information, visit the LDC webpage.

The Learning Development Centre is located on the first floor of the Library building.


Get Ahead

Our ‘Get Ahead’ programme is an engaging online learning platform aiming to give you the best possible start to your university life and studies. The programme offers a blend of flexible learning content and “live” online sessions to ensure that you are prepared for learning at Aston.

‘Get Ahead’ is available via our virtual learning environment, Blackboard (https://vle.aston.ac.uk/). You will need your Aston username and password to log in and get access to the wide range of resources available. For help in accessing Blackboard for the first time, visit our Getting Started guide. When you log in to Blackboard you will see ‘Get Ahead’ listed in your courses.
  
Mentoring activities

The LDC offers a variety of mentoring schemes to enable students, alumni and professionals to have the opportunity to support the Aston student community, develop transferable skills, expand networks and share experiences.

To find out more about getting involved with mentoring please contact the team via mentoring@aston.ac.uk.

For more information about the LDC, study advice and resources available, please visit the LDC web page or contact ldc@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 3040

Library Services                              

www.aston.ac.uk/library

The Library team is ready to help you access a wide range of physical and digital resources and study spaces. Whether you are on campus or further afield you’ll find members of the team on hand to offer help and support. Our Information Specialists regularly provide training sessions to help you make the most of our resources and 1-to-1 appointments for tailored expert support. 

Your uniCARD is your Library card and you will need it to enter the Library and borrow items. Part-time, distance learning students and those with a disability or additional need can ask Library staff to post books out.

You can access your library account online https://library.aston.ac.uk/patroninfo.

For details on the Library’s flexible opening hours see the Library web page

If you have any questions about the Librarycontact library@aston.ac.uk, call 0121 204 4525 or post questions via AsktheLibrary http://libanswers.aston.ac.uk/

University Student Rules, Regulations and Policies

Detailed information is available via the A-Z of Academic Regulations and Policies, including the following important areas:

  • Academic Appeals Procedures
  • Disciplinary Regulations for Students
  • Examination Regulations for Candidates
  • General Regulations for Programmes
  • Guide to Exceptional Circumstances
  • Student Complaints Procedures
  • Plagiarism Detection Software Policy

 Appeals, Complaints and Disciplinary Regulations

 Information about appeals, complaints and disciplinary regulations is accessible via the web links below:

Academic appeals webpage

Complaints procedure webpage

Disciplinary regulations webpage

Exceptional circumstances webpage

External Examiner System 

Information for Students about External Examining at Aston

Universities are responsible for the quality of the education they provide and, for the academic standards of the awards they offer.  External examining is one of the important checks on those standards.

External Examiners' reports are made available to students. To access the most recent External Examiners’ reports for your programme please see your MAP home page in the Degree Programme information section.

The role of External Examiner does not include responding to individual student queries, and if you have any queries about an External Examiner’s report, you should contact your student representative who will raise the issue with the University Programme Director or at a Student Staff Committee on your behalf.



Personal Tutoring

All students are provided with a named personal tutor who will work with you throughout your studies.

Further information about personal tutoring including points of contact in individual Schools is available here Personal tutoring webpage  


MyEngagement - Aston University's Learner Analytics System

Aston firmly believes in the value of engagement and participation, and we are committed to supporting you to achieve your full potential throughout your studies. MyEngagement has been developed to present information about your engagement with your studies, to enable you to reflect on your learning and identify areas that could be developed.  Key information includes attendance data for timetabled teaching sessions and use of on campus study spaces, participation in online teaching activities, and use of learning resources. This information is shared with key members of staff who are supporting you, such as your Personal Tutor and Programme Director.

If you are studying off campus, through our virtual channels, your participation in teaching and learning sessions via Blackboard collaborate will contribute to your My Engagement.

Log in for further information please visit the MyEngagement webpages



MyAttendance

When attending timetabled activities on campus, you are encouraged to ‘check in’ by placing your uniCARD on readers on entry to all your teaching sessions including lectures, seminars, tutorials, lab session etc. You will then be able to access your record of attendance in the MyAttendance system and view the same information in MyEngagement  Attendance at teaching sessions ensures you benefit fully from the support and guidance the University offers. 


Tier 4 students

If you hold a Tier 4 visa, MyAttendance will create an automatic face to face engagement for you and will form part of your Student Engagement Monitoring information for the UKVI.

