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Information About Ciaran - Edinburgh tutor

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Subjects Taught

Ciaran offers a discount of 50% on their first / introductory lesson!


Hourly Rate
GCSE £20.00
A-Level £20.00
University £20.00
Casual Learner £20.00

Personal Description:

I completed my Bachelor's degree in History at Oxford Brookes University, where I graduated with first-class honours in 2015. I went on to study for a Master's degree in British and European History at the University of Oxford, specialising in the history of witchcraft. I graduated with Distinction in 2016. I am studying for a PhD in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. I am researching the history of Scottish witchcraft. I have been awarded a Jenny Balston Scholarship (2016-19).

I am mainly interested in early modern history, witchcraft religion and magic, state formation and early modern political and legal history. Recently, I worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oxford Brookes University, where I proof-read the Routledge History of Witchcraft (forthcoming, 2017). Recently, I worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of English and Modern Languages on the project 'Mapping Stories of Witchcraft & Magic'.

Tutoring Experience:

I have spent the last six years teaching and mentoring during my studies and the holiday season. Between October 2010 and July 2013, I was given the opportunity to work in The Commonweal School for six months. Tasks included team-teaching with experienced teachers in the subjects of History and Drama, one-to-one tutoring with students who had learning difficulties, planning lessons and mentoring GCSE students. I was welcomed back to help the History Department for a further week in July 2013. Most recently, in September 2015, I was invited back to assist the History Department in mentoring two A-level students researching the history of witchcraft persecution in early modern Germany and England.

Between November 2013 and February 2014 I worked voluntarily as a 'School Mentor' at Oxford Spires Academy, which is organised by Oxford Brookes University and local secondary schools. My role within this initiative was to mentor students on various GCSE revision topics. I increased students’ confidence levels, self-esteem and motivation through exam periods. Tasks included one-to-one teaching, leading group sessions, session planning and team teaching.

Tutoring Approach:

I want my students to not just have an appreciation of the past and how historical events shape the world, rather, I want my students to understand and realise what makes a good history essay. This includes looking at the basics: an excellent history essay is analytical not narrative – in other words, it does not tell the story of what happened. Instead, it explains causes and critically assesses issues. Thus, I teach my students how to write a logical and coherent argument, both under examination conditions and in a piece of essay writing.

I have found that students don't learn through one medium, which is why I introduce many other ways of learning. Students will write traditional essays, to improve their ability at arguing logically and writing analytically, and coherently. We look at the basic facts, so students understand what it is they ought to be answering. Listening to podcasts and radio shows are great ways to gain an understanding on current historical opinion. I encourage students, if they don't already, to read more and write creatively. I also find that students' work best when they, themselves, take the lead in forming their own targets, session plans and strategies (this, of course, depends on certain situations), because it allows them to develop a clearer focus of what they want to achieve; having a goal is critical to success.

I disapprove of the traditional formulaic way in which standard textbook and GCSE/AS/A2 material present themselves to students. Repeatedly reading core texts book assess students' ability to retain knowledge and facts, but it does not help in maturing their writing or arguing skills. Rather, my students have a deeper appreciation of primary material and current historical opinion of topics, helping them to receive top marks. Subsequently, this avoids the pitfalls of writing a purely narrative essay.

Specifically at university and, to some extent, A-Level, I encourage students to consider the abstract, long term picture and comparative dimensions which are required to receive top marks.

I currently only offer online tuition.

Tutor Resources: (free to download)

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Native Language: English (British)
Availability: Weekends / Weekdays (evenings)
References Available: Yes (✔ On File)


  • The University of Oxford (2016) - N/A (Masters) (✔ On File)
  • Oxford Brookes University (2015) - 1st BA History (Bachelors) (✔ On File)

Tags: Edinburgh History tutor, Edinburgh GCSE History tutor, Edinburgh A-Level History tutor, Edinburgh University History tutor, Edinburgh Casual Learner History tutor