Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Student Handbook

Welcome message from Executive Dean, Jonathan Tritter


On behalf of all my colleagues, both academics and professional staff, I hope that your time at Aston University is both enjoyable and rewarding, we are glad you are here. We know that university involves a significant personal financial commitment from students, but an Aston degree remains an excellent investment in your future - not only do our programmes provide a rigorous academic training in your chosen discipline, but Aston graduates are among the most highly regarded by employers of all kinds.

The information in this Handbook introduces you to the School of Languages and Social Sciences. We hope it is useful in explaining the basics of the School's Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree programmes, together with a number of administrative details. If you need any help or advice do not hesitate to contact us - your Personal Tutor, the Programme Director for your degree or the School's Student Support Team. All of us will be able to help you directly, or put you in touch with other relevant areas of the University's extensive network of support services.

Lastly, I want to encourage you to make the most of your time at Aston. University is a unique opportunity to develop both personally and intellectually, and whether it is via your formal degree programme, attending one of the many events the School hosts, contributing to the Students' Union and its societies or through social activities, there are lots of ways to get involved.

Good luck with your studies!

Professor Jonathan Tritter
Executive Dean

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

Whether you’re a UK, EU or international student looking for advice on managing money, wanting to join or even set-up a student society or needing guidance and support when looking ahead to your future career, Aston has friendly and experienced professionals ready to help.

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

We are dedicated to equipping our students with the skills needed to thrive in the world of work. Aston is ranked third in the UK for universities helping students secure a work placement year during their studies, helping them gain invaluable experience.  With the aid of our award winning Careers+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. 

For those who do not want to take the traditional graduate route, however, our Careers+Placements team can assist with other options such as further study, voluntary or charity work, and starting your own business.  For postgraduate students we have a specialist careers adviser who can help with career planning and we also have opportunities for postgraduate internships that can provide important work experience. 

For students who are not based on campus the Learning Development Centre offers an email tutorial service providing academic support and Careers+Placements have an online collection of tools for career planning and research.

The new Aston University strategy features students as one of our main beneficiary groups and 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 in keeping with the University’s progressive motto, ‘Forward’, we pledge to continue to do so.

Higson Signature

Professor Helen E Higson OBE DL
Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

  • LSS School Reception is located in Room MB775 on the 7th floor of the Main Building.
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm during term time and 12 noon to 2pm outside term time
  • Timetabling and module registration: Mingqing Jia, Timetabling Officer

If your query or issue relates to...

  • your academic studies on a specific module - the lecturer teaching the module
  • your programme as a whole - the Programme Director or your student course representative
  • pastoral, personal, or general academic problems - your personal tutor (please look at your MAP account for their details) 

Please use the Staff Directory to look up contact details

Academic staff will advertise at least 4 hours a week, over at least two different days, during term time where they will be available for you to discuss your academic work and receive feedback.

How these sessions are managed is down to individual academics - you may be able to just drop in, or you might have to arrange a specific time either via email or through the WASS appointment system.

You may be able to arrange an appointment outside of these hours, by negotiation.

Each programme has a Programme Director, as follows:

If you study on a Joint Honours programme taught entirely within LSS, each Programme Director above is responsible for their resepctive half of the programme.

If you study on a Joint Honours programme taught between LSS and another school, please see the table below.

Programmes delivered jointly by LSS and ABS:

Programmes delivered jointly by LSS and LHS:

BSc Psychology & Sociology: Dr Kate Nicholls & Dr Katie Tonkiss and Dr Tom Mills

Each programme has a Programme Director, as follows:






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Programme Specification
A programme specification is a general overview of the structure of the programme. It includes information about modules available on the programme, learning outcomes, assessment, and teaching methods. Programme specifications are available on MAP in the section called 'My Degree Programme Details' where there is a link 'View my Degree Programme details'. If there are multiple versions of programme specifications please choose the appropriate one based on your year of entry.

Module Specifications
A module specification is a published statement regarding the learning aims and outcomes of a module and contains information on assessment and feedback methods, content, and teaching methods. The information in module specifications should be taken as definitive. Take time to familiarise yourself with the information they contain.

Specifications for all modules are stored in the University Module Directory, which can be accessed via MAP. If you are enrolled on a module, you will be able to view its specification via a link in the appropriate BlackBoard area for that module.

If you know the code for a module and you want to see the specification, you can generate a direct link by adapting the link below: http://modspec.aston.ac.uk/e-docs/20190_mod_spec_MODCODE.pdf

Module Outlines
Module outlines will be distributed to you at the start of your module by your tutor. These are different to module specifications. The information included will vary from tutor to tutor, but they will include additional information related to the academic content of the module. It is your responsibility to make yourself familar with the details provided for each module that you are required to study, including required reading, preparation for weekly lectures and seminars, and assessment. You should check BlackBoard regularly to ensure you are aware of all such requirements, including those which may be announced in between scheduled meetings. 

Joint Honours students with other Schools
Students on Joint Honours degree programmes will study modules from two Schools, or, from two departments within Schools.  Each Joint Honours programme belongs to a nominated School.  Although students should still contact module leaders with module specific queries, they are advised to contact their “Lead” School with further or more general queries.

A list of current Joint Honours programmes across schools and their “Lead” Schools can be found below.

