Undergraduate Advanced Diploma (Continuing Education)

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TheUKAmerican
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hi,
I'm aware I'm unlikely to receive a LOT of answers, probably mostly "I don't knows," which is cool. But I'm interested in pursuing this qualification next academic year on the side of my bachelor's degree. (it's designed to be part time specifically to fit around a full time job, and my supervisor at my regular uni gave me the go ahead, since I've ended up at a university that's more emphasised on vocational learning and this diploma complements that as it's very research based.)

Essentially you pick a research topic, and over the course of two years you develop a 20,000 word dissertation 1 on 1 with a Cambridge academic, and at the end you get a diploma equivalent to the 3rd year of of a bachelor's degree. You also have a series of lectures each term on learning how to be a good researcher.

This would be ideal for someone like me as I possess a very rare skill that I have a vested interest in improving, that you can't really do a specific degree for but is very interesting as a research area. I won't go into detail to protect my identity, but yeah. Essentially i think the one on one contact with a Cambridge Academic might help me mould this potential in ways that aren't really possible at my current university.

My question, if anyone has studied with ICE before for one of their certificates or diplomas is:
What's it like? Is it rigorous or do you think anyone could get a pass?
If you did one of their qualifications, do you find it helped you reach later goals? (Post-grad, or job, etc.)
How organised are the ICE programmes in general? And finally, this last one is silly but I'm curious...
do the qualifications say Cambridge or Institute of Continuing Education on them? :P
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threeportdrift
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#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
............
Ive studied for the MSt at ICE and also done some weekend/interet courses there, so no direct certificate/diploma experience. The MSt is certainly the same level of rigour as the MPhil, Cambridge doesn't mess about with its academic standards if it's awarding a qualification. I went on to do a PhD after the MSt, so it helped there.

ICE is generally extremely well organised and a very smart outfit.

The degree certificate says Cambridge University, it doesn't say anything about the subject. I presume the same for diploma's but couldn't be sure.
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ChasWal
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#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
[QUOTE=TheUKAmerican;76688244]Hi,

Hi,
I recently did an Advanced Dip at ICE. The management is chaotic - do not believe posts that suggest to the contrary - but perhaps the worst feature is their apparent inability to get experienced Cambridge or Oxford qualified academics to teach the courses.
Madingley Hall, which is where ICE is based, seems to be regarded as a bit of a joke by those at the proper Cambridge colleges. On my course, we all started with a Cambridge qualified supervisor who had obtained her PhD at a Cambridge college. However within a couple of months she left, and many were asked to accept as a replacement someone still awaiting the result of their PhD from Essex - yes, Essex has a university! On the positive side, I gather he more or less wrote their essays for them, and marked them, so they got good marks. Also on the plus side, and in answer to one of your questions, I don't think anyone ever fails. How much one of their qualifications is worth would really depend on how much the person or organisation you were trying to impress knew about ICE. If they were ignorant, the name of Cambridge might be enough. I've also studied at Oxford, who as you might expect are very much better, but I don't think they do Advanced Dips at present.
What you need to remember is that Madingley Hall, while apparently owned by the University of Cambridge, is basically a hotel, come conference centre, come reception rooms for just about anything. ICE comes across as the poor relation of the other activities. ICE generally specialises in weekends in the country (Madingley Hall is out in the country, not in Cambridge) with talks on various subjects. They also do film shows, music recitals, just about anything that might make a buck. Having said that, I fancy they do these very well. But serious education, I'm not so sure.


(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
Hi,
I'm aware I'm unlikely to receive a LOT of answers, probably mostly "I don't knows," which is cool. But I'm interested in pursuing this qualification next academic year on the side of my bachelor's degree. (it's designed to be part time specifically to fit around a full time job, and my supervisor at my regular uni gave me the go ahead, since I've ended up at a university that's more emphasised on vocational learning and this diploma complements that as it's very research based.)

Essentially you pick a research topic, and over the course of two years you develop a 20,000 word dissertation 1 on 1 with a Cambridge academic, and at the end you get a diploma equivalent to the 3rd year of of a bachelor's degree. You also have a series of lectures each term on learning how to be a good researcher.

