We offer a wide variety of single modules for continuing professional development.

Family and Local History modules

This module explores many of the sources that inform research about family and local history in Scotland.  It introduces the context of the local administrative and legal framework in Scotland and the functions of local authorities which generated these records. It helps you discover how these records can be used to pursue interests in local history and family history.

After an introduction to the network of archives in Scotland and the location of sources, the module will explore the use of the following sources for family and local history

  • Local administration records
  • Local financial and fiscal records
  • Local education, health and welfare records
  • Church and civil courts and police records
  • Deeds
  • Legal records relating to land, property and inheritance
  • Maps, plans, and other records of buildings, roads, ships and harbours
  • Trade and business records
  • Records of estates, families and clubs and societies

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Elspeth Reid

In the Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in England module, we shall study various sources and classes of records kept at county and national Record Offices from the 16th to 20th centuries. This will help you become familiar with the variety of sources available for local and family history research and how they can be used. This module has a strong practical emphasis, encouraging students to study and interpret primary source material, building up confidence to use some of these sources in personal research.

  • Introduction to the wide variety of sources available in County Record Offices and National Archives
  • Highlights what sources are available for local and family history research topics including poor law and education
  • Raises awareness of the content and form of various sources including criminal and inheritance records.
  • Historical context of the sources
  • Overview of how sources can be used for local and family history research
  • Learning to develop critical analysis skills to interpret sources

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Linda BankierClaire SkinnerSue Wood 

Main topics are:

  • Ecclesiastical records, their location and their use in the context of the following areas
  • The established churches: their development and location of records
  • The non-conformist churches and the Episcopal and Catholic churches
  • The clergy: records created, their location and use
  • Church discipline and pastoral guidance including church courts
  • The parish including parish registers, poor relief, education and other local activities
  • The church fabric including plans and heritors

Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Peter Foden

In the English Palaeography and Diplomatic module, we shall study the different styles of handwriting to be found in English documents from the early 1500s up to the 19th century. We will also consider the form of many different classes of documents including manorial records, inheritance and conveyancing of land. This module has a strong practical emphasis and aims to ensure that you become confident in reading the different styles of handwriting which have been used in England and that you feel equipped to read any document you might be faced with.

  • Practical experience in reading the styles of handwriting used from the 16th to 19th centuries including secretary; italic and court hands
  • Knowledge of the conventions used when transcribing documents as well as the range of date forms and contractions used.
  • Knowledge of the diplomatic format of  documents which helps with reading and interpreting them
  • Ability to recognise different styles of hand writing
  • Develop the skills and confidence to read different and difficult handwriting.

Students are encouraged to work together and send regular tasks to the tutor.  This happens more frequently than in some other modules.

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Linda BankierClaire Skinner

  • The role of heraldry in identification and status
  • The design, meaning and description of coats of arms
  • The origins of heralds and heraldry
  • Developments in heraldry from the middle ages to the present day
  • The role of heraldry in historical and genealogical enquiries

Credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Peter O'Donoghue

The module will start in Week 7 of the semester.

In the Intermediate Latin module we build on the grammar covered in Basic Latin or on your own previous Latin experience. Exercises include translating full documents and tests of more complex grammar. We also study examples of documents each week which are often or normally written in Latin, looking at the form, common phrases, hints for recognition and translation, and different types of dating. This module aims to build your confidence in Latin translation and document recognition to allow you to locate and translate salient points in the commonest Latin documents found in archives.

  • Intermediate Latin grammar
  • Recognising and translating Latin documents
  • Translating Latin monumental inscriptions
  • Latin dates
  • Hints for navigating Latin documents

Other options

If this is too advanced, try Basic Latin for Archivists and Researchers

Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Nicola Mills

Understanding and Reading Latin (can be taken as 2 x 10 credit modules - Basic Latin for Archivists and Researchers and Understanding Latin in Documents and Archives)

Module code

RM50033

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Nicola Mills

  • Techniques required to research the history of a house, locating and interpreting key sources
  • Dating houses and buildings: architectural styles, interiors and furnishings
  • Maps and land surveys, tracing community developments
  • Land and property law including manorial tenure, searching for title deeds, property inheritance and disputes
  • Finding occupants of houses and buildings
  • Social, local and national contexts

Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Nick BarrattMelanie Backe-Hansen

The Military Archives module explores the records of the British Armed Forces and how they can be used by archivists and librarians, local historians and genealogists.  It is very much a hands-on module with the emphasis firstly on debating some of the issues in current military history and, secondly, on how to effectively conduct research into aspects of military history from the decisions made by generals and politicians to the experiences of ordinary Tommies, Jocks and Jack Tars.   

  • Discusses the role of military history in modern British society. In particular it considers the importance of archives in the on-going debate on the meaning and consequences of the First World War.
  • Looks at the major types of records created by the military authorities over the past three hundred years.
  • Considers the importance of private papers and related artefacts created by service personnel.
  • Provides practical guidance on how to research service personnel from the 1760s to the 1960s.
  • Suggests ways of effectively using the military resources at The National Archives and more specialist military archives.

Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Simon Fowler

The aim of this Module is to provide you with an overview of the historical development of oral history, to help you to develop an awareness of the legal, ethical and practical issues involved, and to help you on the way to developing the skills required to research, design, manage and even undertake oral history interviews (you will be recording an interview as part of your final assignment). We will also be looking at some of the wider issues - oral history changes the world, as well as records it, so ongoing analysis and reflection on the hows, whys and 'what's that all about' are an essential part of best practice and continuing professional development:

  • Introduction to oral history and its purpose
  • Planning an oral history project
  • Ethical, ownership and rights issues
  • Conducting and transcribing oral history interviews
  • Equipment, storage and access

Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Craig Fees

In the Basic Latin module we shall start with the absolute basics of the classical language, suitable for any application, and used in documents all over Western Europe. Covering beginners’ grammar and translation, this module provides examples and practice to help you understand the structure of the language and the use of dictionaries, grammars and formularies, to equip you to translate easy documents. There is in addition background information on the history of the Latin language and its use in documents with particular emphasis on English and Scottish Latin documents.

  • An introduction to Latin and basic Latin grammar
  • How to use dictionaries, grammars and formularies
  • Proper names and numbers
  • Basic translations
  • How Latin is used in documents and why

The next step is Understanding Latin in Documents and Archives

Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Nicola Mills

This module explores the range of education provision and providers from medieval times onwards, from primary to tertiary levels, in particular tracing the slow journey through the 18th and 19th centuries towards the establishment of a universal, free and compulsory system of elementary education.  It examines contemporary attitudes towards educating the children of the labouring classes and the legislative framework underpinning the development of education provision.   

The main elements covered in the module are

  • Historical background from the medieval period detailing the development of different types of schools including those in Scotland, and the range of different providers
  • Primary and secondary sources for the study of the history of education, schools, teachers and pupils,  including printed histories, parliamentary reports, records of the managing organisations, records of schools and other educational establishments as well as accounts of schooldays in literature and personal reminiscences
  • Workhouse and industrial schools, and reformatories
  • Special education provision, including education for working children, trade and craft schools and schools for blind and deaf children
  • Higher education
  • Teacher training
  • Adult education and self-improvement

Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Rosemary Steer