Degrees led by the School of Languages and Social Sciences:

  • Business and International Relations 
  • Business, Management and English Language
  • Business, Management and Public Policy
  • Business and Politics
  • Business and Sociology
  • Politics and Economics                                                                            

For these programmes you should contact:

Degree led by Aston Business School:

  • International Business and Modern Languages

For this programme you should contact:

Degree led by the School of Life and Health Sciences:
  • Psychology and Sociology
For this programme you should contact:

Academic Year Calendar
Term dates and university holiday information can be found HERE.

Your Module Timetable
Your individual timetable will be available via MAP.

More information about your personal academic timetable is available HERE.

Please check your timetable regularly:

  • For changes to times and rooms
  • For possible clashes
  • To make sure you are registered for the correct amount of modules and credits in each teaching period

If you notice a problem, or have any queries relating to your timetable or module enrolment, please contact the LSS Timetabling Officer, Mingqing Jia.

Changing Optional Modules
In Weeks 1 and 15, any changes to optional modules must be arranged through the LSS Timetabling Officer Mingqing Jia.

Changes after week 2 or 16 are not normally permitted. After this point, any change that may exceptionally be agreed must be negotiated through the Programme Director.

Reading Week
Week 7 of the timetable is set aside as a Reading Week. This allows you the opportunity to reflect on your studies, perform more in-depth reading, or be given specific guided study to carry out by your lecturer(s). You will be expected to be available during Reading Week for consultation and for guided study during your timetabled contact hours.

Please note, occasionally modules do not include a Reading Week and normal study and contact hours continue for Week 7.

You are provided with a named personal tutor who will work with you throughout your studies. Personal tutoring operates to the following principles:

  • Your Personal Tutor is your primary contact for general academic guidance and personal support
  • A Personal Tutor is there to listen to your issues or concerns sensitively and responsively
  • They will support and advise you, and sometimes signpost you to other sources of support within the School, University, or Aston Students’ Union where required
  • A Personal Tutor will endeavour to help you develop yourself and your skills, and encourage you to make the most of the opportunities available at Aston
  • They will contact you via email to arrange meetings throughout the year, but you can also contact them yourself between meetings
  • You can have a personal learning experience from somebody that knows you, so we encourage you to make the most of the support that Personal Tutors can offer

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


Aston firmly believes in the value of attendance, and its relationship with engagement and achievement is very important. Attendance at scheduled teaching sessions enhances the experience of all students, and provides the opportunity for you to benefit fully from the support and guidance the University offers. 

You should 'check in' to timetabled classes by placing your uniCARD on readers on entry to all your scheduled teaching sessions including lectures, seminars, tutorials, lab session etc. You will then be able to access your record of attendance in the MyAttendance system. This supports the University's proactive approach to learning and we encourage you to assume responsibility for your own academic progress, and manage your time effectively.

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.

Log in: MyAttendance

For further information please visit the MyAttendance webpages

It is our expectation that students make every effort to attend their timetabled contact hours over the whole academic year.

If your attendance falls below acceptable levels, you may be contacted by your Personal Tutor.

Where you are experiencing problems which are having a serious impact on your ability to meet attendance requirements, you should discuss these problems with your Personal Tutor as soon as possible to see how best to minimise the detrimental effect on your studies.

If you are absent from class because of illness please notify the Student Support Team. Please do this as soon as possible, otherwise you may be contacted about your lack of attendance.

If you will be absent for a scheduled exam, it is a different procedure. Please refer to LSS Student Information>Assessment in BlackBoard.

Catching Up
Ask the lecturer for copies of any handouts and advice about guided reading. Check BlackBoard to see whether work has been posted there for the missed session. Please talk to the lecturer or your Personal Tutor if you are experiencing difficulties catching up.

Staff are not normally able to offer individual tuition to students who have missed lectures or seminars.

Term-Time Employment
If you are an international student, please refer to the information HERE.

Some full-time students undertake voluntary or paid employment during academic terms. Although we recognise that this may be a matter of financial necessity, or develops important skills and provides experience, you should ensure that such work does not result in absence from any timetabled activity or the late submission of assessments and does not have a detrimental effect on your academic performance.

Aston University is committed to supporting students achieve their full potential throughout their studies. MyEngagement has been developed to empower students, using a variety of student data, to reflect on their learning behaviours and identify areas which could be enhanced. The system will also provide information to support discussions with relevant staff (such as personal tutors) and identify students who may need support at different stages of their learning journey. 

Log in: myengagement.aston.ac.uk

For further information please visit the MyEngagement webpages.

Support with learning and teaching technology is provided by staff in NX04 on the 10th Floor of North Wing. Please visit the LSS Student Information pages on Blackboard for a list of available resources and support services, along with tutorials and resources.

Please visit the LSS Student Information on BlackBoard for information on Exams

External Examiner Systems

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 are listed in the Assessment section on Blackboard.

Universities appoint External Examiners from higher education, industry, and professional institutions. Those appointed are suitably qualified and experienced and are external to, and independent of, the University. External Examiners are able to provide carefully considered advice on the academic standards of the awards, programmes and/or modules to which they have been assigned, and can offer advice on good practice and opportunities to improve the quality of those programmes/modules. External Examiners are also able to offer a view of how standards compare with the same or similar awards at other higher education institutions.

An important feature of external examining in the UK is the provision of annual written reports by each External Examiner. Universities consider these reports carefully, and either take action in response to any recommendations or make clear the reasons for not taking action.

