Full Time vs Part Time – How to classify apprentices?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ruth CJ 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • TRaynor


    Please can someone help clarify something for me.

    My understanding is that Apprentices should been classed as part-time for study purposes they shouldn’t be classed as full-time even if they are undertaking a “full time credit load” as defined by the institutions regulations.

    However the Office for Students “Access and participation data resources” guide states:

    41. This is divided into full-time or part-time; all apprenticeships are treated as full-time.

    Can someone please clarify which we are meant to follow as OFS for universities would be normally the definitive source however I am aware the ESFA and OFS may be in conflict here, if so who wins?

    Any help would be helpful


    Ruth CJ

    Other than for OfS, why do you need to define whether they are part or full time? We don’t think of apprentices as full or part time, but as “other”.



    It links to how our Banner system refers to programmes, they are classed as FT or PT. Normally relating to the amount of credits per academic year.


    Martin West

    The Apprenticeship funding rules 16/17 included the following:
    B7. An apprenticeship is a full-time programme. You must not claim funding where either you or another party claim funding from another government department or an agency, such as the Education Funding Agency or Department for Work and Pensions, for that individual.



    Hi Helen,

    Who wins between ESFA funding regs and OfS rules depends who you’re talking to and which return you’re doing or dataset you’re looking at. The ESFA might classify apprenticeships as FT, but the OfS doesn’t expect them to be according to their definitions. That doesn’t mean they definitely can’t be though.

    As you’re looking at APP resources then you will have to use the OfS definitions of FT, which you’ll find in the HESES guidance. Paragraphs 10 and 11 of Annex H of the HESES19 guidance goes into how to determine mode for apprenticeships. In short, if the credit load and duration is the same as the equivalent degree only course (and you ensure to only take into account the degree element of the apprenticeship, not anything else) then you can likely class it as FT. Otherwise, it’s PT.

    Hope this helps

    ETA: if you’re looking at older APP datasets, all apprenticeships were included in the FT lines irrespective of their actual mode of delivery, and you couldn’t disaggregate apprenticeships from normal delivery. At the briefings I went to this was pointed out to be contrary to other OfS datasets, so they said this would be changed for later releases. You may need to check the definitions of the dataset you’re using.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  joannab.

    Ruth CJ

    I think, if it’s only impacting your own systems, you can choose how you define it. I don’t believe there is a concept of full time or part time apprenticeships when it comes to the ESFA.

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