I am a Post-doctoral Fellow and Tutor in History. Since 2017, I have and writing a book on Swansea University's history to mark its forthcoming centenary in 2020. In conjunction with more traditional forms of research, this involves co-ordinating and undertaking a large oral history project as well as speaking to various groups and societies from the local community and the wider region. I also lecture and tutor on several undergraduate and postgraduate courses within the department, concentrating generally on the politics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and, in particular, the politics, society and culture of post-1945 Britain.

I was born and raised in Pembrokeshire, and studied my BA and MA degrees in History at Cardiff University. I came to Swansea University in 2013 to research and write a Ph.D. thesis on the Conservative Party in Wales, 1945-1997, which was fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and much of the research for which was conducted in Oxford and in local record offices across the country. I have written several academic, newspaper and think-tank articles based on this work and I am also a regular contributor to the Welsh and British broadcast media on the subjects of historic and contemporary politics.


  1. Blaxland, S. Re-thinking Student Radicalism: the case of a Provincial British University Espacio, Tiempo y Educación 6 1 29 39
  2. Blaxland, S. Women in the organisation of the Conservative Party in Wales, 1945–1979 Women's History Review 1 21


  • HI-M01 Historical Methods and Approaches

    This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HIH121 Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989

    The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers ¿ the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.

  • HIH124 Modern British History

    This module explores the broad sweep of the history of the United Kingdom since its modern creation in 1801. It brings together different approaches from political, economic, social and cultural history to consider the different ways the history of a nation can be studied. At the module's heart are questions of what constitutes a nation and the extent to which British society can be considered to be unified.

  • HIH253 The Welsh Century: Politics, Nationality and Religion, 1847-1947

    This survey of modern Welsh history from the 1847 report on the state of education in Wales, to the social reforms of the Attlee government at the end of the Second World War, traces the emergence of Welsh identity through key developments such as temperance and the Sunday Closing Act, religion and the disestablishment of the church and the emergence of Welsh national institutions. It considers how Welshness adapted to and intersected with other loyalties, defined by race, gender, class and empire, and it deals with the changing social and cultural scene which saw anglicizing influences alter demographic and linguistic patterns in Wales.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.