WELCOME TO THE SCHOOL OF LANGUAGES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES!
On behalf of all my colleagues, both academics and professional staff, I hope that your time at Aston 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. 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 will all 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 Framework (TEF) where the feedback said that “students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”.
We are 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 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.
Professor Helen E Higson OBE Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Timetabling and module registration – Mingqing Jia, Timetabling Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org)Student support team – email@example.com Exams and assessment – firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use the Staff Directory to look up contact details.
If your query or issue relates to...
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.
Dr Nur Hooton
Dr Marcello Giovanelli
Languages, Translation Studies and History
Dr Brian Sudlow
Politics and International Relations
Dr Yaprak Gursoy
Sociology and Policy
Dr Tom Mills and Dr Simon Williams
If you study on a Joint Honours programme taught entirely within LSS, each Programme Director 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:
BSc Business & International Relations
Dr Yaprak Gursoy
Dr Breno Nunes
BSc Business & Politics
BSc Business & Sociology
BSc Business, Management & Public Policy
Dr Tom Mills and Dr Simon Williams
BSc Business Management and English Language
Dr Erika Darics
BSc International Business and Modern Languages French
BSc International Business and Modern Languages German
BSc International Business and Modern Languages Mandarin Chinese
BSc International Business and Modern Languages Spanish
BSc International Business and Modern Languages French and German
BSc International Business and Modern Languages French and Spanish
BSc International Business and Modern Languages German and Spanish
BSc Politics and Economics
Dr Robert Riegler
Programmes delivered jointly by LSS and LHS:
BSc Psychology & English Language
Dr Kate Nicholls
Dr Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton
BSc Psychology & Sociology
Dr Richard Cooke
Dr Tom Mills and Dr Simon Williams
Each programme has a Programme Director, as follows:
MA Forensic Linguistics
MSc Forensic Linguistics (by distance learning)
Dr Krzysztof Kredens
Dr Kate Haworth
Double MA Europe and the World (with Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lille)
MA European Union and International Relations
Double MA Governance and International Politics (with Otto-Friedrich-Universitat, Bamberg)
MA International Relations and Global Governance
Joint MA Multilevel Governance and International Relations (with Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Rennes)
MA Conflict and Security (with Metropolitan University of Prague)
Dr Patrycja Rozbicka
MA Sociology and Social Research
MA Policy and Social Research
Dr Hermann Aubié
Dr Muna Morris-Adams
MA TESOL and Translation Studies
Dr Muna Morris-Adams and Dr Olga Castro (TP1) / Prof Frank Austermühl (TP2)
MA Translation in a European Context
MA Translation Studies
Dr Olga Castro (TP1) / Prof Frank Austermühl (TP2)
MSc TESOL (by distance learning)
MSc Educational Management in TESOL (by distance learning)
Dr Sue Garton
You can also follow Aston LSS on Facebook and Twitter
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 to '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 outcomes and aims 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/20189_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 familiar 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.
Term dates and university holiday information can be found HERE.
Your Module timetable Your individual timetable will be available online through MAP More information about your personal academic timetable is available HERE. Please check your timetable regularly:
If you notice or problem, or have any queries relating to your timetable or module enrolment, please contact the LSS Timetabling Officer, Mingqing Jia (email@example.com).
Changing Optional Modules In Weeks 1 and 2, or 15 and 16, any changes to optional modules must be arranged through the LSS Timetabling Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 Head(s) of Department(s) concerned and final approval sought from the Associate Dean, Regulations and Awards. A form must be completed and handed into the School Reception.
Reading Week Week 6 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 normal timetabled contact hours.
Please note, occasionally modules do not include a Reading Week and normal study and contact hours continue for Week 6.
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.
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.
Absence If you are absent from class because of illness please notify the Student Support Team: email@example.com
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 BlackBoard in LSS Student Information>Assessment.
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.
For further information please visit the MyEngagement webpage.
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.
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 your MAP home page in the Degree Programme information section.
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.
The current External Examiner(s) for your degree are:
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.
Placements generally fall into one of three types:
Documentation on assistantships, companies and universities is available for reference from the Careers+Placements Team. A complete series of briefing meetings, 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.
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 at Aston University 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. 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 Students’ Union. They are supported by your Vice President (Education) who represents and campaigns for your academic interests at a University level both at the University and Nationally.
