You are in mid-career and thought that the chance of doing postgraduate work at university, let alone Oxbridge, had long passed?
Think again. Cambridge University has established a new postgraduate degree designed for those in work. It is called the Master of Studies, and is Cambridge's first major step into part-time degrees.
Cambridge established a part-time Master of Education in 1992, but this caters for a limited group. The new degree, co-ordinated by the board of continuing studies at Madingley Hall, will be offered by several faculties. But an initial limit of 200 students has been set to ensure that the colleges do not become swamped by part-timers.
The first MSt (Cantab.) graduates are likely come from an existing diploma in interdisciplinary design for the built environment, run jointly by the architecture and engineering departments. There are 16 students on the two-year course, and when the new Cambridge degree receives formal Privy Council approval next year, their diplomas will probably be up- graded to a postgraduate degree.
According to Michael Richardson, director of the board of continuing studies, there are already plans to establish courses in modern English literature and local regional history. He said the new degree was the product of "a widening perception of the need for part-time postgraduate study" and evidence that Cambridge "recognises that people need to update themselves in mid-career".
Henry Easterling, of the registry office, said most students will be from East Anglia. Entry qualifications will be a good first degree plus vocational experience.