Federation Of Family History Societies

Family History Courses & Talks

What do you want?

Consider what your aims are.

  • Do you want to enrol in a face-to-face course or only use online resources?
  • Do you just want to look up specific topics?
  • How much time do you have available?
  • Do you want to obtain a qualification?
  • How much (if anything) are you prepared to pay?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you may decide to enrol on a course, attend a talk, consult reference books, visit relevant websites or choose a combination of these options.

The courses and talks mentioned below can help you discover more about what is available. Only some are free of charge. Where there are fees, the current details should be set out on the associated website.


Local courses & Talks

Family History Societies

Your local family history society may offer courses. To find a society near you, see the list of our member societies.

Local Adult Education

You can search for these courses nationwide if you visit the DirectGov website. Scroll down on that page to the part headed “Finding the right course for you” and type “family history” in the subject box. You can narrow the search by place. It is a good idea to repeat the process using similar search terms, such as “genealogy” and “ancestors”.

Workers Education Association

This charity runs courses across the country. You can use their online search form to find details of family history and other courses of interest in your area.

Institute of Heraldic & Genealogical Studies – Canterbury

Details of the courses currently available appear on this organisation’s website.

Society of Genealogists - London

This long-established body offers both individual lectures and courses.


Online courses & Talks


The Family History section of the BBC website gives a good range of free advice suitable for new family historians and also for those who have already made some progress with their research.


A large number of short courses are offered. Lesson material is sent by email with opportunities to “meet” the tutor and fellow students online.


This annual conference focuses on how technological advances can help us to find, organise, preserve and share our family heritage. Speakers came from a range of different countries and most of the topics explored are relevant to researchers across the world. There is no charge for online viewing of podcasts from the 2014 event.

The National Archives

A growing range of audio and video items are available to view free of charge. The family history section of the online catalogue takes you to a menu of over 120 items.

University of Strathclyde

Courses on genealogical and related subjects are available at post-graduate level.

University of Dundee

Courses in Family & Local History are available at post graduate level via a distance learning programme with the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS)



The list set out above is not exhaustive. It concentrates on opportunities directly connected with family history. By using some of the links shown as well as the usual search engines, you will be able to find information about related topics, such as courses and talks on local history.

We are not responsible for the contents of any linked site or the quality of the courses and talks that they offer.

© 2012 The Federation of Family History Societies. All rights reserved

Registered Charity No. 1038721    Company No. 2930189 (England)

Page updated by the webmaster on 6 November 2014

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