Students have an important role in the management of standards and quality, and External Examiners' reports are made available to students as part of this and should be discussed at Student Staff committees. To access the most recent External Examiners' reports for your programme please see the Degree Programme information section in your MAP home page.

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.

If you are considering changing your programme of study (a "programme transfer"), you will need to speak to the Programme Directors of your current and desired new programme. 

If you are in doubt, email lss_studentsupport@aston.ac.uk for advice on whether this is necessary.

If you are considering suspending your studies ("leave of absence"), or even leaving university altogether ("withdrawal"), it is vital you talk to your Personal Tutor in the first instance.

Leave of absences and withdrawals can be requested via MAP after speaking to your Personal Tutor.

Placements generally fall into one of three types:

  • British Council Assistantships Abroad provide an opportunity for those interested in working with young people and who may be considering a career in teaching to gain first-hand experience in a school. Selection is by application form and preliminary interviews with the Careers and Placement Team. Applications are then forwarded via the British Council in London to the authorities abroad. The deadline for applications is normally mid-November. You must be a native speaker of English to be eligible.
  • Study Opportunities Abroad provide an opportunity to study a wide range of subjects either at an exchange university, or occasionally at an approved non-exchange university. If students are combining a language with another subject at Aston, they may choose to study that subject in the foreign language. Such courses also provide first-hand experience of a different education system, and an opportunity to meet and study with students from that country and elsewhere. This option can provide the opportunity to gain a recognised additional qualification at the place of study.

    The School has established ERASMUS partnerships with a number of universities in France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Finland.

    For English Language, English Literature, Sociology, Politics and International Relations students, there are also opportunities for study abroad in English-speaking institutions.

    Selection is by application form and interview. Students are encouraged to attend information meetings during visits by colleagues from partner institutions, and to liaise with students from these universities who come to Aston to study in the School.
  • Placement Opportunities Abroad and in the UK provide an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of employment and to apply relevant aspects of studies at Aston. Application is by CV and letter to the company. Selection normally involves an interview by phone and/or in person with at least one representative from the company. Interviews are normally held in the UK, but students may occasionally be expected to attend interviews abroad.

Information, Preparation and Funding

Documentation on assistantships, universities and companies is available for reference from the Careers+Placements Team. A complete series of briefing meeting, presentations and workshops takes place at various points throughout the year to assist Stage Two students with CVs and placement applications, and detailed supporting documentation is provided. An opportunity will be given to Stage Two students in October to meet final year students who have returned from their Year Abroad placements.

For placements in Europe, students are normally eligible for additional funding via the Commission of the European Communities' ERASMUS student mobility work placement programme. 

Placements Support

We believe real life work experience is key to enhancing your career prospects. Our dedicated Placements Team are on hand to help you secure a gem of a placement. Each student is assigned a Placement Coordinator who will assist you throughout the placement search and application process. Make sure you engage with the team early on to give you the best chance of securing your ideal role.


Here in LSS, your views and feedback are important and help us 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. As part of our Student Representation Framework, we work closely with the University on ensuring that you are represented by a fellow classmate (Student Rep). These Student Reps are empowered to represent your academic interests to the University and Students' Union. They are supported by your Union Vice President (Education) who represents and campaigns for your academic interests both at the University level and nationally.

You can become the representative for your course and help us to make education at Aston the best it can be. In the autumn term, we will ask for nominations for Student Rep. We encourage you to get involved by either standing to be a Student Rep or providing your feedback to your Student Reps.

If you would like to find out more about the role of Student Reps or how the Students' Union 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 Student Representation.


Evaluating your Modules

Towards the end of each module you will be asked to fill in an anonymous questionnaire. This provides LSS and the individual lecturers with valuable information which is used to enhance and improve our learning and teaching strategies. For interim feedback, please speak to the module leader, or a student representative.

Evaluating your Programme (NSS/PTES)

At Undergraduate level, final year students are asked to fill in the National Student Survey (NSS). At Postgraduate level, students will be asked to fill in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES).

These surveys are run by external organisations and ask all students nationally the same questions.

General Feedback

If you experience problems with a module, please first try to resolve it with the lecturer or module leader. If the problem persists, then please refer the matter to the Head of Department, or the Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

General problems relating to programmes or subjects as a whole can be referred to a student representative, or the Programme Director.

References and Testimonials

These can be requested via MAP, in the "Academic References" section. You need to make sure your referee can comment on your academic progress so far, therefore an Academic Reference can be requested from any academic who has taught you or your Dissertation Supervisor.

Last year we removed the printing charge from all students.  This year we will be continuing not to charge students for printing but we do ask that you please think about the environment before printing and act responsibly.  Should the University have reason to think that a student is printing excessively above the average amount of printing, we will call the student in for a conversation about how we might help them manage their printing needs.

Our welcoming and knowledgeable team of professional advisers offer information, advice and support throughout your student journey at Aston.

International Student Advisers

Experienced International Student Advisers provide advice and support to all Aston EU and international students. They can assist you with a range of issues including: access to healthcare, banking in the UK, registering with the police if required, extending your student visa, what happens to your visa if you take a break from your studies, working in the UK during and after your studies and cultural and social activities that you can take part in.

For more information contact the International Student Advisers by telephone: +44 (0)121 204 4567 or email: issu@aston.ac.uk or visit the website at: www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/iss/

Student Advisers

There are so many things to think about when you enrol at university.  If you do not know what to do, there’s every chance our friendly and knowledgeable Student Advisers will be able to point you in the right direction.

