• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History

The First World War was thought of at the time as the “war to end all wars”, but was soon reviled as a senseless slaughter that solved nothing and created problems that plagued the rest of the twentieth century. Understanding the causes, conduct and outcomes of World War I is essential to understanding the rise of modern nationalism, the Russian revolution and Bolshevism, the great depression of the 1930s, and the outbreak of World War II.

This course focuses on the First World War and its immediate aftermath, and will use a number of perspectives, including diplomatic, military, social and intellectual history. The course will also take an international and comparative approach to the war in order to acquaint students with the similarities and differences between the Australian, British, French, German, Russian and United States’ first experiences of modern total war. The course will end with an examination of the Treaty of Versailles and its legacies for the modern age.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

After successful completion of this course, students should:

1.       Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the causes, conduct, and outcomes of the Great War;

2.       Understand the development of key interpretations of the causes, conduct and consequences of the Great War;

3.       Demonstrate continued development in your research, analytic, and writing skills;

4.       Improve your ability to reflect critically on the Great War’s historiography and its key primary sources;

5.       Demonstrate and improve your oral presentation skills, and

6.       Show your understanding of the historical significance of the Great War.

Indicative Assessment

An assessment package will be negotiated with each student, but each package will include a 6,000 word essay based on primary sources, worth at least 60% of the final mark.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The course is offered on campus via lectures (which will be streamed) and tutorials. The course will not be offered in 2009.

13 x 90 min lectures, weekly tutorials. Lectures will be streamed. Students will be expected to spend an average of seven hours per week outside these contact hours to prepare for tutorials and for research and writing of written work.

Prescribed Texts



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4370 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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