This would be ideal for someone like me as I possess a very rare skill that I have a vested interest in improving, that you can't really do a specific degree for but is very interesting as a research area. I won't go into detail to protect my identity, but yeah. Essentially i think the one on one contact with a Cambridge Academic might help me mould this potential in ways that aren't really possible at my current university.

My question, if anyone has studied with ICE before for one of their certificates or diplomas is:
What's it like? Is it rigorous or do you think anyone could get a pass?
If you did one of their qualifications, do you find it helped you reach later goals? (Post-grad, or job, etc.)
How organised are the ICE programmes in general? And finally, this last one is silly but I'm curious...
do the qualifications say Cambridge or Institute of Continuing Education on them? :P
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TheUKAmerican
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#4
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#4
[QUOTE=ChasWal;77967394]
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
Hi,

Hi,
I recently did an Advanced Dip at ICE. The management is chaotic - do not believe posts that suggest to the contrary - but perhaps the worst feature is their apparent inability to get experienced Cambridge or Oxford qualified academics to teach the courses.
Madingley Hall, which is where ICE is based, seems to be regarded as a bit of a joke by those at the proper Cambridge colleges. On my course, we all started with a Cambridge qualified supervisor who had obtained her PhD at a Cambridge college. However within a couple of months she left, and many were asked to accept as a replacement someone still awaiting the result of their PhD from Essex - yes, Essex has a university! On the positive side, I gather he more or less wrote their essays for them, and marked them, so they got good marks. Also on the plus side, and in answer to one of your questions, I don't think anyone ever fails. How much one of their qualifications is worth would really depend on how much the person or organisation you were trying to impress knew about ICE. If they were ignorant, the name of Cambridge might be enough. I've also studied at Oxford, who as you might expect are very much better, but I don't think they do Advanced Dips at present.
What you need to remember is that Madingley Hall, while apparently owned by the University of Cambridge, is basically a hotel, come conference centre, come reception rooms for just about anything. ICE comes across as the poor relation of the other activities. ICE generally specialises in weekends in the country (Madingley Hall is out in the country, not in Cambridge) with talks on various subjects. They also do film shows, music recitals, just about anything that might make a buck. Having said that, I fancy they do these very well. But serious education, I'm not so sure.
The advanced diploma, at least as it exists in its current form, is not a taught course to begin with, but rather a single dissertation finished over 2 years. Are you sure you did the same course?
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threeportdrift
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#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
[QUOTE=TheUKAmerican;77968042]
(Original post by ChasWal)
The advanced diploma, at least as it exists in its current form, is not a taught course to begin with, but rather a single dissertation finished over 2 years. Are you sure you did the same course?
You might want to check out ChasWal's post history. They only appear to exist in order to criticise ICE
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ChasWal
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#6
Report 3 years ago
#6
[QUOTE=TheUKAmerican;77968042]
(Original post by ChasWal)
The advanced diploma, at least as it exists in its current form, is not a taught course to begin with, but rather a single dissertation finished over 2 years. Are you sure you did the same course?
Hi,
The course I did was over two years. It was described as a research based course. Students basically did three essays in the first year, and a dissertation in the second. Over that period students had around 8 one hour (or more) one to one supervisions with their supervisor. The course is taught at 3rd year FHEQ level 6, and you get 120 CATS points. It all sounds great, the problem is the chaotic admin and the quality of your supervisors. The VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) which one is very dependent on, throws regular wobblies - usually when you need it most, and supervisors have a habit of coming and going, and can be of questionable quality. All these problems are beyond the student's control, and make for a very erratic and frustrating learning environment. One student on my course likened it to Faulty Towers - everyone appears to be trying their best, they just seem unable to keep it together, and the students are expected to put up with, and make up for, the shortcomings.
Whether the course is for you depends on what you're looking for. If you want a piece of paper saying you passed an Advance Dip at Cambridge, then I'm sure you'll both be accepted for the course - they seem to be frantically advertising for students - and you'll pass. As I said, I've never heard of them failing anyone. The question to me is, is a bit of paper that may be of questionable value, worth two years of your life and possibly a lot of aggravation?
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TheUKAmerican
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#7
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#7
I figured now that I've signed up for the course and finished my first term's worth of lectures I would update this for anyone looking into it.

