Frequently asked questions
- What is the general format of an APTS training week?
- Does attending APTS satisfy the requirement that EPSRC funded PhD students complete 100 hours of training in their first year?
- Can people other than first-year PhD students attend the APTS weeks?
- Will there be model solutions available for the post-APTS-week assessment material?
- Can APTS arrange for accommodation outside the Monday-Thursday of the APTS week?
- Student registration
- Can a student be registered for just one of the two modules in a given APTS training week?
- What will it cost to send a student to an APTS week?
- Who is a first-year PhD student?
- Is late registration possible?
- Can an APTS place, once allocated, be cancelled?
- One of my department's students has been allocated a place but cannot attend. Can we send a substitute?
- Member Institutions (MIs) and Underwriting Institutions (UIs)
[See the APTS Constitution document for background information, including priorities for registration when an APTS week is over-subscribed.]
- What are the benefits of becoming a Member Institution of APTS?
- Can departments which do not have Member Institution status still register their PhD students for APTS courses?
- Can a student from a Member Institution attend an APTS week without contributing to n?
- Can an institution whose value of n in a given academic year is zero become a Member Institution?
- There are two departments in my university where people do PhD work in Statistics. Should we register as one MI, or two?
- What are the additional benefits of becoming an Underwriting Institution?
Q. What is the general format of an APTS training week?
A. Each week is composed of two modules. Students attending a module are expected to engage (before attendance) in a two-week period of preparatory study directed by web-based material; this is to enable students to ensure that they have covered prerequisites necessary for the module, and to enable the module leaders to make efficient use of the training-week time. After each module there will be an assignment (exercises or mini-project), to be undertaken back in the student's home institution and to be assessed by home-institution staff.
Q. Does attending APTS satisfy the requirement that EPSRC funded PhD students complete 100 hours of training in their first year?
A. An APTS week consists of two modules. Each module has 10.5 contact hours. In addition, there is preparation time (6 hours/module) and follow-up assessment (4h/module). Depending on what you include, the APTS programme corresponds to between 84 hours and 164 hours. EPSRC assert that it is the responsibility of a head of department to defend their department’s interpretation of the requirement.
Q. Can people other than first-year PhD students attend the APTS weeks? (For example: statistics mobility fellows transferring in to statistics from other disciplines; second- and third-year PhD students; etc.)
A. Such students are welcomed, numbers permitting, though of course we have to give priority to all first-year PhD students applying.
Q. Will there be model solutions available for the post-APTS-week assessment material?
A. Not necessarily. Generally it is up to individual module leaders whether or not model solutions are supplied. Module leaders are asked only to provide some kind of material --- project, exercises, or whatever --- which might be used by the sending institutions for assessment. Often, as befits work at the graduate level, such material will be rather open-ended; a "model" answer will often be inappropriate. Neither APTS nor the module leaders are resourced to deliver examination material.
Q. Can APTS arrange for accommodation outside the Monday-Thursday of the APTS week?
A. If extra accommodation is needed (for instance before or after APTS week), students will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation, and ask to be billed separately and independently from APTS. They can contact the local organisers of each week to see if they can arrange for their accommodation to be extended (but there is no guarantee they can do this), and if it works, the extension needs to be charged to the student or to your department directly.
2. Student registration
Q. Can a student be registered for just one of the two modules in a given APTS training week?
A. No. All students are expected to participate fully in both modules, including completing the assessments.
Q. What will it cost to send a student to an APTS week?
A. There are two main components: registration fee, and travel/accommodation/meal costs. The registration fee is payable for all students. In 2019-20 the rates are:
- Registration: £160 per APTS week (the fourth week is discounted to £32 if all four weeks are taken in the same academic year).
- Accommodation and meals: the week's cost will vary across the four different APTS locations, between about £350 and £450; precise figures will appear on the student registration form.
Further details may be found in the Billing and Cancellation policy.
Q. Who is a first-year PhD student?
A. Someone who has been registered as a full-time research student for less than 12 months, or as a part-time student (at 60% time or less) for less than 24 months, on the APTS registration closing date is classed by APTS as a first-year PhD student. First-year research students in a "probationary" or "qualifying" year prior to formal PhD/DPhil registration are all first-year PhD students for APTS purposes. Second-year postgraduates whose first year was a broad-based training such as M.Res. or Doctoral Training Centre coursework, who did not take APTS courses in that first year, and who are embarking upon research in their second year of postgraduate work, are also classed as first-year PhD students for APTS purposes.
Q. Is late registration possible?
A. Yes, but... At the registration closing date each October, places are allocated for the four APTS weeks according to the priorities stated in the APTS Constitution document. After that date, any registration requests received for an APTS week that is already full will normally be inserted at the appropriate position into an ordered waiting list (ordered according to the same stated priorities). Note, though, that registration requests made within 2 weeks of the start of the relevant APTS week are normally deemed to be too late, and as such are rejected. Late registrations never affect APTS-week places that are already allocated.
Q. Can an APTS place, once allocated, be cancelled?
A. Yes. This should be done through the APTS Academic Contact at the institution of the student concerned. The Academic Contact should email admin at apts dot ac dot uk with any notification of cancellation. Cancellation can be costly if notified too late: deadlines are as set out in the Billing and Cancellation policy.
Q. One of my department's students has been allocated a place but cannot attend. Can we send a substitute?
A. No. APTS places are allocated according to an agreed list of priorities (see the APTS Constitution document), and there is a priority-ordered waiting list for any place that becomes available through cancellation.
3. Member Institutions (MIs) and Underwriting Institutions (UIs)
Q. What are the benefits of becoming a Member Institution of APTS?
A. The main benefits are:
- automatic representation in the APTS Advisory Committee, and thereby in the Executive Committee;
- the right to use APTS Member Institution status (and the logo) in recruitment and publicity materials, in funding applications, etc.
- priority student registration in the case of APTS weeks that are over-subscribed.
Q. Can departments which do not have Member Institution status still register their PhD students for APTS courses?
A. Yes! Any such department will first need to register as a 'Sending Institution'.
Q. Regarding the description given in the APTS Constitution of the minimum commitment to be made by a Member Institution: can a student from a Member Institution attend an APTS week without contributing to n?
A. No. Any student from the Member Institution who attends automatically contributes to n.
Q. Can an institution whose value of n in a given academic year is zero become a Member Institution?
A. The expectation is that Member Institutions will normally have a nonzero value of n. (Exceptions to this, which might include for example a department with an existing relationship with APTS, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)
Q. There are two departments in my university where people do PhD work in Statistics. Should we register as one MI, or two?
A. It is up to you to talk to the other department and decide what works best for you. But the APTS Member Institution badge can only be used by those departments or groups of departments which have formally registered as such.
Q. What are the additional benefits of becoming an Underwriting Institution (UI)?
A. In brief, the benefits are:
- UIs will form the main part of the APTS Executive Committee (starting in October 2011);
- UIs enjoy additional priority (over "standard" MIs) for their students when APTS weeks are over-subscribed.
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