General News

Friday, 28 January 2011 16:45


New public programmes at ICE

2011 has been a year of change here at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). New academic programmes, free public lectures and concerts, and a new bursary scheme are just some of the innovations we hope will appeal to new students and familiar faces alike.

Much more of our activity is now taking place at Madingley Hall, which gives a more 'collegiate' feel to this historic building, and means that more people than ever will get to experience the spectacular setting and first-rate facilities that it provides.

New one-year Certificate and Diploma courses

This year our Certificates and Diplomas will become one-year, non-modular courses. This will bring many new benefits. For the first time, Certificates and Diploma students will be provided with a University of Cambridge card for a full year, giving access to a range of University facilities, services and concessions. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to progress quickly through a course and study with the same group of students throughout.

If you're part-way through a modular programme, you will have two years from the start of 2011/12 to complete the modules you need to gain a qualification.

As with the Madingley Weekly Programme, the teaching will predominantly take place at Madingley Hall, and we will be providing free transport to and from Cambridge town centre to help those who are reliant on public transport.

Weekend courses now twice a month

Our residential weekend programme has moved to a new schedule of two weekends a month, with up to eight courses running each weekend. This allows us to teach in the small, interactive groups that our students tell us they most value, and help create a lively and fertile environment in which to learn.

Financial support: the ICE Bursary Scheme

We have created a number of bursaries to support students during these difficult financial times and ensure our programmes are accessible to as many people as possible. If you are a self-financing student, you could be eligible for one of the following awards:

  • James Stuart Bursary (£200) – if you are applying to study at the Institute of Continuing Education for the first time.
  • Cambridge University Press Bursary (£200) – if you are a teacher in a UK state school or state-funded further education institution.
  • Ivy Rose Hood Memorial Bursary (£500) – if you are over 22 and applying to study at university level for the first time (available for Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses only).

Find out more about the bursary scheme – including application deadlines

Madingley Weekly Programme: new short courses at Madingley Hall

This new series of five-week courses at Madingley Hall starts in January 2012. Unlike traditional short courses, which tend to focus on a particular academic field, much of the Madingley Weekly Programme is multidisciplinary, meaning you can explore a variety of perspectives on each topic. Titles including ‘Sex and gender’, ‘Writing non-fiction’ and ‘Crime and deviance: nuts, sluts and perverts?’

All of the courses have full online support, and several have a related seminar group where you will be able to explore the issues raised in class in more depth.

ICE Online: eLearning and online support

eLearning is an important part of our education programme here at the Institute. Through our new eLearning website, ICE Online, you'll have the opportunity to study and learn online, access learning resources, and interact with your tutor and fellow students.

To experience ICE Online, visit our open-access eLearning site where you can try some free ‘taster’ courses to see what it is like to study with us.

Free public lectures and concerts

As part of our commitment to public engagement, in 2011 we launched a series of free events at Madingley Hall.

The Madingley Lectures got under way in January, when a capacity audience heard Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal, speak on ‘Life in the cosmos’. All the lectures are given by leading authorities in their fields, with future speakers including Baroness Deech, Chair of the Bar Standards Board, and Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

The Madingley Concerts followed shortly afterwards, with the Iridian Trio giving the inaugural recital in March. The concerts are designed to showcase the best young talent, giving University Instrumental Award holders the opportunity to work with student composers and to perform new pieces alongside more traditional repertoires.

Videos of the lectures and audio recordings of the performances are now available on this website.

Open day at Madingley Hall – Sunday 30 October 2011

If you’d like to find out more about the Institute and get a flavour of the courses and seminar groups on offer, come along to our open day on Sunday 30 October 2011. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Talk to our friendly Course Directors and enrol on the course or seminar group of your choice.
  • Hear our leading Cambridge experts talk on subjects ranging from British slavery to the Cold War, as part of the University’s Festival of Ideas.
  • Take a tour of Madingley Hall and discover the secrets of this historic 16th-century mansion. Or follow the Science and Nature Trail round our extensive gardens.

Find out more about the open day and sign up for a talk


Thursday, 06 January 2011 12:16

Rex Walford

Rex Walford: a tribute

Everyone at the Institute of Continuing Education has been shocked and saddened by the news of Rex Walford’s tragic death. Rex has been one of our best-loved and most admired tutors: for many years, his courses on music and drama have educated and entertained students at Madingley Hall, throughout the region and at our International Summer Schools.

