Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students to the phenomenon of war in Australian society in its many manifestations, from the colonial period through to the early twenty-first century. It draws on social and cultural perspectives together with traditional operational, strategic and political aspects of war history. The course is informed by a wide variety of source types including traditional military and official written records, diaries, letters and memoirs, audio-visual material, artwork and scholarly secondary sources. These sources are employed to explore war experiences ranging from fighting on the battlefield, to people's day-to-day lives on the home front, to the ways in which war and conflict have been remembered in Australia. The course will be of interest to students wanting to learn more about the impact of war on Australia and Australians, and will provide the historical context for contemporary debates about the place of war in Australian history.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2021.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the history of war and society in Australia from the colonial period through to the twenty-first century;

2. Analyse critically primary and secondary sources in the field of war and society;

3. Employ skills in research and communication appropriate to advanced undergraduate level;

4. Apply historical knowledge to the understanding of present-day issues associated with war, its memory, its experience and its aftermath as these have affected, and continue to affect, Australians.


The course examines Australian's experience of war as well as its impacts and aftermath including the memory and commemoration of war. It aims to challenge many traditional assumptions and myths such as ANZAC and poses a range of key questions to understand how war has shaped Australian society and continues to into the present. These questions include, what constitutes a military hero, what was it like to be taken as a prisoner of war, and how did Australians grieve for loved ones?

Specific topics may include frontier conflict, Gallipoli and the First World War, home front divisions, the soldiering experience including that of Aboriginal service personnel, the Second World War, Cold War conflicts, opposition to war, and peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

Assumed knowledge

10 units of History at 1000 level or equivalent

Assessment items

Essay: Major Essay (40%)

Written Assignment: Source Analysis (25%)

Written Assignment: Essay Proposal and Peer Review (25%)

Participation: Group/tutorial participation and contribution (10%)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.