You can ask our Student Advisers about student finance funding, financial assistance, access to benefits and healthcare as well as academic matters, including what happens if you take a break from your studies and what to do if you have personal circumstances which affect your academic progress.

For more information, contact the Student Advisers by telephone: + 44(0)121 204

4007 or email: thehub@aston.ac.uk or visit the Hub website at: www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/

Student Funds Officer 

The Student Funds Officer provides assistance in cases of unexpected hardship, through a number of different funds, trusts and bursaries.  He also administers the US Federal Loans and offers support to Care experienced students.

For more information, contact the Student Funds Officer by telephone +44 (0)121 204 4031, by email at: financialsupporft@aston.ac.uk  or visit the Financial Assistance website at: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/student-advice/fau

The Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Service is a confidential service, staffed by qualified, experienced counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health specialists.

Meeting one of our team members offers you the opportunity to discuss issues that may be affecting you either personally, or your academic work.  These could include issues such as relationship difficulties, anxiety and stress or loss of motivation.  Each year, many students benefit from discussions with us.

Counsellors/psychotherapists do not give advice or tell you what to do.  Our role is to help you take responsibility for your own decisions, to become more aware of your own resources and to work with you in developing skills which will help you to manage your own difficulties and concerns more effectively.

We offer face-to-face sessions for students on Campus, and also SKYPE appointments and e-counselling for students on placement or who are distance and transitional learners.

Our Mental Health Specialists provide support, advice and guidance to students with on-going mental health conditions, and co-ordinate care plans with external services where appropriate.

We are moving the service to a new location for the start of the new academic year.  The Service will be located in The James Watt Building, Aston Student Village.

Appointments can be made through the Hub in person, by telephone: 0121 204 4007 or you can email the Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Service on counselling@aston.ac.uk.  

Further information can also be found on the service web site: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/counselling-and-mental-wellbeing-service

The Enabling Team (formerly known as the Disability Team) provides advice and guidance if you have a disability.  We can help to co-ordinate any support you require if you have a physical, sensory or hidden disability, or specific learning difference.  Our service is confidential and we will liaise with teaching and other support staff within the University to help make adjustments which support your studies if you give us permission to do so.

We also:

  • Provide free screening and partly fund full diagnostic assessments if you think you may have a specific learning difference such as dyslexia and would like help with this.
  • Offer group study skills sessions and drop-in sessions with a dyslexia specialist.
  • Liaise with external providers to arrange for non-medical helpers for Aston students.  We also have an ‘in-house’ non-medical-helper service.
  • Assist you with applications for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) and other sources of funding.
  • Advise teaching teams about the provision of individual examination arrangements and teaching adaptations (with your consent)
  • Make arrangements forPersonal Evacuation Plans
  • Help provide assistive technology support and advice through our colleagues in the IT Department and our Dyslexia Specialist.

Contact details:

Email: EnablingTeam@aston.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 204 4007/5015

Web: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/the-enabling-team

Located on the Ground Floor of the Main Building

The Visa Compliance Team look after the University Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and   make sure that the University is meeting all the Home Office requirements so that your journey to the UK and your studies at Aston University go as smoothly as possible.

We make sure all the systems and processes are in place at the University so that you can be confident you are meeting the requirements of your visa.

We will:

  • Assess your suitability to study in the UK and issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to apply for a Tier 4 visa;
  • Issue you with your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) when you arrive in the UK and check your visa is correct;
  • Monitor your academic progress and engagement with your studies throughout your whole student journey;
  • Send reports to the Home Office on your behalf if your situation changes.

The team also manage the process for exchange students, short term students, academic researchers and professional visitors to the University.

Contact details:

Email: vct@aston.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 204 4007

Web: http://www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/visacompliance/

Located on the Ground Floor of the Main Building

Fee Collection Helpdesk and Cashiers

The Fee Collection Helpdesk is the place to visit if you need assistance with paying your tuition fees. 

The Finance Centre is responsible for collecting your tuition fee payments but we are also your main contact if you have any queries or are having difficulties in paying your fees.  Call into the Finance Centre on a "drop in" basis to see a member of the Fee Collection Helpdesk team who will be pleased to discuss and sort out any queries you may have or, if you prefer, you can book an appointment.  There are confidential interview rooms if you would like to talk to someone in private.  Where appropriate we will liaise with staff in your School and Central Departments to help resolve your queries. 

The Cashiers Office manages the online card payment service.  You can pay your fees online by visiting Paying My Fees Online

For more information see the Student Finance Centre website www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/finances/student-finance-centre

How to contact us:

Contact Form: https://form.jotformeu.com/92024222567351

Telephone: 0121 204 4355

Located on the Ground Floor of the Main Building

Additional useful Contacts:

If you have any queries about the amount of fee you are being charged:

In Person: Visit the Advice Zone

Email: reg_studentrecords@aston.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 204 4689

The University Examinations Office is responsible for organising the scheduling and invigilation of most examinations on campus and at authorised overseas venues.  This includes the issue of personalised examination timetables to students and putting in place special arrangements for students with additional needs. The Examinations Office Webpage provides useful information on examination calendars, examination forms (including information about exceptional circumstances) and links to the University Examination Regulations.  

