Choosing to study overseas is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and it is vital that you choose the right course and the university for you. It can be very confusing for an international student in making that decision as you may know very little about the UK education system, the city of Birmingham and about Aston University itself. You will need to look not only at the quality and structure of the programmes on offer and the academic support provided, but also the many aspects of student life, such as accommodation and social facilities.
Making you feel welcome
At Aston, we take the needs of our international students very seriously, and with a strong network of welfare and support, we continually strive to provide you with a dynamic and stimulating teaching and learning environment, aimed at equipping you with the skills and knowledge for your professional career.
An excellent academic reputation
Aston University has a truly international community with students from over 80 countries. Our staff are highly respected within the international academic community: this is evident in the consistently high teaching quality assessments and research exercises achieved. We recognise and welcome the important academic contribution and cultural diversity our international students make to our environment.
We hope that this information helps to answer your questions and look forward to welcoming you to Aston University.
With students from over 70 countries, Aston University has always been a popular choice for international students. We recognise and welcome the important academic contribution and cultural diversity you will bring to our University environment. The International Office works closely with staff from Academic Schools as well as key departments such as Accommodation and Welfare Services to ensure that your time at Aston is an enjoyable and memorable one!
There are many reasons why students choose Aston University. These are just some of them:
Internationally recognised degrees
British universities are highly respected throughout the world for the quality of their education and at Aston we demonstrate this clearly in our excellent Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA) and Research (RAE) ratings of our degree programmes. Many of our degree areas (for example Business, Engineering, Languages, European Studies, Optometry and Psychology), have world-class research rankings of grade 5, whilst over 70% of our programmes have excellent TQA ratings of 22/24 and higher. Page 9 lists some of our outstanding positions in university rankings.
We guarantee all our International students a place in University campus residences for their first year and also currently guarantee accommodation on campus for the full duration of their degree programme, provided they apply by the deadline each year. All students living on campus have their own single study-bedrooms and a choice of standard or en suite residences. The University also provides support for students wishing to live off campus. We are sensitive to individual student needs and can also offer single sex accommodation. Information about Aston University accommodation can be found in a separate section of this prospectus.
Fixed tuition fees
As we fix our tuition fees this means that there is no inflation for the duration of your studies with us and the option of paying your fees in instalments, which makes financial budgeting a lot easier to manage. At the time of writing this, the undergraduate fees for the academic year 2006 entry are:
- Health, Science and Engineering £10,800
- Psychology, Computing and Transport Management £9,800
- All other programmes (Business, Social Sciences and Languages) £8,750
- If you undertake a year’s professional Work Placement, you pay a reduced fee for that year. For the academic year 2005 the placement year fee is £1,580. Up-to-date fee information can be found on our website. For our foundation programmes, 2006 fees are
- £7,750 for Business,
- £8,750 for Science and Engineering
- £10,800 for Life and Health Sciences.
Professional Work Experience
At Aston, we offer international students the opportunity to undertake a year’s paid professional experience in industry or commerce, by choosing to follow a sandwich degree programme. With the globalisation of business and the importance of the European Union as a trading partner, graduating from Aston with professional experience will make you highly attractive to future employers.
The average salary earned by our placement students is £13,000 per year, making a placement year an excellent investment for your future career! More information can be found in the section on Placements and under each programme entry.
Welfare & Support
We take the needs of international students very seriously and aim to provide you with the necessary support throughout your time at Aston, to ensure it is as worry-free as possible.
We provide an International Orientation programme for you at the beginning of the academic year to help you to settle into University life. Lots of activities are arranged as part of the programme which includes social events, days out to local places of interest, and an official welcome reception.
International Student Advisers are available to assist with a range of issues such as: organising the Orientation Programme, providing general welfare/immigration advice; organising social and cultural events; arranging language support classes and organising the summer luggage room. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Part-time advisers are also available on a drop-in basis during lunchtimes, and the Students’ Guild has an elected International Student Officer all year to offer representation and support and a team of International Student ‘Aunties’ during Freshers’ Week to help you settle in. You can find us online at www.aston.ac.uk/preparingforaston
The University also provides a modern Health Centre, a Dental Surgery and Opticians on campus.
Student societies such as the Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Jewish and Sikh societies provide and celebrate religious diversity at the University. We also offer a campus prayer room and the University has three Chaplains based on campus.
More information can be found in the section on Student Health, Welfare and Personal Development.
