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Moira

"Your suggestions for my super-curricular activities made all the difference in my personal statement and I got offers from all five Russell Group universities I applied to."

English Literature student

  • Mentoring

  • Oxbridge Applications

  • Personal Statement Support

  • University Applications

Academic History

2010 – Post Graduate Diploma, Management & Leadership – Chartered Institute of Management

1996 – PGCE, German & ICT – Manchester Metropolitan University

1990 – Post-Graduate Diploma, Marketing – Westminster University

1990 – BA Hons. German & Anthropology – Oxford Brookes University

About Me

Having worked with young people on an individual basis over the last few years, rather than in a classroom setting when I was teaching, I have developed a successful technique of questioning which helps to establish the student’s current ideas, knowledge and difficulties. My coaching training has been useful for this, helping me to identify a student’s strengths and also where their knowledge gaps may be. By making a student feel listened to, there is a better chance of building a rapport and creating a welcoming space. Students will not learn or give their best when they feel nervous or aren’t given the time to think and express themselves. I feel that this approach creates a successful learning environment in which to teach, tutor and coach as well as give advice and guidance for university applications.

Recent tuition

Exeter – English Literature

I worked with this student from the start of year 12 (lower sixth) to help her identify which universities would best suit her ambition and ability. As a student who eventually gained A*A A at A’ level and A in her EPQ, I knew that she was able and motivated. Her main passion was literary analysis and so we focused on this to establish which courses contained lots of analytical content rather than those with creative writing or other elements. On my suggestion, she attended a number of masterclasses run by English Literature departments at well regarded universities. She was able to use her notes from these to enhance her personal statement. I suggested attending open days for her most likely first choice universities. During one visit she was able to chat to the year 1 English Literature tutor and gain useful insight into the key characteristics of a successful student on their course. She used this to highlight her matching characteristics. Her personal statement was full of passion for her subject, without using the word “passionate” once. It was one of the best I have ever read.

St. George’s, London – Therapeutic Radiography

This student grew up in Kuwait and since the death of a close family member always knew that he wanted to study a healthcare subject in the UK. He worked extremely hard at sixth form but did not get top grades. English was not his first language. Nevertheless, we worked together to demonstrate his determination for the subject. I supported him to attend a few relevant lectures in London, about which he could write and discuss his analysis. He gained some useful work experience and I coached him in which elements to pick out and write about in his personal statement, highlighting what he learnt and gained in understanding about his chosen career. I also coached him in how he could write about the elements of his current courses that particularly excited him and why, so that he could demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for sciences. He was very pleased to get several offers from Universities, including St. George’s where he is now.

Exeter – Communications

This student had always had a passion for politics, PR, podcasts and social media. Her A-Levels didn’t inspire her enough to want to pursue any of the three at university. I worked with her to discover her interests and passions and what career direction she could see herself taking. Then, through further supported research she saw that she was able to combine her interests by studying Communications. I then mentored her to draw up a list of activities and wider reading that would persuade admissions tutors that she was perfect for their course, including creating a new podcast, interviewing a political journalist, reading some carefully chosen, industry relevant books and more. She needed quite a bit of support to complete the activities and give herself time to construct her personal statement. She was delighted to receive offers from her top choice universities and is very much enjoying her course.

Chelsea College of Arts, UAL – Fine Art

Generally, art course admissions want to see an inspiring and impressive portfolio that showcases creativity, artistic talent and thorough research. Some institutions want to interview prospective students to discuss their current work, inspiration and future artistic goals. This student is a talented artist but very much benefitted from my guidance, not only in how to present her portfolio – particularly the annotations – but also how to present herself at interview. She lacked confidence in talking about her own work, so a few sessions of interview practise and coaching in how discuss and describe her process, research etc. gave her the boost she needed. She also followed my suggestions for super-curricular activities, which would demonstrate her keenness for creativity and willingness to enhance her practical skills alongside her sixth form studies. These enabled her to write a convincing personal statement. Having gained a first in her BA, she came to me again recently for support with an application for an MA, on which I’m pleased to say she has been offered a place.

Central Saint Martin’s, UAL – Fashion Design

A highly competitive college like CSM requires an outstanding portfolio and personal statement. I supported a student from year 12 who went to school in France and although her English language was excellent, the application process and content of a personal statement is very different in the UK to her own country. I worked with her so that she gained an understanding of what admissions tutors are looking for. She was then able to embark on various activities that she could write about, to demonstrate her talent, knowledge and commitment to the subject. I supported her to research relevant topics and gave her the guidance she needed to create an excellent personal statement and impressive portfolio, which gained her a place at CSM.

Durham – Law

Growing up in Switzerland and applying as an international student, this student was unsure about how to maximise her chances of gaining a place to study Law at a good university in the UK. Her parents asked me to support her with her personal statement but she really needed a lot more input around her activities outside of school to demonstrate her enthusiasm for her chosen subject. She found her IB very time consuming, leaving her little time for additional activities. I was able to coach her to look at what an admissions tutor may look for in a successful applicant and then support her to embark on some relevant activities about which she could comment and explain her learning. This was an important step for her and made all the difference to her confidence about her application. I supported her university shortlisting process and am pleased that she gained an excellent place.

Hobbies

I travel as often as I can and enjoy trying to learn some of the local language whilst away. As a linguist, I have always enjoyed the challenge. I enjoy cold water swimming as there is a genuine endorphin release when immersed in cold water (I don’t do barrels of ice though). I love cooking and entertaining as this is a great way to get family and/or friends together.

Testimonials

“Moira, thank you so much for everything you have done to help me get on to the university course I wanted. You have been there since the start of my journey and I hope to invite you to my graduation.”

Student, originally from Kuwait, studying Therapeutic Radiology at St. George’s, London

“Thank you Moira, your expert advice has helped me to get a place at a university I never thought I would get to. Your suggestions for my super-curricular activities made all the difference in my personal statement and I got offers from all five Russell Group universities I applied to.”

Student studying English Literature at University of Exeter

“Moira’s understanding of my daughter’s ideas for her future helped her to work out exactly which courses and which universities would suit her best. Then, the suggested reading and other activities provided a great basis on which to construct a knock-out personal statement with Moira’s expert guidance. E– was delighted to get offers from all of her universities listed on UCAS.” –

Parent of student now studying at University of Sussex

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