The Student Records section is responsible for all student records from initial enrolment through to graduation. The Student Records webpage provides more detailed information on the services provided, which include: re-enrolment, tuition fee invoicing, Aston Scholarships, student funds administration, liaison with the Student Loans Company and issue of degree certificates. The team can be contacted by email: reg_studentrecords@aston.ac.uk

The Martin Luther King Centre

The Martin Luther King Centre (MLK) is concerned with faith, social and political issues worldwide; searching for the meaning of life; exploring justice, peace and mutual understanding.  The Centre is there for those from all faiths or none.

At the MLK Centre we:

  • Offer a Chaplaincy Service
    We have a team of chaplains who are here to support students and staff.  Chaplains are experienced at listening, offering spiritual guidance, prayer, support, and friendship.   There are chaplains of different faiths: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan and Sikh - who are available at different times throughout the week.
  • Host Events and Societies
    The MLK Centre is available for student and University activities and events.  We are happy to host gatherings that are in line with our aims.  To book space, contact MLK Reception on: 0121 204 4729 or call into see us.
  • Social activities
    We host regular social events.  Catering is normally vegetarian and no alcohol is allowed in the Centre.
  • At times of celebration, remembrance, grief and difficulty

The Chaplaincy Team facilitate faith-based celebrations throughout the year.

The MLK Centre is the University’s focal point for times of sadness and remembrance, the Chaplaincy Team are on hand to offer support and a friendly listening ear for any student or member of staff who has been affected by personal or national/international events.  As a University we will at times take part in official nation-wide commemorations and remembrances.   


We are situated at the heart of the campus opposite the library. Please feel free to pop in and see us, browse our webpages for more information.

For more information visit our Chaplaincy website at:


or follow us on Twitter and Facebook      

How to contact us:

Email: chaplaincy@aston.ac.uk 

Telephone: 0121 204 4729

Aston University has extensive IT facilities with over 1,500 desktop computers specifically for student use.  Many of the computer labs can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a range of networked software packages, database systems, modelling tools, computer-aided learning materials and access to online sources of information. 

We have also created WiFi Study Spaces around the campus that are open to all students and have dedicated wireless access points so that you can study using your own equipment in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Some of these spaces also contain a number of computers with standard software which can be used.

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 – details can be found via our student guide on the IT website (details listed below).

IT facilities are free to all students and are linked by our high speed network, which spans the campus providing access to the internet and other networks worldwide.    

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. You will have been sent details of how to log into this portal to complete your enrolment before arriving at the University and should continue to use this throughout your studies to access your 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 lecture notes, read course announcements, complete assignments and collaborate with your classmates.

To help you make the most of the IT facilities, we have created a Student Computer Guide which contains information on all of the services provided including email, Printing and much more. You can view the guide online at; http://www.aston.ac.uk/ict/studentguide

The Digital Services Helpdesk 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. You can visit the helpdesk in person or contact us via any of the options below;

IT Helpdesk

IT Services

Main Building East, Ground Floor

Tel: 0121 204 3445

Email:  it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk

Follow us on Twitter: @aston_its for tips, latest issues and new service information.

Centre for English Language and Communication at Aston (CELCA) specialises in teaching English for Academic Purposes and providing language, communication and academic skills support to Aston students.  The Centre offers a wide range of high-quality preparatory and year-abroad programmes and supports Aston’s international students at all levels of study through Academic English tutorials and workshops.

CELCA staff are well-qualified, experienced and committed to helping international students succeed on their academic programmes and achieve their personal goals.

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.

One-to-one tutorials can be requested online by visiting https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/courses/tutorials

or in person on the first floor of the Library building.

Email: celca_programmes@aston.ac.uk

The Learning Development Centre (LDC) is a central service which provides academic advice and resources for students throughout their studies at Aston. We are a team of experienced teachers, lecturers and Student Writing and Maths Mentors.

The LDC offers one-to-one and group tutorials to help students develop their maths and academic skills. Our Maths Centre offers a drop-in tutorial service, appointments and workshops to assist with maths and statistics and our tutors are available to work with students at all levels of study. 

The LDC delivers a series of workshops and webinars for undergraduate and postgraduate students, covering several topics including academic writing, referencing, revision strategies and dissertation writing. 

The LDC also runs a range of confidential mentoring schemes to enable students, alumni and professionals to support the Aston student community develop transferable skills, expand networks and share experiences.

The LDC is also a popular place for students to study, particularly for students working in groups.  The LDC has bookable rooms with presentation facilities which you may find useful during your time at Aston. 

Online support and resources: Students who are unable to visit the LDC can access advisors through our e-tutorial and SKYPE service. Appointments can be arranged outside of regular working hours if required. Students can also access maths and study resources within the maths support area on Blackboard and the LDC Blackboard module. These online resources include a range of study guides, video clips and general worksheets.

For more information about using our services, study advice and resources available, please visit our website, Facebook page or follow us on twitter for more information.


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

Contact details:

Email: ldc@aston.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 204 3040

Website: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/current-students/academic-support/ldc/


Open 24/7 When It Matters Most

Aston University Library Services has achieved the Customer Service Excellence Standard, meaning that the service is customer focused with friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff.

Opening Hours

The University Library has flexible opening hours, which are always displayed in the foyer and on the website.  During exam and revision periods, it is open 24/7.  An access control system has been implemented in the Library in order to maintain the safety of students, staff and visitors. 


The Library has proximity access at the entrance - you need your uniCARD to get in, and this card must not be used by anyone other than the person named on it.

