Coronavirus update

On-campus Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) Monday 20 August

From Monday 20 September we will have a mobile testing unit (MTU) on campus offering Covid-19 testing to students and staff. We continue to encourage all our students, in the UK or those arriving in the UK, to take a Covid-19 test twice a week, three days apart. The MTU will be located on the pedestrian area of Aston Street and will be on-site for two weeks.

Opening times: Monday 10am-3pm and Tuesday - Friday (9am-3pm)

How to book: You will need to book an appointment on the national portal for the PCR test at the MTU.

Where do I need to go? Pedestrian area of Aston Street

Please see below for more details about testing on-campus.

The Aston Covid Test Centre continues to be operational in G7 in the Main Building. Here you can still collect home test kits should this be more convenient.

If you receive a negative result, you should:

  • Participate in twice weekly testing as advised by email

In the event of a positive test, you should:

For more information visit our COVID test centre page.

If you have coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Get a test now

Do not leave home/your accommodation or flat for 10 days after your test

If you show Covid-19 symptoms, follow Government guidance to self-isolate, get tested and inform us.

Key contacts

Emergency - Campus Safety on 0121 204 4803 or via the the SafeZone app available 24/7.

Student Services Team advice and guidance: the hub or call 0121 204 4007.

Email: General queries

Aston Together

We're proud of our Aston University community and how we look after each other. We have never needed each other more than we do today. Help us to help each other by being considerate to others and behaving appropriately at all times. By working together we can all help to make Aston a safer place.

Key points

  • The COVID-19 vaccination is now being offered to everyone aged 16 or over in the UK – see ‘Covid-19 vaccinations’ under Quick Menu below
  • Access to the Student Services Hub helpdesk is available via email and telephone as usual and staff will be on campus from 9am-2pm daily.
  • For all IT queries please use Solve.
  • Before attending on-campus sessions or entering Aston buildings, students must take participate in twice weekly lateral flow testing.
  • Wearing a face covering is now a personal choice. For the safety of our community we recommend that you wear one indoor and in crowded spaces.
  • Aston has a team who is closely monitoring and managing the situation and is acting on advice of Public Health England, Universities UK and the NHS.
  • We will be updating this advice as new Government and Public Health England guidance emerges.
  • For any general student queries or queries about teaching, assessments and exams please contact us.
  • For absences and visa queries please contact engagement.
keep-safe

Quick menu 

Covid-19 Vaccines

How will I be invited for the COVID-19 vaccination?

The COVID-19 vaccination is being offered to everyone aged 18 or over at local sites run by GPs or community pharmacies, at larger vaccination centres and in some hospitals. Local areas may also work with partners to set up ‘pop up’ temporary clinics at locations convenient for students to access, for example, on university campuses.

Students registered with a GP can book their appointment at a larger vaccination centre, a community pharmacy run site or at some GP run sites through National Booking Service website or by phoning 119.

Those who are registered with a GP will also receive an invitation to be vaccinated from their GP practice.

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.GP practices should support unregistered patients and those without an NHS number to access the vaccine.

You may have already received your vaccinations if you are at higher risk of COVID-19, are on a placement as a frontline health or care worker, are an unpaid carer, or are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed.

I'm registered with a GP in my hometown, but not where I study, or vice versa - what do I do?

If you are 18 or over and registered with a GP practice, you can book both appointments online through the National Booking Service  at a location that is convenient to you, or book a first dose through your GP and a second dose in a different location through the National Booking Service.

How can I access my second dose if I am in a different location to where I had my first dose?

The NHS has published FAQs on Second Doses in general.

In general, patients should return to the place they had their first dose to have their second dose. However, it is appropriate for students to receive their second dose in a different location to their first dose due to their circumstances. The National Booking Service has an option to book or re-arrange the second vaccination appointment at a different location to the first appointment.

If you had a first dose in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, but are in England at the time of your second dose, you should either 1) book a second dose through the National Booking Service (if you are registered with a GP in England and therefore have an English NHS number); 2) register with a GP in England and book an appointment that way; or 3) approach a local GP and ask to be vaccinated as an unregistered patient.

NHS England is working with the NHS in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to ensure that records of vaccinations in those nations flow into a patient’s English NHS record.

Can students due to start a health or social care placement be vaccinated before their placement starts?

All adults in the UK aged 18 or over should be offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 19 July 2021.

Anyone who starts working in the NHS or in social care and has not been vaccinated should be offered the vaccination through occupational health departments or be aware of where they can access the vaccination through their employer. 

The second dose should not be brought forward in these circumstances.

What if a student eligible for their first dose in England but will be abroad for their second dose (e.g. overseas placement)?

You should contact the health service in the country where you are resident at the time the second dose is due.

How can students obtain a COVID vaccine certificate?

This is information on GOV.UK about COVID vaccine certification/

Where can students find more information?

See the NHS Covid Vaccination information to find out more about the COVID-19 vaccination.

Covid-19 Vaccinations - International Students

Are international students eligible for the vaccination?

Anybody ages 18 or over the UK is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

Do international students need to pay for the vaccine?

Nobody in England has to pay for the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge and does not count as the kind of care that requires payment.

International students or anyone seeing requests for payment should report this activity to their university institution and the Action Fraud. More information on COVID-19 vaccine scams is on the Action Fraud website.

Do International students need to be registered with a GP to get a vaccination

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

How does an international student get an NHS number?

You can approach your local GP practice, saying you would like to register for the purposes of receiving the vaccine.

Are any dependents of international students also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

Anyone in England is eligible for the vaccine if they fall within the current eligibility criteria set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and should come forward once it is their turn.

How does an international student get a vaccine?

We encourage our international students to register with a GP and get an NHS number.

An NHS number can be found on any letter the NHS has sent you, on a prescription, or by logging in to a GP practice online service. You can also find an NHS number using this tool.

