An old copy of Paradise Lost, open showing textThe poet John Milton, best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, studied at Ϻ from 1625 to 1632. Every year, we run a Year 12 English Taster Series on Milton's work that takes place online from late February culminating in a visit to Ϻ in-person in March. The aim is to give you a taste of what it is like to study English at Cambridge University through a series of lectures and workshops exploring Milton's work. 


Applications are now closed. Students who have applied will receive an email with the outcome of your application by end of Mon 19 Feb (23:59). Please check your spam/junk folder if you cannot see this on Tues 20 Feb. If you are given a place, you will then need to complete a Place Confirmation and Permissions Form by 9am on Wed 21 Feb (we will send you the link for this by email).

Theme and content

Our annual English Taster Series is themed around the life and works of John Milton, with lectures and workshops given by academics in English, and chance to chat with current students studying English, and a College tour. Applications to Cambridge are also discussed and there are plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

If you are interested in applying for the event in the future, you might like to look at (a resource for studying Milton's Paradise Lost, made by Ϻ students) as well as the English subject page.


This Taster Series is aimed at academically able students in the UK who meet all of the criteria below:

  • you are in Year 12 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) or Y13 (Northern Ireland).
  • you attend an academy, school or college that does not charge fees and had less than 50 Oxbridge offers last year.
  • you are studying English Literature for A Level, IB Higher Level or Scottish Higher English, or equivalent
  • you love reading and are interested in exploring literature beyond the standard school curriculum.

Apply for the English Taster Series

Applications are now closed. Late applications will not be considered.

Those offered a place are expected to attend all sessions live (i.e. at 18:00 on 27 Feb, and at 16:30  on 5 March and 12 March), and attending the in-person visit day will be contingent on attendance at the preceding online sessions.

Practical details

3 students sitting on grassThe Taster Series is for students only (there are no sessions for parents & guardians). This series will take place on Tuesdays: 27 Feb at 18:00, 5 March at 16:30, and 12 March at 16:30 for one hour via Zoom. There will be a visit day to Ϻ itself on 18 March 2024 for those who are selected for the programme. 

The online sessions are normally camera on zoom meetings. Students should be on mute when not talking but will need to "unmute" themselves when invited to speak. There will also be some opportunities to participate by typing or answering polls etc. Sessions will not necessarily all be the same format as they will be lead by different academics and admissions staff, however participants will be expected to attend live and be ready to participate where appropriate (recordings are not provided afterwards). The first session will be introductory and will run through how to participate as well as other information relating to applying to Cambridge.

If you take the option to visit Ϻ at the end of the series, note that visiting students are responsible for getting themselves to Cambridge, however we provide travel information and a map of the college (see below). For students travelling a long way, limited accommodation is normally available at Ϻ on the night before the taster day on a first come, first served basis.

If you are in (or were previously in) Care, please read about the  (eligibility criteria apply).


Comments from previous participants

We asked some of the previous participants what they would say to future students considering an application for the series. You can read their comments here.

"I really enjoyed being able to talk to such knowledgeable lecturers and academics about their speciality - it was so inspiring to see! "

A previous participant, 2021