To log in and find further information please visit the MyAttendance webpages


Aston University Nursery and Pre-School

Aston University Nursery and Pre-School is based on the University campus and is

committed to providing the highest standard of care and education to all registered

children.  Nursery places are limited so please book as soon as possible. See  Aston

nursery webpage for further information and contact nurseryenquiries@aston.ac.uk or 0121

204 4562

 

Speak up Policy

Aston University’s Speak Up Policy provides a confidential and secure way for you to raise concerns about misconduct by another person; breaches of the law; health and safety issues; or financial malpractice.  The Speak Up Guide outlines the key steps you need to take and who to contact if you wish to raise a concern.  Click here to access the full Speak Up Policy.



Aston Students’ Union

For many students, life at Aston revolves around the Students’ Union (SU); the go-to place for making the most of your time here

The SU offers loads of services including:


  • Sports Clubs and Societies
  • Opportunities to represent your peers within the University, locally and nationally
  • The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC)
  • The Lounge Bar, The Good Place Café, shop and entertainment
  • A space to socialise and study
  • Prayer Facilities
  • Accommodation advice and support
  • Affordable student accommodation  (The Green)
  • Facilities for commuter students

Find out more at the Aston SU website

Contacts:

Harry Sheppard -Union President: union.president@aston.ac.uk

Safa-Atiya Ahmed - Vice President Welfare: union.vpw@aston.ac.uk

Balraj Purewal -Vice President Student Activities: union.vpsa@aston.ac.uk  

Jawad Ahmad -Vice President Education: union.vpe@aston.ac.uk

Welcome Desk 0121 204 4855


Aston Student Voice

The SU is a charity with the aim of promoting the rights and interests of Aston students. The Student Activities and Voice team is here to support this aim by:

  • Promoting the Union’s democratic processes, ensuring that the Union remains student-led;
  • Coordinating and overseeing annual elections to appoint student Officers;
  • Supporting elected officers in delivering on their goals and projects;
  • Recruiting and developing the skills of Student Reps, to give you the tools to have a say on how your University is run;
  • Delivering campaigns to promote student interests and wellbeing.

For more information see the Aston SU website

Student Representation and feedback

Here at Aston University your views and feedback are important and help the University to enhance the quality of the student experience for current and future students with the aim of giving our students, the best learning experience possible.

There are a variety of opportunities for you to provide feedback on your course from module evaluations to national surveys that seek to gauge your opinions.  Student Reps are empowered to represent your academic interests to the University and the SU. They are supported by your Vice President Education who represents and campaigns for your academic interests, within the University and nationally.

You can volunteer to be a Student Rep from the start of the academic year.  There are no limits to who can be a Student Rep – all you need is a desire to improve the lives of others and the willingness to learn and develop in the role!

If you would like to find out more about the role of Student Reps or how the SU is representing your academic interests then you can email your Vice President (Education) (union.vpe@aston.ac.uk). You can also find out more by visiting the Aston SU website.


The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC)

The ARC is here to help throughout your time at Aston.  Experienced and qualified staff offer advice on a wide range of issues, study related or personal, and can refer you on to specialist services if necessary.

For more information, visit the ARC webpage or contact advice@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4848

The Advice and Representation Centre is a member of AdviceUK the largest network of independent advice agencies. The advice team are supported by specialist consultancy support from Citizens Advice and the National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS).

Aston Students’ Union, Advice and Representation Centre is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Authorisation no. 618885.



Clubs and Societies

The Student Activities and Voice team offers lots of fantastic opportunities for students to get involved and make the most of their time at Aston. You can make new friends and find ways to boost your CV, learn a new skill, continue a hobby or learn something completely new.

Please note: Many clubs, societies and events have been disrupted by the need for covid safety and social distancing. The SU is committed to putting the safety of students and staff first. But as it becomes safe to do so, we will once again begin to offer more face-to-face and on-campus activities.

In the meantime, the Aston Virtual Campus Facebook group is a great place to meet other students online: https://www.facebook.com/groups/astonvirtual/

Clubs and Societies: https://www.astonsu.com/activities/clubsandsocieties/

Volunteering and Student Led Service and Project Groups: http://www.astonsu.com/activities

The Good Place Café

Due to Covid-19 The Good Place Café will be closed until further notice, however drinks will be served upstairs at The Lounge, the SUs brand new bar and restaurant on the first floor of the SU building.

For opening times and an overview of facilities, please visit the SU Lounge webpage

Be sure to follow the SU on social media for updates on products, promotions, events, and more.


The Shop

The Aston Union Shop, on the Ground Floor of the SU, is dedicated to Aston students and their day-to-day life on the University campus.  Whether you need good value stationery, a cosy warm hoodie for cold nights or a quick bite to eat and drink in between lectures or touch points, we are here for you!