• Undergraduate English
• Undergraduate Philosophy
• ELAT (English Literature Admission Test)
• Philosophy Admissions Test
• A-level English (OCR, AQA)
• A-level Philosophy (AQA)
• 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 (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.
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 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 the my teaching style so that it best serves their personality and skills.
I also believe that students learn best when they're doing practical things related to their studies. This means using games, writing tasks, drawing pictures, making rhymes, student presentations, and other forms of interaction, which keeps students energised and excited about the material.
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.
My recent blog posts
31/01/2017: Preparing for English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT)
“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 A2 English student)
“My children both find their English school teachers very uninspiring yet finish their lessons with you inspired again. I have got to the point of telling them to write essays/homework as though they are for you!” (Mother of AS and GCSE English students)
There was no question that with my daughter skipping a year, a lot would be needed to fill the gaps in her knowledge. She is very fortunate that she has met you and I am grateful for your committed and forthright guidance. Mother of Keystone Student
"My daughter continues to find the lessons very interesting, relevant & useful. I would happily recommend Andy (& Keystone) to anyone." Father of previous student.
“Thanks so much for your help so far, it has been invaluable. We're delighted she's got an interview [at Cambridge], I think that the work she did for you [on the ELAT preparation] has made a huge difference. She is finding the sessions incredibly helpful.” – Mother of student applying to read English at Cambridge.
"He's very much enjoying the sessions with you and has come back with renewed passion for the subject and very motivated." Mother of Oxford applicant to read Philosophy and Theology.
"I am so happy to see that my daughter is making good progress with your help! She came home yesterday evening and told me that she really enjoyed the lessons! Thank you!" Mother of GCSE student
"I enjoyed my sessions with Andy and was thoroughly impressed by him. He gave me a solid base of reading to do in my own time, and during our lessons he would throw ideas at me which we would discuss, much like in an Oxford tutorial. This preparation made me feel confident to deal with Oxford's notoriously challenging Philosophy interview. He made what seemed like fusty academic reading lists into living, exciting ideas which could be interrogated and challenged. I can’t imagine receiving the same preparation from any school teacher (indeed I never studied philosophy at A-Level; it isn’t suggested for PPE applications). Andy is an excellent tutor, and he helped me to succeed in my philosophy and politics interviews." PPE Oxford applicant.
"She really enjoyed your tutorials and always seemed uplifted after them. I am so happy for her improvement I hope it will show her that she can achieve whatever she puts her mind to." (Mother of A Level RS and English student)
We're thrilled - she got an A* English Lit 91%. She got an A for English language but is 1 mark off A* so may consider remark. All your hard work paid off. Thank you. (Mother of Online GCSE IGCSE student based in Malaysia).
27/10/2015: ''My daughter is getting so much out of her lessons with you. Her father and I are thrilled that we can assist her, through you, to obtain the marks she is after but also to discuss the texts with an expert who obviously shares that passion.'' Mother of Year 11 student (English Literature and Language iGCSE)
13/09/2015: ''I was very happy with my GCSE results: I got an A in English Literature [this student had averaged C grades prior to working with me]. I was very happy with your teaching because you explained everything really well, and gave very good examples. You were also very patient.'' Year 11 student (English Literature)
“One of the only tutors I have had who was unfalteringly attentive, and his efforts in gathering helpful resources and adapting his classes to different people’s needs were invaluable” – 3rd year university student, 2015
“Incredibly patient, invested and personable - my work with Andy never felt pressured or anything but enjoyable.” – 2nd year university student (coursework), 2014
“Andy was a very friendly and encouraging tutor - I felt that the criticism he gave was always very accurate and measured, and I therefore never felt slighted or put down by it. I also really enjoyed our group supervisions.” – 3rd year university student, 2014
“Genuine enthusiasm and the best advice I have ever been given in terms of further reading.” – 2nd year university student, 2014
“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.” – 3rd year university student, 2014