Welcome to Aston University and the Developing Skills in Academic English Programme, also known as the UK Year Abroad Programme. We hope that you enjoy the programme and find it useful for your future university studies.
The Programme is delivered and managed by the Centre for English Language and Communication at Aston (CELCA), which is a teaching unit within the School of Languages and Social Sciences. CELCA is based on the 8th floor of the North Wing.
The Programme runs from April to December/January each year, and provides 120 Aston University Credits, equivalent to one full academic year at undergraduate level. In addition to fulfilling your academic requirements for Kansai University, you will also earn a Certificate of Higher Education in Developing Skills in Academic English, which is a qualification in its own right.
I am the Director of the programme,Robert Fox. You can find me in the North Wing, room NW820F. My university phone number is 0121 204 3177 and my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also be your personal tutor during your time at Aston. I look forward to meeting you throughout your studies.
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 commerce. It is also an inclusive, forward-thinking and diverse institution, deeply committed to ensuring all of its students are happy, comfortable and satisfied.
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 wanting 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 – backed up by the government’s National Student Survey (NSS) in which Aston has achieved an overall satisfaction rate of at least 89% for the last four year years (above the national average of 86%). We are equally dedicated to equipping our students with the skills needed to thrive in the world of work. Aston is ranked among the top four universities for helping students secure work placement years during their studies, helping them gain invaluable experience.
With the aid of such careful employment planning from our award winning Careers 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.
As Aston celebrates its 50th year as a University in 2016 and welcomes its new Vice-Chancellor, we are constantly adapting to the changing needs of our students. In keeping with the University’s progressive motto, ‘Forward’, we pledge to continue to do so.
Professor Helen E Higson OBE Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Key Contacts Timetabling and module registration – Mingqing Jia, Timetabling Officer (email@example.com)Student support team – firstname.lastname@example.org Exams and assessment – email@example.com Contacting Academic Staff Please use the Staff Directory to look up contact details.
In addition, academic staff will advertise at least 4 hours a week during term time where they will be available for you to discuss your academic work and receive feedback. This is often called office hours or consultation hours. 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. Who to contact? If your query or issue relates to...
You can also contact Dr Carol Marley (Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programmes), Dr Carolyn Rowe (Associate Dean, Postgraduate Programmes), or Dr Raquel Fernández Sánchez (Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching) for matters that cannot be resolved by any of the above people. Appointments can be made via WASS. Absences and Pastoral Care Please contact us as soon as you are aware that you will be absent from class or if there are any matters that are affecting your ability to attend classes and keep up with your studies. Please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social media You can also follow Aston LSS on Facebook and Twitter
Executive Dean – Professor Simon Green, (email@example.com)Deputy Dean – Professor Jonathan Tritter (firstname.lastname@example.org)Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programmes – Dr Carol Marley (email@example.com) Associate Dean, Postgraduate Programmes - Dr Carolyn Rowe (firstname.lastname@example.org) Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching – Dr Raquel Fernandez-Sanchez (email@example.com)
The School is organised into five different Academic Subject Groups (ASGs). The ASGs are responsible for the delivery of all aspects of a programme relating to that subject or discipline. More information can be found HERE. ASG Heads English Language: Prof Gertrud Reershemius firstname.lastname@example.org Languages and Translation Studies: Dr Stefan Manz email@example.com Politics and International Relations: Dr Ed Turner firstname.lastname@example.org Sociology and Policy: Dr Karen West email@example.com Centre for English Language and Communication at Aston: Ania Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org
Management Team Head of Administration – Elaena Wells (E.K.R.WELLS@aston.ac.uk)Academic Programme and Quality Manager – Yvonne Henderson (email@example.com)Admissions and Marketing Manager – Louise Foster-Agg (L.Foster-Agg@aston.ac.uk)Examinations and Student Support Manager – Steve Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org)Research Manager – Dan Thomson (email@example.com) Visit the Staff Directory for a full listing of LSS Staff.
Director of UG Programmes
Dr Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton
Languages and Translation Studies
Dr Brian Sudlow
Politics and International Relations
Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi
Sociology and Policy
Dr Sarah-Jane Page
CELCA programmes have unique Programme Directors:
Pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Study
CertHE Developing Skills in Academic English (Kansai Year Abroad)
CertHE Languages and Social Sciences (International Year Abroad)
Dr Branka Visnjic
If you study on a Joint Honours programme taught entirely within LSS, each Director of Undergraduate Programmes above is responsible for their respective 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:
Programme Director 1
Programme Director 2
BSc Business & International Relations
Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi
Dr Breno Nunes
BSc Business & Politics
BSc Business & Sociology
Dr Karen West
Dr Aarti Sood
BSc Business, Management & Public Policy
Dr Karen West
BSc Business Management and English Language
Dr Erica Darics
Dr Aarti Sood
BSc International Business and French
BSc International Business and German
BSc International Business and Spanish
BSc International Business, French and German
BSc International Business, French and Spanish
BSc International Business, German and Spanish
BSc Politics and Economics
Dr Chris Jones
Programmes delivered jointly by LSS and LHS:
BSc Psychology & English Language
Dr Dan Shepperd
Dr Krzysztof Kredens
BSc Psychology & Sociology
Dr Richard Cooke
Dr Sarah-Jane Page
Attendance at lectures, seminars, tutorials, one-to-one supervision, and other contact sessions is compulsory and is monitored through signing-in lists.
At University, students are encouraged to assume responsibility for their own academic progress, and to manage their time effectively. Missing scheduled classes also means missing the opportunity to benefit fully from the learning experience and the support and guidance LSS offers.
