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Qualifications In Genealogy

The scheme of study and instruction, with the associated series of assessments and certificates, is based on a tried and tested syllabus formulated after many years of experience.

It fits students to apply their abilities to the methods and practice of genealogical research. It also provides a grounding for those wishing to follow a more broadly-based educational programme with a view to applying the skills acquired to the academic pursuit of the subject.

Universities and government bodies recognise The Institute's standards and qualifications for several purposes. Graduates of the IHGS Higher Certificate and Diploma in Genealogy are granted differing exemptions for some elements of the Association of Genealogists & Researchers in Archives (AGRA) membership application process.

The Institute's highest academic award is the Licentiateship of The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (L.H.G.). This is awarded to those who have demonstrated by examination, by thesis or dissertation, and by practice, their specialist ability at a professional standard. Fellowship (F.H.G.) is awarded to those who have added significant contributions to the studies and service to The Institute.

Students may attend a number of evening and residential courses, or gain knowledge and experience through other learning methods. There is also a more comprehensive course by home study, The Correspondence Course, which is accredited by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council.

The following table illustrates the various routes of study and qualifications that are available.

Awaken Your Ancestors
Correspondence Course in Genealogy
Ten Modules - Elementary Level    
IHGS Elementary Level in Genealogy    
Broadening Your Family Tree
Correspondence Course in Genealogy
Ten Modules - Intermediate Level    
IHGS Intermediate Level in Genealogy    
Completing Your Ancestral Journey
Correspondence Course in Genealogy
Twenty Modules – Advanced Level    
IHGS Advanced Level in Genealogy   Direct Enrolment
IHGS Correspondence Course in Genealogy Seventeen Lectures and Assignments   IHGS Correspondence Course in Genealogy
Twenty-Four Lectures & Assignments
IHGS Higher Certificate in Genealogy
Research Task
Evidence of Competence
IHGS Library Assessment and Examination Paper
IHGS Diploma in Genealogy
(DipGen)
Thesis
Licentiateship of The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
(L.H.G.)

Notes:

  1. Students who have been awarded the IHGS Advanced Level in Genealogy and enrol on the IHGS Correspondence Course in Genealogy are exempt lectures 1 to 8. Instead, students will complete a consolidated introductory lecture before advancing to lecture nine.
  2. Students who enrol directly onto the IHGS Correspondence Course or students who do not possess the IHGS Advanced Level in Genealogy qualification will not be exempt lectures 1 to 8.

Teachers of evening classes and family history groups are invited to submit their students for The Institute's assessments and examinations. Sample and mock papers can be downloaded from here. Each student will receive a report from the examiners regarding their submission and those who are successful will be awarded a certificate showing their proficiency at that level. We would also strongly recommend anyone teaching family history courses to sit our examinations. By showing that you are qualified to teach the subject, you will of course encourage your students.

Any persons who judge themselves to have reached the necessary levels by their own practice and experience, may submit themselves directly to examination at the level of Higher Certificate without previous formal schooling in the subject.

IHGS Examinations

Examinations will be based on the content of the Syllabus and graded as follows:

Level Syllabus Topics
IHGS Elementary Level in Genealogy 1-6
IHGS Intermediate Level in Genealogy 1-12
IHGS Advanced Level in Genealogy 1-24

Students submitting themselves to the relevant test based on this syllabus of study do so voluntarily. The tests for the Elementary and Intermediate tests are composed of short multiple choice questions and will include a practical exercise in abstracting and assimilating information from original documentation for the compilation into an accurate family tree. No essay writing will be required. These two tests will be of one-hour's duration each.

Specimen Papers

» IHGS Elementary Level in Genealogy specimen paper

» IHGS Intermediate Level in Genealogy specimen paper

» IHGS Advanced Level in Genealogy specimen paper