As recently as late November, Rex played a prominent part in our highly successful Edwardian Weekend course, performing and lecturing on Edwardian parlour and music hall songs to a highly appreciative audience in the Saloon. He was due to teach further ICE residential and day-school courses this year, both at Madingley for the International Summer School, and in the Channel Islands, and there was never a shortage of students wanting to enrol whenever he was teaching.

It is easy to forget that Rex’s academic and teaching career began not with music and the theatre but with geography. He was a distinguished geographer (former President of the Geographical Association) and a fine educationist who never lost sight of the fact that good teaching is always based on a passion for one’s subject. He was Head of the then Department of Education here in Cambridge and remained a Fellow of Wolfson College after his retirement.

Just across Barton Road from the College is St Mark’s Church, where Rex was a loyal member of the congregation and where several of his plays and entertainments received their first performance. Many people will remember the sell-out evening based on the life and poetry of John Betjeman that Rex produced in Madingley Church in 2009.

Rex’s loss will be deeply felt, and we send our sympathy to his wife Wendy, who often accompanied him on his courses at Madingley Hall. From among tributes already sent in by ICE students who have cause to be grateful for his teaching, we would like to endorse these comments:

"Rex's courses at Madingley enjoyed a substantial regular following, due as much to his great personal charm, infectious enthusiasm and sense of both humour and fun, as to his erudition. Nobody who was present could possibly forget the deftly devised performances he incorporated into each course, given by talented local professional and amateur performers culled from the many East Anglian operatic and dramatic societies he directed."

We invite others to add their tributes using the 'Add comment' link below.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010 09:43


Liz Carter will be offering another of her popular family history courses at Madingley from 28 – 30 January 2011. With so much available on the internet these days, choosing the right website and the appropriate resources to trace your family history can seem daunting. Liz will introduce students to the range of resources available ranging from the National Archives to civil registration, census returns and local resources in the UK. Students will also have practical sessions to access these sites.

Details of the course and how to book can be found on the webpage


Monday, 20 December 2010 13:41


Enjoy our beautiful location, award winning catering and excellent teaching during a residential weekend course at Madingley in 2011. Places are still available for many courses: during January you could learn about ‘Shakespeare and the human comedy’ (14 – 16 January); undertake ‘A medical history tour of epidemiology from ancient to modern times’ (21 – 23 January); indulge in ‘a critical reading of Descarte’s meditations’ (28 – 30 January) or discover ‘The darker side of the Pre-Raphaelites’ (28 – 30 January). A list of all courses can be found on the website and details of the course content and how to book on-line, can be found by following the course links.



Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:42


Study online: Athens and the 5th-century intellectual revolution

This course provides both an overview of one of the key eras in human development and a solid foundation for further studies for those with an interest but not necessarily previous experience in classical history.

Students on this course will learn about the major advances in art, architecture and philosophy which took place in Greece during this period, and other aspects of Greek life, including:

  • The development of the theatre
  • Sophism and Empiricism as philosophical concepts
  • Democracy and aristocratic reaction
  • The outside influences on Greek thought
  • The architecture of Greek temples and public buildings
  • The Olympics and other festivals
  • Everyday life in a Greek city

Study with the experienced and enthusiastic tutor Dr Maty Matyszak, celebrated author in Ancient History and inspiration to many past students:

“I have been very miffed with the Athens course, miffed that it has ended! It has been skilfully constructed and presented.  Maty, we need some more of your sublime tutelage; I’ll take anything under your magisterial watch.”

"Fantastic - a new way to study and one that works extremely well"

"Great tutor, provided a 'forum' to meet new people from around the world and chat about subjects that I'm interested in"

To find out more information


Tuesday, 07 December 2010 00:00


Launch of the Madingley Lectures

Astronomer Royal Lord Rees leads an international line-up of speakers when the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) launches its first series of Madingley Lectures next year.

The free lectures will be given at Madingley Hall, the headquarters of ICE, and are open to all.

Dr Rebecca Lingwood, Director of Continuing Education, said: “The Madingley Lectures are an important part of ICE’s commitment to public engagement and they are one of the ways we aim to reach beyond the walls of the University, sharing Cambridge as widely as possible.”