- You are a full Cambridge student in most ways that matter, you can sign up for the Mathmos library, have access to the University Library, and can do all the same societies and clubs. I've basically spent the last 2 weeks signing up for every freshers event and student event possible and the only ones that have told me 'no' were the Cambridge careers service. (Fair enough on that one.) At 4000 GBP a year, the networking possibilities are a bargain. Even the administrators of the Institute of Continuing Education were surprised at how much I'm actually allowed into, as most students are working adults who leave as soon as lectures are over, so they've never tried.

- You do NOT get a college, as part time undergraduates do not matriculate.

- As I recently found out, if you do make friends in the actual colleges however, you can wear a gown to the formals. (Peterhouse is the default undergraduate gown, and this is the one you must wear if you do not hold a BA elsewhere and you're doing an Advanced Diploma. Although everyone else on the course this year has a degree save 1 guy.)

- The qualification is a Cambridge qualification NOT an 'Ice Qualification', whatever that would mean. It's mentioned in the University's constitution as a qualification open to non members of the university. This might be pertinent to younger individuals who are hoping the Cambridge name gives them something of an early career boost.

- What you can research is extremely open ended and they will work hard at finding you an appropriate supervisor for your specialism.

- Most people on the course are significantly older than the average age of TSR users, I reckon. The mean age is probably around 35, but there are a significant number of retirees who already went to Cambridge years ago and who are just learning for fun. There's a lot of working adults who are using the qualification as a segway to a masters or return to research.

- If you pass the course with a high enough grade, it's potentially a direct route to an MST at ICE without need for a Bachelor's, as the two year 'complete' advanced diploma course. (It's divided into two certificates) is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree.

- They are fairly selective about who they let on the course, and they made that abundantly clear first day of lectures.
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threeportdrift
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#8
Report 3 years ago
#8
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
...........
Congrats for getting on the course, hope you are enjoying it. I didn't realise that undergrads didn't matriculate. Masters students do, or certainly did a few years ago.
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Ellemore21
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#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by ChasWal)
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
Hi,

Hi,
I recently did an Advanced Dip at ICE. The management is chaotic - do not believe posts that suggest to the contrary - but perhaps the worst feature is their apparent inability to get experienced Cambridge or Oxford qualified academics to teach the courses.
Madingley Hall, which is where ICE is based, seems to be regarded as a bit of a joke by those at the proper Cambridge colleges. On my course, we all started with a Cambridge qualified supervisor who had obtained her PhD at a Cambridge college. However within a couple of months she left, and many were asked to accept as a replacement someone still awaiting the result of their PhD from Essex - yes, Essex has a university! On the positive side, I gather he more or less wrote their essays for them, and marked them, so they got good marks. Also on the plus side, and in answer to one of your questions, I don't think anyone ever fails. How much one of their qualifications is worth would really depend on how much the person or organisation you were trying to impress knew about ICE. If they were ignorant, the name of Cambridge might be enough. I've also studied at Oxford, who as you might expect are very much better, but I don't think they do Advanced Dips at present.
What you need to remember is that Madingley Hall, while apparently owned by the University of Cambridge, is basically a hotel, come conference centre, come reception rooms for just about anything. ICE comes across as the poor relation of the other activities. ICE generally specialises in weekends in the country (Madingley Hall is out in the country, not in Cambridge) with talks on various subjects. They also do film shows, music recitals, just about anything that might make a buck. Having said that, I fancy they do these very well. But serious education, I'm not so
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
I figured now that I've signed up for the course and finished my first term's worth of lectures I would update this for anyone looking into it.

