We look forward to welcoming you to Aston University. Our aim is to support you in progressing your education and professional experience, whilst prioritising the health and safety of all our students and staff.

Information last updated at 12:00 BST on 7th September 2021

Teaching plans for September 2021

What are Aston University's teaching plans for September 2021?

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 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.   

Watch Pakhi's video about blended learning at Aston University

Learn about Piyushi’s recent experience of online learning.

If you are in China, click here to learn about Meng’s recent experience of online learning.

When will teaching start?

For new students, teaching will start on 20 September. For all returning students, teaching will start on 27 September. 

You can view the University term dates here.

Where can I find more information about postgraduate careers and employability support?

You can read more in our 'How to Prepare for Post-study Work' guide

We encourage you to check our exclusive Aston vacancy portals for work opportunities:

GradConnect: https://globaljobs.aston.ac.uk/ Student Circus: https://aston.studentcircus.com/

 For further information or to book a virtual careers appointment, contact careers_postgrad@aston.ac.uk

Arriving at Aston 

When is the latest I can enrol?

To start your course in the September 2021 term, you must complete your enrolment online by Monday 27 September at the very latest. We will email you with instructions on how to complete your enrolment.

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

Travelling to the UK

Depending on which country you are travelling from, different travel restrictions will apply (including quarantine processes). The UK Government has placed each country on either a green, amber or red list. Please check the official UK Government travel guidance to find out more.  

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. See below to find out more.

If I am travelling from a ‘red list’ country – what support is 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.

How do I book my quarantine accommodation?

If you are ready, we encourage you to book your quarantine accommodation as soon as possible to ensure you can secure a space and arrive on time for the start of the academic year. You are able to book here.

For more information, read the Managed Quarantine information provided by the UK Government’s Department for Education.

If I am travelling from an ‘amber list’ country – what support is available to me?

If you are travelling from an ‘amber list’ country, you may be eligible for free accommodation during your self-isolation period. If you are travelling from or through a country listed on the UK Government’s ‘Amber List’, you are required to self-isolate in your accommodation for up to 10 days. If you have booked accommodation in the Aston Student Village, our accommodation provider UNITE will be allowing you to check-in up to 3 weeks early for free so that you can undertake your self-isolation.

Transiting through an EU/EEA airport

If you are planning to take an indirect flight to the UK, you need to check any transit visa requirements for the country that you plan to travel through. Following Brexit, some EU countries now require travellers to the UK to apply for a transit visa in order to transit at an airport in that country. 

Students will need to check the transit requirements on the visa regulations website of the country they intend to travel through. Some common transit countries are listed below:

We encourage all students to check this several weeks in advance before you travel, to ensure that you have any necessary visas. 

Do I need a Covid test before arriving into the UK?

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 carriers, as well as their passenger locator form

Please check the official UK Government travel guidance to check the specific rules which apply for travelling from your country. 

What if I experience problems with immigration at the airport?

Call our Campus Safety team on (+44)121 359 2922. We’re available 24 hours to support you.

What if I experience coronavirus symptoms on my arrival at the airport?

You must travel directly to the location where you will be staying. Read the UK government guidance on travelling to the UK and how to self-isolate. If you need further support, call our Campus Safety team on (+44)121 359 2922. We’re available 24 hours to support you.

What do I need to take with me on the journey to Aston?

You will need to wear a face mask while travelling on public transport (e.g. plane, train, bus, taxi) and in any public indoor places such as shops, airports etc. Contactless card payments are now encouraged at most places - you may be unable to pay with cash during your journey, so it's a good idea to bring a credit card, debit card or travel money card.

Are international students eligible for the COVID-19 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. For more information, read the COVID-19 vaccination FAQs: students in Higher Education Institutions (see page 2).

Support during self-isolation (quarantine)

Where can I self isolate?

Please check the official UK Government travel guidance to check the specific rules which apply for travelling from your country. Depending on which country you are travelling from, you may be required to quarantine in a managed hotel, or you may be able to quarantine at your university accommodation. 

If you are required to book into a managed hotel, we encourage you to book your quarantine accommodation as soon as possible to ensure you can secure a space and arrive on time for the start of the academic year. You are able to book here.

If you are travelling from an ‘amber list’ country, you may be eligible for free accommodation during your self-isolation period. If you are travelling from or through a country listed on the UK Government’s ‘Amber List’, you are required to self-isolate in your accommodation for up to 10 days. If you have booked accommodation in the Aston Student Village, our accommodation provider UNITE will be allowing you to check-in up to 3 weeks early for free so that you can undertake your self-isolation.

