University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education

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"The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) offers part-time and short courses for adults of all ages."


University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) offers hundreds of short courses and part-time courses for adults of all ages, taught by leading Cambridge experts. Options range from weekend courses right up to part-time Master's programmes. Most courses are open to all, and you don’t need any special qualifications to apply.

You can choose from a huge range of subjects, including archaeology, architecture, art history, astronomy, coaching, creative writing, historic environment, history, languages, law, literature, local history, music, philosophy, psychology, religion, science and many more.

And you’ll have the opportunity to study at Madingley Hall, a spectacular 16th-century mansion three miles to the west of Cambridge with some of the finest gardens in the region.

Part-time University of Cambridge qualifications

Certificates, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas

At ICE you can study part-time for a Cambridge qualification. We offer over 30 undergraduate-level Certificates, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas and a small but growing number of Postgraduate Certificates.

Master of Studies (MSt) degrees

These part-time Master’s degrees are usually undertaken over two years, and contain a significant taught element and a research project with associated dissertation. They are designed to be flexible in order to support students in varying circumstances, including international students.

Short courses

Day schools at Madingley Hall

This programme of one-day courses is designed to provide an insight into the various academic disciplines taught at Madingley Hall. If you’re thinking of applying for a Certificate course, or are simply interested in exploring a new subject area, then a day school could be for you

Weekend courses at Madingley Hall

Our popular weekend programme runs all year round, featuring over 150 courses on subjects ranging from ancient history to astrophysics. Courses run from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime, and include meals from our award-winning kitchen. You can choose to stay at Madingley Hall in our comfortable, en-suite accommodation, or attend as a non-resident.

Weekly classes at Madingley Hall

These five-week courses are all led by top Cambridge experts who are actively involved in research. As with many of our programmes, the courses are open to everyone and are supported by our virtual learning environment (VLE).

Summer Schools in Cambridge

Our international summer schools have been welcoming people to Cambridge from all over the world since 1923 and attract around 1,000 applicants each year. Stay in one of Cambridge’s historic colleges during July and August and choose from a variety of interdisciplinary and specialist programmes in Literature, Science, History, Medieval Studies and more.

Online courses

You can now study at Cambridge wherever you are in the world, with our programme of fully-online courses. Each course lasts seven weeks and is open to anyone with an interest in the topic. Plus you can try out one of our free 'taster' sessions before you enrol, and find out what it's like to study with us online.

Career and professional development

We also offer a range of CPD opportunities to help you progress your career. Current subjects include law, architecture, coaching and international development.

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The ICE Bursary Scheme

We are pleased to offer a limited number of bursaries to eligible students who wish to study selected courses with the Institute. The bursaries will continue to be available for as long as funds remain.

Ivy Rose Hood Memorial Bursaries

The Ivy Rose Hood Memorial Fund offers bursaries of £500 to applicants to an Undergraduate Certificate, Diploma or Advanced Diploma course who are over 22 years old and are studying at university level for the first time. Applicants are requested to submit a personal statement on application.

James Stuart Bursaries

The James Stuart Fund offers the following bursaries in 2015:

  • £1,750 per annum to applicants to the MSt in Advanced Subject Teaching who teach in a UK state school or state-funded further education institution (criteria apply, and applicants are requested to submit a personal statement on application)

Cambridge University Press Bursaries

The Cambridge University Press (CUP) Bursary Fund offers the following bursaries in 2015 to applicants who teach in a UK state school or state-funded further education institution:

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Facilities at Madingley Hall

Teaching rooms

Madingley Hall has 14 teaching and seminar rooms capable of accommodating between five and 90 students. Each has internet access and can be supplied with a full range of audio-visual equipment, including Wi-Fi and data projectors.


Accommodation for residential students is provided in single, twin or double study bedrooms in the Hall, with attractive views over the woods, gardens and courtyard.

Each room has internet access, digital television and a direct-dial telephone, as well as tea- and coffee-making facilities and a safe for your valuables. Rooms are centrally heated and all have en-suite facilities.

We are usually able to offer accommodation before and after your course should you wish to extend your stay. Please indicate if you would like to stay an extra night when booking your place.


Residential students will enjoy fresh, locally-sourced food from our award-winning kitchen, served in the elegant, oak-panelled Dining Hall. We are very happy to accommodate special dietary requirements – please let us know when booking your place.

View a sample menu

The Terrace Bar

Overlooking the gardens, the Terrace Bar provides a comfortable setting for informal meals and buffets. Serving an imaginative range of wines, beer and spirits, it’s also a great place to relax with friends and fellow students.


The Hall boasts eight acres of spectacular gardens and grounds, designed in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown. They contain a landscaped walled garden, topiary, parkland and meadow, all possessing a rich diversity of plants. The paths winding through the gardens are ideal for a relaxing stroll.

Internet access

Free wireless internet access is available for use with personal Wi-Fi-enabled laptops in various locations within the main Hall. Access passwords are available from the Reception Office.

Disabled access

Disabled parking is available at the front of the Hall and the entrance into the building is on one level. All areas on the ground floor of the main Hall are accessible by wheelchair and there is a lift to the first floor. Two adapted bedrooms are available which are accessed by a wheelchair lift, and there are disabled toilet facilities.

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Madingley Hall

The Institute of Continuing Education is based at Madingley Hall, which hosts many of the Institute's residential and non-residential courses. It is part of the University of Cambridge and is also a conference centre of distinction.

Built in the 16th century, Madingley Hall is a Grade 1 listed building, and is set in eight acres of landscaped gardens designed in the 18th century by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

The Hall is situated in the peaceful village of Madingley, three miles west of the historic university city of Cambridge with easy access from the M11 and A14, and with good links to the London airports.

Directions to Madingley Hall

More about Madingley Hall

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How to enrol

How to enrol

To enrol on a course at the Institute of Continuing Education, simply visit the Courses section of our website, find the course you wish to study, then click the orange button in the top right of the page to book online.

Find a course and book online

Alternatively, you can:

  • book by post using the downloadable application form on the course page
  • phone our Admissions Team on +44 (0)1223 746262.

Open days

Open Day at Madingley Hall

The best way to find out what it's like to study with us is to come along to one of our Open Days. It’s a chance to look around Madingley Hall, meet our students and teaching staff and find out more about our courses.

Our 2015 event featured more than 50 free talks and taster sessions by top Cambridge academics!

Our next open day is on Thursday 24 March 2016.

Register your interest

What our students say

Short courses

"Coming to study at Madingley Hall makes me feel my brain’s alive again, and that I have so much more I can fill it with!"

"The strong thing about the ... Cambridge courses is that tutors are truly experts in their field."

"Outstandingly engaging, well developed and fascinating. Perfectly pitched at all times. Really engaging."

"Tutor was very relaxed and approachable; highly enthusiastic. An amazing weekend – I will be back!"

Part-time qualifications


"The course was fantastically interesting, challenging and a real pleasure … It was, and will remain one of the best experiences of my life." Christina Botterill – Astronomy

"I always thought I had higher potential but had not been able to tap into that. This course was a real eye opener for me." Kevin Chan – Coaching

"Madingley Hall is a beautiful place and a lovely environment in which to learn." Katy Tyndall – History of Art

"This is a great way to enter, or re-enter, the world of academic study which can open doors." Roger Hills – Historic Environment

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Contact details

University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education
Madingley Hall
CB23 8AQ

Email: enquiries@ice.cam.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 746262