• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

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.


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

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST2214.

Prescribed Texts



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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $3630
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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