Study Space

Various study environments have been designed to meet your needs, whether that is for collaborative study, quiet study or silent study.  You are requested to choose where you sit according to your requirements and to respect the needs of other Library users. Please ensure that desks are left clean and tidy when you finish.  There is also additional study space in Main Building (Library 2 – Room MB225) equipped with PCs, group study tables, a printer, power sockets and USB chargers.  Library 2 is open 24 hours.

Training and support

Our Information Specialists regularly provide training sessions to help you make the most of our resources.  You can contact them at any time using the contact information for the Library below. 


You automatically become a member of the Library at enrolment.  The barcode on your uniCARD shows your Library membership number.  You must use your uniCARD to get into the Library and to take books out.  It is important to regularly access your Library Record and check your Aston email in case a book that you have borrowed gets recalled (there are fines on recalled items): https://library.aston.ac.uk/patroninfo

You are still a member of the Library if you are not based on campus and can make use of all the Library facilities.  If you are a part-time or distance learning student or have a disability or additional need, you can ask the Library staff to post books out to you.

Self Service

We make our services as user-friendly as possible, so you can borrow books or laptops, pay fines, print documents and use the online facilities even at night when there are no Library staff available.

Access to Resources

The Library contains over 148,000 volumes, with access to 133,000 journals (electronic and print) and 200,000 e-books across all subject areas.  Reservations can be placed on specific titles that are in high demand. 

Each summer Library Services reviews the reading lists provided by academic staff to ensure that all recommended books are available to borrow. Reading lists are available on Blackboard sites for each module.

Large, full-text databases such as ABI Inform Complete (Proquest), Business Source Complete (EBSCO), Emerald Fulltext, JSTOR, ScienceDirect and Econlit with Full Text (all full-text business and management journals) are supplemented by access to Web of Science, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences,  Datastream, Fame (financial databases), Economist, the Financial Times and Nexis UK  (international press coverage).  Most databases are also available via the Internet, both on and off-campus via the A-Z Databases listing: http://libguides.aston.ac.uk/az.php

From the Library home page http://www.aston.ac.uk/library/ you can: 

  • link to Library SmartSearch to look for books, journals and e-resources in your subject area;
  • find out about Library services and facilities;
  • check how to reserve books and view your Library Record.


For access to key resources for your subject areas and help with referencing, check your subject LibGuide – provided by your Information Specialist: http://libguides.aston.ac.uk/

Ask the Library
Support is available from the Help Point on the Ground floor of the Library, staffed 9am till 6pm, Monday to Friday in term-time. Staff can help with printers, copiers, self-service facilities and finding books or online resources.  You can also email enquiries to library@aston.ac.uk 

If you have any questions about Library Services, you can LiveChat or post questions via AsktheLibrary: http://libanswers.aston.ac.uk/



The Library regulations can be found on the Library website.  (See Conditions of use).

Contact details:

Email: library@aston.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 204 4525

Twitter and Facebook: https://twitter.com/AstonUniLibrary https://www.facebook.com/AstonUniversityLIS/

Web: http://www.aston.ac.uk/library/

Aston University Nursery and Pre-School

Aston University Nursery and Pre-School was founded in 1973 with a commitment to provide the highest standard of care and education.  It is based on the University campus, moving into a brand new purpose built building in January 2016.  Nursery places are limited so please book as soon as possible.  You will need to be aware of the sessions you require before booking a nursery place.  The Nursery can also offer funded places for children the term after their third birthday.  Please contact the Nursery for further information. 

Open Monday-Friday, 7.30am-6.00pm

Contact details:

Email: nurseryenquiries@aston.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 204 4562

Web: http://www.aston.ac.uk/nursery/

Location: 1 Woodcock Street (entrance on Coleshill Street), Birmingham B7 4BL

Visit the Alumni webpages to find out about the benefits and opportunities available to you as part of the Aston community when you graduate and see how you can continue to support the University.

Information is available via the Academic Services Regulations and Policies Page.

Academic Appeals


Suggestions, Comments, Complaints and Concerns


Disciplinary Regulations


Exceptional Circumstances


Exceptional Circumstances are circumstances which cause a student to fail to attend an exam or to meet assessment submission deadlines, or that make them perform less well in coursework than might have been expected on the basis of other work. In general, exceptional circumstances will be of a medical or personal nature significantly affecting the student at or during a relevant period of time and/or during the examination period and which can normally be corroborated by independent evidence.

You should also look at the detailed information available via the A-Z of Academic Regulations and Policies, in the following important areas:

  • Examination Regulations for Candidates
  • General Regulations for Programmes
  • Plagiarism Detection Software Policy

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 a genuine commitment to equality of opportunity for our staff and students, and to promoting equality and diversity within the University community from admissions and assessment policies for students to recruitment, selection and employment processes for staff.  This is brought alive by our outreach work in Schools, our recruitment on merit, whatever a students’ background, and our relevant degrees with linked work experience, which have a track record of transforming lives.

We have ambitious diversity goals and an excellent record of achievement (widening participation targets, Athena SWAN awards, etc).  We publish equality information each year on all staff and students at the University together with our Equality and Diversity Policy Statement, and a number of other relevant policies.   See


If you have any questions about equality and diversity at the University please contact Human Resources by email at: HR@aston.ac.uk

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.


Your future starts now

future starts



It’s never too early to start thinking about your future and securing your dream job!

The Careers+Placements team are on hand to offer friendly and professional advice to help you choose the right career path and develop the skills and experience needed to stand out in a competitive job market once you graduate.

