About our tutors

See below for tutor biographies.

Miles Allen

From fighter-bombers to quill and paper, Miles Allen gave up his 25-year career designing software systems in hi-tech aircraft, to follow his dream of becoming a fantasy author. In 2010 it became reality when his first book hit No1 for fantasy on Amazon Kindle and even knocked The Hunger Games from the top slot in Waterstones for paperback. Now, six years on, he writes, coaches and runs his self-publishing company specialising in first-time authors; fusing his business, fiction and publishing skills to create a unique formula for successful fiction and business authors.


The Walkers of Legend
Legends Awakening

Andrew Bruce

Andrew Bruce holds an MA from the prestigious Photography Department at the Royal College of Art and teaches on the BA Photography course at Canterbury Christ Church University as well as the BA and MFA Photography courses at University for the Creative Arts (Farnham). Bruce is an award winning artist who has exhibited internationally; making images of animals and landscapes that deal with both the animals position within the natural world and within allegory, generally creating photographs using a 10x8” large format camera and lighting equipment to create hyper-real life-size prints by hand in the darkroom.
Bruce has taught photography at a wide range of different levels and institutions, notably, Central St Martins, London College of Communication and also in India at the National Institute of Design and Srishti School of Art.

Bruce is part of the team rewriting Langford’s Basic Photography; A seminal textbook used by photography courses worldwide. For the newest edition Bruce is contributing chapters on Digital Workflow, Lenses, Lighting & Filters and Digital Post Production.

Michael Chandler

Dr Michael Chandler is currently a sessional lecturer within the Music and Performing Arts Department at Canterbury Christ Church University, as well as tutoring in music appreciation for the Workers' Educational Association within East Kent. He is also a pianist, giving occasional recitals and working as a teacher and an accompanist. One of his many interests within the field of music is the life and work of the French composer Olivier Messiaen.

Michelle Crowther

Michelle Crowther specialises in biographical and historical writing.  She has a BA in Renaissance and Modern History from the University of Warwick and an MA in Creative Writing from Canterbury Christ Church. She was a finalist in the Impress Prize for New Writing in 2015 for the first chapter of her biography "Trader Fedarb" and has ghost-written five books. Michelle had worked as a Creative Facilitator for Canterbury Museums, delivering sessions on the First World War and the Egyptians, as well as running poetry and creative writing workshops for local schools.

In her spare time she writes murder mystery dinner party games which are sold by Red Herring Games.

Geoff Doel

Dr Geoff Doel has a PhD on Thomas Hardy from Birkbeck, is an Associate Lecturer for UniKent, and runs summer schools for UniDurham. Geoff has published 14 books and made several TV appearances including ‘Time Team’.

April Doyle

April Doyle is a writer, teacher and freelance artist with an MA in Creative Writing. Her short stories have been published in the UK and Australia. Two of her stories were featured as Staff Picks on ReadWave and her story Vickyleaks was shortlisted for the ReadWave Anthology. Before teaching Adult Education she taught in Primary Education for a number of years.

In addition, April is the programme administrator for the Community Arts and Education programme and is pleased to answer queries from prospective CAE students.

Gill Draper

Gill has taught and published on local and landscape history for over a decade. She speaks at Who Do You Think You Are Live and lectures on behalf of the British Association for Local History. Her special interests are towns between 800 and 1700, and also non-conformists such as Quakers and Baptists, the New Poor Law of 1834, approaches to the history of the First World War, and internet resources for local historians and independent scholars. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries.

Victoria Field

Victoria Field works as a writer and poetry therapist. She has had poetry and short fiction commissioned for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and has published three full collections, including the award-winning The Lost Boys (Waterloo Press, 2013). Her memoir Baggage: A Book of Leavings was published by Francis Boutle in 2016. She qualified as a Certified Poetry Therapist with the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy and was identified in a recent Poetry Review as a pioneer in the use of therapeutic writing.  She has co-edited three books on the subject, most recently Writing Routes (Jessica Kingsley Publishers).  She has been writer-in-residence at Truro Cathedral and her play Benson was presented by the Marlowe Studio as a work-in-progress in 2014. She is a fully-approved Mentor-Supervisor for the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy and a member of the British Psychological Society.

