Credits are the building blocks of all academic qualifications awarded by higher education institutes in the UK. National frameworks make clear the number of credits required for different degrees, with the underlying understanding that one credit is equivalent to approximately 10 hours of study.
To give you a better idea of how this might work in practice - a 10 credit face-to-face workshop based course could involve 3-4 days of lectures and practicals which might equate to 30 hours study time. The remainder of the 100 hours study time may involve pre and post course reading or writing up of an assessment that will be completed away from the classroom in your own time either at work or at home. An online 10 credit course will similarly involve 30 -40 hours of directed study, but could also involve additional reading or assessment that will need to be completed in your own time.
In many degrees with a strict pathway of study, individuals are limited to a small number of options and rarely deal directly with the question of credits. The AFTP works differently. We acknowledge the varied professional and busy personal lives of our participants and as a result offer a great deal of choice to those training with us, both in terms of what they study, and when that studying is undertaken.
As a result, most of our modules carry a certain number of academic credits, ranging from between 5 and 30 credits depending on the length of the module and the amount of work required by participants. Over time, AFTP participants can ‘build’ their degree from a unique choice of modules across our portfolio, leading to bespoke degrees, tailored to their interests.
While most AFTP modules carry academic credit, some are designed to deliver only Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) opportunities, and so do not entail assessment. In addition, any credit-bearing module offered by the AFTP can also be taken as CPD if the participant is not looking to collect academic credit. If you do not intend to build towards a degree, these offer quick and comprehensive means to increase your skills and knowledge.
If you are unsure as to whether you wish to pursue your studies towards a qualification, maximum flexibility is gained by taking the assessment associated with a module. If you later decide to pursue a degree, this would enable you to transfer these courses as credit via accreditation of prior learning.
If you intend to take one or more modules at the AFTP without progressing to a degree, you will be required to register at each of the partner Universities in which each module is taking place. These applications are all handled centrally through the AFTP website, which streamlines this process for our participants.
Qualifications are not awarded centrally by the AFTP, but by one the partner institutions: Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, and the University of Reading. If you wish to undertake a degree composed of AFTP modules, you will be required to register at one of these universities as your awarding institution. We generally ask that our participants declare their intention to pursue a qualification after obtaining 1/3 of the total credits required.
Though participants are free to select modules across the entire portfolio of the AFTP, 50% of the total credits must come from your registered institution, with up to 50% coming from modules offered by the other partners. Although all of the partner institutions offer a wide range of modules, each university has particular strengths that reflect the expertise of its academic staff. As a result, it is sensible to familiarise yourself with the offerings of each institution, and register with that which has the greatest number of modules you are likely to wish to pursue.
If you have any further questions about how our degree courses work, then please contact us or pick up the phone and call us directly on +44 (0)330 333 4530.
AgriFood Training Partnership
The University of Reading
PO Box 226, Whiteknights
Reading RG6 6AP