General News

Wednesday, 06 April 2011 17:33


ICE announces new Director of Public and Professional Programmes

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Ian Baxter to the post of Director of Public and Professional Programmes here at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).

Ian has been appointed on Adrian Barlow’s imminent retirement (September 2011) and will take up his post in May 2011, giving a short period of overlap with Adrian.

Ian comes to us with a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge. He is currently at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Heritage Management, seconded Head of Department of Management, and Director of Caledonian Business School Postgraduate Programmes. He has an MA in Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Cultural Resource/Heritage Management from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

You can follow Ian’s tweets on culture, policy, museums and heritage management at @ibheritage. Ian will be joining ICE in exciting times as we build up to introducing a new and vibrant portfolio of Public Programmes.

We look forward to welcoming Ian as much as we recognize how much Adrian will be missed by colleagues and students alike.

Adrian Barlow

Adrian began teaching for ICE in 1998, becoming Staff Tutor in English in 2005, University Lecturer in English and Director of Public Programmes in 2007 and Director of Public and Professional Programmes in 2009. He is a senior member of Wolfson College, Cambridge, National Chair of the English Association, and Cambridge Inspector, Option Internationale du Baccalauréat Francais.

Adrian is one of our most popular and respected teaching staff, specialising in English literature and architecture, and with a vast – and often-plundered – fund of knowledge about Madingley Hall and its history.

His research interests include pedagogy of English teaching to adults, literature of the Great War, contemporary fiction, Victorian stained glass, and ecclesiology. He is the editor of the 21-volume Cambridge University Press (CUP) series Cambridge Contexts in Literature, and author of books for both Oxford University Press and CUP, including (most recently) World and Time: Teaching Literature in Context (2009).

Adrian has been blogging on ICE’s website for well over a year on subjects ranging from Rupert Brooke to Radiohead, and has an avid following. He will be teaching the following courses in the run-up to his retirement:

There will, of course, be opportunities nearer the time when we hope you’ll join us in thanking Adrian and wishing him the best for his future retirement projects.


Monday, 14 March 2011 08:27


Attention! It's the ‘Madingley March’

Listen to the Iridian Trio play ‘Madingley March’, composed by Tim Watts for the inaugural Madingley Concert on 6 March 2011.

'Madingley March' was played at that first performance alongside works by Mozart (K.452) and Schumann (Op.88). Both of these works contain march music and Tim decided to pick up on this in his piece. However, while Mozart and Schumann's marches share a quality of jaunty innocence, 'Madingley March' evokes an occasionally sinister sense of the mechanical: a trio of clockwork soldiers perhaps...

About the Madingley Concerts

The Madingley Concerts are a series of free public recitals given by leading young instrumentalists. The concerts take place at Madingley Hall, the headquarters of the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), and are open to all.

Find out more about the Madingley Concerts and book your place for future performances


Tuesday, 01 March 2011 17:07


Time Team enlists the help of ICE archaeologist

Channel 4's Time Team joined forces with ICE's Dr Gilly Carr this weekend to uncover the forgotten legacy of the Nazis' five-year occupation of Jersey.

In Hitler's Island Fortress, screened on Sunday 27 February, the Team investigates a German anti-aircraft battery on a site now reclaimed by forest. Gilly’s expertise in ‘Occupation Archaeology’ comes to the fore as the dig progresses, and a horrifying picture emerges of a fortress island where installations were built by slave labour and the local population was left to starve.

Find out more about the programme

Watch Hitler's Island Fortress on the Channel 4 website

Gilly Carr is Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). She has pioneered the new concept of 'Occupation Archaeology' using the German occupation of the Channel Islands as her case study.

About Dr Gilly Carr

On 19 June, Gilly will be teaching a day school at Madingley Hall on 'The legacy of Occupation: bunkers, ghosts and swastikas in the Channel Islands'.

Find out more about the day school and book your place


Monday, 28 February 2011 16:33


A survivor’s meditation on the Blitz

Dr Francis Warner recalls his experience of growing up during the Blitz in this new Madingley Lecture video.

Francis Warner was born in Yorkshire in 1937 but spent the years of the Second World War in Epsom, Surrey, where his father was a parish priest. In this very personal reminiscence, he describes the terrors of life in 'Bomb Alley', the sustenance provided by his family and his faith, and the effect the Blitz had on the lives of those who survived it.

Watch the video >>

Dr Warner is Emeritus Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford and Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

Find out about forthcoming Madingley Lectures


Wednesday, 09 February 2011 11:35


Why the Devil has all the best tunes

A new book by Dr Fred Parker explores how some of our greatest writers have drawn on the Devil for inspiration.

In The Devil as Muse, to be published later this month by Baylor University Press, Dr Parker explores not just how the Devil is portrayed, and how this has subtly but radically changed over the centuries, but also how writers have engaged with the daemonic or diabolical as a source of their own creativity, drawing on evil for their inspiration.

Find out more about The Devil as Muse

Hear Dr Parker discuss the Devil on the BBC Today programme

Dr Parker is Programme Director for the Institute’s Literature International Summer School, and teaches on other of our courses, as well as being University Senior Lecturer in English. His teaching interests range widely, with an emphasis on English literature from Milton to Byron, tragedy, and relations between literature and philosophy.

About the Literature Summer School

Profile of Dr Fred Parker


Thursday, 03 February 2011 13:10


Is there life in the cosmos?

Watch the Astronomer Royal talk about life, the Universe and everything in this new online video.

On 10 January 2011 the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, gave the inaugural Madingley Lecture at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). For nearly an hour he held the audience spellbound on his chosen topic of 'Life in the cosmos', distilling into the clearest terms the latest theories on the origin of the universe, the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life and the future of planet Earth.

Now you too can watch the lecture, via our website. The video also features Lord Rees’s slides and photographs, including spectacular images of planets, nebulae and stellar phenomena.

Watch the video >>

We would love to hear your views on the issues raised in the lecture. Once you’ve watched the film, you can post your comments below it and join the debate.

Find out more

Read Adrian Barlow’s blog reflecting on the lecture and its roots in Chaucer.

Find out about forthcoming Madingley Lectures


Wednesday, 02 February 2011 00:00

New Historic Environment Newsletter now available to download


The February 2011 issue of the Historic Environment Newsletter contains information about research undertaken by our tutors and students, as well as information about our courses and ideas for a reading group.

Download the Historic Environment Newsletter


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


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