John Hursey

John holds a passionate view that everyone is musical - see how people respond to the nuances of any speaking voice, from everyday ones to the 'tunes' of great actors. Learning to listen and not day-dream is at the heart of any music appreciation course because the sharpened focus that experience brings, particularly to people as they grow older, offers a new perspective of wholeness. Music connects because it uses three human attributes: pulse, memory, and response to pitch rise and fall. As a certain Joshua Logan said in the late 18th century 'Music's the medicine of the Mind'.

Tristan Ireson-Howells

Tristan Ireson-Howells is completing a PhD in Modern American Literature at CCCU. He has an MA from Sussex in Modern American Literature and Theory. His research interests are in representations of sport in contemporary fiction, concepts of failure, postmodern literary theory, and the modern short story. This year he has given papers for Aethlon in Johnson City, Tennessee and for a conference on ‘The Failed Individual’ in Mannheim, Germany.

Liz Jennings

Liz Jennings wrote as part of Tearfund’s editorial team for ten years before going freelance and writing for a wide variety of publications as a film and literary reviewer and feature writer. Her fiction has been published across the UK women’s magazine market and she has won prizes for her short stories and flash fiction. Her family Christmas puppet musicals, The Xmas Factor, have been performed in Canterbury in 2013/14, and her scripted murder mysteries are available through the Red Herring Games website. In 2014, she ran a life writing group for people with dementia which resulted in the book Welcome To Our World of which she is the editor. Her short story collection, Blank For Your Own Message, is available on Amazon.

Jennie Lichfield

Jennie Lichfield teaches mindfulness meditation from a Buddhist perspective to members of the community both in groups and in her private practice as well in institutions such as Universities and prisons. She is the Buddhist Chaplain at HMP Maidstone, HMP Rochester and HMP East Sutton Park.

Jennie works with individuals using her skills as a Master NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapist and a Mindfulness based Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and in groups as a Hatha yoga teacher. Over the last twenty years she has steadily built up a reputation for excellence, integrity and offers a high level of service. She provides a warm and inviting classroom environment, working especially well with beginners putting them at ease and allowing plenty of time for reflection, practice time and questions.

Jennie also is responsible for setting up and running a charity in the Ashford area, Pink Ribbon Pilates, providing a free exercise class for women with breast cancer. "Contributing in this way is an important part of my role within my community" says Jennie. "Demonstrating kindness and living a life of service is very much at the heart of our Buddhist practice".

Sonia McNally

Sonia McNally is a practising artist and lectures at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is an experienced and qualified tutor specialising in facilitating creativity and self-expression.

Venetia Minns

Venetia Minns is an artist and counsellor with a degree in fine art and an MA in Art Psychotherapy. She has worked creatively in the Arts for over 30 years. Her practice is informed by, amongst others, writers and thinkers such as Jung, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Jeanette Winterson, Eckhart Tolle and Rumi.  She brings lively curiosity and visual enquiry into her work both with individuals and in groups and is keenly interested in our human narratives.

Derek Mitchell

Derek Mitchell first studied philosophy at Oxford and subsequently at the University of Kent and Kings College, London. After a long career in the National Health Service which included groundbreaking work in primary care clinical effectiveness and clinical governance Derek retired from the Health Service in 2004 due to a serious illness. Derek now teaches philosophy for the Workers Educational Association, Canterbury Christchurch University, and privately. He also works as a volunteer patient representative with the Health Service in East Kent. Derek has recently been awarded a two year research studentship in person centered healthcare with Manchester Metropolitan University. His first book Heidegger’s Philosophy and Theories of the Self was published in 2001 and his second Everyday Phenomenology in 2012. Derek has also had work published on evidence based medicine and person centered healthcare.

Apart from philosophy Derek enjoys recreational cycling and growing prize winning flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Liz Mitchell

Dr Liz Mitchell has a PhD from the University of Warwick in Literature and Philosophy. She has taught philosophy for many years as part of the Sociology Degree at Canterbury Christ Church University. She has given numerous talks on interpretations of Wittgenstein, and other philosophical topics. She is interested in feminist approaches to the great thinkers, and in making philosophy accessible to all.

Richard Norman

Richard Norman taught philosophy for forty years at the University of Kent, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy, and he has also taught for the WEA. His publications include the books 'The Moral Philosophers', 'Ethics, Killing and War', and 'On Humanism'.

Dr John-Paul Riordan

Dr John-Paul Riordan is a part-time senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University in Primary Education. He also works part-time in a school for children who have learning difficulties. John-Paul's PhD explored conceptual change pedagogy in school science (i.e. investigating what experienced teachers do when pupils express scientific 'misconceptions'). He is interested in instructional strategy and classroom deception. He has taught secondary school science (specializing in physics) since 1998. He is a qualified Makaton Regional Tutor and a member of L'Arche.

