Set in a grammar school in Sheffield in the 1980s, The History Boys follows the path of eight sixth form pupils as they prepare to take their entrance exams to Oxford and Cambridge Universities (Oxbridge). They are led by the eccentric Hector, an ageing teacher who has a unique take on their General Studies course. However, his teaching is brought into question by the young, fresh Irwin, who has been brought in specifically to make sure that the boys excel in their Oxbridge exams and interviews. Mediating between the two is Mrs. Lintott, a teacher who goes by the book and follows a traditional, need-to-know teaching method. All three teachers face their own demons, as they attempt to guide the boys through examinations, interviews, and personal struggles. Throughout their studies, the boys and their teachers explore issues of gender roles, sexuality, the value of knowledge, and historical perception.