Nicola James

BSc, PhD 

" I feel our sessions have benefited me in an extremely positive way and I am extremely grateful. You helped in sciences. Before we started the sciences could be considered my weakest subjects - but now, after my mock exams they are some of my most confident. I am grateful and can't thank enough. Best wishes for the future. "
Card from student Ben - GCSE Maths, Chemistry, Biology & Physics - class of 2019
" Exceeded expectations"
Review from Dee - parent of  Advanced Maths and Biology student - class of 2019
More reviews and star ratings can be found on Wharfedale Tutors Facebook page
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was established in 2008, when, after 15 years working as a biomedical research fellow, I hung up my lab coat and embarked upon a career as 4-in-1 personal tutor, teaching Maths, Biology & Chemistry to advanced level, and Physics to GCSE. I am a self-employed sole trader providing home and remote online education services. I have taken great pains to ensure the tuition and resources provide smooth and rapid progress of the students I teach.

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Students are given access to colour, A4 infographic summary sheets for every topic of all the science subjects, GCSE and Advanced. The infographics are clearly annotated with the relevant keywords/phrases students need to use to score all the marks available for each exam question. For Maths students, I have created colourful, one-size-fits-all flowcharts that can be applied to numeracy, algebra, geometry and statistics, to find the route to the correct answer.


My teaching style is relaxed, assuring and informal. I teach concepts in a logical order and relate the concepts taught to experiences and interests the students already have and to the world around them. Used together, these strategies make learning & retention as straightforward as possible. I have helped hundreds of often overwhelmed, sometimes despondent, students rapidly improve their skills, confidence and enthusiasm, to go on to obtain excellent exam grades. From modest beginnings myself, I have an ambition to provide services that enable students from low socioeconomic status to reach full potential and achieve their ambitions. In addition to providing personalised 1-2-1 tuition, I provide an economical robust, remote learning service. This service is a hybrid of self-directed learning following a prescribed video playlist, alongside tutor-supported development of exam technique via live interactive online tutorials.


Self-directed learning

An ordered compilation of hand-picked, easy-to-follow, engaging videos from diverse sources. Students can play, pause and rewind the videos as many times as they like. This has a significant advantage over traditional collective teaching in the classroom, as videos can be digested by students at their own pace and according to their own preferred individual schedules.  Any student with online access can catch up and stay on track for their formal GCSE science exams, even if they have zero financial backing. For a small fee students can develop their exam technique by booking onto our

Tutor-supported learning

  • live interactive online exam practise questions  

Providing students watch and digest the video playlist for the tutorial, all students arrive at the sessions at the same level of understanding allowing me to develop their abilities further as a cohort. My value as a tutor in this model shifts from explaining concepts, which are covered in the videos for FREE, to developing the ability of students to interpret and answer exam questions correctly and maximise the grades achieved in the final exams. 

Make the best use of your financial resources for your child's education

My enthusiasm for science and mathematics took me along a path that developed into an exciting career of discovery in biomedical research, within an internationally coordinated community of dedicated, passionate colleagues and peers. The details of my past projects are summarised below.

Biomedical Research History

Yorkshire Cancer Research Fellow, Virology Group, Department of Biochemistry, University of Leeds, 2002-2008.
My work demonstrated that adenovirus causes alteration of the architecture of structures, within the nucleii of infected cells, known as 'Cajal bodies'   Journal of Virology 2010. Further investigation revealed that the rearrangement  of Cajal bodies is essential for the assembly of new infectious viruses. My research suggests that disabling the function of Cajal bodies could prove a useful target strategy to prevent the spread of viruses.


 British Heart Foundation Research Fellow, Deparment of Cardiovascular Research, University of Leeds, 2001-2002.


High blood pressure causes injury to blood vessels and is a major risk factor for coronary  artery disease. I investigated responses of human cardiac cells to hormones that control vascular tone, to mimic the effects of high blood pressure in vivo. Using a state-of-the-art cell sorter, I developed a technique to allow the controlled addition of hormones to cardiac cells channeled in a fluid stream. Cells that responded to the various stimuli were isolated from the non-responding cells. Biological changes in the two cell populations were compared.

British Heart Foundation PhD Student, Dept of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Royal Free & University College London,​ 1996-2000.

The progression of coronary artery disease to cardiac arrest and stroke and the transformation of cancers from benign to malignant are both dependent upon the formation of new capillary blood vessels.  I carried out an investigation into the role of blood clotting proteins in the formation of new capillaries. I devised a cellular model system that continues to be used as a standard technique today. My work showed the involvement of a specific protein called tissue factor, in the process. I cloned the tissue factor protein and created mutations to enable me to establish which structural features are important. I was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry for my contribution to research in this area. I presented my work at the First International Conference on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Issues in Cancer Biology, Bergamo, Italy, 2001, at a time when the connection between the development of arterial disease in response to tumour metabolism was first emerging.

JRC Research Assistant, Cardiovascular Group, Dept of Medicine, King's College School of Medicine & Dentistry, 1992-1996.
I was very fortunate to begin my career in scientific research within a distinguished team headed by the (then) BHF Professor of Cardiovascular Research  John F. Martin, in collaboration with Dr Jorge D. Erusalimsky and Prof Ian Zachary, both former researchers at  the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories, Lincolns Inn Fields, London.
I developed an in vitro model system of blood stem cell maturation, using a magnetic separation technique to purify blood stem cells from human umbilical cord blood. My model system was the first to produce red blood cells and platelets in vitro and was an important breakthrough for the development of umbilical cord blood banks for stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia. I used the system to study the biological mechanisms involved in the decision of stem cells to mature along particular blood cell lineages. The cell signalling mechanisms that control the fate of stem cells in commitment to either the red cell or the platelet pathway were investigated. The model system was also used to investigate platelet fragmentation in collaborative studies with Prof Steve P. Watson in the Dept of Pharmacology, Oxford University and also by Dr Elisabeth Cramer, INSERM, France, published in Blood, 1997