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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


As well as marking 150 years of ICE’s leading role in the genesis of continuing education, the Institute is proud that 2023 heralds the 60th anniversary of its popular programme of weekend courses. 

Running throughout the year, short courses cover a spectrum of fascinating subjects led by a diverse group of Cambridge tutors and expert practitioners'. Designed for both personal interest and professional development, each course comprises seven sessions between Friday evening and Sunday lunchtime, alongside plenty of time to enjoy beautiful surroundings, fine food and the company of your tutors and fellow learners. Here, weekend course regulars tell us what keeps them coming back for more lifelong learning at the home of ICE.

Anne Coleman

Anne studied on our residential weekend course, 'Feminism and Fantasy by Virginia Woolf.'

 The varied ages and backgrounds of course participants is enriching – everyone comes with a slightly different agenda. I’ve loved being back at beautiful Madingley Hall. To be in a group with fellow enthusiasts, led by an expert, is the most enjoyable learning environment imaginable. And the breakfasts are marvellous!

Kate Williams

Kate has studied several courses with ICE, most recently ‘Reading Classical Greek: Greek Lyric Poetry - a selection’

I first started going to Madingley before I had children and have resumed again more recently. I’ve been to quite a lot of ICE courses over the years, but always on a classical theme.

I choose these courses because I have a special interest in them. I know they’ll give me a high-quality experience that’s difficult to find elsewhere. And studying texts on your own is tough going. Reading with other people brings the experience to life because sharing makes it so much more exciting. You can help each other out on difficult bits and explore meaning far more successfully when you are talking about it with others.

What’s wonderful about the whole experience is the high academic standard of the course leaders, the enthusiasm of the other attendees and the beautiful grounds and house at Madingley. I’ve made friends with other attendees who share the same interests as me, and I love meeting them in person at Cambridge. And the food is always excellent. It’s a utopia, and I have introduced at least three of my friends to it.

Zoe Adams Green

Zoe has studied on several short courses including History, Philosophy and Ethics and Science.

I met my future husband for the first time on an Ethics course here in 2016. It didn’t hurt to get some insight into his moral values early on! My aim in coming to ICE is to widen my horizons by learning something new. Although now we have a toddler, I also hope to get a weekend of calm tranquillity! It’s fun to meet such a wide range of interesting people from different backgrounds. The quality of the teaching, the house, the grounds – the whole experience is amazing. I rave about the courses at ICE and, despite living in Italy, will try to return as often as possible.

Connor Webster

Connor studied on our residential weekend course, 'Feminism and Fantasy by Virginia Woolf.'

ICE’s in-person, residential course provided high-quality content in an inspiring setting. The busy schedule meant that the weekend was highly productive, and exploring Madingley Hall’s grounds during free time made me appreciate the experience all the more.

With both residential and non-residential places available, ICE’s weekend courses offer inspiring learning opportunities for people of all backgrounds, however near or far away they live. No academic qualifications are required, and all over-18s are very welcome. So why not take a look at what’s on offer this year? Who knows where a weekend of learning might lead you?

To find out more about the wealth of short, weekend course at ICE, visit:

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