• Undergraduate English
• Undergraduate Philosophy
• ELAT (English Literature Admission Test)
• Philosophy Admissions Test
• A-level English (OCR, AQA, Edexcel, CIE)
• A-level Philosophy (AQA)
• A-level Religious Studies (AQA, Edexcel, OCR; covering Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics, and Developments in Buddhist Thought)
• Pre-U English
• Pre-U Philosophy & Theology
• International Baccalaureate English Literature
• iGCSE and GCSE English Literature (CIE, AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
• iGCSE and GCSE English Language (CIE, AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
• iGCSE and GCSE Religious Studies (CIE, AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
• 11+ English and Maths
I have taught undergraduates studying English at the University of Cambridge in one-to-one tutorials and small groups since 2012, and am especially experienced helping students with study skills, essay writing, and revision skills.
As well as face-to-face tutoring in the UK, I have extensive experience working online with students in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, and the United States.
I was born in London and grew up in Surrey. I attended Tonbridge School in Kent, gaining ten A*-grade GCSEs, and four A-grade A-Levels in English Literature, History, Spanish and Art.
I took my first degree at Jesus College, Cambridge from 2004 to 2007, graduating with a double first in English.
I then studied for a Master's degree (pass with distinction) in Environment, Politics, and Globalisation at King's College London, which led to my first job as Communications Officer for the New Economics Foundation, an independent think-tank and research organisation, from 2008 to 2011.
In October 2011, I returned to academia to write a PhD in English at Darwin College, Cambridge, the novels of Samuel Beckett. I completed the thesis in 2014. I have taught undergraduates at Cambridge since 2012, and, in 2014, completed the year-long Teaching Associates qualification, accredited by the Higher Education Academy.
My recent blog posts
31/01/2017: Preparing for English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT)
My teaching philosophy is student-centred: my aim is always to create a supportive, friendly and exciting environment for learning to thrive. I respond dynamically to the needs of each student I teach, shaping my teaching style so that it best serves their personality and interests.
I am particularly keen on making my tutorials as practical as possible. My students are invited to hone their skills in writing, critical reading, research, note-taking, and articulation from the get-go. Through learning how to formulate original ideas and express themselves clearly, my students are able to develop greater confidence in themselves and gain a deeper sense of autonomy and initiative towards their school work.
What I do when I am not tutoring
When I'm not tutoring, I am often pursuing academic research on literature, and continue to write and publish articles on Beckett and other authors. I'm a keen hiker and camper, and enjoying finding ever wilder parts of the British Isles to roam around with friends. My other great passion is mindfulness meditation: I spend several weeks a year in silent retreat at a beautiful former convent in Devon.
“I would just like to thank for all your help for my Oxford application. I didn't think that I would ever get an interview from Oxford and I'm very grateful for all the preparation you gave me.” (Oxbridge Student)
"I just wanted to add my own thanks! No matter what the outcome, she really has had a fantastic time working with you on her Oxford application. After each session she's emerged from her room buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm. She's felt challenged but also supported by you and as a result both her analytic skills and her confidence have improved immeasurably. Huge thanks for helping her to be as prepared as a person can be."
Thank you for the report. My daughter is in Oxford as we speak and has her interviews tomorrow morning so this is a timely confidence boost for her. Andy has been absolutely fantastic. We can't speak highly enough of him. She has thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of her sessions with him. It's been really convenient for her to have lessons via skype and that has all worked extremely well. Her analytic skills and her confidence have improved immeasurably.
Thank you so much for your guidance, support and advice. I felt far more confident going into the exam today than I would have done without tutoring with you, and I've learnt so much, both in essay writing and approaching texts. I mentioned on Sunday that I've really enjoyed our sessions, but I also feel like my general understanding and love of literature has been enhanced through discussing and exploring texts with you - so thank you!