It is possible to request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient by approaching a local GP practice.

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

See NHS registration for more information on GP registration.

I'm an international student and not registered with a GP, will I still be invited for a vaccination?

Students who are not registered with a GP will not be proactively contacted by a local NHS service. We encourage all students to register with a GP and they can be directed to the NHS registration for more information.

However, international students can book their vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service with their NHS number if they have previously received NHS treatment. You can also find an NHS number using this tool.

What should an international student do if they've received their first does of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad, and it is not a vaccine that is being offered in England?

If you have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, you should receive the same vaccine for their second dose. If the vaccine you received for your first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered as per the advice (see sections on vaccine interchangeability guidance).

Where can I find more information?

See NHS COVID Vaccination for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the GOV website for information on COVID restrictions.

Access to the Library and Main Building

Can I access the Library over the summer?

From Monday 14 June the Library opening hours will be changing for the summer vacation period, please see below:

Library Building: Monday – Friday 9am - 9pm and Saturday – Sunday 12pm - 5pm

Online support is available Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

For any queries contact the library or 0121 204 4525 or live chat service.

What study spaces are available in main building?

Additional study spaces have been made available for individual and group study in the main building. The spaces have been marked out and labelled in terms o the maximum number of students that can safely use the space following government social distancing guidelines.

table
What are the opening times for the main building?

Those students on practical-based courses that required to come onto campus for teaching will be able to access the Main Building from Monday 8 March from 8am to 8pm.

How can I access the main building?

You will need to enter the building from the fountain side and as with all Aston buildings. However, you will need to participate in twice weekly lateral flow testing before entering and follow Covid-19 safety measures once inside. Book your test today.

Using the library

The Library is open on campus for essential study access, private individual study and collecting materials only, but we can only keep the building open if we all work together to keep it a safe place to study.

We have extended the library hours until midnight during the week and at weekends and encourage students who live on campus to use the library only after 6pm to enable fairer access across the day.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 9am to Midnight

Saturday and Sunday 10am to Midnight

We are committed to:

  • monitoring the use of the library and if numbers reach capacity, students can be given a study ticket to use designated computer labs in the Main Building.
  • providing real time updates and allowing re-entry as soon as possible.
  • minimising wait times.

We ask you to agree to:

  • come alone for single private study, we are unable to accommodate groups.
  • wear a face covering.
  • maintain a 2-metre distance from others.
  • be respectful and follow requests from university staff.
Who can use the library building during this time?

As you know, the Government is asking students to "Stay at Home" and study away from the campus for the time being. It acknowledges, however, that students in the following categories will need to have access to study space on campus:

  • students taking part in compulsory on campus sessions,
  • international students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation,
  • those who have remained in their student accommodation over the winter break
  • those who have returned to student accommodation in exceptional circumstances, (for example because they are without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation),
  • those requiring additional support, including those with mental health and wellbeing issues,
  • commuter students, on an exceptional basis, who require access to university facilities to access online learning (for example because they do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their usual accommodation).

We remain committed to making sure that safe study space is available for students who are covered by the categories above. In turn we need students who access the library to respect the health and safety of fellow students and staff by following the instructions for use of the library.

Online library resources

For those of you who are currently studying away from the campus, all online library services and resources are accessible through the Library website and Library Smart Search. For help and advice with your learning or research, you can contact library staff via phone 0121 204 4525, you can also email the library or online chat. Enquiry services will operate as usual from 9-6pm. You can also make an online appointment with your Information Specialist who is happy to help with providing learning support materials.

September 2021 Teaching and Learning

September 2021 Teaching and Learning

For the new academic year, we will be offering a blended learning experience in which you will benefit from a rich mix of in person (on campus) learning, together with some asynchronous and synchronous online learning.  This provides the best of both worlds, with the opportunity to engage with other students and staff on campus through learning activities such as seminars, workshops, discussions groups, practical and laboratory work;  but also virtually, with the ability to do some learning more flexibly online at times that best suit around individual circumstances such as family and work commitments. The exact combination of activities will vary according to programme, but there will be a range of learning approaches that you have told us in student feedback you found beneficial.  You will be actively engaged as a member of Aston’s learning community throughout your studies both in person and online.  

There will be plenty of opportunities for you to meet up with fellow students and members of staff on campus, and the online learning elements enable you to develop and enhance your digital skills which are highly sought by employers. 

All the usual facilities on campus will be available including the Library, Student and Academic Services, learning support activities, Sports, and social activities through the many societies and sports clubs run by the Aston Students’ Union.

Our primary focus is the continued safety, health and wellbeing of our students and staff, and we will follow public health advice and make adjustments to delivery during the Academic Year in response to public health advice.   

Information about student testing

How to book a test?

You can book an appointment via the COVID-19 on campus test centre booking page, you will need to make an appointment before you attend the walk-in testing centre. 

Students who are in quarantine should first self-isolate for 10 days and then book a lateral flow test at the on-campus test centre. If you would like to receive a home test kit, you can find more information at Gov.uk.

How often do I need to take an asymptomatic (no symptom) test?

The Government has announced that all students or staff attending on-campus sessions, and using on-campus facilities, must take two lateral flow tests per week. These tests will help reduce transmission of the virus from students and staff that show no symptoms.

Where can I book a lateral flow test?

‘local asymptomatic test centre’

‘I am showing symptoms of Covid-19, can I use the Aston test centre?’ then ‘No, the Aston Test Centre is for asymptomatic (no symptom) students

I want to travel back to campus, should I get a lateral flow test before I leave home or when I arrive at Aston?’ then ‘It may be more convenient to get a test at a local asymptomatic test centre

Do I need to use the Covid Test Centre or can I find a local test?

New accordion content - You may also use a local asymptomatic test centre if it's easier but you do need to report the results to us. There is no charge for this.

