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Back to COVID-19 information

We look forward to welcoming you to our international community of students from more than 120 countries. 

All our new students will start their studies as planned on 21 September 2020, through a blended learning approach that combines both online and on-campus teaching. Read about the Aston Student Pledge. Watch our short video for a preview of Aston life in September:

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Welcome to Aston University

A preview of September

  • For those who use WeChat, we will also post updates on our WeChat account ('Aston1895') and in our WeChat group for offer-holders. To join this group, add us on WeChat 'Aston_U' and send us a screenshot of your offer letter. 
  • For those who use Facebook, we will also post updates in our exclusive Facebook groups for postgraduate (master's) offer-holders. To join, you will be asked for your name, course and Aston ID, which you can find in the email invite or offer letter.

Information for students joining us in September:

View our pre-arrival guide for international students
 

Starting your course in September 

What are Aston University’s teaching plans for September 2020?

All our new students will start their studies as planned on 21 September 2020, through a blended learning approach that combines both online and on-campus teaching.

What does this mean?

  • Lectures will be delivered online for the first term until at least January 2021. These are interactive sessions where there will be opportunities for you to ask questions and engage with lecturers and other students. 
  • As part of Aston’s commitment to a blended learning approach, you will also be invited to attend a number of on-campus small group learning sessions and activities as part of your course.
  • Academic staff are keen to support you with your learning, through regular office hours where you can ask specific questions, or via a Personal Tutor allocated to all students 
  • You will also have access to a mix of online and on-campus student support and Library Services. We will provide more details about these in a future email, as we take account of the latest health advice.

Our intention is to gradually introduce more on-campus teaching and support as social distancing rules are relaxed/removed and it is safe to do so. Our top priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff and we are working hard to ensure your learning experience is of our usual high quality.

Click here to learn about Piyushi’s recent experience of online learning.

If you are in China, click here to learn about Meng’s recent experience of online learning.

Do I have to come to the UK?
To make the most of your learning experience, we strongly encourage you to travel to the UK and join us on campus, and so we have invested resources on social distancing and cleanliness.  We understand, however, that you may not currently be able to leave your home country.  For this reason, we will allow you to enrol and study online from September and join us when you are ready during term one. 
Will I miss out on anything if I stay away from campus?
There will be on-campus teaching, personal tutor support and other activities related to your programme available, and we encourage you to join in with the on-campus sessions to get the best learning experience.  Your programme will also be available online, and you will not be penalised if you choose not to attend any sessions in term one. 
I do not want to start my course online, what can I do?
We would encourage you to join the course on campus in September.  If you would prefer to wait until the programme is being taught fully on campus, then you may be eligible to defer your course start date until a later time. Please note this option may not be available to all programmes, so please contact Admissions for advice. 
When will full face-to -face teaching start?
From September 2020 there will be teaching on campus and other programme related activities for small groups.  In Term one large teaching session will be on line.   We are unable to confirm when the University will be able to offer full face-to-face teaching, and we will only do this when it is safe to do so and in accordance with advice from Public Health England.
Can I arrive a little late to my course?
We will be as flexible as possible with your arrival dates in term one. There may be a number of reasons why starting in September would be difficult, for example, your visa application may take longer, your visa application centre may be closed, you may be finding it difficult to get a flight, or you may be in a country currently in lockdown. You can start your studies online and we can help you with the visa application and arrival in the UK when you are able to do so, so please keep us up to date. 
Will my tuition fees be reduced if I start my course online?
No, the University is still putting significant resources into providing you with the same high quality teaching, it is just being delivered in a different way. We are also offering you the opportunity to attend sessions on campus, but these are restricted so that we can keep everyone healthy and safe during the pandemic. 
I have an offer to study at Aston in September 2020. What will happen if I am unable to attend in September?

If you are not able to travel to Birmingham, or even to the UK, or need to stay at home for health reasons; we will provide online study options to help you continue with your course until you are able to join us.

MBChB students are required to attend in person to achieve all the learning outcomes. Please contact us for discussion, advice, and adaptation of the timetable if possible (a leave of absence will be considered if necessary.) 

You will have access to learning materials and be able to fully engage with tutors and other academic staff on an individual basis. You will also have access to our library, Learning Development Centre (which offers study skills support), as well as student and academic support facilities. As soon as you are able to join us we will work with you to arrange this.

