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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)



Weekend courses begin with dinner on Friday and normally comprise seven teaching sessions (one and a half hours including discussion) up to lunch on Sunday. Students are likely to have some free time on the Saturday afternoon unless an excursion or field work forms part of the course.

Two-day courses normally begin with lunch on Sunday, and comprise six teaching sessions, finishing late afternoon on Monday.

Day schools run from 10.00am to 4.45pm and include four teaching sessions of 75 minutes each. The course fee includes tea, coffee and a buffet lunch.

Weekly courses typically run for five weeks, with one two-hour session every week. They are supported by ICE’s virtual learning environment (VLE), which allows students to download course material and contact their tutors and fellow students online.

Entry requirements

No academic qualification is required of applicants, and most courses are suitable for students who are new to the subject.

All teaching is in English (unless a foreign-language course). If your first language is not English, you need to satisfy yourself that you have the required near-native command of the language to get the maximum benefit from studying with ICE.

A booklist, course syllabus and detailed timetable are circulated as far as possible in advance of a course. You will receive these documents by email if you have provided us with your email address; please check your spam folder if you have not received these documents. You can also download material from the course web page.


Madingley Hall itself is an impressive manor house dating back to the mid-16th century. The decoration of the Saloon and the formal Stair Hall was carried out 200 years later, and the whole fabric was renovated with great care around 1900. About four miles from the centre of Cambridge, the Hall stands in several acres of beautifully-maintained gardens and overlooks a landscape which has changed relatively little since it was laid out by Capability Brown.


Accommodation for residential courses is provided in single, twin or double study bedrooms. All rooms are equipped with digital televisions, internet access, room safes and beverage-making facilities. Rooms are centrally heated and all have en-suite facilities. Unfortunately it is not normally possible to accommodate requests for particular rooms or facilities. However please note that two adapted bedrooms are available which can be accessed by wheelchair lift.

We are usually able to offer accommodation on Sunday evenings for those wishing to extend their stay. Please indicate if you wish to book an extra night when completing the application form, or when booking online.

Non-residential places are available on most weekend and short courses. The fee includes all meals on the course except breakfast.

How to apply

To book online and pay by credit or debit card, visit the course search page, select your course and click on the link to ‘Book online now’. You will then be taken, step by step, through the booking process.

To book by post, please use the application form in the course prospectus.

To book over the phone, call our Admissions team on +44 (0)1223 746262.

Non-EU Students

Any non-EU nationals wishing to attend a weekend course should check whether they require a Student Visitor visa by using the ‘Do I need a UK visa?’ questionnaire on the ‘How to apply’ section of the UK Border Agency website. Student Visitors who find that they do not require a visa must still carry a letter from the University of Cambridge explaining the purpose of the visit. This can be obtained by contacting our Admissions team on +44 (0)1223 746262.

Students must not enter the UK as a General Visitor or tourist when intending to study at the University of Cambridge.

Special requirements

ICE welcomes disabled people and those with reduced mobility on all its courses, and Madingley Hall has been adapted for ease of use. ICE staff are not able to provide personal care under any circumstances. Given sufficient notice, however, an accompanying carer may be accommodated at a reduced rate. Please contact the Disability Advisor at studentsupport@ice.cam.ac.uk for further information. Not disclosing any need for assistance may on occasion mean a participant cannot continue.

ICE’s weekend courses are part of the University of Cambridge’s adult education provision. The courses are not normally open to secondary school students, though gap-year students preparing for university and those currently studying university courses are welcome (accompanied by a parent or guardian if under 18).


Fees for weekend and two-day courses cover tuition, some meals and refreshments, including morning coffee and afternoon tea during teaching hours, and travel on excursions (but not entrance fees to properties visited). Accommodation can be booked for an additional fee.

VAT does not apply to course fees and there is no service charge (gratuities to domestic staff are left to your discretion). It is sometimes possible to stay for extra nights or extra meals, or to invite guests to meals, at an additional cost and by prior arrangement with the Admissions team.

If you do not wish to pay in full at the time of booking, you may pay a 15% registration fee as a deposit by credit/debit card. The balance will automatically be taken two weeks before the start of the course. If you wish to pay by cheque, you will need to pay in full when the booking is made.

Please note: the course fee for non-residential students includes tuition and all meals except breakfast. Breakfast may be purchased during the weekend if required. The course fee for residential students includes tuition, accommodation and all meals.

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Email: shortcourses@ice.cam.ac.uk

Admissions: +44 (0)1223 746262
Enquiries: +44 (0)1223 746210

If you are a tutor with ideas for short courses, please submit them here.

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