Can I book a test for the morning of my on-campus teaching session?

Yes, student who have on-campus sessions scheduled will be able to book a test for the morning of their session and will be able to attend their on-campus session if the result is negative.

Returning to campus after a positive test result

If you have Covid-19 symptoms you are required by law to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test result, even if you are asymptomatic.  After 10 days, providing any fever has subsided, current medical science confirms that individuals are no longer infectious and there is no need to self-isolate, but you must continue to follow the guidance on wearing a face mask, hand washing and keeping a safe 2m distance from others. 

I have tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 90 days, do I need a lateral flow test?

No, if you have received a positive PCR (Covid-19) test result within the past 90 days then you do not need to take a rapid lateral flow test as you will have antibodies your system which will show as a positive result.

How do I book an asymptomatic (no symptom) test?

You can book an appointment via the COVID-19 test centre booking page, you will need to make an appointment before you attend the walk-in testing centre.  

In the event of a positive test, you should: 

  • Inform us at covid-19 reporting 
  • Self-isolate for 10 days (your household should also self-isolate and there are fines of up to £1,000 for breaking this Government rule 

If you receive a negative result, you should:

The test centre is safe and managed in accordance with Government guidance.

Keep an eye on our coronavirus FAQ page for the latest updates.

Can I eat and drink before taking a lateral flow test?

You must not eat or drink for 30 minutes prior to taking a test.

I am showing symptoms of Covid-19, can I use the Covid Test Centre?

No, the Covid Test Centre is for asymptomatic (no symptom) students and staff only. If you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 and feel unwell you should book a test at a national test centre. 

If I only have one on-campus session per week, do I still need to take two tests?

You will need to take a test on the morning of your on-campus session and if the result is negative, you will be able to attend your session.

Do I need to travel onto campus just for a test?

No, you can book your test on the morning of your on-campus session as results will be made available to you within an hour.

Do I have to take a test before entering any Aston building, including the library and the Students' Union?

If you are required to attend an on-campus session as part of your studies, or if you need to use the Library in accordance with the exemptions outlined under the ‘Lockdown update’ section, you must participate in twice weekly lateral flow testing and receive a negative result prior to entering any Aston buildings. If you are only on campus once a week you will take one lateral flow test. 

If you do not take a test you must self-isolate for 10 days before entering any Aston buildings. 

For further information about the Government guidance on the return to campus and student testing please see the Department for Education guidance. 

Do I need to take a test before returning to my accommodation?

Before you return to your accommodation for the first time you should take a lateral flow test to help reduce transmission of asymptomatic cases of the virus.

I am a commuter student travelling into campus twice a week to enter the library building, do I need to take a lateral flow test each time?

You will need to follow the Government guidance and participate in twice weekly lateral flow testing prior to entering the library building.

I want to travel back to campus, should I get a lateral flow test before I leave home or when I arrive at Aston?

It may be more convenient to get a test at a local asymptomatic test centre before travelling back to Aston and if the result is negative this is acceptable as one of the required tests for entering Aston buildings. You will need to report the result to us.

I am an international, student travelling to the UK, do I need to do a test prior to leaving my home country?

The UK government announced on 8 January that passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken up to 72 hours before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally. Prior to departure, passengers will need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to airlines as well as on their passenger locator form. Passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list must self-isolate for 10 days, even if their pre-departure test result was negative. Find out more information.

I am an international student and have been tested prior to leaving my home country, do I still need to book lateral flow tests before entering Aston buildings?

We appreciate that you will have been tested prior to travelling to the UK and will then be in a period of quarantine. You must, however, book in for a test prior to attending any on-campus sessions so that we can all help keep our community safe.

Do I have to pay for a rapid lateral flow test?

There is no charge for a lateral flow test as the Aston Test Centre or a national asymptomatic test centre.

Can you post me a self-testing kit?

Yes, if you live in a remote area and don’t have access to testing, a postal test kit can be sent to you. Please contact our safety team to request one.

Do I need to show my negative result to obtain entry to a building?

No, but we are actively monitoring those that have been tested and keeping a record.

Can I still enter an Aston building if I don't take a lateral flow test?

Yes, but we’re asking all students and staff as part of their civic duty to help protect each other and our community to participate in twice weekly testing as outlined by the Government.

What if all the test appointment slots are full?

We actively monitor the slots and if they start to get full, we open more slots. There should always be capacity.

How can I help to control the virus?

You can help control the virus by: 

  • observing social contact rules 
  • keeping your distance when on campus and where possible 
  • washing or sanitising your hands regularly 
  • downloading the NHS COVID-19 app before attend on-campus activities, if possible, and checking in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters. 
After I have had the vaccine will I still need to follow all the infection control advice?

Following vaccination, you will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes.

To continue to protect yourself, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: 

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current University guidance
Will I still need to continue to have the lateral flow tests after I have been given the vaccine

Yes. We don’t yet know whether individuals who have been vaccinated could still transmit COVID-19 disease to others. To protect yourself, colleagues, family and friends, you should still test and act accordingly if you get a positive result.

Could vaccination cause a false-positive COVID-19 lateral flow device (LFD) antigen test result, or a false-positive PCR test result?

No. The LFD test detects a different protein of the virus than the one encoded in the vaccine, and the PCR test detects different genes of the virus than the one included in the vaccine.  There is no possibility of cross reaction or a false positive.

 On-campus COVID-19 Test Centre

From Monday 30 November, in response to the NHS National Testing Programme, we are providing an on-campus Covid-19 testing facility to allow students who aren't showing any symptoms (asymptomatic) to take a test before University facilities.

Book your COVID-19 test online today.

Can I collect a home testing kit from the Covid Test Centre?

The test centre booking system is now open for bookings to be made to collect home test kits, you will now find four services on the booking page which allow you to book morning, lunch, afternoon tests and collect all day slots.