If you are self-isolating on campus, and require help buying groceries, other shopping or medication, you should ask for help via the Safezone app or email volunteers@aston.ac.uk and we will help you. 

What support is available to me during quarantine?
    A team of current Aston University students from 10 different countries, who study a range of different subjects will be available to support you during your quarantine period. You can contact them via email, instant message, or arrange a video call. You'll be able to ask them any questions about student life and Birmingham, learn how to make the most of your time at Aston University, prepare for the year ahead, or simply have a chat. Find out more and contact the team here. 
    You can also join our exclusive Offer Holder Facebook Group to take part in virtual events and competitions for new students.
     
    If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask for help via the Safezone app or send us an email and we will help you.
     
    If you need further support, call our Campus Safety team on (+44)121 359 2922. We’re available 24 hours to support you.
    Where can I get food during self-isolation?

    If you are required to quarantine in a managed hotel, you will be provided with 3 meals a day, tea, coffee, fresh fruit, water and soft drinks. The hotel will provide menus so you can choose what you want to eat and you will be able to let them know if you have any dietary requirements (including vegetarian, vegan, halal and kosher) or allergies. You can order additional food and drink from the hotel’s 24-hour room service menu, and you can order food and drinks yourself (for example, pizza or other takeaway) to be delivered to the hotel main reception.

    Aston University has a food delivery service, 'Nourish'. Nourish will also be providing recipe boxes and food parcels if you want to cook your own meals.

    If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask for help via the Safezone app or send us an email and we will help you.

    If you live off-campus, you may still be able to use the campus-based food options, and we can arrange for one of our Aston Support Volunteers to bring the food to you.

    You can also arrange for food to be delivered to you from a number of restaurants in the city using the following apps;

    • Hungryhouse

    • UberEATS
    • Food Panda

    • EASI

    • Deliveroo

    • Just Eat

    Accepting my offer and tuition fees

    When do I need to pay my tuition fees?

    If you believe that your payment is likely to be late, or if you are having difficulty paying, please contact the Credit Control Team as soon as you can.  They will be able to discuss your situation and where possible agree on a payment plan with you. (Please provide as much detail as you can, including your full name and your Aston Student ID number - found in your offer letter). 

    Will my tuition fees be reduced if I start my course online?

    No, the University is still putting significant resources into providing you with the same high-quality teaching, it is just being delivered in a different way. As soon as restrictions allow, we will offer you the opportunity to attend sessions on campus, but these will be restricted so that we can keep everyone healthy and safe during the pandemic.

     

    Visas

    Can I get a visa for Blended Learning?

    Yes, the UKVI have made a special concession during the Covid-19 period, which means we are allowed to sponsor you to study in this way. 

    If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please visit our visa webpage or contact casqueries@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you. 

    Do I need a visa to start my course?

    If you are not currently in the UK, then you do not need to have been granted a visa to start your course online. You will be able to join us online until your visa has been granted. If you are currently in the UK, then please contact one of our International Student Advisers for advice. 

    If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please visit our visa webpage or contact casqueries@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you. 

    Please check the UK Government website for the latest information. 

    When can I get my CAS?

     We aim to have CAS’s issued within 5 working days after your pre-CAS questionnaire is approved, so long as you have an unconditional offer and have paid your deposit or provided their financial guarantee letter.

    If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please visit our visa webpage or contact casqueries@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you.

    How long is a CAS valid for?

    A CAS is valid for 6 months, so we need to have a good idea of when you are going to arrive in the UK before this is issued. 

    If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please visit our visa webpage or contact casqueries@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you.

    Will I still be eligible for the Graduate Route visa if I start online or arrive late?

    The Home Office has agreed to revise the date by which international students must be in the UK in order to benefit from the concessionary basis when applying for the Graduate route. For students who started their course in 2020, this date is now 21 June 2021.

    This means that international students who began their course in 2020 and who are due to complete in summer 2021 will still be eligible for the Graduate route provided they arrived on or before 21 June. This June deadline also includes international students in their final year on an articulation or transnational education course. For those on one-year masters courses beginning in Spring 2021, the existing date of 27 September remains.

    The Home Office has also confirmed that any period of distance learning which took place between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 as part of a course of study lasting longer than 12 months will not prevent an applicant from applying to the Graduate route.

    This has yet to be formally published by the Home Office, but the change will be confirmed when the Graduate Route rules are published as part of the Spring immigration rules change. For further information, visit the UK Government website.