- You are a full Cambridge student in most ways that matter, you can sign up for the Mathmos library, have access to the University Library, and can do all the same societies and clubs. I've basically spent the last 2 weeks signing up for every freshers event and student event possible and the only ones that have told me 'no' were the Cambridge careers service. (Fair enough on that one.) At 4000 GBP a year, the networking possibilities are a bargain. Even the administrators of the Institute of Continuing Education were surprised at how much I'm actually allowed into, as most students are working adults who leave as soon as lectures are over, so they've never tried.

- You do NOT get a college, as part time undergraduates do not matriculate.

- As I recently found out, if you do make friends in the actual colleges however, you can wear a gown to the formals. (Peterhouse is the default undergraduate gown, and this is the one you must wear if you do not hold a BA elsewhere and you're doing an Advanced Diploma. Although everyone else on the course this year has a degree save 1 guy.)

- The qualification is a Cambridge qualification NOT an 'Ice Qualification', whatever that would mean. It's mentioned in the University's constitution as a qualification open to non members of the university. This might be pertinent to younger individuals who are hoping the Cambridge name gives them something of an early career boost.

- What you can research is extremely open ended and they will work hard at finding you an appropriate supervisor for your specialism.

- Most people on the course are significantly older than the average age of TSR users, I reckon. The mean age is probably around 35, but there are a significant number of retirees who already went to Cambridge years ago and who are just learning for fun. There's a lot of working adults who are using the qualification as a segway to a masters or return to research.

- If you pass the course with a high enough grade, it's potentially a direct route to an MST at ICE without need for a Bachelor's, as the two year 'complete' advanced diploma course. (It's divided into two certificates) is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree.

- They are fairly selective about who they let on the course, and they made that abundantly clear first day of lectures.
Thank you for taking the time to clarify this. I am considering a year undergrad diploma and I too would like to wear a gown. The 'mickey mouse' reference made in previous comment is in my opinion untrue. I would like to learn more about your experience and perhaps share your ceremony experience too if you'd like to contact me I'd be grateful for advice on what to expect. Thank you. Elle
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TheUKAmerican
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#10
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by Ellemore21)
Thank you for taking the time to clarify this. I am considering a year undergrad diploma and I too would like to wear a gown. The 'mickey mouse' reference made in previous comment is in my opinion untrue. I would like to learn more about your experience and perhaps share your ceremony experience too if you'd like to contact me I'd be grateful for advice on what to expect. Thank you. Elle
If you're still around: sure, what would you like to know?

N.b.: Undergraduate diploma is different from the *advanced* diploma. One is second year level, the other is final year level.
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inluminatio
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#11
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#11
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
- If you pass the course with a high enough grade, it's potentially a direct route to an MST at ICE without need for a Bachelor's, as the two year 'complete' advanced diploma course. (It's divided into two certificates) is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree.
Hi Thank you for the info about ICE!

I emailed about the info about their MST and was told that Advanced Diploma is not enough for MST that I would have to transfer credits elsewhere bet Bachelors and apply then.

So looks like I would have to transfer away after Diploma, and instead of their Advanced diploma do BA elsewhere. It is really odd that they do not offer any pathway to bridge the gap between undergrad and postgrad levels.

Are you planning to go for Mst?
Last edited by inluminatio; 9 months ago
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TheUKAmerican
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#12
Report Thread starter 9 months ago
#12
(Original post by inluminatio)
Hi Thank you for the info about ICE!

I emailed about the info about their MST and was told that Advanced Diploma is not enough for MST that I would have to transfer credits elsewhere bet Bachelors and apply then.

So looks like I would have to transfer away after Diploma, and instead of their Advanced diploma do BA elsewhere. It is really odd that they do not offer any pathway to bridge the gap between undergrad and postgrad levels.

Are you planning to go for Mst?
I was accepted into masters programmes at other similarly rigorous institutions just fine.
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inluminatio
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#13
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#13
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
I was accepted into masters programmes at other similarly rigorous institutions just fine.
You mean without Bachelor's? Congrats!
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Mike1914
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#14
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#14
I did the same advanced diploma 3 years ago before my PhD at Harvard Kennedy School . It is generally recognised as a bachelors degree both from academia and employers and I definitely recommend it to anyone
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inluminatio
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#15
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#15
Thank you for sharing! Great to know!