Carolann Samuels

Carolann is a Focusing Practitioner, qualified with the British Focusing Association, and was for several years a full-time Yoga teacher.  She was a founding partner of The Victor Foundation, which trained Yoga Teachers and Relaxation Therapists, and she continues to teach Yoga and Meditation, including a chair-based Yoga class for people with mobility difficulties. 

With diverse experience in a wide range of occupations in IT, business, the NHS, and Yoga her qualifications include Bsc (Hons) in mathematics (University College, London) and a Post-graduate Certificate in Public Health (King’s College, London).  Her love of working with people has drawn her to Focusing, and she wishes she had found Focusing earlier in her life - trusting her inner sense of direction, finding insights into issues, creativity and helping with all those difficult decisions life throws at us.  Carolann loves sharing Focusing with others, and is keen for everyone to rediscover this natural way of being with ourselves.  You can read more about Carolann’s work and how it continues to unfold new treasures, at www.carolannsamuels.co.uk

Dr Stephen Scoffham

Dr Stephen Scoffham is a Visiting Reader in Sustainability and Education at Canterbury Christ Church University where he has a leading role in pioneering sustainability perspectives in academic courses. He is the author of numerous texts on primary school geography and is a long term author/consultant for Collins school atlases. Stephen’s research interests focus on teaching and learning and include primary school geography, the environment, sustainability, intercultural understanding and creativity. An elected member of the Geographical Association’s governing body, he also serves as an educational advisor for Commonwork, a Kent-based charity which explores sustainable living and working. Stephen’s website on sustainability in education can be viewed at www.canterbury.ac.uk/exploring-sustainability

Anstey Spraggan

Anstey Spraggan did a PGCE at Christ Church and a Masters in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her novel When Ali Met Honour, the story of two British cultures colliding, is published by Dahlia under her pseudonym of Ruth Ahmed. Anstey teaches in the community and runs her own business, Writing Matters Ltd, as well as writing novels and short stories. www.writingmattersuk.com

Tricia Wastvedt

Tricia Wastvedt is a novelist, editor, and tutor on the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing. Her first novel, The River , was long-listed for the Orange Prize, short-listed for the Author’s Club first book award and also the St Maurice prize. Her second novel, The German Boy was published by Penguin in June 2011.

Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson is an associate lecturer, tutor and PhD supervisor at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he teaches on the Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred MA course.  Long fascinated by Western spiritual traditions, history and the imagination, he has published and lectured widely on topics such as the Grail, Earth Mysteries, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, UFOs, John Michell, visionary architecture, and the imaginal history of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He is also a member of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge.

Alison Youd

I am part-time senior lecturer based on the Canterbury Campus working mainly in the ITE programmes. I have worked in special schools in the London area for more than 30 years, specialising in provision for pupils with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties including ASD. For 16 years I was a Headteacher and later an Executive Headteacher.

I was a Consultant Headteacher for the then National College of School Leadership tutoring on the New Visions Programme for new Heads and on the NPQH course for aspirant Heads. I was a National Leader of Education. My Masters Dissertation researched improving outcomes for pupils by changing school structural organisation. 

I am particularly interested in Co-operative Education and have made presentations at several conferences in the subject. Currently I teach mainly on the ITE programmes, both B.A. and P.G.C.E. I teach across all year groups including teaching in Y1 on the curriculum 1B course in History and acting as a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) to a group of Y1 students. In Y2 I teach Education and Academic studies and act as a PAT for my teaching group. In Y3 I teach on the PPP Course. On the PGCE programme I tutor on the Enhanced Studies SEN option focusing on developing an appropriate learning environment. I also work as a tutor on the Supporting Learners with Autism in the Classroom course for teachers and support staff. I am a Trustee of the Bromley Education Trust, a MAT and of KSENT, the co-operative Trust of Kent Special Schools, on behalf of the University. I am also a Trustee of Nexus, a MAT based in Franborough, Kent.


April Doyle
Canterbury Christ Church University
North Holmes Road, Canterbury, Kent.
CT1 1QU.
Tel: 01227 863451
(Mon - Fri 9.30am - 2.30pm)


Connect with us

Last edited: 13/07/2017 13:01:00