Genealogy Qualifications in the UK
Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the UK. Tracing ancestors is not just about creating family trees but also learning about the people who lived before us.
The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies runs courses and a correspondence course that lead to the AGRA-recognised Higher Certificate in Genealogy. They are supplemented by workshops and seminars.
Higher Certificate in Genealogy
The Higher Certificate in Genealogy is a course that provides advanced study in family history. It is designed to prepare students for professional work in the field of genealogy. Students will learn how to extract data from various types of documentation. They will also learn how to construct and analyse family trees, while adhering to recognised professional standards.
The programme is taught through a combination of online lectures and assignments. It requires a significant time commitment of up to 30 hours per week. Students are expected to complete a research project, as well as a number of tutor marked assignments, to gain a passing grade for the qualification.
There are a number of different programmes available to those wanting to undertake advanced genealogy studies. These include the Society of Genealogists and Pharos Tutors. The programmes are designed to prepare students for a career in genealogy and have been approved by AGRA.
Many people who are serious about their genealogy are seeking qualifications in the field. This is to separate themselves from the “wannabe” professional genealogists, and demonstrate that they have the skills to meet client requirements. The qualifications are based on a series of Tutor Marked Assignments and a two hour written examination. Those who successfully pass the qualification can go on to the Diploma in Genealogy and then, after further practical experience, to apply for Licentiateship of the Institute.
Diploma in Genealogy
The Diploma in Genealogy is a more advanced level of study for those wishing to pursue genealogy as a career. This course teaches the skills and techniques necessary to conduct professional-standard research. It also provides students with the opportunity to gain industry experience through work placements and internships. Students will also be taught the principles of historical writing, and how to use a variety of different resources, including archives and libraries.
This course is available to anyone who has completed the Society’s Certificate in Genealogical Research, at a credit level of 75% or above. It is a distance learning course that is completed by submitting tutor-marked assignments. It has a flexible structure and can be taken up to three years.
In addition to the higher level qualifications, the Institute offers a number of shorter certificates in genealogical topics. These courses are aimed at those who want to study on a part-time basis and may not have the time to commit to an MSc route. Successful completion of the postgraduate certificate and diploma programmes will enable you to apply for Probationer Membership of AGRA.
Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogy
Whether you want to learn more about your family history or are interested in pursuing a career as a professional genealogist, there are a variety of opportunities to get the education you need. Many programs offer a wide range of learning methods, including online and in-person. Some offer certificates, while others provide diplomas. These programs are ideal for beginners and those with some experience who want to know how to make the most of their research.
The IHGS Correspondence Course in Genealogy provides an in-depth knowledge of genealogical sources and practice. It is available to students worldwide and is based on research at local archives. The course also includes a virtual tutor who marks assignments and offers guidance. The IHGS has a number of other genealogy courses that are more social history than genealogical, such as their Local Studies and Family History Course.
The University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogy is another option for those looking to further their education in the field of genealogy. This programme is suitable for both new and experienced genealogists, and focuses on the importance of starting with records that are easily accessible. It covers basic documents, such as birth, marriage and death records, census returns and parish registers, as well as more advanced sources, including manorial records and Chancery Court records.