Thomas J

My Passion & How I Inspire

I think it’s important to start with questions, rather than answers. This is because I believe that any effective learning process needs to be responsive to your needs, personalised to your interests, and planned in a way that helps you achieve your goals. Since I have a thorough understanding of the theory and research that underpins effective learning and teaching, as well as highly developed subject knowledge within the discipline of art history and theory, my approach to your tuition is, more than anything, flexible.

That said, there are some recurring principles that underpin my personal beliefs about the value of education, and the most impactful ways to structure learning. Firstly, where you are following an exam specification, a thorough understanding of assessment procedures and your changing position in relation to them is vital. This means you can take ownership of your own learning, achieve the highest grades, and translate your confidence to other subject areas. Secondly, I am a firm believer in learning from observation and experience. So, wherever it’s possible or appropriate, I think that visits to both galleries and museums, and attending artists’ talks and lectures, give a richer understanding and promote deeper learning when used in conjunction with academic research and writing.

My Experience

I am currently a Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education, where I primarily teach at a postgraduate level. As the world's leading centre for education, this requires me to maintain the highest possible academic and professional standards whilst delivering sessions, supporting students and assessing their work. Another key part of my role is in the selection and interviewing of prospective students, so this is an area where I can provide additional support and advice if required.

Prior to this I was an 'outstanding' Art & Design teacher in a successful academy in east London, where I was the teacher in charge of GCSE Art Textiles, KS3 Assessment and Progress, and UCAS Advisor for the Creative Arts. Through a combination of this and my current role at UCL, I am familiar with the assessment criteria and course structures of all of the major exam boards for KS4 and 5 Art & Design and History of Art (AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC). Furthermore, in my role as UCAS advisor, I regularly consulted with students and parents to guide them in selecting a range of appropriate course choices, supported them in completing their applications and personal statements, and finally in writing references and leading interview and portfolio preparation sessions.

Subjects That I Teach

  • Art and Design
  • Art and Design - A-Level
  • Art and Design - Interview Preparation
  • Essay Writing
  • Essay Writing - A-Level
  • Essay Writing - Interview Preparation
  • History
  • History - A-Level
  • History - Interview Preparation

My Qualifications

I am trained to MA level in Art History, and have graduated with the highest possible degree classifications at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Whilst studying at UCL and the University of Essex I was consistently awarded distinctions in every MA level module I completed, and I graduated with a first-class undergraduate degree and at the top of my year whilst studying at the University of Warwick.

Although I would consider myself as specialising in twentieth century and contemporary art, my time at Warwick included courses that focused on areas ranging from medieval religious architecture and ritual, to eighteenth century British art and, during my final year, three months spent in Venice studying Renaissance visual culture in situ. These allow me to confidently teach across the spectrum of modules offered within the AQA History of Art A level specification.

Further and Higher Education:

MA History of Art (Distinction), UCL

PGCE Secondary Art & Design Education, UCL Institute of Education

PGCert Contemporary Art Theory, University of Essex

BA (Hons) History of Art (First Class - first in cohort), University of Warwick

Foundation Diploma Art & Design (Distinction), Hereford College of Arts

Secondary Education (Monmouth School):

A Level Art & Design (A)

A Level History of Art (B)

A Level Classical Civilisations (B)

My Video Introduction

Fun fact

I have a crippling addiction to online scrabble!