The inaugural lecture by Lord Rees, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, takes place on January 10, 2011, and will be chaired by Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Lord Rees will speak on ‘Life in the cosmos’, exploring how, on at least one planet around at least one star, life began and a complex biosphere evolved and asking big the questions such as what lies in the far future, will life from Earth spread far beyond, or is life already widespread?

Other lectures in the first series include Dr Francis Warner, leading poet and dramatist and Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, speaking on ‘Armageddon and faith: a survivor’s meditation on the Blitz’ on Saturday, February 19, at 3pm, followed by a piano recital by David Goode, world-renowned organist and Head of Keyboard at Eton College.

On March 14, Dr Hugh Hunt, Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, will give an evening lecture at Madingley Hall. This lecture is given in association with the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) and as part of the Cambridge Science Festival on ‘Dambusters and the engineering behind the bouncing bomb’.

Future lecturers will include Professor David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, on May 3, and Dr Simon Thurley, architectural historian and Chief Executive of English Heritage, on July 14.

The inaugural Madingley Lecture starts at 7pm on January 10, 2011. Booking details and information are available from

Launch of the Madingley Lectures


Wednesday, 24 November 2010 12:51


Arts and crafts gardens 1850 - 1950

From Kelmscott to Sissighurst the Arts and Crafts Movement revolutionised gardening in Britain.  Based on the writing of John Ruskin and William Morris promoting unity of the arts like-minded artists, designers and plantsmen contributed towards gardens such as Munstead Wood, Hidcote, Hestercombe and Snowshill Manor. This course considers the design and planting of these and other iconic gardens inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Further information:
Title: Arts and crafts gardens 1850 - 1950
Tutor: Dr Barbara Simms
Date: 10 - 12 December 2010

To find out more information click here

Thursday, 18 November 2010 11:20


ICE's Dr. Gilly Carr helps reveal Guernsey's forgotten heroes

A previously unseen archive featuring the testimonies of people who were deported to German prison camps during World War II has been uncovered by a team of researchers working in Guernsey, led by Dr. Gilly Carr, University Lecturer in Archaeology and ICE's subject specialist.

Find out more at


Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:47


ICE course director discovers donkey DNA in Pompeii

Course director of Science, Susan Gurney (working with Dr Peter Foster) has solved the mystery of the identity of what was thought to be a now-extinct breed of horse discovered at Pompeii – this has puzzled experts since the remains were uncovered in 2004. It was in fact a donkey!

Susan’s publication in the new issue of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, explains that there appears to have been a mistake in the lab, which resulted in horse DNA being combined with that of a donkey to create an artificial hybrid. Identification as a donkey is important in itself as it may prove that this particular type of donkey dates farther back than previously thought.

For further information, please visit


Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:36


New bursary launched for teachers
of A-Level Law

The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) will hold its annual Conference for Teachers of A-Level Law from 31 March to 1 April 2011 at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. This year, ICE is delighted to be able to offer bursaries, significantly reducing the fees for those teaching in UK state schools or UK state FE institutions.

Designed to bring recent developments in the law and updates in the subject area to teachers who often don’t get the time out to refresh their knowledge, the Conference should be a key date in all A-Level Law teachers’ diaries. Delegates gain exclusive access to leading academics, are able to share best practice with colleagues and ask advice on specific questions regarding topics included in the AQA and OCR syllabuses.

Since 1989, the Conference has inspired over a thousand teachers, providing access to excellent speakers from the University of Cambridge and other leading institutions, presenting in key areas such as Criminal Law, the English Legal System and Tort. There are group sessions with Chief Examiners from AQA and OCR. Exhibitors include publishers of relevant law texts with the latest editions on show. In response to feedback from our previous delegates, the programme now includes a valuable session on best practice, giving delegates the opportunity to share preferred teaching tools and methods via our online classroom. Delegates will have access to this exceptional resource after the conference for use back in the classroom.

Now in its 21st year this Conference provides professional development to teachers of A-Level Law, also A2 and AS Law teachers who use the AQA and OCR syllabuses. It will also be of interest to others working in the field, including teachers of other law courses in the further education sector.

Commenting on the annual Conference, Yvette Sexton from Tresham Institute of Further and Higher Education said, “To meet other tutors and share ideas and experiences was particularly valuable. Also – as teachers we are all so busy - having the opportunity to refresh and update our subject knowledge is absolutely crucial to our professional development. I was greatly impressed by the quality of the event.”

Applications are open for a limited number of places. Further details about the Conference and an application form can be found at:


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