How students work at Aston - Conceive, Design, Implement & Operate

Aston University has always prided itself on being a university able to provide practically relevant courses at all levels. We want to make sure we can continue to do this, and to this end are evolving our programmes to allow you to develop your learning by engaging in practical, cross-disciplinary project-based work.

We strongly believe, and research backs this up, that the essence of you becoming an engineer or designer is not only dependent on you developing technical knowledge but also being able to combine this with practical engineering skills, social awareness, team and project management abilities, and competences in many other fields to solve engineering problems.

Most traditional courses struggle to achieve this and so to address these deficiencies we work with you using a much more practical, project-based approach to teaching and learning. We want to move away from intense and assessment-heavy teaching and move to a culture where students have space and encouragement, learning to learn for themselves.

Advantages for you as a student include: 

  • a modern, industrially relevant degree
  • an exciting programme from the first day on the course
  • an ability and confidence to tackle real engineering problems
  • a significant reduction in the number of modules and assessments allowing students to focus on learning rather than completing exercises
  • a more integrated programme with less compartmentalisation of subject areas
  • a greater emphasis on the breadth of skills required by engineers and designers beyond basic technical ability. 

This philosophy is supported by around 50 of the world’s top technical institutions, including Aston, who have gathered to share best teaching practice in what is known as the CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement & Operate) initiative. Universities we work with on this initiative include Liverpool and Queens (Belfast) in the UK, MIT and Purdue in the United States, Chalmers and the Danish Technical University in Scandinavia and Tsinghua in China.

Aston Engineering & Design students have recently won a competition after participating in a CDIO Conference in Barcelona. More information.

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