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Institute of Continuing Education


We offer both general interest courses in the physical sciences at ICE, and ones which are appropriate for students with an ongoing interest in a particular area. Our aim is always to make science accessible to as wide an audience as possible, and to enable our students to share in our own enthusiasm for our subject.

View our full range of Physical Sciences and Astronomy courses

Part-time University qualifications in Physical Sciences and Astronomy

Undergraduate Certificates

The following Certificate courses are taught at FHEQ Level 4, equivalent to first-year undergraduate level.

Undergraduate Certificate in Astronomy (2016/17) offers an introduction to the field of Astronomy, giving you the chance to learn about stars and galaxies, from the Sun to the Milky Way and beyond, and about the structure and formation of the Universe.

Undergraduate Certificate in Physical Sciences (2015/16) Are you interested in ‘how the world works’? Then this course could be for you. Learn about physical systems ranging in scale from subatomic particles to the whole Earth, the galaxy and beyond.

Undergraduate Diploma

Diploma courses are taught at FHEQ Level 5, equivalent to second-year undergraduate level.

Undergraduate Diploma in Astronomy (2016/17) gives you a broader perspective on astronomical phenomena, and a deeper understanding of some active research topics. Gain practical skills in using data, and in scientific writing.

Bursaries and student loans available

If you are new to higher education, you could be eligible for a bursary award. You will also be able to pay your fees in instalments, and you may also have access to part-time student loans.

How to apply for bursaries and loans

Come to our Open Day on 1 April

Find your place at Cambridge – come to our Open Day on Saturday 1 April 2017.

Book your place today

Physical Science and Astronomy Tutors

Dr Judith Croston

Judith is ICE Teaching Officer and Academic Director for Physical Sciences at the ICE, and also holds a part-time lectureship in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton. She obtained her MSci in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Bristol, followed by her PhD in the area of extragalactic astrophysics from Bristol in 2004. She has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Service d'Astrophysique, Commission d'Energie Atomique, Saclay, as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, and as a Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire. She currently leads several international research projects investigating jets from supermassive black holes using ground and space-based astronomical observatories, and is involved in planning for next-generation instruments and observatories.

About our tutors

We have tutors with interests as diverse as microscopy, number theory, polar sciences, and environmental/social modelling, and ICE has particularly strong teams in astronomy and geology. Courses at ICE cover a range of subjects within the physical sciences, and there are also a number which overlap the interface between physical and biological sciences.

What our students say

If you're thinking of applying but aren't sure what to expect, why not read what some of our recent students have to say about their experience of studying here?

Read what our students say

Find out more

For more information about any of these courses, please contact