• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest Contemporary Europe, History, International Relations

The First World War was called 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. This course focuses on the War and its immediate aftermath, and will use a number of perspectives from diplomatic, military, social and intellectual history. The course will also take a comparative approach to acquaint students with the similarities and differences between the major protagonists’ first experiences of total war. The course will end by examining 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 completion of this course, students should be able to:

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.

Other Information

This course may be counted towards a History, Contemporary Europe or International Relations major, and is a designated course for the BA (European Studies).

Indicative Assessment

1. A research essay of 3,000 words (50%), [Assesses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6].

2. A formal examination (40%) [Assesses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4 and 6].

3. Tutorial performance (10%) [Assesses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4 and 5].

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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 30 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and b) 100 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST6214.

Preliminary Reading

Keegan, John, The First World War, Vintage Books, 1998.

Strachan, Hew, The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War, Oxford University Press, 1998.




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
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
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
4364 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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