Available in 2022
Course code



20 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The period from 1900–1945 was the most violent age in European history. Why did the period following the First World War see the rise of Mussolini and Hitler? Why were European societies polarised by extremist ideologies of the left and the right? What links were there between fascist repression and militarist expansionism? How do we explain the genocidal impulses of fascism? This course considers these questions by examining Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in particular. It looks at the economic, social, and political forces that gave rise to fascism, fascist methods of rule, and the ideology’s drive to total warfare, particularly on the Eastern Front. In this context, it also looks at the debates concerning genocide (particularly the Holocaust), and at differing interpretations of fascism and its representation.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2022


  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Explain key themes in the history of fascism and National Socialism;

2. Reflect on the nature, impact, and legacy of fascism and Nazism;

3. Interpret and utilise a variety of historical sources at a capstone level;

4. Apply historical research, critical analysis and reflective skills at a senior level;

5. Illustrate clear, coherent, and independent development of historical and historiographical knowledge and ideas in oral and written forms.


Themes examined include:

  • the nature of fascism as an ideology;
  • the origins of Fascism in Italy and National Socialism in Germany;
  • “international” fascism;
  • the impact of fascism and Nazism on society;
  • foreign policy and race;
  • the cult of the leader;
  • Nazi genocidal policies (particularly the Holocaust and Porajmos); and
  • the Second World War and its aftermath.

Assumed knowledge

20 units of History or at 1000 level or equivalent

Assessment items

Professional Task: Museum Audio Guide (25%)

Proposal / Plan: Write Article Plan (5%)

Project: Academic Article (40%)

Proposal / Plan: Write Test Questions (10%)

In Term Test: Class Test (20%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks



Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

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.