You can become the representative for your course and help us to make education at Aston great. In the autumn term we run elections for you to decide who will be your Student Rep for the year. We encourage you to get involved by either standing to be a Student Rep, voting 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) (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also find out more by visiting www.astonsu.com/voice/representation/
For interim feedback, please speak to the module leader, or a student representative.
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. For non-final year undergraduate students, the University also runs the Student Satisfaction Survey. We value your opinions and so we use the results of these surveys to enhance and improve your learning experience.
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 Regulations and Awards. General problems relating to programmes or subjects as a whole can be referred to a student representative, or the Programme Director. If after this you are still experiencing problems, please refer to the section on Student Suggestions, Comments, Complaints and Concerns.
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.
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: email@example.com or visit the website at: www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/iss/
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Hub website at: www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/
Student Funds Administrator
The Student Funds Administrator provides advice on managing money, assistance in cases of unexpected hardship, and financial assistance 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 Administrator by telephone +44 (0)121 204 4031, by email at: email@example.com or visit the Hub website at: www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/fau/
The Hub Advice Zone is located on the Ground Floor of the Main Building.
The Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Service
The Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Service is a confidential service, staffed by qualified, experienced counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health specialists.
Meeting with 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.
The service is located in the Hub on the Ground Floor of the Main Building.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information can also be found on the service web site: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/counselling/
The Enabling Team
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.
Telephone: 0121 204 4007/5015
Located on the Ground Floor of the Main Building
The Visa Compliance Team
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.
The team also manage the process for exchange students, short term students, academic researchers and professional visitors to the University.
Telephone: 0121 204 4007
The Finance Centre
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 website either through- New Students Finance Information Website link or through the Current Student link Finance - All the help and support you need
How to contact us:
Contact Form: https://form.jotformeu.com/80304227147348
Telephone: 0121 204 4355
You can also pay online by clicking on: www.aston.ac.uk/payments
Additional useful Contacts:
If you have any queries about the amount of fee you are being charged:
In Person: Visit the Advice Zone
Telephone: 0121 204 4689
You are provided with a named personal tutor who will work with you throughout your studies. Personal tutoring operates to the following principles:
How the Personal Tutor system works At the beginning of your studies at Aston, you will be allocated a Personal Tutor, which is shown on your MAP account. They are available either at the times stated on their office doors or through WASS. If you are not sure who your Personal Tutor is, then contact email@example.com. You will be invited to meet your Personal Tutor in the early weeks of each term. It is important that you then keep in regular contact with your Personal Tutor, seeking advice before problems develop and keeping them informed of your progress. If at any stage you feel the need to change your Personal Tutor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If your Personal Tutor is due to be away on sabbatical leave for part of an academic year, you will be informed of arrangements relating to personal tutor support during that period, but if in doubt, please contact email@example.com.
Further information More information about personal tutors can be accessed via the links below: http://www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/academic-support/personal-tutoring-guide-for-students/ http://www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/academic-support/personal-tutors-toolkit/key-contacts-and-support-services-for-students/
The Academic Services teams provide a range of administrative support services for students throughout your time at Aston, from initial application to graduation.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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 and located in the Students’ Union, 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: email@example.com
Placement Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 students to build employability skills for their CV’s and start building your professional network.
List of programmes for 2018-19
How to contact us:
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/
Aston has extensive IT facilities with over 1,100 desktop computers specifically for student use. These are located in 30 separate computer areas across the campus.
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. You can search for available computers via the myAston mobile application or via our student guide on the IT website (details listed below) enabling you to identify them without visiting each location.
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, My Aston Portal (MAP), Blackboard VLE and much more. You can view the guide online at; http://www.aston.ac.uk/ict/studentguide
The IT 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;
Main Building East, Ground Floor
Tel: 0121 204 3445
Follow us on Twitter @aston_its for tips, latest issues and new service information.
The 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 http://www.aston.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/languages-social-sciences/tutorials/
or in person on the first floor of the Library building.
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 also 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 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.
Telephone: 0121 204 3040
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 email@example.com
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).
Telephone: 0121 204 4525
Twitter and Facebook
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:
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: https://www1.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/chaplaincy/
or follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Telephone: 0121 204 4729
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 http://www.aston.ac.uk/staff/hr/equalops/
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 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
Telephone: 0121 204 4562
Location: 1 Woodcock Street (entrance on Coleshill Street), Birmingham B7 4BL
Information is available via the Academic Services Regulations and Policies Page.
Suggestions, Comments, Complaints and Concerns
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.
