How to qualify for this programme?
Once students have completed their IGCSEs or an equivalent qualification they can apply to do one of the following three options:
1. Do AS Levels over 2 years: This is the recommended option for students who want to pursue studies at universities in South Africa. All teaching will happen on the Alma Mater campus.
2. Do 3 A Level subjects over 2 years: This is the best route forward for students wanting to study at universities in the UK, USA, Germany, Australia, ect. All teaching will happen on the Alma Mater campus.
3. The third option is to complete 3 A Levels over 2 years at AMBIL: Roughly 70% of teaching will happen at the Alma MAter campus and the remaining portion at universities in the UK.
How does it work?
AMBIL is for the student who wishes to follow a career specifically in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, who wants to study at the best research universities in the world, who enjoys traveling, is up for the challenge of working on a real research project, wants to experience university life and working with university lecturers to complete the practical side of their A Levels while still “at school”.
AMBIL is offered over two years with the intake in September. It includes top visits/internships to top Universities to complete the “pracs” of the A Levels syllabi. Students will experience working in the laboratories of different universities and interacting with the world's best researchers. It is done to support the students chosen IPQ project. Accommodation will mostly be the Alma Mater boarding facility, and other boarding establishments abroad and South African game ranches for a break from the tough academic schedule.
Why the need for this programme:
Completing three A Level courses through AMBIL will give a student the following advantages:
1. A qualification highly valued by the world's best universities.
2. An international experience that goes beyond physical borders.
3. A learning experience that transcends the normal school and university divide.
4. A personal CV (Personal Statement) that meets the entry requirements of the best international universities.
“But, what we're seeing and hearing from education agencies and international students is that an overwhelming proportion of students don't want any part of a combined academic – ESL pathway programme. Instead, they want to be assimilated, integrated, and to follow the same academic progression as domestic students”.
AMBIL's approach to learning:
“Motivational research has repeatedly demonstrated that establishing the relevance of class and outside work increases interest, persistence, and the deliberate expenditure of effort to achieve goals. Other investigation of assigned work supports this research, showing that if students value assigned work and understand its relevance to classroom instruction and its application to real-life situations, they not only invest time and effort in that work, they also recognize that their teachers are providing useful experiences”.
Alma Mater's Personal Growth Programme (PGP):
All students regardless of their course and age take part in this programme to prepare them for a successful future career. Except for university visits to the campus to recruit future students the programme also covers subject advice with a specific focus on meeting university entry equirements. The programme is not an examinable course but assignments are submitted for marking. Students need to complete up to three per year depending on external examination sittings. The programme has proven to be very successful, not only in ensuring students meets all the entrance criteria of their chosen university, but also in formulating achievable personal goals.
What is the IPQ?
These students will also complete the Cambridge International Project Qualification (Cambridge IPQ) is an exciting new project-based qualification. Students have the opportunity to develop skills by carrying out research into a topic of their choice. Taking Cambridge IPQ allows learners to demonstrate engagement with their chosen topic beyond preparation for an exam, helping them to stand out from the crowd with university and job applications.
Who is Cambridge IPQ for?
Cambridge IPQ is typically for learners aged 16 to 19 years. It is ideal for students who want to extend learning beyond their Cambridge International AS & A Levels and are looking for an opportunity to stand out from the crowd when applying to universities and employers. Studying for the Cambridge IPQ allows learners to demonstrate engagement with their chosen topic beyond preparation for an exam. Academic evidence suggests that this sort of deeper engagement will help develop their ability to be life-long learners.
What will students learn?
This is a skills-based qualification. Learners develop higher-order thinking skills that universities and employers look for, including analysis, evaluation and synthesis. It also builds their research, reflection and communication skills.
What will students do?
Learners complete a 5000 word research project on a topic of their own choice. They can choose a subject to complement one of their Cambridge International AS or A Levels, or a topic that they are passionate about. They devise and develop a research question, conduct research to answer this question, record their progress in a research log and write a research report.
In consultation with their teacher who will support them, students will:
- Identify a suitable research topic.
- Devise, justify and develop an appropriate research question.
- Plan and carry out the research, including undertaking a literature review.
- Identify, justify and use appropriate research methods.
- Write a 5000 word report.
- Use appropriate academic conventions for presentation of the report.
- Keep track of their progress using a research log.
How is Cambridge IPQ assessed?
Cambridge IPQ is a single component that is externally assessed (all projects are marked by Cambridge examiners). Students will be eligible for grades A* to E. Although it is a standalone qualification, it will be graded by Cambridge at the same standard as a Cambridge International A Level.
What skills will students need?
The Cambridge IPQ builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills typically gained by candidates taking Cambridge IGCSEs or O Levels. We recommend that learners who are beginning this course have attained communication and literacy skills at a level equivalent to Cambridge IGCSE/ GCSE Grade C in English.