EU applicants should note that following the government announcement, EU students will not be eligible for a Home Fee status from the academic 2021/2022 year (starting from 1st July 2021 onwards). This means they will not be eligible for student finance to cover their tuition fees and will not be paying home fees. The latest information relating to EU fees for 2021 can be found on the UCAS website. The University is currently reviewing EU fees in response to the government announcements and will publish EU fees for 2021 in due course. If you wish to register your interest in Aston University and be kept up to date with the most recent announcements, please review our course pages and leave your details at the bottom of the page of the course you are interested in.

Visas

Can I get a visa for Blended Learning?

Yes, the UKVI have made a special concession during the Covid-19 period, which means we are allowed to sponsor you to study in this way. 

Do I need a visa to start my course?

If you are not currently in the UK, then you do not need to have been granted a visa to start your course online in September.  You will be able to join us online until your visa has been granted. If you are currently in the UK, then please contact one of our International Student Advisers for advice. 

 When can I get my CAS?

 We will begin issuing CASs in July 2020, but will prioritise those students who will be arriving in the UK in September 2020.

How long is a CAS valid for?

A CAS is valid for 6 months, so we need to have a good idea of when you are going to arrive in the UK before this is issued

Will I still be eligible for the Graduate Route visa if I start online or arrive late?

Yes, you will be eligible for the new Graduate Route visa as long as you arrive in the UK before 6th April 2021 and you are awarded your degree in the Summer of 2021 onwards. 

I am currently in the UK and my visa is about to expire, but I cannot leave due to the pandemic, what can I do?

It may be possible to apply for a brand new visa from inside the UK.  Please contact our International Student Advisers for free professional advice and guidance and they will explain your options astoninternational@aston.ac.uk

If I arrive in the UK with a Tier 4 visa but I do not attend classes, will you take my visa away?

Once you are safely in the UK, you will be required to show you are actively engaging with your studies, as this is a requirement of your visa. For term one, we will allow you to demonstrate this engagement using our online activities, but we recommend that you take advantage of the campus- based sessions as well where possible. Some areas, such as MBChB (Medicine) are required to attend in person to achieve all the learning outcomes, so please contact us for discussion, advice, and adaptation of the timetable if possible (a leave of absence will be considered if necessary.)

Accommodation 

Will I still be able to stay in Unite residences if I don’t arrive until January?

Rooms are allocated on a first come first served basis, so we cannot guarantee you will be able to get a room, but it is likely that there will be some spaces available. 

Can I use the Kitchen in Unite residence on campus?

Yes, you will have access to the kitchen to make drinks and cook for yourself, but there are additional safety measure in place for students who are self-isolation.

Steps you can take to reduce risk whilst using shared kitchens and bathrooms: 

  • Only use the kitchen when other flatmates aren’t in there 
  • Clean down shared kitchens or bathrooms after use 
  • Wear PPE if possible when in communal areas 
What if I’m living off campus?
Facilities are likely to be similar in off campus accommodation, but you should contact your accommodation provider to confirm their local rules. 
Where can I buy bedding?

Unite residence have a range of bedding and kitchen packs available to purchase and can be ready in your room when you arrive.

https://www.unitestudents.com/Products

If you are living off campus, then you may be able to purchase similar packs from your accommodation provider, or arrange for a package to be delivered from Amazon.    

Arriving at Aston and support during self-isolation 

What does self-isolation look like in the UK?

You will be asked to complete an online passenger location form up to 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. The form can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk

You may not have to self-isolate if you come from one of the ‘Travel Corridors’ listed in the information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors#updates-to-the-travel-corridor-list

If you are required to self isolate, then you should go straight to the main accommodation where you will be staying, although you are permited to stay overnight in a safe accommodation (such as a hotel) if you have had a long journey. 

How can I get to the University?

You should try to avoid public transport to get to your accommodation, so we recommend using a taxi service to get to your accommodation. If you do use public transport, you must wear a face covering which covers your nose and mouth. We suggest you pack a face covering or scarf in your hand luggage so you are prepared.

Here are some national companies that you could consider using for transport to your accommodation:

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/tickets

https://www.trainline.eu/?utm_campaign=arkadiy&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=network

ttps://www.getasnap.com/

If you are showing any symptoms of the Coronavirus, you will not be allowed to use public transport and you will have to show that your chosen accommodation is prepared for you to self isolate. 

Where can I self isolate?

You should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others. You must self-isolate at the address you provided on the public health passenger locator form.

You should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing:

  • emergency assistance
  • care or assistance, including personal care
  • medical assistance
  • veterinary services
  • certain critical public services

You must not go to any on campus sessions or to visit public areas during your 14 day self isolation period.

You should not go shopping. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask for help via the Safezone app.  

Where can I get some food?

Aston University has a food delivery service which can be accessed here https://www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/nourish#food-delivery.