It is our expectation that students attend no less than 80% of timetabled contact hours over the whole academic year.
If you attend fewer than 50% of contact sessions for all modules across a designated time period, you will be sent a letter advising you that your attendance is cause for concern and asking you to meet with your Personal Tutor.
If you attend fewer than the required number of classes and do not respond adequately when we contact you about this, you may be ultimately be withdrawn from your programme.
Where students are experiencing problems which are having a serious impact on their ability to meet attendance requirements, they should discuss these problems with their Personal Tutor as soon as possible to see how best to minimise the detrimental effect on their studies. Please also see the section on Exceptional Circumstances.
Module leaders who observe that a student has been repeatedly absent from lectures and/or seminars may request that his/her attendance record throughout the School is examined. Where no reason for the absence has been reported disciplinary proceedings are likely to be instituted by the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programmes or Associate Dean, Postgraduate Programmes as appropriate.
If satisfactory attendance is not resumed, the Executive Dean may require the student to withdraw from the programme. It is important that students respond immediately to correspondence from tutors or officers of the School on the subject of non-attendance.
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.
The Government recommends that no full-time student should undertake part-time work during term in excess of 12 hours per week. The legal limit for paid part-time work during term time is 20 hours a week.
If you are absent from class because of illness, notify the relevant module tutor(s) and the Programme Support Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do this as soon as possible, otherwise you will be contacted about your lack of attendance. For illness lasting up to 7 days, you should provide medical evidence and hand this in to the School Reception. For illness lasting more than 7 days, you must obtain a medical certificate from your GP or a medical centre and hand this in to the School Reception.
If you will be absent for a scheduled exam or a coursework submission day, it is a different procedure. Please see section 11 of the LSS Undergraduate Assessment Handbook on BlackBoard in LSS Undergraduate Information>Assessment.
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.
If you know in advance that you will have to be absent for a time (e.g. for planned surgery), it will be necessary for you to negotiate an individual programme to catch up on missed work.
Absence of more than 1 week and less than 1 month: Contact the Head(s) of the relevant Academic Subject Group(s). Also contact the Prorgamme Support Team (email@example.com)
Absence of more than 1 month: Contact the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programmes or Associate Dean, Postgraduate Programmes as appropriate. Please also refer to the information on leave of absences in the "Where to go for academic/pastoral support information" section (“Thinking of taking a break from your studies?”) and HERE.
For information about Aston University and your Tier 4 visa, please click HERE.
In order to be awarded the Certificate in Higher Education, you are required to gain 120 university credits. Some modules for which you are registered and which you attend are worth 10 credits each when completed successfully. Some modules last for both Teaching Periods and so are worth 20 credits. If you wish, you may follow more than six modules in a Teaching Period but you will not gain credits for the extra classes.
To succeed at a module and be awarded the appropriate university credits, you are required to
In addition, you are required to,
Although most students will be awarded a pass mark for their module work on the first occasion, a few students will be required to resubmit their coursework or to resit an examination. Students are allowed three attempts to pass a module.
Towards the end of the university year, you may be required to complete examinations at your home university. Normally, there is no problem in doing this as the International Year Abroad programme will have finished before you are expected in China. However, if you are concerned about this, please discuss this as soon as possible with the Director of IYA programmes so that s/he, in turn, can contact your teachers in China. We will need to know by January if you need to return to China early to complete examinations there so that alternative arrangements can be made for assessment at Aston.
Learn Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Spanish at Beginners, Intermediate, or Advanced levels while you study.
More information is available HERE.
For information on student equal opportunities, please see the Welfare and Representation sections of the Aston Students’ Union website.
The formal requirements for degree programmes are contained in the University’s General Regulations which can be found HERE.
Exam dates and Submission Dates will be made available via the Assessments and Submissions calendar in LSS Undergraduate Information>Assessment in BlackBoard.
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 specs will soon be available on the Aston website. Link to follow.
Reading lists for all modules are viewable HERE. Use the search box to search for modules by code, title or keyword.
During freshers week and week one of term, your lecturers will provide further information on which books you may wish to purchase for your course. We recommend that new students wait until freshers week before purchasing any books as the academic induction activities will help you to gain a better insight into which books will be most helpful to you. We also strongly recommend that you attend the Library Induction offered in freshers week (you will be e-mailed with a time for your library tour) as this will give you an excellent introduction to the services that the library can offer. More information: http://www.aston.ac.uk/library/
The Alumni and Development team is HERE.
The Cadbury Room on the 10th floor of the North Wing is a print-based resources room. It contains reference books, dictionaries, newspapers and magazines. Students are expected to use the material provided in the Cadbury Room for reference only in that room. Therefore, all materials should be returned to the shelves after use. A photocopier is provided for student use, operated by your student cards.
Rooms NX6A and NX6B, which are also on the 10th floor of the North Wing, both have audio-visual resources and computers for student use. NX06A is open 24 hours 7 days a week and NX06B is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm from Monday to Friday for use by all students of the School of Languages and Social Sciences. Please note that food and drink are not allowed in the Cadbury Room, NX6A or NX6B.
All students can and should use the Main Library. You do not need to join the Library separately as you automatically become a member when you enrol with the University. The barcode on the University Identity Card shows your Library membership number. You will also be given a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when you enrol, which you can use to check your account and to perform the self-service functions of borrowing, renewal, reservation, etc. If you do not know how these work, you should ask at the enquiries desk on the ground floor of the Library.
For information about these services, please click HERE (PDF download).