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    Humanities Logo
  • Study Type

    Distance learning & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    History & Archaeology

  • Start Date

    September, January

  • Course Duration

    30 - 60 months

  • Course Type

    PgDip, PgCert, Other

  • Course Fees

    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.


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

What You'll Study

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


The requirement to be working or volunteering prior to, and throughout the duration of, the course gives students a distinct advantage in terms of appropriate work experience. The course itself is a mixture of theory and practice, and enables direct application of learning within the workplace. The dissertation gives students the opportunity to specialise in a particular area of direct benefit to employers.

Your Application

Visit website for application deadlines.

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
  • CV
  • 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 

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  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

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




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