Nourish will also be providing recipe boxes and food parcels should if you want to cook your own meals.

If you live off campus, you may still be able to use the campus based food options, and we can arrange for one of our Aston Support Volunteers to bring the food to you.

You can also arrange for food to be delivered to you from a number of restaurants in the city using the following apps;

  • Deliveroo
  • Just Eat
  • Hungryhouse
  • UberEATS
  • Food Panda
  • EASI

There are also a number of specialist supermarkets who will deliver groceries to your door if you want to cook for yourself. For example:

Medication and toiletries

If you require medication or need a supply of toiletries, please out in a request for help via the Safezone app, and we will be in touch to discuss your requirements. 

How to pay for online services

You will be able to pay for the catering packs or food parcels online using the Aston Shop. We will provide you with details of this service in the next few weeks. 

Undergraduate and Foundation students 

Undergraduate and Foundation offer-holders

For those who use WeChat, we will also post updates on our WeChat account ('Aston1895') and in our WeChat group for offer-holders. To join this group, add us on WeChat 'Aston_U' and send us a screenshot of your offer letter. 

  • If you hold an offer for an undergraduate (bachelors) or foundation course at Aston University, we will extend your deposit payment deadline to 20th July 2020. Please note EU students applying for a student loan in the UK to cover their tuition fees do not need to pay a deposit. 
  • Once you pay your deposit we will be able to issue your CAS. (If you are a sponsored student, instead of paying a deposit you may provide a sponsorship letter which is used instead of the deposit to issue your CAS).
  • If you have been asked to attend an interview at Aston University, we can make alternative arrangements so that you don’t have to travel. Please contact Undergraduate Admissions.
  • If you are having difficulty paying your deposit due to disruptions caused by Coronavirus, please contact us at ask@aston.ac.uk (please make sure to provide your 9 digit student application ID number).
  • If you pay your deposit and the impact of Coronavirus prevents you from travelling to start your course in September, we are able to offer an online start to your course with a plan for you to travel when it is safe to do so. Alternatively, you will have the opportunity to defer your course to September 2021 (depending on your course). All our new students will start their studies as planned on 21 September 2020, through a blended learning approach that combines both online and on-campus teaching. Read about the Aston Student Pledge.
  • If you decide against an alternative start date, you may request a refund in accordance with section 11 of our tuition fee charging policy. If you request a refund of your deposit, you should provide evidence that the impact of Coronavirus has prevented you from arriving for your course.

Examples of evidence which you may need to provide under the ‘natural disasters’ category are: 1) documentation showing that the official travel advice from your home country advises against travel to the UK due to Coronavirus or 2) documentation from an official source (e.g. World Health Organisation or Public Health England) advising that if you travel from your current area of domicile to the UK you would be subject to quarantine restrictions.

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate offer-holders

If you use Facebook, we will post updates in our exclusive Facebook group for postgraduate (master's) offer-holders. To join the group, you will be asked for your name, course and Aston ID, which you can find in the email invite or offer letter.

If you use WeChat, we will post updates on our WeChat account ('Aston1895') and in our WeChat group for offer-holders. To join this group, add us on WeChat 'Aston_U' and send us a screenshot of your offer letter. 

  • Accepting your place and paying your deposit for courses starting in September 2020: We would like to encourage you to accept your place online and to pay your deposit  so that you can begin your journey with us. (Please note EU students applying for a loan in the UK to cover their tuition fees do not need to pay a deposit. You will need to send us proof of your loan application at pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk.) 
  • International students: once you have accepted your place in full and paid your deposit we can begin your journey by issuing your CAS. We will also provide you with information to enable you to complete your online enrolment.
  • If you pay your deposit and the impact of Coronavirus prevents you from travelling to start your course in September, we are able to offer an online start to your course with a plan for you to travel when it is safe to do so. Alternatively, you will have the opportunity to defer your course to September 2021 (depending on your course). All our new students will start their studies as planned on 21 September 2020, through a blended learning approach that combines both online and on-campus teaching. Read about the Aston Student Pledge
  • If you decide against an alternative start date, you may request a refund in accordance with section 11 of our tuition fee charging policy. If you request a refund of your deposit, you should provide evidence that the impact of Coronavirus has prevented you from arriving for your course.

Examples of evidence which you may need to provide under the ‘natural disasters’ category are: 1) documentation showing that the official travel advice from your home country advises against travel to the UK due to Coronavirus or 2) documentation from an official source (e.g. World Health Organisation or Public Health England) advising that if you travel from your current area of domicile to the UK you would be subject to quarantine restrictions.

