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Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies PGCert

Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies PGCert

Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Certificate

Subject areas

Paleography Heraldry Genealogy History Teaching

Course type


Course Summary

Why this course?

This postgraduate course is for anyone with an interest and some experience in genealogy and related subjects. You may wish to study the field in more detail or use it in your career. It’s of particular interest for:

  • archivists
  • lawyers & paralegals
  • geographers
  • land agents
  • heritage sector staff
  • historians
  • librarians
  • museum staff
  • records agents

It's also suitable for those who are interested in:

  • developing, evaluating or refreshing their expertise in genealogy, records, archives, documents, palaeography and heraldry
  • advancing their academic and professional achievement in these subjects
  • gaining a deeper, more critical understanding of the field, its literature and professional practice
  • providing more expert knowledge and advisory capacity to employers and members of the public, such as in Family History Centres.

What you'll study

You’ll focus on the sources available to genealogists and family historians. You’ll also gain the knowledge, skills and techniques to operate as a professional genealogist in a variety of settings.

The Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)/Part-time MSc Year 1 course deals mainly with Scottish, English/Welsh and Irish records. The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)/Part-time MSc Year 2 adds American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, British Empire, Jewish, European and other sources. The MSc dissertation provides the opportunity to choose an individual topic of interest.

Most of our students begin with the Postgraduate Certificate/Part-time MSc Year 1 before moving to the Postgraduate Diploma/Part-time MSc Year 2 and then onto the MSc by Dissertation year.

Postgraduate Certificate

You'll study topics including:

  • genealogical professional practice
  • search strategies & using repositories
  • social history, demography & geographic sources
  • church & civil records (England/Wales & Scotland)
  • census records & their substitutes (England/Wales & Scotland)
  • genetic genealogy
  • migration & records
  • Irish records
  • military & occupational records (England/Wales & Scotland)
  • land & inheritance records (England/Wales & Scotland)
  • palaeography
  • Latin for genealogists
  • heraldry

Once you successfully complete the PgCert/Part-time MSc Year 1, you can progress to the PgDiploma/Part-time MSc Year 2.

Different course options

Study mode

Distance without attendance


1 year

Start date



This class is a systematic foundation in the use of various sources, including birth, marriage, death and census records from across the United Kingdom. Census substitutes (poll books, electoral rolls, valuation and taxation assessments and subsidy lists, poor law registers, etc) and ecclesiastical records (OPR, parish registers, bishops' transcripts, Kirk Session and parish administration records, etc) are also covered.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Normally, a degree or similar, but non-standard educational or professional qualifications may also be considered; you require to have some relevant genealogical or related experience.

University information

The University of Strathclyde were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour awarded to our sector. They are transforming our campus to create a first -class working learning environment. Their new £31 million Strathclyde Sport building provides a range of sport and wellbeing facilities for students, staff and the local community. The Centre offers state-of-the art training facilities, including a 25-metre swimming...more

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Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies MSc

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