The best genealogy courses available now

We pick the best genealogy courses available online and by correspondence

A lesson on 'Hitlerism and democracy' at Cheadle High School, 1939. Genealogy courses.

Taking a genealogy course is a great way to acquire further family history skills and potentially even qualify as a professional genealogist. Luckily, many genealogy courses are available online or by correspondence. While we’re all staying at home due to the coronavirus lockdown, why not try out one of these genealogy courses as a fun, safe and educational way to pass the time?

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The best online and correspondence genealogy courses

Beginning Your Family History

Sign up now for this free online genealogy course from the Family History Federation, which represents the UK’s family history societies. Taught by family history experts, the four-week course is perfect for those who are just getting started in family history, or who want to improve their skills. Starts 4 May.

Pharos Tutors

Pharos Tutors are specialists in online genealogy courses. They offer anytime courses on topics including beginning your family tree and inspiring children’s interest in family history (prices range from £19.99 to £45.99). In addition, there are still places on the upcoming courses ’17th Century Sources’ (starts 28 April, lasts four weeks, cost £61 assessed or £45.99 unassessed) and ‘Scotland 1750-1850 – Beyond Old Parish Registers’ (starts 3 May, lasts five weeks, cost £49.99).

Pharos Tutors have recently joined forces with the British Association for Local History  (BALH) to offer a new four week online course: Local History: Uncovering the Places and Communities connected to your Ancestors. The course will be lead by Dr Claire Kennan who will guide students through key time periods from 1066 to the present day. The course starts 6 September 2021 and the price is £45.99.

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow offers an impressive Genealogical Studies Programme with courses for beginner family historians right up to advanced postgraduate level. In addition to their Masters degree study path, the department offers a series of 8-week online classes (costing £176) that cover a range of topics including Family History Research, Genetic Genealogy and Autosomal DNA Testing for Genealogy. Classes commence in January, April and October each year and can be booked via their website.

Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) is an independent charitable trust dedicated to family history and genealogy education and research. They offer a range of correspondence genealogy courses which can be done from home at your own pace. There is ‘The Correspondence Course in Genealogy’; three levels of course for beginner, intermediate and advanced students; an online course in heraldry; and a special ‘Tracing Your British Ancestors from Overseas’ genealogy course for researchers living outside Britain. Prices vary from £150 to £2340.

Celia Heritage

Celia Heritage is an author, professional genealogist and Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine contributor who offers a range of genealogy courses from a one-off video tutorial on using wills for £12.99 to her complete 7-module family history e-course for £299.

The best genealogy courses to become a professional genealogist

If you are a keen and experienced family historian, you may well have thought about setting up a business as a professional genealogist. There is no one genealogy course for becoming a professional genealogist. However, if you wish to join the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA), the professional body for genealogists in the UK, passing one of the following genealogy courses will grant you exemption from some aspects of the AGRA membership assessment process:

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• The IHGS Higher Certificate & Diploma in Genealogy
• The University of Strathclyde Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Paleographic and Heraldic Studies
• Pharos Tutors Family History Skills & Strategies (Advanced) Distance Learning Course (run in association with the SoG)
• The University of Dundee Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Family and Local History