Courses starting in January 2021

If you are unable to attend in September then we have a range of postgraduate courses available starting in January 2021. Our courses are taught by industry experts, and will offer you unique opportunities for real-world experience. When you’re ready to study with us, we’re ready to transform your career.

If you hold an offer to study with us in September 2020, you may have the option to defer your course to begin in January 2021. You can do this by logging into the Applicant Portal and selecting the ‘defer’ option. You will receive confirmation after submitting your request. Pre-Sessional English courses for the January 2021 intake will also be available.

Can’t see your course listed? We are working to offer more courses starting in January 2021, please check the January 2021 courses page regularly for new course additions.

EU students who intend to apply for a student loan to cover their tuition fees will still be eligible to apply if they start their course in January 2021. For the most up to date information please refer to the official government website. For further information about how Brexit will affect EU students’ arrangements to study in the UK  you can check our Updates on Brexit page. 

Student life 

Student life 
The Aston Students’ Union (SU) operates a variety of services to support your wellbeing and help you settle into university life, and will offer a mix of both virtual and on campus activities during the academic year.

Earlier this year the SU set up a ‘virtual campus’ where students can connect and participate in a variety of online activities and events. Additionally, our Aston Auntie Scheme will partner you with a current student who can act as a friend to introduce you to life at Aston.  

As soon as it is safe to do so, we will start to introduce on-campus events and activities to give you more opportunities to engage with clubs, societies and meet other students.

Whether via the website, social media, or if you visit their amazing building, the SU is the go to place to enjoy the fun side of university and get the most from your student experience. 

English language requirements

English language requirements

We accept a wide range of English language qualifications including IELTS Academic, TOEFL, PTE Academic, IELTS Indicator, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, Password and the Aston Online English Test. We also accept the Duolingo English Test (for entry onto Pre-Sessional English programmes, and direct entry courses starting in September 2020 and January 2021, excluding Aston Medical School and OSPAP).

We also accept local qualifications such as iGCSE, Indian Standard XII, HKDSE, WAEC, for direct entry (excluding foundation level courses). 

For foundation level entry, you are still required to provide a UKVI IELTS to meet your offer condition. 

If your qualification is not listed here then please contact us at ask@aston.ac.uk to see if we can accept it

Pre-Sessional English options for January 2021 entry
  • The 9-week and 5-week Pre-Sessional English courses will be taught completely online. There will be no on-campus teaching for these courses. 
  • In addition to accepting UKVI IELTS, we will accept a wider range of English language qualifications (including non-UKVI English tests) for the 9 and 5 week courses. (Such as non-UKVI IELTS Academic, TOEFL, PTE Academic, Duolingo English Test).

9-week course (online)

 
Course dates Entry requirements Accepted qualifications

6th July – 4th September 2020

28th September - 27th November 2020

IELTS overall 5.0 or 5.5*

*Depending on your course/level of study. See pre-sessional entry requirements

UKVI IELTS

Other English language qualification (non-UKVI IELTS Academic, TOEFL, PTE Academic, Duolingo English Test)

5-week course (online)

 
Course dates  Entry requirements  Accepted qualifications

3rd August – 4th September 2020

26th October - 27th November 2020

UKVI IELTS overall 5.5 or 6*

*Depending on your course/level of study. See pre-sessional entry requirements

UKVI IELTS

Other English language qualification (non-UKVI IELTS Academic, TOEFL, PTE Academic, Duolingo English Test)

Our online Pre-Sessional English courses are made up of live online sessions, and offline activities. Your course will include one or two online sessions each day, between the hours of 8am – 2pm (UK time). During the offline activities you will interact with your tutors and fellow students using discussion forums and other tools. Your exact timetable will be shared with you a few weeks before the course starts.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Do I need to apply again for the online Pre-Sessional English courses if I already have an unconditional offer for a 9-week or 5-week Pre-Sessional English course? No.
  • What are the deadlines to apply for the 9-week and 5-week Pre-Sessional English courses? Two weeks before the course start date, however places are limited and may be filled up earlier.
  • How do I apply for a Pre-Sessional English course? Information on how to apply is available on the Pre-Sessional English course page.

  • How much is the deposit for the Pre-Sessional English courses? The deposit is £500.

Still have questions?

Our enquiries team are available to help answer any questions you may have, please contact us at ask@aston.ac.uk (please make sure to provide your 9-digit student application ID number). If you use WeChat, you can contact us at 'Aston_U'.

If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please contact casqueries@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Aston University community in September.

Current students

For current students of Aston University, we are publishing updates such as health advice on our health and wellbeing page.