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Genealogy and Family History: A Critical Introduction


This module is accredited and ideal for those who have a keen interest in genealogy and tracing family history. In the last decade, there has been a substantial growth in interest amongst the British public regarding genealogy and family history, as evidenced in both academic practice and media outlets.  This module design has been tailored to offer students an introduction to genealogy-related learning and assist in tracing family ancestry.  The module can be undertaken as a standalone micro credential module or as an optional choice as part of a wider postgraduate program.

The course will cover the study of ancestry and family history in the search for heritage and roots.  It shall aim to provide students with a firm foundation of knowledge and skills aimed at supporting future study in the field whether as part of academic, work placement or interest.

Upon completion students will be able to: 

  • Use fundamental methods required for researching family history
  • Construct a family tree
  • Reference principal sources
  • Demonstrate filing of genealogical documentation
  • Illustrate modern methods used to undertake family history research
  • Begin to contextualise their family history in wider systems of culture and power


This is an SCQF Level 11 module and upon successful completion, participants will be awarded 10 credits.  The assessment is a 2000-word research project on genealogy.  The project will be based on tracing one’s own family root, or a case study will be provided if preferred or necessary. 



The module is online and runs over 6 weeks.  Lecture material will be covered on Mondays 10am to 11am.  Asynchronous material can be covered in the student's own time but should equate to 2 hours per week. 


Course presenters

This module will be delivered by Dr Robert McLean.


NOTE: This is a university module and upon approval of your application, you will be invited to register and then supported to complete enrolment.  To enrol on the university system, the first step involves security set-up using the Microsoft Authenticator app; you will need to ensure that you have a compatible smartphone.

Further information is available at the Student Information Portal.

To access this module via the CPD route, individuals should be ordinarily resident in Scotland.  If you do not meet this criteria, please enquire here.


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