Below is a list of frequently asked questions from both participants and their employers about the AFTP. Please click on a question to reveal its answer. If you have a query that is not answered on this page, then please contact us directly.
If you wish to apply for any of our courses, you will need to do so through this website. On each course page, there is a button labelled ‘Apply Now,’ which will lead you through into the online application process. Applying for a course is relatively straightforward, but we will be asking you several questions about your previous educational background if you wish to register for a course for academic credit. Submitted applications can then be monitored through your AFTP Participant Portal, which is accessible by clicking the (dark blue) ‘Participants Login’ button and logging into the website.
You do not need to register for one of our qualifications in the first instance, even if you feel you may eventually wish to pursue one. If, however, you are certain of the qualification you wish to undertake, and the university at which you wish to register, you can apply through the respective programme page on the website in the same manner as applying for a single course.
Navigate to the AFTP Login Area
Select the ‘Request a new password’ tab
Enter the email address you used to sign up to the AFTP website and press the ‘Email new password’ button
Login to your inbox and open the email entitled ‘Replacement login information for YOUR USERNAME at AFTP’. Check your ‘Junk’ folder if the email doesn’t appear in your inbox.
Click on the one-time password reset link contained within the email
Within the new browser window, select the blue ‘Log In’ button
Enter your new password and make a note of it
Continue using the AFTP website to register for your training course
In short no, anyone who is interested in registering for an AFTP course is welcome to attend as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This is a useful mechanism for individuals looking to improve their skills or knowledge without undergoing assessment. Whilst this does not entitle participants to academic credit, they are able to gain CPD points for professional membership organisations including IFST and BASIS. Some modules are designed specifically as CPD training, while many other modules carrying credit can be taken as CPD on request, in which case the participant will not undertake assessments or be awarded credit.
Courses are primarily delivered at our core university and affiliate partner campuses. Courses are also available to study online as e-learning units, which can be accessed at home or anywhere you have an internet connection and computer/tablet/smartphone device. Where there is demand and a significant group of participants, we can also host bespoke training courses at your workplace. For more information about bespoke training please contact us directly. The course location can be found on each individual course information page in the Key Facts File table and you can also filter your course search via partner location or delivery method.
Course fees for individual modules can be found on the relevant course information page in the 'Key Facts File' table. The cost of a full postgraduate programme varies on a case-by-case basis, and is based on the individual modules taken alongside a research or project module for a research related course.
AFTP participants are required to pay the required cost for individual modules in full before the module begins. There is no requirement to commit payment for a full programme of study at the outset, though you are welcome to do so if you have a firm plan of the modules you wish to take.
Beyond this, the degrees of MSc, MRes, and the Professional Doctorate require a separate payment for the research project that forms a major part of these programmes. This covers your discussions with your supervisor, access to university facilities (including labs, library and electronic resources), and the examination of the completed project. Your project fee does not include access to specialised university equipment and it will be necessary to negotiate practical research costs on an individual basis when it is time to undertake your project. In addition, these programmes require a compulsory module in research training that you will also be required to pay for (though not until you undertake the module in question).
There are options for discounted course fees when making multiple participant bookings from the same company. Contact the AFTP office for further details.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is on-going training and development that many professions are required to undertake as part of their continuing professional status. The IFST and BASIS operate industry recognised CPD programmes.
Undertaking CPD can involve attending training courses, reading journals or other self-directed study. To qualify as CPD, a course or activity may sometimes need to be recognised by the professional body that is monitoring the CPD.
Usually it is up to the individual to keep a record of their CPD and send it to the professional organisation on an annual basis to allow the individual to maintain their professional membership or status. For a course to qualify as CPD it is not normally required to complete any assessment associated with a course (exam, assignment, presentation etc.)
However, if the CPD you are taking is a University credit bearing module you can gain University credits if you complete and successfully pass the assessment associated with the course. This is what makes it a credit bearing module. This credit can then be carried towards a university qualification.
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 practical sessions 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.
Degrees with the AFTP have been designed for professionals currently employed in the agrifood industry, and as such we would expect that participants will take longer to complete their studies than typical for full-time degrees at this level. As a guideline, we would predict that our qualifications will take the following lengths of time:
PGCert (60 credits): 1 – 3 years
PGDip (120 credits): 1 – 3 years
MSc (180 credits): 2 – 6 years
MRes (180 credits): 2 – 6 years
Professional Doctorate (360 - 540 credits): 4 – 12 years
These time estimates vary due to the flexibility of our programmes and our understanding that completion times will vary due to our participants’ work commitments, and the scheduling of modules they wish to undertake. Again, we would like to emphasise that we are always open to discussing your individual needs and would encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the timeline of completing a degree with us.
Today’s agrifood sector is increasingly fast paced and competitive. Maintaining or gaining an advantage in the marketplace is in part based on an understanding of the technical and scientific developments that impact business. Whether it is coping with adverse weather conditions in the field or developing the products that health conscious consumers are looking for; the AFTP aims to address these and other specialist questions that businesses are dealing with on a daily basis.
Another challenge facing the agrifood sector is attracting and retaining high-quality staff. A factor in staff retention is the opportunity for those staff to undertake Continual Professional Development (CPD). The AFTP will provide your employees with a highly flexible and rewarding way to undertake CPD. There are opportunities ranging from one-day training courses and short courses through to postgraduate qualifications. Businesses and their staff can decide jointly the most advantageous training programmes that suit both the business and the employee.
The AFTP has been delivering high-level training to industry professionals since 2012. Since that time we have welcomed 1500+ participants on to our courses from hundreds of different agrifood businesses across the UK. These businesses have ranged from small independent farms and agrifood start-ups, all the way through to larger multinational companies including Waitrose, PepsiCo, Mars and Sainsbury’s. Many participants have been able to apply their newly acquired knowledge back in their workplaces, increasing productivity and innovation to their businesses.
All AFTP courses are designed with industry input to ensure we include topical issues and bridge knowledge gaps where industry feels there is a need to improve. Courses are designed to provide maximum benefit to industry with participants undertaking work based assignments as part of their assessment; using their knowledge gained on courses to address business based challenges.
The AFTP is a partnership that includes industry representation at all levels of decision making. Our Executive Board is chaired by Colin Dennis past Chief Executive of Campden BRI and includes representatives from G’s Growers, Tesco and Dairy Crest.
Where a company wishes to send multiple delegates to an AFTP course they should always contact us to see what concessions we are able to offer to businesses making multiple bookings. There are options for discounted course fees when making multiple participant bookings from the same company. Contact the AFTP office for further details.
If you work for a company that has specific training needs relating to the agrifood industry, we have the experience and the ability to design and develop both short courses and e-learning materials that can be tailored to your specific requirements. For more information about bespoke training please contact us directly.
AgriFood Training Partnership
The University of Reading
PO Box 226, Whiteknights
Reading RG6 6AP