Telephone: +44 (0)1227 768664    Email: enquiries@ihgs.ac.uk

Diploma in Genealogy

Entry to the Diploma in Genealogy is restricted to those who have gained The Higher Certificate in Genealogy or the Strathclyde Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldry Studies.

Diploma Mentoring Course

The Diploma in Genealogy (DipGen) is an acknowledged award at post-graduate level. Subject to regulations it is also accepted for membership of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) and The Register of Qualified Genealogists (RQG).

This Distance Learning course is open to anyone who has the IHGS Higher Certificate in Genealogy or Strathclyde's Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogy.

The Course and Assessments are designed to test a candidate’s ability as a researcher across a broad spectrum of records and in a number of specialised areas. For 2021 the Course will commence in January will finish in September with the Diploma Library Assessment.

The Course consists of four modules delivered online and the option to attend a full-day library practice session at the IHGS.   Each element of the Diploma is fully described in the relevant module notes.   The Course timetable is included with these instructions. 

Throughout the Course candidates will have a personal mentor who will guide them in the presentation of their work for submission and to attain the high levels of excellence that the Institute demands.

Assignments

The IHGS Diploma consists of three elements: a portfolio of work, an assigned research task and a library assessment.  

The Portfolio

During the period of the Candidate’s training, either through his or her work for the Higher Certificate in Genealogy, or over the several years in which experience has been gained privately, research material will have been compiled and collected. The Portfolio should demonstrate the Candidate's breadth and depth of experience.

It is expected that the Portfolio will contain a collection of works that provide evidence of experience gained in specific areas of research, such as nonconformity, the military, heraldry, occupational records, land records, manorial records, court records, DNA, one-name or one-place studies and records dating back at least to the sixteenth century.

Each portfolio piece should be a summary account of the research process, interpretation of the evidence and the results achieved; detailed descriptions of the use of basic records such as the census or records of civil registration will not be necessary.   The summary account should include local archives visited and any fieldwork undertaken. 

The portfolio will be assessed by the Examiners appointed by the Education Sub-Committee of the Institute.   A member of AGRA may be invited to moderate.

The Assigned Task

Candidates will be set a piece of genealogical research, on behalf of an imaginary client, to be conducted in their own area of the country.   The assignment is to be completed within a limited timeframe. The starting point for research will be supplied to the candidate, who will then be required to undertake up to 25 hours of research, using the relevant sources available nationally and locally. Candidates should submit the results of their findings in the form of a client report.  

The report should include a description of the research sources that have been searched, the results of all searches, both positive and negative, conclusions reached and suggestions for further research.   In particular the report should include where the source was viewed and its catalogue reference/call number, whether the candidate viewed the original record, a microfiche/film copy or online source etc., and any anomalies such as gaps in the record sequence or impaired legibility.   If applicable an explanation of any surname variants also researched should be included.  

The account must be illustrated with properly presented drop-line pedigree charts and photocopies or photographs with abstracts or transcriptions of the main documents examined. Candidates are also required to include a detailed statement of expenditure in time and costs.

The report will be assessed by the Examiners appointed by the Council of the Institute. A member of AGRA may be invited to moderate.

Library Assessment

The candidate will be provided with a starting point for research into a particular family over a period of three hours in a library or record office environment.   The candidate may use whatever sources are available to gather information based on the subject; additional information, relevant to the task, may be issued to the candidate by examination staff during the assignment.

A further period of two and a half hours will be allowed for the production of a drop-line pedigree chart and to answer a short question paper that will include a transcription exercise and a Will abstract exercise.

Those candidates who satisfy the examining board by achieving at least 60% in each of these three Assignments, and who have obtained the Higher Certificate in Genealogy or the Strathclyde Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldry Studies, will have demonstrated their ability to extract information from original documentation and to compile it into an accurate pedigree supplemented with a clear explanation of the evidence used to produce it. They will also have a sound knowledge of the basic genealogical sources used in research. A successful candidate who has achieved these levels will be awarded the Diploma in Genealogy, and will be one who may properly and confidently practise as a professional genealogist.

The Mentor

A course mentor will be assigned who will guide candidates through the process of report writing, the production of a portfolio of work, offer advice on the use of published sources, and the conduct of the IHGS Library Assessment.   All mentors have gained the IHGS Diploma in Genealogy (DipGen) and are members of the IHGS Tutorial Team.  Mentors are there to help and advise on a wide range of related matters and candidates are encouraged to make use of their knowledge and expertise.

The mentor will help candidates to formulate the six individual portfolio pieces so that they are demonstrating their skills in a broad range of records.  They will have the opportunity to submit each draft portfolio pieces twice to their mentor for assessment.   Portfolio pieces can be submitted at any time from the commencement of the course.  

Similarly, they are encouraged to submit their research report to their mentor for assessment. The mentor will offer advice regarding format, sourcing and presentation but will not give advice on the genealogical research.  Candidates are permitted to submit their draft report twice for assessment.

Award of the Diploma

Those candidates who satisfy the examining board by achieving at least 60% in each of the three elements will be awarded a PASS.

A successful candidate who has achieved these levels will be awarded the Diploma in Genealogy and will be one who may properly and confidently practise as a professional genealogist.

Fee and Enrolment Form

The full fee for the course is £1250 payable by the 8th September 2020. This includes a non-refundable registration fee of £100. Candidates may enrol before that date, paying the registration fee, and will be sent an introductory pack. The course will commence on the 9th September 2020 at which time the student [after full payment of fees] will be issued their first module.

» Download and complete the enrolment form

Details of how to pay the registration and course fee will be sent by the registrar on submission of the enrolment form.

Sample papers

» Diploma In Genealogy (Part One)

» Diploma In Genealogy (Supplement to Part One)

» Diploma In Genealogy (Part Two)

Further details

For further details of the Diploma and to enrol please contact registrar@ihgs.ac.uk