As an Aston student you are eligible to use our services online and in person throughout your study years and for up to three years after graduation.

Visit www.aston.ac.uk/careers to view a range of resources to help you with your career planning, including advice on CVs, applications, interviews, help securing part-time or volunteering work, and much more.  

We believe real life work experience is key to enhancing your career prospects. Our dedicated Placements Team are on hand to help you secure a gem of a placement. Each student is assigned a Placement Coordinator who will assist you throughout the placement search and application process. Make sure you engage with the team early on to give you the best chance of securing your ideal role.


aston futures

Aston Futures is an online platform run by the Careers+Placements Team where you can:

  • Search for job vacancies and set-up email alerts for new opportunities;
  • View and book onto our careers events;
  • Book appointments with our friendly and experienced advisers. 

It’s easy to use and an essential part of the service we offer.

To use the service, log in using the same username and password as your student email and complete your profile.

Careers+Placements events

We host a varied programme of employer events, careers fairs and skills workshops on campus during the academic year. The autumn term is our busiest time for events as this is when the majority of employers are keen to meet you and it fits in with the deadlines for many placement and graduate opportunities.

Our events led by employers are a great opportunity to meet people from organisations you are considering working for and ask questions. Attending our skills sessions will give you the chance to learn and review techniques to help you succeed in the recruitment process. We all know practice makes perfect.

Don’t miss out on your chance to network with employers, you never know where the conversation might lead! Students have secured jobs by attending our events. For information on the range of events and workshops taking place, check out the events tab on Aston Futures.


Experience counts. Work experience gives you a competitive edge when you apply for placement and graduate roles, and offers an insight into the world of work. And that’s before you add in the benefits of money to see you through your degree, or an opportunity to help others.

The JobShop, powered by Careers+Placements, can help you find paid part-time or volunteering opportunities to help you with your career journey.     


Drop by and meet the team

Come and see us in the Main Building, 1st Floor, South Wing.

We’re open 9.00am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday, all year round.

Get in touch


Careers Support: careers@aston.ac.uk

Placement Support: placementsupport@aston.ac.uk

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:




Aston’s Outreach team provide exciting opportunities for University students to take part in mentoring and tutoring with local students across Birmingham. Our Outreach programmes provide a fantastic experience for University students to give back to the local community and develop their skills which they can then apply to their undergraduate degrees and future careers.

We build the relationships with the schools and provide full support for all University students we work with. This includes DBS checks, training sessions, and frequent contact throughout the scheme. 

Our programmes allow you to build up employability skills for your CV’s and to start building your professional networks.

List of programmes for 2019-20

  • Aimhigher Mentoring -  aspiration raising mentoring programme for Year 9-13

(takes place in School)

  • Aston Progression Pathways (APP) Mentoring – STEM specific mentoring programme for Year 12 (takes place in school)
  • Tutoring with the Access Project – GCSE tutoring for Year 10-11 (takes place on-campus)

How to contact us:

Email: Outreach@aston.ac.uk

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.  

As a student ambassador you will represent the University through a variety of different activities mainly here on campus.  It’s a brilliant way to develop skills that look great on a CV, meet new people, have fun and get paid for it! Student ambassadors use their own experiences to promote Aston University and higher education to prospective students and learners in schools.

No previous experience is necessary, although enthusiasm for Aston and higher education is essential.  A good knowledge of the facilities on offer at Aston is also beneficial.

For more information about getting involved visit: www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/get-involved/ambassadors/   



Left to Right: Ellie Chambers (Vice President – Welfare), Danielle Gallagher (President), Annas Mazhar (Vice President- Student Activities), Pawan Kumar Neglur (Vice President – Education)

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

The SU offers loads of great services including:

  • Sports Clubs and Societies
  • Opportunities to represent your peers within the University, locally & 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  (Aston Brook Green)
  • Facilities for commuter students

The services and activities provided by the SU make a huge contribution to the sense of community at Aston and the Union works in partnership with the University so that you have the highest quality educational experience.  The SU is a vibrant, welcoming place with something for everyone.

Students can get involved with academic representation and democracy through the Student Voice department, and there is a first class Advice and Representation Centre to support the health and wellbeing of our students (see more details below).

The Union’s Clubs and Societies help students make friends and settle into University life. We have a wide range of activities you can join and if somehow you cannot find something you like, then we can help you start-up your own society or club.  Aston students know that through participation you can develop new skills which will enhance your CV, so make sure you get involved!  

The SU relocated to a brand new, innovative and exciting building in April 2019, giving students a fantastic and stylish new space to socialise, study, relax and take part in everything the SU has to offer.

To get the most out of your student experience, make sure you get involved with your SU. Find out more about all the great services available at the Union at www.astonsu.com


Danielle Gallagher - Union President: union.president@aston.ac.uk

Ellie Chambers - Vice President Welfare: union.vpw@aston.ac.uk

Annas Mazhar - Vice President Student Activities: union.vpsa@aston.ac.uk  

Pawan Kumar Neglur - Vice President Education: union.vpe@aston.ac.uk

Welcome Desk: 0121 204 4855

Open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday during Undergraduate Term Time.


AstonStudentVoiceThe 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.

All Aston students are able to get involved in the SU, whether through attending Union Council meetings, volunteering as a Student Rep, helping to deliver a campaign or standing in the elections. We are a student-led organisation, so tell us how you want your Aston experience to be!

