Close this search box.


A Level History Conference: Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia, 1917 – 1953

Course Code:


This enriching, valuable and highly informative day will give students opportunity to hear from world class speakers Professor Robert Service and Dr Michael Lynch who will be leading sessions focusing on The Russian Revolution & the Rise of Stalin 1917 – 1929 and Stalin’s Rule 1929 –1953.

A Level History senior examiner, teacher and author Dr Keith Milne will be leading the Examiner sessions, giving students valuable advice, techniques and key tips on how they can produce answers of the highest quality to attain grades A/A* in questions on this specific period Russia: Revolution and Dictatorship 1917 – 1953.


  • Experience a unique, enriching and highly informative day hearing presentations from leading historians and an expert senior examiner on this specific 1917 – 1953 period
  • Enhance understanding of key themes and topics, all linked directly to the exam papers
  • Take away top level guidance and advice from a senior examiner on ways to attain those top grades
  • Get the latest, up-to-date information from historians to strengthen exam responses.
  • Take away a full set of conference notes, with examination tips and example answers


Welcome and Introduction

10.25 – 10.35am

Dissent and Revolution 1917

10.30 – 11.15am
  • ‘The February Revolution surprised everyone and achieved little’ How valid is this view?
  • How far did the Provisional Government fail because it lacked the support of the army?
  • To what extent was Trotsky the key individual in the Bolshevik seizure of power?
  • To what extent were two revolutions of 1917 the direct result of Russia’s involvement in War?

Dr Michael Lynch, School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester.

Examiner Session: Essay Questions on the Russian Revolution and the Rise of Stalin 1917 – 1929

11.15 – 11.45am
  • The integration of content and skills in perfect combination in a depth essay– what to expect, what examiners are looking for to award A/A* marks in questions on The Russian Revolution and the Rise of Stalin
  • Examples of excellent responses from the 2022 series. Specific advice on what students can do to drive up the top levels
  • The difference between Level 4 and Level 5 in an essay – how to nab that A* grade

Dr Keith Milne, Senior Examiner, Teacher, Author.

Morning Break – submit your questions on Modern British History to our expert panel

11.45 – 12.05pm

Bolshevik consolidation 1918-1924 and Stalin’s rise to power, 1924 – 1929

12.05 – 12.45pm
  • How far was Lenin’s only consistent objective the creation of a one-party state?
  • To what extent was Stalin’s ambition motivated by a clear and consistent ideology?
  • How far was debate over the NEP and Socialism in one Country just a power struggle by another name?

Professor Robert Service, Emeritus Professor of Russian History, University of Oxford.


12.45 – 1.20pm

Ask the Experts: Professor Robert Service, Dr Michael Lynch, Dr Keith Milne

1.20 – 1.30pm
  • The experts answer the questions submitted by the students

The Russian Economy and Society, 1929–1941

1.30 – 2.10pm
  • Soviet success or national disaster? To what extent was collectivisation and dekulakisation motivated by a simple desire to improve agriculture?
  • How far was the greatest success of the Five Year Plans in forcing compliance and social stability?
  • How successfully had the Soviet Union’s economic and industrial problems been addressed by 1941?

Dr Michael Lynch, School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester.

Stalin: politics control and dictatorship? 1929 – 1953

2.10 – 3.05pm
  • ‘Despite the use of terror, Stalin ultimately ruled by consent’ – how valid is this view?
  • How far did Russia experience a social revolution?
  • To what extent did the Great Patriotic War reinvigorate the political use of terror in the Soviet Union?
  • How were the economic reforms of the years 1929 to 1953 motivated primarily by political objectives?

Professor Robert Service, Emeritus Professor of Russian History, University of Oxford.

Examiner Session- Writing Source Responses for Russia 1917 – 1953 Questions

3.05 – 3.30pm
  • Evaluating Question 01 on 2N depth paper
  • The importance of knowing what to look for in value.
  • The ‘ideal’ structure and the ‘perfect’ start with exemplars
  • How to deal with provenance and move beyond simply adding detail
  • What was done well and what less so in 2022 on this paper

Dr Keith Milne, Senior Examiner, Teacher, Author.

Final Advice and Top Tips From The Examiner

3.30 – 3.40pm
  • How to use specific knowledge to prove understanding in essays and source evaluation
  • The proven approach to effective revision: learning the arguments and avoiding the pub quiz.

Dr Keith Milne, Senior Examiner, Teacher, Author.


The Rock Tower, 49 Tufnell Park Rd, London, N7 0PS | Wednesday 15 February 2023

Please select your preferred date

This conference, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Dr Michael Lynch is an honorary fellow in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Leicester. He is a prolific writer for the school market; thousands of students will have encountered his detailed but accessible textbooks. His areas of interest and expertise include Nazi Germany, Mao’s China and Stalinist Russia.

Professor Robert Service is Emeritus Professor of Russian History at the University of Oxford. His research interests cover Russian history from the late 19th century, with a focus on the period from the October Revolution to Stalin’s death. He has published widely, including biographies of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky.

Dr Keith Milne has over 25 years teaching and examining experience. He is a senior moderator and examiner with a major exam board and has authored and advised on a series of popular books including those detailing how to succeed with the NEA. He leads a number of courses exploring the routes to success at A Level History.


  • A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

Enquiry Form

Please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you shortly