The Great War 1914 to 1918

Subject HIST10014 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Julie Fedor, Dr Steven Welch


Dr Steven Welch

Julie Fedor

Subject Overview:

The Great War, the ‘seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century,’ now lies a century behind us, but its aftershocks continue to reverberate down to the present. This subject will provide a global history of the war with special attention devoted to Australia’s role. Issues to be addressed include: Who was responsible for the war? Was WWI the first total war? To what extent did the war transform social and moral norms, gender, race and class relations, and the relationships within the global economy? What were the war aims of the belligerent nations? How did soldiers experience the war? Why did they keep fighting for so long? How did the war affect civilians? Did the war achieve anything or was it just an exercise in futility? Why did the peacemaking at Versailles fail? The subject requires that students read a range of materials, both secondary and primary. The tutorials are designed to enable students to explore key issues in European history and historiography during the period 1900-1920.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a general knowledge of some of the principal figures and significant events of World War I;
  • understand how the concept of total war might be applicable to the First World War;
  • gain an understanding of some of the key historiographical debates on topics such as the origins of the war, the nature of combat, the impact of the war on class, race and gender relations, and the legacy of the war;
  • be able to analyse primary and secondary sources in constructing historical arguments;
  • demonstrate research skills using printed and electronic sources in preparation of a critical primary source analysis;
  • develop skills of critical thinking through group discussion of subject readings and preparation of written assessment.

A 1000 word essay 25% (due in week 5), a 1000 word essay 25% (due in week 9) and a 2-hour final exam 50% (due in the examination period).

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Lawrence Sondhaus, World War One, The Global Revolution,Cambridge 2011.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History

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