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Back to COVID-19 information

We look forward to welcoming you to Aston University. Our aim is to support you in progressing your education and professional experience, whilst prioritising the health and safety of all our students and staff. 

All our new students will start their studies online, until we are able to resume our blended learning approach that combines both online and on-campus teaching. Read about the Aston Student Pledge. You can also watch our short video to show how we’ve adapted the Aston campus for your safety, and watch Pakhi's video about blended learning at Aston University. 

  • Meet other new students and read the latest updates by joining our offer-holder Facebook group or WeChat group (you will be asked for your name, course and Aston ID, which you can find in your offer letter).

View our pre-arrival guide for students starting in January 2021

Watch our Welcome Webinar & FAQ Session video (7th January 2021)

Open the link and click 'sign in' or 'join anonymously' to watch the recording. 

Information last updated at 10:00 GMT on 12th January 2021

Starting your postgraduate course in January 2021 

How does the lockdown in England affect my study plans?

On 4 January, the UK Government announced a lockdown in England. The Government advice is to stay at home except for essential activities such as exercise, shopping for food and essential items and medical appointments. A full list of the exemptions can be found on the Government website.

Universities in England have been instructed to teach fully online, with the following exceptions:

  • Medicine & dentistry
  • Subjects allied to medicine/health
  • Veterinary science
  • Education (initial teacher training)
  • Social work
  • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled.

For Aston’s January 2021 courses, this means that there will be no face-to-face teaching until the middle of February at the earliest. Any decision on whether to revert to blended learning will be made following advice from the Government and it may be that online learning is extended for a longer period. Your course will begin as planned, with enrolment, welcome week and induction sessions taking place online.  The Government will review the lockdown restrictions in the middle of February.

I’m due to start my course in January 2021. Can I travel to Aston and the UK?

Most of our postgraduate courses starting in January 2021 (with the exception of a few Health and Engineering courses) will now be delivered fully online until the middle of February. In line with the very latest Government guidance published on 7th January, you should not travel to campus to access University facilities until advised that face-to-face teaching is resuming. This is different to the advice we have provided previously, but to best protect the community, this formal advice has now been tightened and we ask you not to travel to Aston until the middle of February at the earliest.

We appreciate that this is not the news that all of you want to hear, but we must all do what we can to keep our community and each other healthy and safe.

There are a few exemptions to this new rule:

  • If you are an international student and you have bought air tickets that you cannot change or you are unable to stay in your current accommodation, you are still able to travel to the UK and to come to Aston. If so, you must follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing.
  • If you live in the UK and are not able to stay in your current accommodation as you had planned to move to Birmingham to join Aston, you are also able to travel to Aston and take up your new residence.

There continues to be public transport in the UK, though services are disrupted and running at a reduced schedule, so check with the different transport providers before planning your travel.

My flight to the UK is already booked. Should I still travel to Birmingham?

We recommend that you check with your airline/transport provider to ensure that your journey is still due to take place as planned.

If you are an international student and you have bought air tickets that you cannot change or you are unable to stay in your current accommodation, you are still able to travel to the UK and to come to Aston. If so, you must follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing. 

There continues to be public transport in the UK, though services are disrupted and running at a reduced schedule, so check with the different transport providers before planning your travel. See the section below titled 'Arriving at Aston and support during self-isolation.'

Is there a deadline for when I need to be in the UK?

No, there is currently no deadline for when you need to arrive for your course, however, to be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route, if you started in January 2021 then you must arrive in the UK before 27th September 2021. 

If you are on a course where there are compulsory on-campus teaching elements, you may have to return to the UK when face to face teaching resumes. 

 How can I defer my course start date to September 2021?

If you would like to defer your course start date, log in to your MAP account and click on the option to request a deferral.

Please note, this option may not be available for all programmes, so please contact pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk for advice. 

If you have already deferred from September 2020 to January 2021, and you would like to request an additional deferral then please contact pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk as we will need to process this request differently.
I started my course online in September 2020, do I still need to travel to Aston?
You can continue to study your course online, unless you are on a course where there are compulsory on campus teaching elements. If so, you may have to travel to the UK when face-to-face teaching resumes.

 

Teaching plans for January 2021

What are Aston University's teaching plans for 2021?

All our new students will start their studies as planned online, moving to a blended learning approach that combines both online and on-campus teaching when coronavirus restrictions are eased. The current England lockdown means that teaching will be online only until mid-February at the earliest, when the next Government review of restrictions is due to take place.

