Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The First World War was a devastating conflict that transformed the lives of millions of people around the world and left a legacy of violence and conflict that continues to resonate today. This course takes advantage of the rich sources that have emerged since the centenary of the First World War to explore themes and concepts related to the prosecution, impact, representation and aftermath of the war from a global perspective. By examining the major events and turning points of the war alongside new research on the global dimensions of the conflict, this course will provide students with a broader and more nuanced understanding of the war.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate critical understanding of complex themes and topics in global First World War history;

2. Identify, evaluate and synthesise issues and debates in international First World War literature;

3. Analyse primary sources from a variety of repositories (including digital);

4. Apply advanced communication skills appropriate to the evaluation of primary and secondary source material;

5. Demonstrate familiarity with differing conceptual approaches and their methods to the study of the First World War.


This course examines the diverse experiences, impacts, and legacies of the First World War for individuals, families, communities, nations and empires. It does this by bringing together histories of the battlefield with histories of the war’s social, cultural and political effects. The course explores the conflict in four dimensions:


  1. Fighting a global war: this theme focuses on the military dimensions of the conflict, including battlefronts beyond the Western Front, and the experience of soldiering, including for women, Indigenous and colonial troops.
  2. Winning a global war: this theme focuses on the mobilisation of societies and economies, and includes topics such as the idea of ‘the homefront’, war workers, propaganda and dissent.
  3. Aftermaths of a global war: this theme focuses on the immediate postwar years, and covers topics including demoblisation and repatriation, the Spanish flu pandemic, the place of veterans in postwar societies, and the revolutions and political unrest that followed in the war’s wake.
  4. Legacies of a global war: this theme focuses on the global memory of the war, and its long term cultural legacies. Topics include commemoration and the politics of memory, as well as representations of the war in literature, film, art and other media.

Assumed knowledge

Successful completion of 20 units of History at 1000 level

Assessment items

Presentation: Oral Presentation - Primary Source Analysis (30%)

Project: Academic Journal-style Article (40%)

In Term Test: In-Term Test (30%)

Contact hours



Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 2

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.