Book your collection.

What are the Covid Test Centre opening times?

From Thursday 1 July the Covid Test Centre (previously known as the Aston Test Centre) will move from Conference Aston to MB G7 in the main building, this is the area previously known as Cafè 66 and is adjacent to Cafè Tierra.

The centre is open on:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am - 3pm

Tuesday and Thursday 8am - 2pm

For tests and collection of home test kits.

After I have had the vaccine will I still need to follow all the infection control advice?

Following vaccination, you will still need to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programmes.

To continue to protect yourself, your family, friends and colleagues you should follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • Follow the current University guidance
Will I still need to continue to have the lateral flow tests after I have been given the vaccine

Yes. We don’t yet know whether individuals who have been vaccinated could still transmit COVID-19 disease to others. To protect yourself, colleagues, family and friends, you should still test and act accordingly if you get a positive result.

Could vaccination cause a false-positive COVID-19 lateral flow device (LFD) antigen test result, or a false-positive PCR test result?

No. The LFD test detects a different protein of the virus than the one encoded in the vaccine, and the PCR test detects different genes of the virus than the one included in the vaccine. There is no possibility of cross reaction or a false positive.

How does testing work?

We are doing all we can to keep our community as safe as possible. Before attending on-campus sessions or entering Aston buildings, you must take two rapid tests three days apart to verify that you do not have the virus. This is one way in which we can all contribute to keeping each other and our community safe.

Our on-campus asymptomatic (no-symptom) Covid-19 test centre is now open again the Aston Conference Centre, find out more information and book your test.

If you receive a negative result, you should:

In the event of a positive test, you should:

  • Inform us at covid-19 reporting
  • Self-isolate for 10 days
  • Book in for a further test at a national centre (we have one on campus situated on Car Park 6, but if you're not local to campus please the Gov.uk website) and wait for laboratory-tested results to confirm this status.

If you are travelling back from overseas we appreciate that you will have been tested prior to travelling to the UK, and will then be in a period of quarantine. However, you must book in for one of these test prior to attending any on-campus sessions so that we can all help keep our community sage.

If you are self-isolating and you are struggling to get any food, please contact our Campus Safety team and we can arrange for a food package to be delivered to you.

Emergency - Campus Safety: on 0121 204 4803 or via the safezone app 24/7.

Why should I get a test?
  • Keep your family, friends and the community safe - not all people display symptoms of Covid-19 and can be carrying the virus unknowingly
  • It's free and results are free
  • So that you can self-isolate if you test positive
Do I have to self-isolate between tests?

No, not if your first test is negative.

Do I have to pay for a test?

No, testing is free of charge and managed by the NHS Test and Trace Team.

What if I choose not have a test?

If you choose not to have a test you should self-isolate for 10 days before attending on-campus activities.

Who can I speak to for further information?

For more information, or for any queries in relation to the asymptomatic testing centre, you can visit the COVID-19 test centre page or email covid-19testing

If you are self-isolating and you are struggling to get any food, please contact our Campus Safety team and we can arrange for a food package to be delivered to you.

Emergency – Campus Safety: on 0121 204 4803 or via the Safezone app 24/7

Staying safe

How can I travel safely around the West Midlands?

West Midlands Network is the best place to start in terms of the overall safety measures and guidance that is in place across the region. The current West Midlands Network webpage advises customers on the latest updates on travelling within their area on any mode and has the respective links to the transport operators webpages.

The transport operators have implemented a variety of measures to ensure safety and confidence whilst travelling on their respective modes and here are the links to the main ones:

National Express West Midlands have launched Travelling Safely Together with lots of advice around what to do when travelling by bus and details of how they continue to operate safely and responsibly. Network Rail have published similar helping you travel safely advice about what is happening at stations and on trains:

For general advice on safety, Transport for West Midlands provide Safer Travel advice for customers.

Helping you travel safely.

West Midlands Rail.
What do I do if I have covid-19 symptoms or I live with someone who has symptoms?

If you feel unwell stay home or in your accommodation, and if in doubt get tested. If you have any of these coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature 
  • a new, continuous cough 
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
  1. Order a test for free
  2. Do not leave home/your flat or room for at least 10 days after your test.
  3. If your test is positive inform the University by emailing us.
  4. Call NHS 111 or your doctor for advice.

If you are in shared accommodation follow the instructions as outlined by your accommodation provider. See Unite accommodation for further details. For further information on what to do when self-isolating see NHS self-isolation advice

If you live with someone who shows symptoms, you will need to isolate for 120 days from the moment they start showing symptoms. If you begin to display symptoms, you will need to follow the advice above and you can also get advice from our Safezone app. You can use the app to ask for assistance, food or prescriptions during self-isolation, using the ‘Report Something’ function.

For students who are required to quarantine on arrival in Birmingham, our Nourish Team offers an isolation food parcel which includes five days’ worth of food from fresh fruit to cupboard staples such as pasta. For further information see our food parcel online order form.

What is the latest Government advice on staying safe?
signs

Make sure you damiliarise yourselves with the Government's latest advice on washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining safe social distancing. Watch this video for more information.

Where can I find information on the number of coronavirus cases at Aston?

COVID-19 - here's how we're handling it.

A student in my flat has tested positive for covid-19. Do I need to isolate?

 

isolate
What are the social distancing rules I need to follow?

There are additional restrictions in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell, which mean that you cannot mix with others in your home or accommodation unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.  If you live in Student Accommodation each flat is counted as one household. You therefore should not be visiting or mixing with people from other flats.

If you live outside of the restricted areas in England, then you must not meet in groups of more than six when meeting with people outside of your household, and you must not meet with groups of more than six when on campus unless you are taking part in a university organised teaching session.

