• 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
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

In August 1914, millions of men were mobilised as European nations declared war on one another. As most of these nations were imperial powers, their colonies were also drawn into the conflict. How could Senegalese, Australians, Indians and South Africans find themselves fighting Germans or Ottomans they had previously limited to no contact with? How could European populations consent to total warfare for so long and at such huge costs? Millions of the men who marched to the battle fronts in 1914 later died as a result of a type of industrial warfare few had foreseen. And for what?

This course focuses on the global dimension of the First World War. Drawing from up-to-date transnational and comparative historiography, the course provides an understanding of a war that, in many ways, shaped the 20th century. It provides an opportunity to approach new ways of thinking about the conflict, outside of the national framework. The course provides students with an understanding of the origins of the First World War, back to mid-19th century Europe and the rise of nationalisms right through its consequences and its long-lasting effects on the 20th century. Taking students through the conflict, a wide array of topics will be explored such as trench combat, violence, shell shock, home-fronts, arts, reconstruction and commemoration.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. critically reflect upon the nature of military and cultural history, and how it has been practised in relation to the First World War;
  2. understand and analyse key interpretations of the causes, conduct and consequences of the Great War;
  3. engage with course themes through oral discussion and presentations; and
  4. locate, collect, interpret and synthesise a range of historical sources to develop a coherent argument.

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. Essay plan and bibliography (1,300 words) (25) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Research Essay (2,000 words) (45) [LO 1,2,4]
  3. Quiz (20) [LO 1,2]
  4. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

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.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

A reading list for the course is available on Wattle

Assumed Knowledge




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
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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