The Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma is the final phase for high schoolers completing an academic track in preparation for post-school studies, i.e. Degrees. This is not a vocationally orientated award, however it can also serve as a solid stepping stone for vocational careers/studies. AICE is at the advanced level, consisting of Advanced Supplementary subjects at Ivy Academy, and is for learners who, at minimum, turn 16 years of age in the first year of registration for the award, and who have already achieved either a Grade 9, Grade 10 or the Cambridge ICE award.     

The AICE Diploma represents the ‘gold standard’ Cambridge International AS (Advanced Supplementary) and A (Advanced) Level qualifications. A minimum of two years of learning is required to achieve either of the AICE Diplomas.    

It allows for the offering of a broad and balanced curriculum by recognising the achievements of learners who pass examinations in at least seven Cambridge AS subjects, one compulsory subject (Cambridge Global Perspectives & Research), and six chosen from four different subject groups, including two different languages. This award provides technical, foundational and preparatory access for seamless entry to higher education and/or the workplace. Learners who enrol at Ivy Academy for the AICE will be counselled on subject selections based on their post-school intentions and in relation to endorsement requirements for Bachelor’s Degree study at South African universities.    

Cambridge Assessment International Education is affiliated with Cambridge University and has offered international school awards for over 160 years. Renowned globally, the Cambridge awards are recognised for the high standards set and the curriculum rigour. 

How it works

The Cambridge AICE Diploma is made up of individual Cambridge International AS & A Levels, which have widespread international standing as educational qualifications.  The Cambridge AICE Diploma is a group certificate which requires learners to study a compulsory core subject, Cambridge AS Level Global Perspectives & Research, with Cambridge AS & A Level subjects drawn from three curriculum areas: Mathematics and Science (Group 1), Languages (Group 2), and Arts and Humanities (Group 3).  There is the option to study interdisciplinary subjects (Group 4). 


To achieve the Diploma, all learners will need to study and pass the revised 
Cambridge International AS Level Global Perspectives & Research (9239)
This skills-based course challenges learners to think critically, analyse evidence and compare perspectives. The learning is assessed through a team project and presentation as well as a written examination.


Group 1: Mathematics and Sciences
Group 2: Languages
Group 3: Arts and Humanities
Group 4: Interdisciplinary subjects (optional)

Learners must achieve at least one credit from each of Groups 1, 2 and 3. A maximum of two credits can count from Group 4, which is optional.   Cambridge International A Level subjects are graded from A* to E. Cambridge International AS Level subjects are graded A to E. There is no A* grade awarded at Cambridge International AS Level. The Cambridge AICE Diploma is awarded on a points system, so each grade is converted to a number of points as shown in the table below.  Grade A* is awarded 140 points, however the maximum number of Cambridge AICE Diploma points is capped at 420.

Why should a learner study this award at Ivy Academy?

The Cambridge curriculum develops individuals who embody the attributes of confidence, responsibility, reflection, innovation and engagement. At Ivy Academy, our approach to education emphasises the interrelationship between knowing, doing and being, elevating the student’s learning experience. Our approach cultivates the individual’s ability to command the fundamentals and principles of subject areas. Our institutional and programmatic commitment to robust quality assurance mechanisms is well established and will be leveraged to oversee the Cambridge award offerings.   In choosing the Cambridge curriculum at Ivy Academy, we believe learners will be exposed to the best practices of a global curriculum framed within the context of Africa. To this potent mix, Ivy will bring the considerable skills of educators deeply rooted in and passionate about transformative education.   Our unique offering extends to include 47 learner support centres located countrywide (see Table of Learner Support Centres below), so there is a friendly face to welcome you to the Ivy family, a space to study when needed, access to ICT, and a location to complete assessment events close to home. As of 2022, the Learner Support Centres are registered Assessment Venues for Ivy Cambridge International learners.   The fees for the Cambridge awards include all textbooks and workbooks and the international examination fees. We are offering a value exchange that is highly competitive.

How is the Cambridge AICE and the experience at Ivy Academy different? 

The Cambridge curricula are not for the faint of heart and will be for the final-phase high schooler who wants to stand out from the crowd. Cambridge learning is about comprehension, understanding, and application and is designed for independent thinkers and doers. All learning is contextualised, and the curriculum encourages discernment, the use of the scientific method of enquiry, which becomes an approach to life.   Candidates who have completed Cambridge AICE experience few challenges when transitioning to post-school studies. Their preparation for the next phase of learning is complete. The Cambridge journey will require hard work and diligence.   At Ivy Academy, our unique approach to teaching, learning, assessment, and student support, including mentoring and monitoring, has served us enviably in the higher education space with impressive participation rates and throughput statistics. To onboard learners successfully into online/distance study and the demands of the Cambridge curriculum, we have robust support systems in place, as follows: student wellness, study skills programmes, computer literacy courses, and academic literacy advice and material. We understand the importance of creating knowledge pathways that give access and encourage deep learning within the disciplines.  

Important Note for Parents/Guardians of AICE Candidates

The Cambridge AICE award at Boston is an alternative to the traditional contact public/private schooling provision and is therefore considered a part of the ‘home-schooling’ structure. To this end, please take note that as per South African policy, parents/guardians of South African candidates may be required to fulfil additional requirements.    

In the instance of the AICE, i.e. Grades 10 to 12 and ages 16 to 18, and in the event that parents are required to register their child as ‘home-schooled’ with the Provincial Department of Education, Boston will provide you with a registration pack and a portfolio of evidence to support the registration and required reporting on the learner’s progress in the AICE curriculum.    

It is very important to note that this is a legal requirement and the onus is on the parent to register their child as ‘home-schooled’. Please note that each province has a different application process. Please visit this link and follow the registration instructions from there:     

For international learners (those who are not South African citizens and not resident in South Africa) the onus is on the parent/guardian to determine the legal requirements applicable in your country.

Meeting the Requirements

Learners who meet the requirements of the group award will receive a Cambridge AICE Diploma at one of three levels: Pass, Merit or Distinction. The level awarded is based on the overall Cambridge AICE Diploma score. 

Cambridge AICE Diploma with Distinction
Awarded to students with a score of 360 points or above. The maximum Diploma score is 420 points.

Cambridge AICE Diploma with Merit: 
Awarded to students with between 250 and 359 points.   
Cambridge AICE Diploma at Pass level: 
Awarded to students with between 140 and 249 points.  Learners who do not meet the requirements of the group award will receive certificates for their individual subjects.