Programme Delivery

PROGRAMME DELIVERYThis section of the handbook talks you through the structure of your programme and some common types of programme delivery, including term dates.

Your programme will normally consist of 120 credits of taught modules and a 60 credit project. Each programme is composed of units of study called Modules. There can be exceptions to this however, so it is strongly recommended that you familiarise yourself with how your modules work together to build your course by thoroughly reading your programme specification which is made available to you on your MyAstonPortal (MAP) homepage.

Each module is assessed separately by written examination and/or continuous assessment. Assessments can take many forms (e.g., written coursework, online tests, lab reports or various other components) but these should be displayed clearly to you in your module specifications and their respective areas on Blackboard. 

A 10 credit module is nominally 100 hours in length, a 15 credit module is nominally 150 hours in length (and so on). This may be divided into:

  • time spent with a member of staff in lectures, practical sessions or tutorials and directed reading;
  • time spent studying alone or in groups but without direct contact with a member of staff;
  • time for assessed activity.

The above is just an example of how your modules maybe conducted. For specific information on your modules, please check Blackboard. If there is any information you think should be available on Blackboard but you can’t see it, please let your Course Administrator know via

Lectures are usually a minimum 50 minutes duration and commence on the hour. Details of the lecture classes you are expected to attend are shown on your timetable. Please check My Aston Portal (MAP) to see your timetable. If you think there are any problems or omissions on your timetable please let the EPS College Office know via Students should show consideration for the lecturer and other students by not talking over their peers or tutor contact hours. Students continually causing disruption in lectures may be reported to the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Programmes and could result in them being subject to the University disciplinary procedures. Information on your attendance at classes in collected by the university. More information here.

Tutorials will often be related to a specific course of lectures and can be led by the module tutor, or a team of staff working together to support your module delivery. How these tutorials operate varies for individual courses. For example, in some instances there will be small group discussions and in others the whole class will attend to go through the solutions to tutorial questions which will have been handed out in the lecture classes. To get the most out of tutorials, you should ensure you keep on top of preparatory materials delivered in class, or on your module's Blackboard page.

The programme on which you have enrolled operates on a modular system and you will be ‘examined’ on each of your modules. Under the University Regulations the ‘examination’ of a module can be in the form of a written paper, oral test, essay, continuous assessment work, laboratory/field study or report, or other form of assessment. You will be provided with details of the assessment method for each module together with the dates for the submission of any work involved on the respective Blackboard module.

You should note formal University written examinations could be in the examination periods December - January and March - May for Postgraduate modules. Referred/deferred examinations (usually for students who have failed a small number of their modules in their earlier modules) will take place in August/September. 

Details of the dates, times and locations of written examinations will be issued to you by means of a personalised examination timetable via My Aston Portal in the period immediately prior to the examinations. It is your responsibility to check that the information on the examinations you have been entered for is correct. If there are any discrepancies in this information, please inform your Course Administrator via You should note that other forms of assessment (e.g. class tests) may be held at any time during the teaching period associated with that module.

You can find more information on assessment in this section of the handbook.

You should note that the use of lecture theatres and laboratories is subject to University policy which includes no eating, drinking or smoking. The use of laboratories is also governed by safety regulations. These are detailed in the EAS Health and Safety booklet.

If you experience any difficulties or problems in any of the laboratories, then you should seek assistance from the technician responsible for that laboratory or alternatively report the problem to the EPS College Centre Receptionist who will communicate the problem to the relevant member of staff. You can do this by emailing

Out of hours working

You should be carrying your ID card with you at all times, however, there are some times that you will need these to swipe into any buildings. These are commonly referred to as ‘out of hours’. Staff and students must be in possession of a current ID card that is allocated to them and them only, to be able to swipe to gain entry. The times when an ID card will have to be used to gain entry will be as follows:

  • Monday to Thursday 20:00 to 06:00
  • Friday 18:00 to 06:00
  • Saturday 13:00 until Monday 06:00

There will be other times that the building will be closed – Bank Holidays etc and you should receive notification of these in advance. To gain entrance to the Main Building during these times you will need to use the entrances off Potter Street directly opposite the Blue Badge parking bays. You will also need your ID card to swipe out using this entrance.