Andrew C. Thompson, MA, MPhil, PhD. Admissions Tutor, Director of Studies and Senior College Teaching Officer in History. On leave during the 2017-2018 academic year
As the Director of Studies in History, I organise the teaching for all history undergraduates. For my teaching to be successful I think that feedback is important to help students make good progress. I use a grid to ensure that students get a clear signal with each essay about how they are performing in specific areas, as well as providing more summative feedback on the essay itself.
As Admissions Tutor for the college I oversee the entire application process from outreach to final decision making. Queens' is fairly similar to other colleges in terms of interview experience. Our sole aim is to give candidates the opportunity to show what they can do. There are no 'trick questions' and are much more of a test of thinking process than knowledge. My general advice to candidates would be to remember that your interviewer is trained and knows how to get the best out of people. If you’re nervous (and don’t worry, most people are!), talk about your academic interests with someone you don't know and be prepared to give an honest answer to why you want to study the subject.
I’d recommend that potential applicants for history read as broadly as possible. There are some excellent resources on the History Faculty website: http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/prospective-undergrads/virtual-classroom Also think about listening to some of the podcasts on historical topics here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2Dw1c7rxs6DmyK0pMRwpMq1/in-our-time-archive
I have worked on various aspects of eighteenth-century history. My M.Phil. looked at the growth of the public sphere and ways in which religious dissenters were able to make use of new media forms to press their claims for political recognition. My Ph.D. considered how Britons and Hanoverians conceptualised foreign policy and the workings of the European states system in the early eighteenth century, arguing that religious ideas were important for creating a sense of common cause. Since then I have worked on the Hanoverian monarchy, writing the first biography of George II to make extensive use of British and German material, eighteenth-century court culture. I am currently editing a companion to Dissent in the long eighteenth century.
In the Faculty of History I am a Newton Trust affiliated lecturer. I give lectures for Part I courses as part of papers 5 and 17 (British political history 1688-1886 and European history 1715-1890 respectively). I also supervise part II dissertations and have supervised several MPhil students, as well as contributing to MPhil options on the eighteenth century. I currently have three PhD students.