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Course content

The Postgraduate Certificate in Family and Local History is an online distance learning course aimed at developing the skills needed to study family and local history. The course helps you to identify and use archives and other resources which are an important and sometimes neglected aspect of researching family history. Archives will help you discover more about the world that your ancestors lived in.

Aims of the Programme

This programme teaches the skills and methodologies necessary to investigate the history of families and neighbourhoods within the wider context of social history.

The courses are online, easy to use and fully supported. You can do them wherever you live and can log onto the site at whatever time you wish to study. You will work your way through the courses with other students and will be able to discuss the topics on a discussion forum. Your tutor will provide support and guidance throughout.

If you want to go further with your family and local history research and to learn in a supportive, enjoyable and interactive environment, these courses are for you.

"Being able to take a program like this when one lives thousands of miles away from the school and fellow classmates is an incredible feeling. I have really enjoyed my time at Dundee."

This programme provides students with:
Skills in finding and interpreting archive sources for family and local history.
An understanding of how to read old handwriting and to recognise common forms of documents.
Knowledge of family history and archive websites and published sources that will help you with your research - for yourself or for others.
A thorough understanding of record types, the reasons for their creation, their location and the information they contain.
An expertise in finding, analysing and interpreting archival records for family and local history research.
An awareness of the historical context in which the records were created and used.
A knowledge of archival theory as it applies to research.
An understanding of the legal and ethical issues relating to research using archival records.

The course is available by distance learning to students off-campus, throughout the world.

Students study a series of core and optional modules which have full academic accreditation from the University of Dundee. The programme is delivered by distance learning via the University of Dundee's Virtual Learning Environment which ensures a supportive and interactive learning environment, with frequent contact between students and tutors.

Centre for Archive and Information Studies

The Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) is part of the University's Archive, Records Management and Museum Services (ARMMS) which is responsible for the care and development of the University's historical collections, the management of systems to control business records and compliance with information legislation across the University.

CAIS offers postgraduate and undergraduate distance learning programmes for information professionals and family and local historians, delivered in an interactive online environment and allowing flexible part time study.

CAIS also conducts a number of associated activities such as hosting a range of presentations, seminars and conferences, the attraction of external funding and occasional taught training courses in collaboration with experts in the field throughout the UK and beyond.

Course Content and Structure

Mlitt degree:

To qualify for the MLitt in Family and Local History, students must complete a total of 180 credits.
Compulsory modules total 40 credits:
Skills and sources for Family and Local History in Scotland or England - 20 credits
Scots or English Palaeography and Diplomatic - 20 credits
Students can then choose to study a selection of optional modules, to equal 80 credits.

The list of options can be found on the CAIS website. 20 credit modules last for 15 weeks, 10 credit modules last for 9 weeks. Finally, a dissertation of 18,000 words is completed (60 credits).

PG Certificate:
To qualify for the Certificate in Family and Local History, students must complete a total of 60 credits. Students must complete one of the following core modules, but they can elect to study both if they so desire:
Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in Scotland (20 credits)
Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in England (20 credits)
Students can then choose to study a selection of optional modules to complete their total of 60 credits.

Assessment

Essays/reports; contribution to module (through online tasks and discussion board debate), dissertation of 18,000 words for MLitt students.

Student Support

The programme is delivered by distance learning via the University of Dundee's web-based Virtual Learning Environment which ensures a supportive and interactive learning environment, with frequent contact between students and tutors. The VLE gives access to study materials, links to on-line journals, discussion boards and research guides. Module tutors provide regular feedback and support to the students.

Optional study days are available for some of the modules and optional student visits will be arranged.

Professional Accreditation

All CAIS programmes are accredited by the UK Archives and Records Association and The Records and Information Management (RIM) Professionals Australasia.

Visit the MLitt Family & Local History (Distance Learning) page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

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