    If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please visit our visa webpage or contact issu@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you.

    If I arrive in the UK with a Tier 4 visa but I do not attend classes, will you take my visa away?

    Once you are safely in the UK, you will be required to show you are actively engaging with your studies, as this is a requirement of your visa. For term one, we will allow you to demonstrate this engagement using our online activities. 

    If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please visit our visa webpage or contact casqueries@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you.

    Do I need to apply for my BRP (residence permit)? How can I get my BRP when I arrive?

    You will automatically be issued with a BRP (residence permit) when your visa application is approved, and as part of that application, you will be asked where you would like to collect it. Please email issu@aston.ac.uk to notify them of your arrival in the UK, and we will arrange for your visa to be securely posted to you. You do not need to go onto our campus to collect this.

    Transiting through an EU/EEA airport

    If you are planning to take an indirect flight to the UK, you need to check any transit visa requirements for the country that you plan to travel through. Following Brexit, some EU countries now require travellers to the UK to apply for a transit visa in order to transit at an airport in that country. 

    Students will need to check the transit requirements on the visa regulations website of the country they intend to travel through. Some common transit countries are listed below:

    We encourage all students to check this several weeks in advance before you travel, to ensure that you have any necessary visas. 

    Accommodation

    Can I cancel my accommodation contract? 

    All accommodation on and around the Aston University campus is offered by private providers. We are liaising with our local private accommodation providers to address student concerns about contractual and rental issues during periods of Covid-19 Government restrictions.  As the University does not own the accommodation, only the private providers can make decisions about releasing students from contracts or pausing rent payments. 

    What if I’m living off-campus?

    Facilities are likely to be similar in off-campus accommodation, but you should contact your accommodation provider to confirm their local rules. 

    Where can I buy bedding?

    Unite Residence has a range of bedding and kitchen packs available to purchase and can be ready in your room when you arrive.

    https://www.unitestudents.com/Products

    If you are living off-campus, then you may be able to purchase similar packs from your accommodation provider or arrange for a package to be delivered from Amazon.

    Undergraduate and Foundation students 

    Undergraduate and Foundation students 

    Applications are open for undergraduate courses starting in September 2021. The first UCAS deadline is on 29th January 2021. Browse our courses and apply.

    For the latest updates on teaching in September 2021 view our Future Undergraduate Students page

    For those who use WeChat, we will also post updates on our WeChat account ('Aston1895') and in our WeChat group for offer-holders. To join this group, add us on WeChat 'Aston_U' and send us a screenshot of your offer letter.

    Student life

    Student life

    The Aston Students’ Union (SU) operates a variety of services to support your wellbeing and help you settle into university life, and will offer a mix of both virtual and on-campus activities during the academic year.

    Earlier this year the SU set up a ‘virtual campus’ where students can connect and participate in a variety of online activities and events. Additionally, our Aston Auntie Scheme will partner you with a current student who can act as a friend to introduce you to life at Aston.  

    As soon as it is safe to do so, we will start to introduce on-campus events and activities to give you more opportunities to engage with clubs, societies and meet other students.

    Whether via the website, social media or if you visit their amazing building, the SU is the go-to place to enjoy the fun side of university and get the most from your student experience. 

    English language requirements

    We accept a wide range of English language qualifications including IELTS Academic, TOEFL, PTE Academic, IELTS Indicator, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, and Password. We also accept the Duolingo English Test (for entry onto Pre-Sessional English programmes, and direct entry courses starting in September 2021 and January 2022, excluding Aston Medical School and OSPAP). Please check the specific English language requirements for your course carefully.

    We also accept local qualifications such as iGCSE, Indian Standard XII, HKDSE, WAEC, for direct entry (excluding foundation-level courses). 

    For foundation level entry, you are still required to provide a UKVI IELTS to meet your offer condition. 

    If your qualification is not listed here then please contact us at ask@aston.ac.uk to see if we can accept it.

    Still have questions?

    Our enquiries team are available to help answer any questions you may have, please contact us at ask@aston.ac.uk (please make sure to provide your 9-digit student application ID number). If you use WeChat, you can contact us at 'Aston_U'.

    If you have any questions specifically related to your Tier 4 Visa or your CAS, please contact casqueries@aston.ac.uk and our expert visa team will be able to help you.

    We look forward to welcoming you to the Aston University community.

    Current students

    For current students of Aston University, we are publishing updates such as health advice on our health and wellbeing page.