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


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization. At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.

  • 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.

  • HIH3326 Britain since 1945

    While Britain emerged from the Second World War as one of the victor powers, the conflict left a deep mark on the country. By the end of the war, the British government was virtually bankrupt, and in foreign affairs Whitehall faced Britain¿s relegation into the second division of world powers within the emerging bi-polar world order of the Cold War. Despite the difficult economic situation, consecutive British governments pushed an ambitious programme for social reform at home and attempted to regain power in international relations through the acquisition of nuclear weapons. This third year option examines society, culture and politics in Britain since 1945. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will be studying key events and developments in postwar Britain, in particular changes in the role of the state and the success or failure of social and economic policies, the Cold War and the wider international relationships ¿ either European or transatlantic ¿ within which Britain has pursued its interests, aspects of social change in the 1950s and 1960s (e.g. gender roles, postwar affluence and student protests), the impact of decolonization and immigration on postwar British society, the Irish question and devolution as well as Thatcherism.