• For Entry: September | January | May
  • Duration: 12-30 months (certificate)/30-60 months (MSc/Diploma)
  • School: Humanities
  • Study Mode: Part Time+Distance Learning

CAIS offers a number of AGRA and ASGRA recognised courses in family and local history ranging from a full postgraduate Masters to short beginners courses.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

If your aim is to discover more about sources and archives that could assist your research, to find out about the historical context in which your ancestors lived, to put further names on your family tree or to do sustained research into a local area, CAIS’ programmes are suitable for you.

All courses are delivered online in a fully supported learning environment. Students work together in small cohorts, guided by expert tutors and with extensive support from our administrative team. Our aim is to open up the wealth of sources that can be found in the UK for family history and to assist you in locating, analysing and understanding these. You do not have to be in the UK to take one of our courses, many of our students are based overseas.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

The degrees can be completed in 30-60 months. There are four core modules with a choice of over optional modules. These are designed to develop student expertise in areas relating to the historical context such as heraldry, research skills like Latin or House History, or record types including military records and education archives.

Modules last for 15 weeks (20 credits) or nine weeks (10 credits). There are three entry points a year in January, May and September.

  • MLitt -  students require 180 credits at SHE M or SCQF level 11 from a range of modules and the dissertation
  • Diploma -  students require 120 credits at SHE M or SCQF level 11 from a range of modules
  • Certificate - students require 60 credits at SHE M or SCQF level 11 from a range of modules

MLitt and Diploma core modules

Choose one option from:

  • Skills and Sources for Family and Local History (Scotland or England)

and one option from:

  • Palaeography and Diplomatic (Scots or English)

In the Scottish Palaeography and Diplomatic module we shall study the different styles of handwriting to be found in Scottish documents from the early 1500s up to the 18th century, and will also consider the form of many different classes of document. These will include those relating to conveyancing and the recording of title, inheritance and legal dispute. This module has a strongly practical emphasis and aims to ensure that you become confident in reading the different styles of handwriting which have been used in Scotland and that you feel equipped to try to read any document you might be faced with.

  • Becoming familiar with the handwriting used in Scotland between 1500 and 1800
  • Recognising particular letter forms and abbreviations common in handwritten Scots documents
  • Discovering the form of common types of documents used in Scotland to do with conveyancing, registration, wills and settlements and legal processes
  • Learning more about Scottish peculiarities in personal names, reckonings of time, numbers, coinage and weights and measures
  • Practising the reading and interpretation of real sources for local and family history with close help from a personal tutor

Module code

RM50007

Number of credits

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

Tutor

Rachel HartMorag Fyfe-Lucas

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 

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

Plus optional module (total of 80 credits)

Dissertation (MLitt degree only)

Certificate core modules

Choose one option:

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 

Certificate optional modules

Plus optional modules (total of 40 credits)

This programme and the modules studied will give you a comprehensive overview of the sources available to do effective genealogical or local history research. With this, and by acquiring the skills needed to locate, use and interrogate the sources, you will be able to further your own research and will also be in a position to do research for others and to work professionally. CAIS graduates are eligible for the Register of Qualified Genealogists and the courses are recognised by the genealogical professional bodies AGRA (the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) and its Scottish equivalent ASGRA.

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall6.5
Listening 6.0
Reading 6.0
Writing 6.5
Speaking 6.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers

 

English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees (in pounds sterling) are below. Fees do not require to be paid in full at the beginning of study and are paid per module as study progresses, making it feasible for most students, who may or may not, be sponsored by their employers.

Fees for students starting 2019/20
Registration Fee Certificate  £95
Registration Fee MLitt/MSc/Diploma £300
Individual 10 credit module £485
Individual 20 credit module £970
Dissertation (Masters only) £1,800
Certificate (Total cost) £2,910
Diploma (Total cost) £5,820
MLitt/MSc  (Total cost)  £7,620

Fees will be amended periodically.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

For further information on fees, see our Policy for Payment of Fees and Refunds.

Application deadlines:
 May 2019Sep 2019Jan 2020May 2020Sep 2020
MLitt/MSc/Dip 15 March 2019 12 July 2019 8 November 2019 13 March 2020 3 July 2020
PGCert/CPD 22 March 2019 19 July 2019 8 November 2019 20 March 2020 17 July 2020
Discover/Explore
Family and Local History
19 April 2019 23 August 2019 6 December 2019 17 April 2020 21 August 2020
Semester start date 6 May 2019 9 September 2019 13 January 2020 11 May 2020 7 September 2020

 

Supporting documents

  • REFERENCES - Two references in support of your admission
  • (one must be from your current employer detailing relevant experience; the other should be an academic reference). 
  • Referee Form 1  |  Referee Form 2   |   Referee Guidance
  • PHOTOGRAPH
  • CV
  • COPY OF ACADEMIC AWARDS AND TRANSCRIPTS
  • LANGUAGE CERTIFICATE (if applicable)

You will also need to

  • provide a personal statement of 500-750 words detailing previous experience and explaining why they want to undertake the course
  • have access to the Internet and a PC of an appropriate specification for the use of learning materials and for communication
  • attend an interview via Skype

Download Application Form

All application forms should be emailed to cais@dundee.ac.uk

All applications need to reach CAIS before midnight on the final day. Application forms will not be processed until all parts (including references) are submitted. If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact cais@dundee.ac.uk or +44 (0)1382 385543.

If you are required for interview, you will be contacted and required to attend in person (International students can be interviewed via Skype). There are three possible outcomes to your application:

  • We make you an unconditional offer of a place on the course 
  • We make you a conditional offer of a place on the course, dependent upon your examination results and/or further work experience 
  • We do not make you an offer of a place on the course