Aston University

Aston University

Aston University has been part of the engine of growth in the West Midlands for more than 100 years. Now known for its world class teaching and strong links to industry, government and commerce, Aston continues to change the world through its research-led approach.

A technological university, Aston’s mission is “to be the UK’s leading University for business and the professions, where original research, enterprise and inspiring teaching deliver global impact.”

Aston University has a focus on research as the driver to deliver change, providing opportunities to students, partners and businesses, across a range of disciplines from science and engineering through to medicine and social sciences. 

In 2016, this commitment was rewarded with Aston receiving the highest award – Gold – in the Government’s new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which measures factors including teaching quality, graduate employability and student satisfaction over research capabilities.

Easily accessible to visitors from the UK, or abroad, with excellent links by road, rail and air, Aston University’s main campus is 5-10 minutes’ walk from Birmingham city centre.

Research & Collaboration

Aston University helps fuel the region’s development contributing innovation, knowledge and expertise. Research is at the forefront of the University’s mission, underpinning everything that it does.

The research undertaken by Aston University has a direct impact on society and 78% of it is rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally recognised’ (REF 2014).

The University has developed a strong reputation for working closely with industry, the professions, and other stakeholders, and built a Strong track record in commercialising technologies (e.g. Temozolamide – block buster brain cancer drug, ColibraTM – Protein Library screening technology) successfully spinning out Aston Molecules (acquired by OSI), Marconi Solstis, Indigo Photonics (acquired by Insensys), and Aston Particle Technologies Ltd.

Aston’s areas of research focus include:  Photonics, Business Demography and Growth Ambition (Enterprise Research Centre), Advanced Services, Materials, Systems Analytics, Forensic Linguistics, Logistics (Smart cities), and Maternal Health/ Preeclampsia.  The university comprises five key schools, each of which has a number of research centres:

  1. Aston Business School – Conducting pioneering research into modern business & management issues for over 60 years, making it one of the longest established, research-based business schools in the UK.
  2. Aston Medical School – Established in 2014, its research areas include maternal health, cardiovascular medicine and mental health. 
  3. Engineering and Applied Science – Focusing in 4 key strategic areas, bioenergy and sustainability, communications and sensing, complexity and informatics and healthcare technologies.
  4. Languages and Social Sciences – Working across humanities, arts and social sciences, bringing together a unique blend of internationally well-connected scholars.
  5. Life & Health Sciences – Ranging from the molecular and cellular levels, through neural systems and human behaviours, to the restoration of health and the study of individual in health care and societal settings.

Business Services

Aston University provides an access point for companies to innovation, enabling business to utilise funded growth programmes and collaborative research to find solutions to challenges facing their organisation.

The aim of Partnerships and Business Engagement at Aston is to develop strong, financially-sound relationships with business, professional and public sector organisations and to respond effectively to their needs.

Aston has a dedicated Research and Knowledge Exchange team, to assist businesses, by providing valuable support and assistance with the application and funding process.

Funding schemes supported include:

KEEN is a business improvement programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) these can help businesses innovate, compete in new markets and increase profitability

Innovate UK which provides funding for a range of collaborative projects

Aston University has two specific vehicles to support businesses looking to grow. These are:

Aston Centre for Growth – For SMEs this this offers businesses leading growth programmes and opportunities.

Aston Enterprise – Targeting West Midlands student and graduate entrepreneurs, the Aston Enterprise offers a great package of intensive start-up support for new ventures.


As a research led university, Aston has developed a reputation for producing highly-skilled, sought-after, employable graduates and postgraduates from a diverse range of backgrounds. The university is ranked 2nd in the UK for boosting graduate salaries (Economist 2017).

For more than 25 years the university has been leading graduate employment success. Aston is able to support companies from international businesses to local SMEs, with opportunities to employ students and graduates on a student placement, a one off research project or a permanent position.

In addition, Aston offers a range of professional development programmes, which can help organisations benefit from the university’s academic resources, expertise and research. These include:

The University also offers a number of specialist development options for businesses in three specific areas:


Higher Education

Higher Education

Vocational Initiatives

Vocational Initiatives

Skills and Training Support

Skills and Training Support