Budding detectives get a chance to solve Oxford murder

31  March 2015

Nearly 60 young sleuths from Oxfordshire, will be investigating a ‘Murder in the Cloisters’ at Oxford University over the Easter holiday (7-9 April) in a programme that gives students a chance to learn what university is like – socially and academically.

The twelve to fifteen year olds are taking part in a free spring residential activity at the University, but the peace of the college quad will be shattered when a student is found dead and everyone becomes a suspect in his murder.

The students will be staying in accommodation at Pembroke College and visiting the University’s libraries, lecture theatres and museums. There will be tasters of subjects they are unlikely to study at school, like learning Ancient Greek with the Faculty of Classics, and a chemistry lab will be turned into a forensic science facility as the students explore samples from suspects’ clothing.

The new skills and knowledge they will pick up will prove invaluable in their bid to find the killer. The students will have to remain vigilant throughout the three-day course, as they see the suspects around college and at a formal dinner.

The aim is to give students a taste of university life, including both the academic and social side of life at Oxford.

Tara Prayag, Head of Widening Participation at Oxford, said: ‘Normal university life at Oxford doesn’t involve investigating murders, but who doesn’t like a bit of sleuthing? This event gives young people an exciting experience of university life as they work together to find the answers. It’s a little bit of Inspector Morse, a little bit of CSI, and hopefully a lot of fun for the participants.’

Will one of the students be able to crack the case and find the murderer?

A schedule of events and good times for taking photographs and/or speaking with students can be provided upon request.

For more information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact Julia Paolitto in the University of Oxford press office on 01865 280531 or [email protected]

Notes to editors:

‘Murder in the Cloisters’ is run by the Oxford University Widening Participation Office, who provide aspiration and attainment raising programmes for local school students aged 9-16. For more information on the aims and activities of the Widening Participation team, see www.ox.ac.uk/wp

This year’s event has academic sessions run by members of the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Classics. Participants in this year’s programme are from across Oxfordshire schools with 34 Oxford Young Ambassadors taking part. Oxford Young Ambassadors is an attainment raising programme for students aged 13-16.

Other information:

The cast of suspects and police detective are played by members of the Oxford Imps improvisational comedy troupe.

For more information visit: http://www.oxfordimps.com/