International Student Scholarships
Programmes within the School of Engineering and Applied Science offer an automatic entrance scholarship of £1,500 to all International Students. An additional award may be available, based on academic merit, which will enhance the basic scholarship from £1,500 up to a maximum of £3,000 in the year of enrolment.
For subsequent years, a scholarship of between £1,500 and £3,000 may be available based on academic merit. This additional award is open to all programmes apart from Computing Science, Computing for Business, Transport Management and Transport Planning.
The School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) offer an automatic entrance scholarship of £750 to all International Students who undertake a Combined Honours undergraduate degree programme involving any of the subjects listed below: Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science & Technology, Geographical Information Systems, or Mathematics.
Please note that both scholarships detailed above do not apply to the Foundation Year or placement year. For subsequent years, the scholarship may be renewed depending on satisfactory academic performance.
For further information, please contact:
Ms Ady Yong
International Admissions Co-ordinator
School of Engineering & Applied Science
International Student Societies
There are a number of international student societies at Aston, which gives you the opportunity to make new friends and take part in a variety of social and cultural activities and events. These include societies such as African and Caribbean, Chinese Overseas, Asian, Hellenic and Singaporean. You can also set up your own society if there isn’t one already!
Excellent Graduate prospects
Our graduates are highly sought after by major international companies – see the page on Graduate Employment for further information. Aston University is constantly at the top of the league table for graduate employment, year after year. Why is this? One reason is that our degree programmes are continually being reviewed and updated to ensure that you will have the necessary skills demanded by companies. Another is that employers place high value on students who gain professional experience. Over 70% of students at Aston choose to take a professional placement, giving them both academic and practical experience.
International Foundation Programmes
If your High School qualification corresponds more to the US system of education (12 + 4 years) rather than the UK system (13 + 3 years) you are normally required to undertake a Foundation Year. Information on these programmes can be found in the separate Foundation Propgrammes page.
Applications and Entry Qualifications
All undergraduate and Foundation applicants must apply through UCAS, details of which can be found in the page about Applying to Aston University. We will consider international applications throughout the year, but strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible in the UCAS cycle. Entry requirements are listed in this prospectus in terms of A level qualifications, but the University accepts equivalent international qualifications and international access/ foundation programmes.
We are also happy to consider suitable qualified UCAS applicants for advanced standing into the second year of selected programmes. Reflecting the high quality and professional integrity of our degree programmes, Aston University does NOT permit direct entry to the final year of any of its degrees.
We want to ensure that you do well in your studies and we therefore look for evidence of competence in written and spoken English Language, for example, we look for a minimum in the following:
- IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5 in each test)
- TOEFL 550/213
For Aston Business School programmes, international students need IELTS grade 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each section or TOEFL 577/233.
If you are not sure whether your qualifications are acceptable for entry to Aston, please contact the International Office as we would be happy to give you further guidance and advice.
Reasonable cost of living
Your living expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle, but the cost of living in the West Midlands is generally lower than many other areas of the UK. As a rough guide we would recommend you allow £600 per month for living expenses. This is to cover accommodation, food, books, clothing, travel and other incidentals.
English language support while you study
If English is not your first language then the University provides free language tuition during your studies to help you improve your ability and to support you in your studies.
“As an overseas student with an HND background, I was extremely fascinated by the sandwich programme offered by Aston University. I believe I made a wise choice as my experience of taking up my placement within Citigroup has definitely lived up to my expectations.
“Experiencing life in the real world is absolutely challenging and vital for a person like me. As one who has been a student for my entire life and will have to face the reality of living on my own two feet after graduation, the Aston placement scheme is certainly giving me this experience.”
Shu Qiao Na
Placement at Citigroup, London, (student studying at Aston Business School)
Want to find out more?
Staff from the International Office and the Academic Schools frequently travel overseas to attend education exhibitions and hold information seminars. This is an ideal opportunity for you to find out more information and to talk to us.
We also work with a network of overseas educational representatives in many countries, who can provide support throughout the application process, assist with any visa requirements and help with pre-departure arrangements.
We know how difficult it can be in making your decision to study overseas and that’s why we do our best to help you and your family make your decision easier. We have put together an International Student Guide which gives specific information for international students interested in coming to study at Aston University. The Guide is also available on our website.
Details on overseas events and local representatives as well as other useful information can be found on our web pages.
The International Office
Aston University, Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B4 7ET, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 121 204 4888
Fax: +44 121 204 3888