What does this mean?

  • Lectures will be delivered online. These are interactive sessions where there will be opportunities for you to ask questions and engage with lecturers and other students. 
  • Academic staff are keen to support you with your learning, through regular online 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.

Watch Pakhi's video about blended learning at Aston University

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.

When can I expect face-to-face teaching?
All of the courses that have started in January 2021 will be delivered fully online until the middle of February. There will continue to be a fully online option until the end of your first term on 1 April for those students who are not able to travel to the UK. For our UK based students, there will eventually be a blended learning option containing a mix of online and select on campus teaching as soon as the Government allows us to return to on campus teaching.
What can you expect during your Masters degree?

Academic arrangements

The lockdown restrictions in England mean that you will start your course online, until the middle of February at the earliest when restrictions will be reviewed. We cannot guarantee that online learning will not need to continue beyond this point. When restrictions begin to ease we hope to move back to our blended learning approach.

Aston University has trained all its teaching staff to produce engaging blended learning for the 2020/21 academic year. This has enabled us to offer a combination of on campus, synchronous (live and interactive, such as real-time lectures and seminars), and asynchronous (flexible learning activity such as recorded videos and online quizzes) teaching and learning opportunities, which have been designed to suit the different circumstances which students find themselves in. 

While all our large teaching sessions are being delivered online this year, we have made sure these are as dynamic and interactive as possible. In addition to this, we are offering a hybrid model for our smaller group sessions. Once blended learning resumes, we encourage as many students as are able to come on campus and to participate in some face-to-face activity with staff and other students. We provided opportunities for at least three hours of contact time for those who wanted it in our first teaching period this year, and, as the UK pandemic restrictions are lifted, we plan more, particularly in terms of practical, placement and work-based sessions. 

Arrival and Induction
If you have not already, you will received a separate message telling you how to pre-enrol and enrol. This is all completed online and you should do this as soon as you can.   

Our Student Services Teams are here to offer support and guidance. If you need to speak to someone, please contact: thehub@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4007. 

When will teaching start?

For Aston Business School, teaching will start on 11th January. For all Engineering & Social Science courses teaching will start on 25th January. 

You can view the University term dates here. 

Where can I find more information about postgraduate careers and employability support?

We encourage you to check our exclusive Aston vacancy portals for work opportunities:

 For further information or to book a virtual careers appointment, contact careers_postgrad@aston.ac.uk


Arriving at Aston and support during self-isolation 

My flight is already booked and lands into a UK airport. Can I still travel to the Aston campus on public transport? 

If you are an international student and you have bought air tickets that you cannot change or you are unable to stay in your current accommodation, you are still able to travel to the UK and to come to Aston. If so, you must follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing. 

There continues to be public transport in the UK, though services are disrupted and running at a reduced schedule, so check with the different transport providers before planning your travel. If you experience any problems during your journey, please call our Campus Safety team on (+44)121 359 2922. We’re available 24 hours to support you.

Once you arrive at one of Birmingham's central train or bus stations, you will most likely need to book a taxi to your accommodation. (This is a short taxi journey of less than 15 minutes). 

If you 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. If you are showing any symptoms of 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.

 

Do I need a Covid test before arriving into the UK?

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

What if I experience problems with immigration at the airport?

Call our Campus Safety team on (+44)121 359 2922. We’re available 24 hours to support you.

What if I experience coronavirus symptoms on my arrival at the airport?

You must travel directly to the location where you will be staying. Read the UK government guidance on travelling to the UK and how to self-isolate. If you need further support, call our Campus Safety team on (+44)121 359 2922. We’re available 24 hours to support you.

What does self-isolation in the UK look like?

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 directly 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. 

What do I need to take with me on the journey to Aston?

 You will need to wear a face mask while travelling on public transport (e.g. plane, train, bus, taxi) and in any public indoor places such as shops, airports etc. Contactless card payments are now encouraged at most places - you may be unable to pay with cash during your journey, so it's a good idea to bring a credit card, debit card or travel money card.

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 either. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask for help via the Safezone app. or email volunteers@aston.ac.uk  and we will help you. 

Where can I get food during self-isolation?

Aston University has a food delivery service, 'Nourish', 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 if you want to cook your own meals.

If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask for help via the Safezone app or email volunteers@aston.ac.uk  and we will help you. 

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:

During the UK lockdown, can I still buy food, medication and essential items?

