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​​Postgraduate services

(proof-reading and editing for postgraduate students)


About Dr Karen O'Rourke

I am a qualified postgraduate teacher of English, with over 30 years' part-time teaching experience in British universities and institutions of education in Britain, Europe and Asia.


My teaching qualifications and higher academic research background are in arts subjects, specifically in English and the philosophy of religion.


I do not run a tuition or proof-reading centre or employ any staff. I am self-employed, work alone, and for three evenings a week, I teach school-aged children.


I am available to postgraduate university students to work by arrangement in my home on weekday mornings only, Monday to Thursday. This is for a minimum of one and a half hours and a maximum of three hours per day for each student. (As a general rule, current or recent students have booked two hours each week.) Students come initially to my home in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, to work face-to-face with me, although I will accept commissions to work remotely. 


To date, all my students have been Ph.D. and masters students from the Universities of Birmingham and Aston. In the past four years, I have proof-read the dissertations and theses of masters doctoral theses in the Faculties of Arts, Commerce and Social Sciences; Education; Engineering; Medical Sciences and Dentistry. 


I do not offer these services to undergraduates or sudents of Further Education.



I advise prospective clients that it is in your own interests to think ahead and pre-book proof-reading and editing to avoid any excess charges:

  • Proof-reading and editing (face-to-face or remotely, by arrangement, with over seven days' notice, and requiring no additional preparation by the proof-reader / editor) £27.50 per hour

  • Proof-reading and editing (face-to-face or remotely, by arrangement, with under seven days' notice, and requiring no additional preparation by the proof-reader / editor)£30.00 per hour

  • Academic writing tuition (requiring preparation by the tutor, including set 'homework' and marking) £30.00 per hour

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):


Do you offer your services to undergraduates?

I regret that I do not offer proof-reading to students taking bachelor-level degrees, nor to students attending colleges of further education.


Are your services intended only for overseas students?

My services are not exclusively for overseas students. However, my experience and expertise makes the service I offer particularly suited to those overseas students who wish to develop and enrich their own ideas, expressions, arguments and discourse. I have assisted students of different types to develop their own consistent, fluent and clear writing style, within the varied genres and specific idioms of academic writing in English. 'Native' speakers of English, wanting to check and improve the consistency and style of their written work, might find my services appropriate at the final proof-reading stage of their dissertation or thesis.


How does the proof-reading and editing service work?

Postgraduate or undergraduate students arrive for tuition by prior arrangement with a complete typed paper copy of their thesis or dissertation. Alternatively, the agreement might be to work on-screen on an electronic copy which, by prior arrangement, they have sent to my email address. If a text for proof-reading is sent electronically, I must receive it 24 hours prior to the proof-reading tutorial to ensure that it can be scanned for viruses.  I will not begin to proof-read a thesis or dissertation which is not in a final draft copy, and postgraduates should be clear that I will offer no assistance in writing or re-writing any part.


Do you offer an on-line proof-reading service or only 'face-to-face' service?

Working with a student 'face-to-face' is often the most productive way.  However, I will consider proof-reading theses 'online' where this is appropriate and feasible, usually where there has been previous face to face work, and a secure and reliable broadband connection is available. Sometimes, Skype provides a very effective medium for communicating with students.


How can tuition, proof-reading and editing be booked?

The proof-reading and editing service can be booked in two ways. The first option is a regular, weekly commitment for up to two hours per day in the mornings of the Birmingham Education Authority term-time period. (In this case, a guaranteed weekly service-level is agreed in a contract for tuition on one or more particular day). Alternatively, services may be booked 'as and when required' on an ad. hoc., occasional basis.



Dr Karen O'Rourke 

Amherst Avenue

Handsworth Wood (3 miles north of Birmingham city centre)


B20 2LH


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