“I have now had two sessions with Andy and they have both been extremely useful. I feel very confident in the programme of study he has set out and can already feel myself improving. His feedback on my writing has been constructive and encouraging, and I have actively enjoyed discussing the texts we have looked at. Overall I feel much more in control of my ELAT preparation and hugely reassured in the lead up to the exam.” (ELAT candidate)
"Thank you so much for being the best English teacher I've ever had. I sincerely mean that. You have truly made me appreciate English for all it's philosophical quirkiness. Now, analyzing English has become a great hobby of mine, versus how unfathomable it used be. Hence, writing Paper 1 and paper 2 was hard, but I actually really enjoyed writing them because I think English is just so interesting and reflective of the morals of human life in general, which is something I love thinking and writing about. Also, thank you so much for being so down to earth and understanding of my initial (and middle and final) difficulties as well as encouraging in a way that none of my previous English teachers have ever been. I am really fortunate and extremely grateful to have had you as my teacher." - IB HL Student
I am so grateful for all of your help and support, it has truly aided me in the process and my analytical skills in English as a whole! (ELAT Oxbridge Student)
Thank you so much for everything, I have really enjoyed the tutorials and they have been so useful for me - both for the interviews and just for my general approach to literature. (ELAT Oxbridge Student)
"I'm dyslexic and have struggled with organising the structure of essays in the past, but Andy helped encourage my visual approach to learning and to use it to my advantage. As a result, I really enjoyed the supervisions and feel positive about the upcoming exams." – Third year undergraduate student (English Literature)
"Genuine enthusiasm and the best advice I have ever been given in terms of further reading." – Second year undergraduate student (English Literature)
''My daughter was demotivated and unenthused with English Language and Literature in Year 10. We met Andy at the start of year 11. We found Andy to be encouraging and enthusiastic. His lessons were well planned and creative. My daughter actively looked forward to her weekly tutorials with Andy. He supported her with exam techniques and past papers. Her predicted English grade was level 5. She achieved level 7 for her English Lit. We whole heartedly recommend Andy.'' - Mother of Year 11 student (iGCSE English Literature and Language)
“Thank you so much for all the help, it was an absolute lifeline for my A Levels as a whole and I don't know what I'd be doing now without your help.” – Year 13 student (Pre-U English Literature)
“My son has enjoyed working this year, Andy’s obvious knowledge and considered approach fostered a relationship that was just right for my son. He ended up in the best position to achieve what he set out to do. Please pass on our thanks to Andy.” – Mother of Year 13 student (A level English Literature)
“I just wanted to say thanks for all the support you've given my daughter this year. She's so enjoyed her lessons with you and you have really given her extra confidence.” – Mother of Year 13 student (ELAT and A Level English Literature)
“Thanks for your great help with my daughter this year! I am delighted to see her growing in ability and confidence with your teaching and encouragement. I look forward of your continued support!” - Mother of Year 11 student (iGCSE English Language and Literature and 16+ English and Philosophy)
“Thank you so much for taking on the challenge of tutoring our spirited daughter through her 11+ entrance exams. This is what she said about you: 'Andy made lessons fun, and he was really good at explaining things. He was patient and kept going over things until I got them right. He gave me confidence for my exams and I don’t think I could have done so well without him.’ As you know we were amazed when she was offered a place at every school she applied to. And she’s much looking forward to starting at St Paul’s next term. We are very proud and very grateful to you.” - Mother of Year 6 student (11+ English and Maths)
“Andy was amazing! My daughter found him very helpful and taught her some really useful exam techniques - including how to organize her paragraphs and other tips for getting the marks (this is where she has trouble - she can think well but doesn't always tick the boxes the examiners want her to!). Thanks so much for finding him.” - Mother of Year 12 student (A Level English Literature)
“My daughter was very positive about your first lesson. She felt she learnt a lot and was surprised she had not been taught those things before! She said she wrote a paragraph and 'it felt good' which is fantastic to hear.” - Mother of Year 11 student (iGCSE English Literature)
“Thank you for all your help, I think my daughter is really starting to believe in her own abilities and is producing work of a much better standard.” - Mother of Year 13 student (A Level English Literature)
''Thank you so much for your help over the last couple of months. I’ve really enjoyed our lessons!'' - Homeschooled A Level student (English Literature)
''We are so happy with my son's A grade. It goes to show how hard work and perseverance pay off. Thank you so much for all your help and guidance.'' - Mother of Year 13 student (A Level Religious Studies)
''Just to let you know I got an A in my philosophy so am going to Kings next year! Thanks you very much for your help with everything this last year.'' - Homeschooled student (A Level Philosophy)
''Just opened a letter stamped with a gorgeous A for English literature. I really wanted to thank you for all your help, you have no idea the difference it made!'' - Year 13 student (A Level English Literature)
''A massive thank you for the amazing tutoring and preparation you gave my daughter, we are very grateful indeed!'' - Mother of Year 11 student (GCSE RS and English)
''She got an A! We were both just saying that we wanted to get in touch with you so thank you for being one step ahead. I cannot tell you how much we have appreciated your guiding hand. You and your colleagues were real stars from day one and I think we'll be calling upon you again.'' - Mother of Year 13 student (A Level English Literature)
''She got AAB. She is so pleased with her results . Thank you for all your help.'' - Mother of Year 13 student (A Level Philosophy and English Literature)
''She got her A, so all is well for next year. Very many thanks for all your work with her - your input has no doubt been invaluable.'' - Mother of Year 13 student (A Level Philosophy)
''I just wanted to let you know that I got a 9 in English language, a 9 in RS and an 8 in English literature. I’m super happy with the results and honestly couldn’t have done it without you so thank you!'' - Year 11 student (GCSE RS and English)
''I wanted to thank you for all your wonderful help with my daughter over the past couple of years. Without your diligent, kind and extraordinarily patient work she would not have done as well as she did in her exams nor in her school work generally. We will all be eternally in your debt. Thank you.'' - Mother of Year 6 11+ student (English)