Lead Way

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.  Here at Aston we work closely with the University to support you to be represented by a fellow classmate (Student Rep).  These 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 www.astonsu.com/voice/representation/

arcThe Advice and Representation Centre is a professional advice Centre run by Aston SU.

The Advice and Representation Centre is here to help throughout your time at Aston University.  Experienced and qualified staff make up an advice team to offer advice on a wide range of issues, study related or personal, and can refer you on for specialist services.  The advice team offers free, independent advice that is confidential, in a friendly and welcoming environment.  The advisers can represent and support you at formal hearings and appeals.

Our advice is:

  • Professional
    The advice team are experienced and trained in advice.
  • Free
    There is no charge for advice, support and representation.
  • Independent
    Aston Students’ Union is an independent charity and company led by elected students.
  • Non-judgmental
    Our advice team aim to treat everyone with respect and courtesy. The advice team challenge discrimination.
  • Confidential
    Our advice team will not pass on the information that students share to anyone outside the service without permission.  This includes Aston University.

The Advice and Representation Centre offers advice and support with a range of subject areas including:

  • Academic
    Advisers provide help and support in relation to exceptional circumstance claims, course issues, leave of absence, examination boards, academic appeals, disciplinary action and complaints about the University.  Advisers are able to accompany and represent students at University meetings.
  • Money
    Advisers provide professional money advice. This includes advice in relation to tuition fees, issues with student finance, grants and bursaries and applications to hardship funds. The service can provide debt counselling and support dealing with creditors. The service operates the Union Emergency Loan fund.
  • Housing/accommodation
    The advice team offers advice on housing rights and responsibilities. Advisers offer a tenancy checking service, advice on disrepair, tenancy deposits, disputes and eviction.
  • Employment rights
    The advice team advises on employment rights issues including pay rights, time off, equality at work, disciplinary and grievance processes and termination of employment.
  • Consumer
    The advice team advises on consumer issues such as the return or replacement of goods and issues with utility bills.
  • More
    The advice team can provide guidance on small claims court processes and procedures.

The advice team provides information on sexual health and alcohol and substance abuse and can signpost students to specialist services.

Hate Crime Reporting

The Advice and Representation Centre is recognised by West Midland Police as a third party hate crime reporting centre.

Contact the Advice & Representation Centre

Ground floor, Aston Students’ Union

0121 204 4848


Our Core Opening Hours are Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

‘Drop in’ Sessions take place Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 12:00.

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 & Representation Centre is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Authorisation no. 618885.

asaThe Student Activities and Voice team manage and facilitate lots of fantastic opportunities for students to get involved.

Activities and opportunities through Aston SU are a brilliant way to get the most out of your time at Aston

You can make loads of new friends and find hundreds of ways to boost your CV, learn a new skill, continue a hobby or learn something completely new.

Our student activities are also a great way to just escape the stresses of university life and unwind. There’s plenty to choose from, but if you don’t see anything that takes your fancy, you can always set up a student club or society of your own! 


Our sports and physical activity clubs are collectively known as the Aston Athletic Union. Clubs here at Aston are perfect for getting active, no matter your ability. There are a wide variety of sports and activity covered, with varying commitment levels available, there is something for everyone.  Most clubs also offer a social option, if you want to get involved in their numerous social events, without committing to the sport itself! There is the famous and very popular annual Athletic Union Ball which is always an event not to be missed! 


Our societies really do contain something for everyone. From academic to faith/culture to general interest, we really do have it all. We currently have 94 student led societies, who meet regularly throughout the year, and all offer a huge variety of opportunities to try new things, or meet like-minded people.

Student Led Service and Project Groups

The Student Activities and Voice team manages and supports a number of Student Led Service and Project groups which are run by students to deliver a specific project for the benefit of Aston students. Current Student led Groups include a TEDx group, and a radio station. The groups are student led with staff oversight and support, and are core funded by the Students’ Union.


Volunteering is a great way to make a difference. You’ll will also gain great new skills that will make your CV stand out, meet useful contacts, and of course have lots of fun! Our RAG (Raise & Give) group are always looking for extra hands, and organise multiple events throughout the year to raise money for great causes. We also have a number of other volunteering opportunities available throughout the year – just check out our website to see what’s available!

Visit our website to check out all of our amazing student activities and learn more! http://www.astonsu.com/activities

The Good Place Café

Good place

Enjoy the high-quality coffee and a great friendly vibe. 

Make sure to check out our best value meal deals! Affordable for all students! 

Bring your travel mug to get 5% off, or get your very special Good Place travel mug to get 10% off every time you buy a drink!


The Lounge Bar

Lounge Bar

The Lounge is our brand new bar and restaurant, on the first floor of the new SU building.

Meet friends, play pool, study, chill on the balcony or grab some tasty lunch.

The Lounge is the best looking place on campus to relax, revise or recharge.


Aston Union Shop

AU 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 last minute stationery, a warm hoodie for cold nights or a quick bite to eat in between lectures, we are here for you! 

The Aston Union Shop sells a wide variety of essential items, including sandwiches, confectionery, stationery, greetings cards and much more. It also stocks tools for your studies such as diaries, lab books, lab coats, USB disks and batteries, as well as medications, toiletries, and other useful household products.

This is the go to place for Aston University branded clothing, stationery and all things Aston University branded.

The Aston Union Shop aims to provide all the student essentials.