Lady Margaret Beaufort
  Lady Margaret Beaufort

Lady Margaret Beaufort (1441/1443-1509) is best known as the mother of Henry Tudor, later King Henry VII of England, the first monarch of the Tudor dynasty, whose claim to the throne was based on his mother's descent from the Plantagenets. A key figure in the later stages of the Wars of the Roses, she is seen by many historians as the influential matriarch whose actions changed English history. However, she was also an important patron of educational institutions. During her lifetime she established one of the first free schools for the general public, endowed several academic posts at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and founded two Cambridge Colleges: Christ's College in 1505 and, posthumously, St John's College in 1511. Her life therefore offers a fascinating window into one of the most turbulent periods of English history and an opportunity to consider issues related to the study of gender in history.

To explore these ideas, Christ's College will be holds an annual Lady Margaret Beaufort themed History Taster Serise. The aim is to give you a taste of what it is like to study history at Cambridge University through a series of lectures and workshops exploring Lady Margaret's life and legacy. 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.

Applications have closed for the 2022 Taster Series. If you're currently in Year 11 (Year 12 in Northern Ireland, S4 in Scotland), you can register interest here for the 2023 History Taster Series. 


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

  • you are in Year 12, S5 (Scotland) or Y13 (Northern Ireland)
  • you attend an academy, school or college that does not charge fees (to anyone).
  • you are studying History for A level, IB Higher Level or Scottish Higher or equivalent.
  • you are interested in exploring the past in ways that go beyond the standard school curriculum.

If you are from outside the UK and are unsure about your eligibility to apply for this event, please contact us for further information.

"I really liked the opportunity to hear from experts, combined with hearing from people my own age who are as passionate about history and interested in similar things to me."

A participant at the 2021 History Taster Series
Lady Margaret Beaufort's coat of arms
Lady Margaret Beaufort's coat of arms

Theme and content

The History Taster Series is themed around Lady Margaret's life and legacy, as well as the study of gender history, with sessions given by Christ's historians, the chance to chat with current students studying history and a tour of the College. The series also normally includes application advice and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.


Apply for the History Taster Series

The 2022 History 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 History Taster Series so that you receive an email with information when we open applications.

Practical details

The History 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 Mondays 7, 14, 21 and 28 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 History.

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

"I enjoyed learning in more detail than in school about various aspects of English society through the lens of women, which encouraged me to reflect on how this changed over time."

A previous participant, 2021