It is against the law to:

  • Socialise in groups larger than six
  • Attend a group gathering of more than six in an indoor or outdoor space
  • Have visitors to your flat or enter another person's flat in the Birmingham area - different households are not allowed to mix

Our onsite Campus Safety Team is on hand to support students and if you are aware of any large group gatherings these can be reported anonymously via our Safezone app or by calling 0121 359 2922.

How are you helping to keep me safe on campus?

We take the health and safety of our students, staff and the Aston University community very seriously. We have made sure extra safety measures are in place through our comprehensive health and safety risk assessments across campus and these include:

  • Sanitisers at key points across campus
  • Clear signage across campus to help you to maintain 2m distance from others where possible
  • One-way systems
  • Following guidelines around social distancing in taught sessions
  • Prioritisation of touch points for cleaning throughout the day
  • Wearing face coverings on campus
  • Lift usage is limited to use by people with seen and unseen disabilities, or where transport on stairways would not be possible or safe
  • Maximum occupancy of two people in a lift, and they must remain as far apart as possible within the lift and not face each other.
How will you keep me safe on-campus?

In addition to the health and safety measure under ‘how are you helping me to keep safe on campus’ above, if you are attending on-campus teaching sessions look out for the purple tick sticker below which indicates where it is safe to sit. These stickers have been placed to maintain a safe distance from others, in line with our social distancing measures, and we’re asking for your support to only sit in a space where you see a sticker.

social distancing seat sticker

What is the Safezone app?

As well as our Student Services Team, whose contact details are at the end of this email, did you know that if you need support at any time you can request this via the Safezone app , using the ‘Report Something’ option. You can use this if you need help or support for any number of reasons, for example:

  • You need some food
  • You need some medication
  • You are struggling with your mental health
  • You are worried about someone else
  • You have an emergency

 

safezone app img  safezone

We have a number of support services available to you and once you have reported something using the app, we will direct you to the right team so you can get the support you need as quickly as possible.

If you would like to order a food parcel or a meal package, we also have some options available via our Aston Catering Team ‘Nourish’. You can order online at the Nourish webpage.

We have a wide range of both staff and students who are part of our Aston University volunteering team, and they are based all across the city, so even if you don’t live directly on our campus we can still provide you with support if you need it.

What is the NHS test and trace

You may have seen that the NHS has launched a new Covid-19 app as part of its test and Trace initiative, which students and staff are encouraged to download and engage with in support of our safety measures on campus. At the entrance to each building you will see a QR code to scan when entering. The graphic below provides a step-by step- illustration of how this works.

Using QR codes to check in
Do I have to wear a face covering all the time?

Wearing a face covering is now a personal choice. For the safety of our community we recommend that you wear one in indoor crowded spaces.

What are the rules on social distancing and keeping apart from others?

We expect all staff and students to maintain 2-metre social distancing from others wherever possible, in line with government advice. We also advise everyone to wash their hands frequently and to use the hand sanitiser stations provided around entrances to university buildings.

General study

How do I access my online learning materials and lectures?

Key information and resources available through our virtual learning environment, Blackboard Learn. You can login to Blackboard using your Aston username and password. You can find dedicated support information on the TLC website.

Here is a link to a video that will give you a step by step guide on how to use Blackboard.

How do I access my timetable?

Here is a link to a video that will give you a step by step guide on how to view your timetable

How do I use WASS

You can use WASS to create and sign up to bookable events - these are typically labs, tutorials and workshops associated with your modules, but could also be to book appointments with advisers in the Hub. For more information, download the student user guide.

What is get ahead?

At Aston we want to ensure that all new students have a smooth transition into university life and as such we are launching our ‘Get ahead’ programme, an engaging learning platform to help orientate all new students to life at Aston.

You can access Get Ahead and welcome events using Blackboard.

How do I get to my campus-based sessions?

If you have a session on campus, you will need to understand how to read your timetable to get to the correct room.

You may see your module number on the event, but you will also see your room number.

Anything on the Ground floor in our Main Building will start with the letter G, for example:

G18 – is in the Main building Ground floor room 18

Anything on a higher floor will start with the letters MB

MB226 means Main Building 2nd floor room 226
MB303 means Main Building 3rd floor room 303

We also have two wings coming off the main building. South Wing and North Wing, so rooms in these areas will begin with SW or NW.

SW404 means South Wing 4th floor room 404
NW502 means North Wing 5th floor room 502
You may occasional be in a room starting with NX, this still refers to the North wing, but is on the 10th floor.

The lecture theatres sometimes are referred to by name. The following are in the Main Building:

Sumpner Lecture – 6th Floor MB
Wright Lecture Theatre – 6th Floor MB
Byng Kendrick – G11 MB
The Susan Cadbury and Adrian Cadbury Lecture Theatres are in the Aston Business School Building (where the Conference Aston Hotel is).

Lecture Room 4 (ABS) and Lecture Room 5 (ABS) are also in the Aston Business School Building 

Anything in the Vison Sciences building, which is located behind the library will start with the letters VS.
VSG03 means Vison Sciences Building Ground Floor room 3

Anything that starts LIB means it is in the Library and events marked as MLK are in the Martin Luther King Centre.

What do I do if I haven't received my Student ID card?

If you haven’t yet received your university ID card, or it has been posted to your home address while you are on campus, you can request a replacement via our Solve Portal. We are currently unable to issue cards face-to-face for health and safety reasons.

Please do not worry. It will only take a few days for the card to get to you, and we want to do everything to make sure you are safe on our campus and don’t need come onto campus if you don’t have to. It is expected that all students carry their student ID card with them whilst on campus.

How do I complete my enrolment?

If you haven’t enrolled yet, or are experiencing issues with the process, you can find instructions on how to do it and what documents you’ll need on our website. We’ve also made a short video guide, which you can access by clicking the image below:

enrolment at aston

If you are a Home student, once you have completed Pre-Enrolment, you should go to your MAP homepage and click on ‘Complete Enrolment’. This will ensure you’re fully enrolled.

