AICE DIPLOMA

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 Boston, 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  a  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 Boston 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 part of the University of Cambridge 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. 

WHAT ARE THE RULES OF SUBJECT COMBINATION

Along with the compulsory Boston AICE Foundations-A, Foundations-B, Foundations-C and Foundations-D subjects the AICE award consists of a further seven (7) subjects. Of the seven, there is one compulsory subject, Cambridge Global Perspectives and Research, which is taken from the core subject group. The remaining six subjects are categorised into four groups (Groups 1 – 4), and at minimum one subject must be selected from each group. Of the six subjects, two are compulsory, namely English First Language and French Language or Afrikaans Second Language from Group 2. (At this stage we are limited to French Language or Afrikaans Second Language. Boston is engaging with Cambridge to make isiZulu Second Language available at AICE level in future). Then, learners are able to choose four subjects, at minimum one each from Group 1 and Group 3 and the option to take a subject from Group 4. See ‘Helpful Hints’ below the curriculum table, overleaf.   Subject selection should also be guided by the subjects that you have completed in your Cambridge ICE award or at upper secondary level. This is due to the advanced nature of the AS subjects which require foundational introductory knowledge without which candidates will need to put in extra effort to master the subject. Furthermore, subject selection should also be guided by the intended post-school qualification route, i.e. Bachelor’s Degrees that require Mathematics, Science or Accounting for entry should align with subject selection decisions accordingly.   For endorsement to study a Bachelor’s Degree at a South African university the minimum requirement for AICE candidates is the following: a minimum of five of seven subjects passed with a D grade, of which three subjects must be English First Language, French Language or Afrikaans Second Language and ONE of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Economics, Geography or History. For further explanation see the section on International Recognition.

Cambridge Pathway

Our Cambridge Pathway gives students a clear path for educational success. Schools can shape the curriculum around how they want students to learn – with a wide range of subjects and flexible ways to offer them. Use this factsheet to give parents an overview of Cambridge International. 

How is the Cambridge AICE and the experience at Boston 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 Boston, 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: https://www.education.gov.za/Programmes/HomeEducation.aspx.     

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.

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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.

Important Note for Applicants not resident in South Africa

We accept enrolment from anywhere in the world for the ICE. Please be aware of time zone differences for attendance of online live tutorials: Boston is on South African Standard Time (SAST) which is the same as Central African Time (CAT).

Examinations must be sat at a Cambridge registered assessment venue in your home country. You will need to source the assessment venue yourself and all fees associated herewith will be for your own account. Our fees for support services are quoted separately from the Cambridge International examination fees. This also applies to candidates in South Africa who do not wish to make use of our registered assessment venues. In the instance where you will select another venue, it is a requirement to confirm the venue before registration with Boston can be completed. 

Group Subject Selection
Group: Core Cambridge Global Perspectives and Research Compulsory
Group 1: Mathematics and Sciences Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Mathematics
Computer Science
Environmental Management If selected in Group 1, cannot be selected in Group 3
Psychology If selected in Group 1, cannot be selected in Group 3
Group 2: Languages English First Language Compulsory
French Language Compulsory to select one second language
Afrikaans Second Language Compulsory to select one second language
Group 3: Arts and Humanities Economics
Geography
History
Accounting
Business
Sociology
Travel & Tourism
Environmental Management If selected in Group 3, cannot be selected in Group 1
Psychology If selected in Group 3, cannot be selected in Group 1
Group 4: Interdisciplinary Thinking Skills
Additional Boston Subject Boston AICE Foundations-A – Technology, Academic Literacy and Life Skills Compulsory in Year 1 Sem A.
Additional Boston Subject Boston AICE Foundations-B - Mathematics Compulsory in Year 1 Sem A&B if no IGCSE Mathematics or Grade 11 Mathematics minimum B-grade.
Additional Boston Subject Boston AICE Foundations-C - French Compulsory in Year 1 Sem A&B if no IGCSE French Foreign Language or Grade 11 French Second Language minimum C-grade. Not required if obtained French First Language Grade 10 minimum C-grade.
Additional Boston Subject Boston AICE Foundations-D - Afrikaans Compulsory in Year 1 Sem A&B if no IGCSE Afrikaans Second Language or Grade 11 Afrikaans Second Language minimum C-grade. Not required if obtained Afrikaans First Language Grade 10 minimum C-grade.
Helpful hints: 
  • Global Perspectives and Research must be chosen from Group Core.
  • Must select English First Language and French Language or Afrikaans Second Language from Group 2.
  • Must select one from Group 1, and one from Group 3.
  • Must make two further selections from either Groups 1, 2, 3 or 4.
What do I require to Pass a Subject and how do I meet the Award requirements?

While the focus is on the high-stakes examination events at the exit-point of the award, i.e. the sitting of Cambridge International Examinations per subject, the following applies:

  • All AS subjects are graded A, B, C, D, E where: A = 60 points, B = 50 points, C = 40 points, D = 30 points and E = 20 points.
  • 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.
International Recognition

Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning. CAIE is part of the University of Cambridge. Their international awards are recognised by the world’s best universities and employers, giving students a wide range of options in their education and career.

Upon issuance of the AICE award, learners:

  • can apply to international universities, subject to the specific rules of combination and grade sub-minima required for the intended Bachelor’s Degree and other regulations; OR
  • will have to apply to the Matriculation Board at Universities South Africa (USAf) for endorsement* to study Bachelor’s Degrees at South African public or private universities; OR
  • who choose Boston City Campus to further their studies can benefit from the USAf process as mentioned above being facilitated for them by the Boston Registrar: Administration; OR
  • must apply to the Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications unit at the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for a certificate of equivalence to facilitate workplace entry in SA.

*There are specific rules of combination and grade sub-minima required for the endorsement, together with specific requirements of the intended Bachelor’s Degree and university that must be kept in mind when making subject selections upon entering the AICE programme. Boston will assist with counselling in this regard. It must be noted that awards will be recognised and that curricula specific evaluations may lead to additional requirements for learners to meet in order to enter international or local programmes or professions, which is the prerogative of the receiving institution/body. For more information pertaining to direct international linkages/relationships visit the websites of the CAIE, Global Education, UKENIC, UKCPQ, DHET, CHE, SAQA, CHEA and WES. The USAf and/or SAQA fees will be for the learner’s account and billed directly.


*For endorsement to study a Bachelor’s Degree at a South African university the minimum requirement for AICE candidates is the following: a minimum of five of seven subjects passed with a D grade, of which three subjects must be English First Language, French Second Language or Afrikaans Second Language and ONE of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Economics, Geography or History.