 The lockdown guidance permits you to shop for essential items such as food, medicine, toiletries etc. We have a local supermarket on campus and there are also more supermarkets and essential shops within a short walking distance from campus. We also have volunteers who can get anything you need if you need to self-isolate and you can contact them by emailing volunteers@aston.ac.uk, or by asking for support via the Safezone app


Accepting my offer and tuition fees

What is the deadline for accepting my offer?

We recommend that you accept your offer as soon as possible. The last date for enrolment is Friday 22nd January.

Enrolment, induction and Welcome Week are already taking place online, as planned, from 4th January.

Please note, in order to receive an offer you must:

  1. Meet the entry requirements for the course
  2. Supply your academic transcripts
  3. Provide two references
  4. Provide your English language results (if required)

 

When do I need to pay my tuition fees?

For students starting their postgraduate course in January 2021, the first tuition fee instalment payment deadline has been extended to 12th February. 

If you believe that your payment is likely to be late, or if you are having difficulty paying, please contact the Credit Control Team as soon as you can.  They will be able to discuss your situation and where possible agree a payment plan with you. (Please provide as much detail as you can, including your full name and your Aston Student ID number - found in your offer letter). 

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. As soon as restrictions allow, we will offer you the opportunity to attend sessions on campus, but these will be restricted so that we can keep everyone healthy and safe during the pandemic.
I'm a student from the EU. Will my fees increase in January?
No, your fees will not increase in January 2021. However, there will be additional visa requirements for you to follow. For more information, please refer to our Brexit FAQs
If I defer from January 2021 to September 2021, can I keep my scholarship?

Unfortunately, you will have to re-apply for your scholarship.

If you were awarded the Global Excellence Scholarship (the automatic, grades-based scholarship) you will still be eligible for this in September 2021, however the scholarship value will be reduced to either £2,000 or £5,000 for September 2021 entry. Please email pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk to receive further confirmation.  

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. 

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

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. 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. 

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

EU students who intend to arrive in the UK before 31st December 2020 may be eligible to apply for the EU settlement scheme. For more information, please refer to our Brexit FAQsAccording to the latest information, if you intend to arrive after 31st December 2020 you will need to apply for a visa. Please check the UK Government website for the latest information. 

 When can I get my CAS?

 We aim to have CAS’s issued within 5 working days after your pre-CAS questionnaire is approved, so long as you have an unconditional offer and have paid your deposit or provided their financial guarantee letter.

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

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. 

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

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

Students starting courses in January 2021 must enter the UK before 27 September 2021, in order to be eligible. The full guidelines for this route have not yet been published, but we will provide you with all the details as soon as we know more.

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

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

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. 

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

Do I need to apply for my BRP (residence permit)? How can I get my BRP when I arrive?

You will automatically be issued with a BRP (residence permit) when your visa application is approved, and as part of that application you will be asked where you would like to collect it. Please email issu@aston.ac.uk to notify them of your arrival in the UK, and we will arrange for your visa to be securely posted to you. You do not need to go onto our campus to collect this.

 

I'm an EU citizen coming to Aston for less than 6 months, do I need a visa to come to the UK?

We recommend that you speak to our visa advisers about your own individual circumstances by emailing issu@aston.ac.uk, but essentially, you should be able to travel to the UK as a Standard Visitor, and you can be granted this permission at UK immigration control.

Accommodation 

I've booked my accommodation already - can I still travel to Aston?

If you have already booked air tickets or vacated current accommodation and need to travel to the University to take up your new residence, you are able to travel to Aston and your new accommodation and start your 10 day isolation period (if you are travelling from outside of the UK). Otherwise, the guidance to our January 2021 starters is to stay at home until at least the middle of February and to start your course online.

 Support is available for you during self-isolation. See the 'Arriving at Aston and support during self-isolation' section on this page. 

 Can I cancel my accommodation contract? 
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. 
Will I still be able to stay in Unite residences if I join later than January?

We will always try and accommodate students on campus if there is availability, no matter when they apply. We would signpost you to other providers off campus if we do not have any availability.

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.    

Undergraduate and Foundation students 

Undergraduate and Foundation students 

 Applications are open for undergraduate courses starting in September 2021. The first UCAS deadline is on 29th January 2021. Browse our courses and apply.

For the latest updates on teaching in September 2021 view our Future Undergraduate Students page

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. 

 

 

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, and Password. 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

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.

Current students

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