Detailed information is available via the A-Z of Academic Regulations and Policies, including the following important areas:
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 services and activities provided by the Students’ Union 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 great academic representation from the Student Voice department, and there is a first class Advice and Representation Centre to support the health and well-being 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!
Plus the SU is home to the JobShop, where you can gain assistance in finding part- time work and becoming more employable.
Whatever you need at Aston, the SU is the place to go…and from March 2019, they’ll have a brand new building!
The new SU will retain the best of their existing services, but also add new facilities to broaden their appeal. The Ground Floor will provide a comfortable, welcoming social space to meet friends and grab a coffee. Plus, there will be a plush new bar, better facilities for clubs to train, and more spaces for societies to have meetings and social events.
To get the most out of your student experience, make sure you get involved with your Students’ Union. Find out more about all the great services available at the Union at www.astonsu.com
Amna Atteeq-Union President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alice Coombes -Vice President Welfare: email@example.com
Jake Graham -Vice President Student Activities: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ifti Hussain-Vice President Education: email@example.com
If you’d like to speak to someone in person, please telephone Union Reception on 0121 204 4855 or pop in to see us 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
Aston Student Voice
At the Aston Students’ Union your voice is at the heart of everything we do and the Student Voice team are here to empower you to make a difference during your time at Aston.
So what do we do? Well we support:
Ultimately we are only as strong as our voice which is you! So get involved and let’s see how loud our voice gets and how we can make a difference to Aston students together. You can find out more by visiting: www.astonsu.com/voice/
Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) is a professional advice Centre run by Aston Students’ Union.
ARC is here to help throughout your time at Aston University. Experienced and qualified staff offer advice on a wide range of issues, study related or personal, and can refer you on for specialist services. ARC offers free, independent advice that is confidential, in a friendly and welcoming environment. ARC advisers can represent and support you at formal hearings and appeals.
Advice from ARC is:
ARC offers advice and support with a range of subject areas including:
ARC provides information on sexual health and alcohol and substance abuse and can signpost students to specialist services.
Students can collect health costs forms, income tax forms, maps, and information about bus routes and time tables.
Hate Crime Reporting
ARC is recognised by West Midland Police as a third party hate crime reporting centre.
Contact the Advice & Representation Centre
ARC – First Floor, Aston Students’ Union
0121 204 4848
Open Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
ARC is a member of AdviceUK the largest network of independent advice agencies. ARC is 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.
First Floor, Aston Students' Union
You'll find us on the 1st Floor, Students' Union. We provide all the printing, copying and binding services you will need, all at affordable prices.
We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and we always try to provide service with a smile...even on deadline day!
You can find all our prices online at www.astonsu.com/explore/copyshop/ and if there is anything you're not sure of, please call us on 0121 204 4834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
During term-time, we're open Monday – Friday: 8.30am – 5.00pm
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Second Floor, Aston Students' Union
Head up to the second floor of the Union to check out our newly refurbished social study area!
The Loft can seat up to 100 students, and it’s open to everyone - from first years to final years to postgrads; you are all welcome! It is open 8am – 11pm Monday - Friday during term time, and 8am - 5pm Monday - Friday out of term.
The Loft also has power supplies on every table, and a Presentation Suite with projector that can be booked out for group work and studious get-togethers.
To book time in the Presentation Suite, please visit Student Activities, email email@example.com or phone 0121 204 5205.
Here's to happy studying!
Bookings are made on first come first served basis.
Teaching takes priority so some rooms may not be available, particularly during the exam period.
Please note rooms may be changed at short notice; if this should happen every effort will be made to offer a suitable alternative room.
0121 204 4855
It should be noted that if attendees or organisers are non- Aston students they may be subject to charges for hire of room and equipment. To book and make enquiries about availability of equipment email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone ext. 4221
N.B. Collections/returns MB509
http://learning-spaces.tlc.aston.ac.uk - Teaching and Learning Community Supporting our staff and students' use of learning technologies please save energy - logout and switch off
Non-Aston students attending must be provided with proof of attendance such ID badges or stickers indicating the event they are attending.
For events that take place after hours, advice on procedures should be sought from the Security team email@example.com
Signage and use of tables and chairs in the foyer can be booked by firstname.lastname@example.org
Aston Students’ Union – Student Activities office
Nadine Al-Kudcy, Student Activities Manager, email@example.com
Rachel Smith, Societies Engagement Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org