It is kind of ridiculous that they would not accept their own advanced diploma into Masters'. I was told by their consultant to transfer credits out, get honours 2.x elsewhere and apply then. 🤷
Last edited by inluminatio; 9 months ago
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td_100
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#16
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#16
I think you have been misled, a good pass on the Advanced Diploma will usually get you on to the MSt at ICE.
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Mike1914
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#17
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#17
(Original post by td_100)
I think you have been misled, a good pass on the Advanced Diploma will usually get you on to the MSt at ICE.
100% agree almost my whole cohort did a MSt or PhD at Cambridge afterwards. I do not how the university recognises that internally but I know WES in the USA has made a statement in 2019 that it will classify these degrees as either “non-honours bachelors” (which was my case with Harvard KS) or as graduate diplomas. In any case you will have problem when applying to other unis. I remember that LSE back in the day stated them as non honours BA degrees as well but that was 8 years ago.Last internally there are recognised same as the “pre masters” full time course which is again very helpful for MSt but in general again the academic world states them as Bachelors degrees.
Last edited by Mike1914; 8 months ago
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Pantine
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#18
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#18
(Original post by TheUKAmerican)
I figured now that I've signed up for the course and finished my first term's worth of lectures I would update this for anyone looking into it.

- You are a full Cambridge student in most ways that matter, you can sign up for the Mathmos library, have access to the University Library, and can do all the same societies and clubs. I've basically spent the last 2 weeks signing up for every freshers event and student event possible and the only ones that have told me 'no' were the Cambridge careers service. (Fair enough on that one.) At 4000 GBP a year, the networking possibilities are a bargain. Even the administrators of the Institute of Continuing Education were surprised at how much I'm actually allowed into, as most students are working adults who leave as soon as lectures are over, so they've never tried.

- You do NOT get a college, as part time undergraduates do not matriculate.

- As I recently found out, if you do make friends in the actual colleges however, you can wear a gown to the formals. (Peterhouse is the default undergraduate gown, and this is the one you must wear if you do not hold a BA elsewhere and you're doing an Advanced Diploma. Although everyone else on the course this year has a degree save 1 guy.)

- The qualification is a Cambridge qualification NOT an 'Ice Qualification', whatever that would mean. It's mentioned in the University's constitution as a qualification open to non members of the university. This might be pertinent to younger individuals who are hoping the Cambridge name gives them something of an early career boost.

- What you can research is extremely open ended and they will work hard at finding you an appropriate supervisor for your specialism.

- Most people on the course are significantly older than the average age of TSR users, I reckon. The mean age is probably around 35, but there are a significant number of retirees who already went to Cambridge years ago and who are just learning for fun. There's a lot of working adults who are using the qualification as a segway to a masters or return to research.

- If you pass the course with a high enough grade, it's potentially a direct route to an MST at ICE without need for a Bachelor's, as the two year 'complete' advanced diploma course. (It's divided into two certificates) is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree.

- They are fairly selective about who they let on the course, and they made that abundantly clear first day of lectures.
Thank you for the interesting post. Were you also allowed to join The Cambridge Union? Can you maybe share what perks of being a student at Cambridge have you enjoyed the most?
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sanaahmehra
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Pantine)
Thank you for the interesting post. Were you also allowed to join The Cambridge Union? Can you maybe share what perks of being a student at Cambridge have you enjoyed the most?
Yes please, I too would love to know!
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Mike1914
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Pantine)
Thank you for the interesting post. Were you also allowed to join The Cambridge Union? Can you maybe share what perks of being a student at Cambridge have you enjoyed the most?
You are a proper student of the university with access to all resources. You have a Raven account, university card, member of the SU and you can register to every society you want. In general you are a proper Cambridge student and alumni, you can even apply for associate membership to most colleges at an extra cost. I hope this helps!
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