If you’re an International student, you should send us details of when you will be arriving on campus, so we can complete your enrolment for you. Please send your arrival details to us.

The Government has announced tighter national Covid restrictions. Universities remain open and the start of term will commence as planned on Monday.

What study skills resources are available to me?

Don’t forget that the Learning Development Centre  (LDC)  has a number of online resources to support you with your studies: 

The LDC Blackboard Module - for a range of study skills including maths, academic writing, critical analysis, and revision and exam strategies.  

One-to-one appointments on MS Teams - for academic writing, study skills and referencing. Email the learning development centre to book.   

Mathematics support - Maths support resources, including topic notes, videos and practice questions with worked solutions are available at the Maths Support @ Aston Blackboard Organisation and you can see our Maths YouTube channel. Email learning development centre maths to book an appointment.

Can I borrow a laptop?

If you need to borrow a laptop you can do so from the library. These can be taken out of the library to be used on campus but they will not work off campus.

What is MyEngagement?

For those of you attending on-campus sessions we encourage you to log onto the MyEngagement platform to keep track of your studies. The platform provides you with real-time feedback and tips on how you can progress in your course. Log into MyEngagement to find out more.

I'm having trouble accessing the University systems. What can I do?

Solve is our online portal for students and staff and is the single portal for your digital questions. You can use Solve to:

  • Source digital solutions and guides
  • Search for services and forms Report digital issues
  • Report digital issues
  • Make requests for digital support and track progress
  • Communicate with a digital services team member

You can log into Solve with your university credentials.

You can also email our digital services team or call on 44 (0) 121 204 3445

Please include relevant details including programme and/or module code so that this can be communicated to programme teams.

I'm having trouble accessing specialist applications for my course. What can I do?

Our new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) will allow you to access specialist applications required for your course, whether on or off-campus. The VDI allows you to make use of a powerful, windows-based machine from a variety of types and ages of PC, which will improve your access to university applications and systems. For more information about see the How to Access Software section of the quick start guide at Solve quick start guide.

 You can keep up with the latest news by visiting the Contact Us page.

What if I need to speak to my tutor for dissertation support?

One-to-one supervision, dissertation and office hours can be provided by phone, Skype etc. Alternative modes of assessing progress and achievement will be provided as necessary.

I am postgraduate research student, where can I get help?

Please look at the PGR Covid 19 FAQ on Blackboard or email the PGR Administration Team.

Wellbeing and Mental Health

Can I access the prayer facilities?

As of 1 March, the prayer facilities in the Students’ Union building will be open for private prayer from 11am until 6pm Monday - Friday. Prior to entry you need to receive a negative result from a lateral flow test. At this time, in line with Government restrictions, we can only accommodate private prayer and not group prayer sessions.

Who can I contact for support?

Our team in The Hub is here to offer advice, help and support. They can help with finance advice, academic support, and advice for international students. The team also offers counselling and wellbeing services and the Enabling Team is ready to assist students with disabilities. For information about how to access these services, please visit the Hub webpage.

You can contact our Student Services Teams or 0121 204 4007.

If you’re struggling with your wellbeing or mental health, our qualified counsellors/psychotherapy practitioners in the Counselling and Wellbeing Service are here for you.

You can contact them via 0121 204 4007 or by email.

Our Chaplaincy team are here for you whether you belong to a faith community or not, you are welcome to talk confidentially with a Chaplain about any problems or concerns you may have.

You can contact our Chaplaincy Team or 0121 204 4729.

Our Enabling Team offers advice and support for students with disabilities, ongoing health conditions and learning differences.

You can contact the enabling team or 0121 204 4007.

The University has also signed up to ‘Togetherall’ which is an anonymous 24/7/365 days a year on-line support community, monitored by trained professionals who keep the community safe. You can access this support free of charge through using your Aston email address to register and log in at the Togetherall website.

I am isolating, who can I speak to about support?

MyAston, also integrates with SafeZone – our safety and security app, which enables students and staff to send alerts to our Campus Safety Team by pressing a single button. SafeZone can be used in instances where an emergency response is required, such as first-aid, or other emergency response, as well as general assistance. You can also use the app to ask for food or prescriptions during self-isolation, using the ‘Report Something’ section.  We ask all students who are on coming onto campus to sign up to SafeZone.

Our Student Services Teams are on hand to offer support so please get in touch or 0121 204 4007. Our advisors are checking in with students who are isolating by phone and video calls.

Accommodation

All accommodation on and around the Aston University campus is offered by private providers. For all Unite accommodation queries see the FAQs on their website.

Careers and Placements

Our sector-leading Career and Placements team is committed to giving you the advice, tools, and guidance you need to help you plan your career, whether you are on campus or working remotely. The majority of their events, activities and appointments are currently being delivered online, but there are also opportunities for you to meet with the team on-campus via their 'careers touchpoints'. All events and touchpoints are bookable online through Aston Futures. For more information, please visit Careers and Placements.

More information is available on how to access the Careers and Placements online and on-campus offering.

More information is available to view answers to some of the most frequently asked Careers and Placements related questions.

Information for international students

How can I apply for the red list quarantine discount?

A task will be available in MAP as part of your enrolment process. You will then need to submit supporting evidence of your red list quarantine stay, and we will arrange for the discounts to be applied to your tuition fees at the end of September.

I am traveling back to Aston from a red list country, is there any support available to me?

If you are travelling from a 'red list' country, the current restrictions state that you must pay to stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days on arrival in the UK. In order to support you with this, Aston University is offering a Red List Welcome Grant of up to £2,285, covering the full cost of quarantining on arrival in the UK. This grant is currently only available to the following students:

  • New starters (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • Returning undergraduates

The Red List Welcome Grant will be available to students enrolling at Aston University in September 2021, and will not be available to any family members or dependents that may be travelling with you. The amount up to £2,285 will be awarded as a discount on your tuition fee payment. You will be required to provide evidence of your quarantine hotel booking in order to receive the Red List Welcome Grant.

