Two students walking past G staircase
Darwin's room still marked on the wall in G staircase, First Court

Christ's College is where the famous biologist, naturalist and father of evolutionary biology, Charles Darwin studied. Cambridge has changed a lot since Darwin's time, but it still fosters great young scientists. Our outreach officers run an annual Year 12 Biological Sciences Taster Series. The Series takes place online in March / April, and at the end there's an optional visit to Christ's for those who can get to Cambridge.


This annual Taster Series is aimed at academically able students who are considering an application for Natural Sciences (Biological) at Cambridge and 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 (to anyone) and had less than 50 Oxbridge offers last year;
  • you are studying Biology, Chemistry, and Maths* for A level, IB Higher Level or Scottish Higher, or equivalent;
  • you are interested in exploring biological sciences beyond the standard school curriculum.

* For students taking the IB, your Higher Level Maths must be 'Analysis and Approaches'. 


Theme and content

The annual Biological Sciences Taster Series is themed around Charles Darwin's life, work and impact, with sessions given by academics in Natural Sciences, chance to chat with current students studying science, and a tour of the College. It normally also includes a session on applications for Natural Sciences (Biological) and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

"I enjoyed getting an insight on the weekly lives of students from students themselves."

A previous participant, 2021

Apply for the Biological Sciences Taster Series

The 2022 Biological Sciences Taster Series has already taken place.

If you will start Year 12 (Year 13 Northern Ireland, S4 in Scotland) in September 2022, you can register interest here for the 2023 Biological Sciences Taster Series so that you receive an email with information when we open applications.


Practical Details and Dates

The Taster Series is for students only (there are no sessions for parents & guardians). Exact dates for the 2023 Series will be published here nearer the time but the series normally takes place in March and April. For reference, the 2022 series had online sessions on Thursdays 10,17,24 and 31 March (16:30-17:30) and an optional visit to Christ's College on Friday 8 April 2022. We do not yet know which day of the week the 2023 online sessions will be for Biological Sciences.

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 Christ's 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 Christ's 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 Care Travel Fund (eligibility criteria apply).


Comments from previous participants

We asked some previous participants what they would say to future students considering an application for the event. You can read what they said here.

"I loved the discussions we were able to have after the presentation. I feel as though this made us reflect on what we learnt and discuss this with a professional of the field."

A previous participant, 2021