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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)

Student on a virtual lesson

Cory Saarinen, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning at ICE, updates us on the continuing success – and growth – of the Institute’s flourishing collaboration with online learning platform, edX. 

Making Cambridge courses accessible to the world 

Our first foray onto the edX platform was a MicroMasters in Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries, and we’re delighted it’s still going strong, starting its third iteration this Michaelmas. 

A MicroMasters is a certifiable graduate-level course providing deep learning that helps students advance their careers. As well as that, our course can count as credit for successful applicants to a full Master’s in Writing for Performance at ICE. 

We also began a range of finance courses over the past year: a Professional Certificate in Applied Corporate Finance, which consists of two courses, Financial Accounting and Capital Markets, and Building Stakeholder Value, and an accessible-to-all Foundations of Finance course, which provides a rigorous but straightforward introduction to key concepts of financial understanding.  

As an example of their popularity, more than 16,000 people have registered for the two editions of our Foundations of Finance course so far. It’s an entirely different global scale and reach to our traditional online courses that intentionally operate with small cohorts of students. 

New ventures in psychology and forensic science 

This year, we launched The Psychology of Emotions: an introduction to Embodied Cognition. Dr Giulia Mangiaracina leads students through the self-paced course over five units, exploring how to measure the ability to understand the feelings of others. Again, it’s been an instant hit with almost 5,000 students signed up – we’ll certainly run it again. 

Finally, our most recent addition is the five-unit Forensic Science: DNA Analysis. This appeals to a broad audience, from lawyers and professionals already involved in the field to those drawn in by popular TV shows, books and podcasts. Dr Susan Gurney has been running a version of this course online for several years, and she’s put together real-life case examples for students to work through using genetics and DNA analysis. It looks set to be another success story. 

Access for all – with valuable optional extras 

The great thing about all our edX courses is that the unverified, self-paced pathway is always available for free. It’s exciting to make quality, University of Cambridge education so easily accessible to so many. But the verified route is a good-value way of accessing extra support from Cambridge academics and receiving additional learning activities and certificates to validate your achievements. 

We’re definitely keen to keep expanding our range of courses on the edX platform, so look out for more subjects coming your way soon. 

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Find out more about our edX courses.

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