If you are studying at Aston University in January 2022, we will update this guidance in the autumn to inform you as to whether the Red List Welcome Grant will still be available.

For more information, including terms and conditions, see below.

What is the 'Red List Welcome Grant' and what are the terms and conditions?

Aston University recognises that certain restrictions and conditions on travel to the UK, arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, are likely to remain in place at the point when new students join us for courses commencing in September 2021. In recognition of this, any students who are required to quarantine on arrival in the UK in order to commence or continue their studies in September 2021, the University will offer up to £2,285 reimbursement, subject to students meeting each of the conditions and restrictions listed below.

The costs will be reimbursed to students by means of a tuition fee discount, which will be applied to the tuition fees as a scholarship. The costs will not be met up-front and there is no cash-alternative.

The cost reimbursed will depend on the specific amount that you pay for your quarantine hotel:

  • Rate for bookings made on or before 11 August 2021: £1,750
  • Rate for bookings made on or after 4am on 12 August 2021: £2,285

Conditions:

In order to be eligible for reimbursement, students must:

  1. You have accepted an offer from the University to study a full time degree programme beginning in September 2021 and have met all offer conditions enabling you to enrol at the University (please note, if you are studying at the ONCAMPUS Aston Foundation Centre you will not be eligible)
     
  2. You are classified as an Overseas student for tuition fee purposes
     
  3. You are liable to pay the full tuition fees confirmed for the 2021-22 academic year (A student will not be entitled to receive this grant in any academic year for which they do not have to pay tuition fees) 
     
  4. If you are repeating your studies you are not eligible regardless of whether you are repeating with attendance, without attendance, or with partial attendance.
     
  5. You are not a returning Postgraduate student i.e. you must be starting your postgraduate studies in September 2021 
     
  6. On the day of departure to the UK, you are domiciled in, and travelling from, a country which is listed on the UK government’s list of countries from which new arrivals are required to quarantine on arrival in the UK
     
  7. Where required, you have been issued with a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS) by the University, and valid Student Route visa by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI)
     
  8. You arrive in the UK in time to complete quarantine and enrolment (including visa scanning) prior to the enrolment deadline for your course
     
  9. You have satisfactorily engaged with your studies for the first semester (in accordance with the published Student Engagement Policy) and remain enrolled for their second semester, failure to do this may result in the grant being revoked
     
  10. You complete an online application form (to be published in September 2021), and provide a valid receipt of payment for UK government quarantine and/or any other evidence reasonably requested by Aston University
     
  11. You are not eligible for reimbursement from any other source, for example through financial sponsors.
     
  12. If you are quarantining in the same room as another student coming to Aston, you will only be entitled to the amount you have personally paid for your quarantine room e.g £2,285, £1,750, £1,430 or £650

Restrictions

This offer is subject to change in line with UK Government requirements at the time of departure. If Government requirements are changed so that students are no longer required by law to quarantine in a government designated hotel on arrival in the UK, this offer will no longer apply.

For the avoidance of doubt, no sums will be directly payable to the student but the student will be reimbursed by way of a tuition fee discount which will be applied to the tuition fees.

This offer is only available to students whose courses are solely based at the Aston University campus in Birmingham, UK. It is not available to students studying at partner institutions, or students studying by Distance Learning.

The offer is not currently applicable to students starting their programmes in January 2022. The situation in relation to those students will be reviewed in accordance with Government guidelines in place at that time.

The offer is not available to students who started their course before May 2021.

The University will not reimburse any additional costs incurred as a result of students having to extend their period of quarantine due to a positive Covid-19 test.

COVID-19 vaccinations - International students

Are international students eligible for the vaccination? Anybody aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

Do international students need to pay for the vaccine? Nobody in England has to pay for the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge and does not count as the kind of care that requires payment.

International students or anyone seeing requests for payment should report this activity to their university institution and to Action Fraud. More information on COVID-19 vaccine scams is on the Action Fraud website.

Do international students need to be registered with a GP to get a vaccination? While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

How does an international student get an NHS number? You can approach your local GP practice, saying you would like to register for the purposes of receiving the vaccine.

Are any dependents of international students also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination? Anyone in England is eligible for the vaccine if they fall within the current eligibility criteria set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and should come forward once it is their turn.

How does an international student get a vaccine? We encourage our international students to register with a GP and get an NHS number.

An NHS number can be found on any letter the NHS has sent you, on a prescription, or by logging in to a GP practice online service. You can also find an NHS number using this tool.

It is possible to request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient by approaching a local GP practice.

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

See nhs.uk/register  for more information on GP registration.

I’m an international student and not registered with a GP, will I still be invited for a vaccination? Students who are not registered with a GP will not be proactively contacted by a local NHS service. We encourage all students to register with a GP and they can be directed to www.nhs.uk/register for more information.

However, international students can book their vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service with their NHS number if they have previously received NHS treatment. You can also find an NHS number using this tool.

What should an international student do if they’ve received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad, and it is not a vaccine that is being offered in England? If you have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, you should receive the same vaccine for their second dose. If the vaccine you received for your first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered as per the advice here (see sections on vaccine interchangeability guidance).

You should contact a GP to ensure you receive an appropriate vaccine for their second dose.

Where can I find more information? See nhs.uk/covid-vaccination  for more information about the Covid-19 vaccine and www.gov.uk for information on COVID restrictions.

How long will I need to quarantine once I arrive in the UK?

You will be required to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, either in a managed quarantine hotel or in your own accommodation. Check the latest information about entering the UK

If you have travelled from or through a red list country 10 days before arrival, you must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. This applies to students who are British or Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, e.g. international students.

International student 'Visa Health Check'

If you are an international student, please complete the 'Visa Health Check' task in MAP. This will provide us with important information about your situation and allow us to put any necessary plans in place to protect your visa and offer you advice about self-isolation and quarantine in the UK.

MeasureGreenAmberRed
Passenger locator formYesYesYes
Pre-departure testYesYesYes
Managed Quarantine at HotelNoNoYes
Self-isolation at own accommodationNo10 daysN/A
Test to releaseN/Aon day 5No
PCR testingOn or before day 2On or before day 2On or before day 2
Further PCR testingNoDay 8Day 8
Do I need to take a Covid-19 test before or after I arrive in the UK?

Take a pre-departure Covid test 3 days before you leave your country. You will then need to Book and pay for a travel test package when you arrive in the UK at a cost of around £200, this will include coronavirus (COVID-19) tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantine after arriving in the UK. You cannot use the Aston University lateral flow test for this purpose, it must be a PCR test from the list of approved providers.

More information is available on guidance regarding quarantine testing. Students will need to complete a passenger locator form detailing where you will be in quarantine in the UK.

Follow the safer travel guidelines, and plan ahead to avoid busy times.

When is the latest I can arrive on campus?

We strongly encourage you to arrive in the UK as soon as possible to begin your studies on campus at the start of term. However, we understand that the ongoing COVID-19 situation may make it difficult for you to arrive in the UK on time.

The latest date by which you can arrive on campus varies by course. This is because some courses require more practical and laboratory experience than others.

Please look for your course in the following lists to find out the latest date by which you can arrive on campus to start the course:

27 September

  • BEng Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
  • BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

11 October

  • All undergraduate programmes in Aston Business School and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • MPharm Pharmacy
  • MSc Drug Delivery
  • MSc Pharmacokinetics
  • MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • MSc Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicines
  • MSc Regenerative Medicines Manufacturing
  • MSc Sustainable Engineering
  • BSc Business and Supply Chain Management
  • BSc Logistics with Supply Chain Management
  • BSc Transport Management
  • MSc Engineering Management
  • MSc Supply Chain Management
  • MSc Mechanical Engineering

18 October

  • MSc PIXNET
  • MSc SMARTNET
  • BEng Civil Engineering
  • BSc Construction Project Management (except direct entry from NEFU)
  • BSc Quantity Surveying
  • BEng Design Engineering
  • BEng/MEng Biomedical Engineering
  • BEng/MEng Mechanical Engineering
  • BSc Product Design and Management
  • BSc Product Design and Technology
  • MSci Design, Enterprise and Innovation
  • OSPAP
  • MSc Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
  • MSc Health Psychology
  • BSc Optometry
  • BSc Biochemistry
  • BSc Biology
  • BSc Biomedical Science
  • BEng Chemical Engineering
  • BSc Applied Chemistry
  • BSc Chemistry
  • MEng Chemical Engineering
  • BSc Computer Science
  • BSc Computer Science with Business
  • BSc Cybersecurity

25 October

  • MSc Applied Artificial Intelligence
  • MSc Computer Science
  • BSc Psychology
  • MSc Future Vehicle Technologies
  • BSc Business and Mathematics
  • BSc Mathematics
  • BSc Mathematics with Economics

8 November

  • MSc Artificial Intelligence
  • MSc Artificial Intelligence with Business Strategy
  • MSc Data Analytics

26 November

  • BSc Neuroscience

By the end of Term One

All postgraduate courses in Aston Business School and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities

How can I access the University systems remotely when I am from overseas?

Whilst access to some platforms may be limited, we are continually working on providing the best options we can. Should you have any particular issues then please let us know via our Solve portal. so we can investigate alternative solutions where possible.

Solve is our online portal for students and staff and is the single portal for your digital questions. You can use Solve to:

  • Source digital solutions and guides
  • Search for services and forms
  • Report digital issues
  • Make requests for digital support and track progress
  • Communicate with a digital services team member 

You can also contact our digital services team or on 44 (0) 121 204 3445

Please include relevant details including programme and/or module code so that this can be communicated to programme teams.

For more details, please visit our Solve portal.

Our new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) will allow you to access specialist applications required for your course, whether on or off-campus. The VDI allows you to make use of a powerful, windows-based machine from a variety of types and ages of PC, which will improve your access to university applications and systems. For more information about see the How to Access Software section of the quick start guide at Solve quick start guide

You can keep up with the latest news by visiting the Contact Us page.

 

Tier 4 Visa Engagement

We have a responsibility to the Home Office to monitor engagement with your studies whilst we are sponsoring your visa.

During these uncertain times we understand that you may have chosen to stay in your home country for now. Please be aware of the quarantine requirements in different countries and any restrictions in place that may prevent you from coming to the UK. If you decide to come to the UK, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can protect your visa.

We will continue to monitor your engagement remotely, through Blackboard collaborate sessions, and visa in person check ins should you be on our campus, as we need to continue to show you are actively engaging with your studies.  

Wherever you are, please ensure that you use the brand new task in MAP once a week which will act as your virtual 'Check In’ if you need to.

As long as you have informed us of your location and you are accessing university systems regularly we will continue to sponsor you visa until. The 60 day absence rule does not currently apply, so please do not worry. We will inform you of when you are required to return to campus based studies.

Who can I speak to if I am concerned or have a question?

Graduation

Information about graduation can be found by viewing our FAQs.

For any graduation questions contact graduation.

Degree Apprenticeships

For all questions relating to degree apprenticeships, please see our dedicated key information page.

Finance

How can I contact Finance?

Email Finance.

Telephone: 0121 204 4355

The finance team can also be reached via SOLVE, and your query will automatically have a call reference. This will provide you with notification and updated status of your query.