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Science & Research

Genealogy Diploma

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A student of this course will be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to delve deep into their family history.

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Level 3 / NCFE / PI990

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Online study
Paper study
Online study
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over 12 months and £ deposit

over 12 months and £ deposit


Course summary


Expert Tutoring

12 months tutor support


24hr Access to

Course, assignments & tutor



Fully accredited course


NUS Card Eligibility

Enjoy student discounts

Course introduction

Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the UK, examining heritage and ancestry. For many students, tracing ancestors is not just about creating a family tree; it is a thirst for knowledge and an understanding of where ‘we’ have come from. Tracing your family’s origins can lead you on a path of discovery, with great stories about your ancestors coming to light.

Genealogy courses provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to access information from a wide variety of sources, including internet records and archives.

In the case of this course, there is an assumption that the student has no prior learning nor experience of genealogy, making this a great foundation for future studies and projects.

The course has a recommended study time of 360 hours. This is a guide only as you may complete the course at your own pace, a plus of home study courses. You can choose to study this course via a paper format or online, via our secure online learning portal.

The ten-module course looks at;

  • Genealogy as a career and a hobby
  • The history of surnames
  • How to use and access information contained in birth, marriage and death records, as well as other forms of records, including war and prison records, and immigration data too
  • How to use the Census and what the information contained within the results are telling you
  • Accessing workhouse records
  • Making use of other sources of information such as wills, newspapers and so on
  • Recording information on a family tree and how to create it

As you work through the course, you can complete various activities which are then assessed by a friendly and supportive tutor. They will provide detailed feedback to help you not only complete the course but any family history projects you are working on. 

What can I do with a Genealogy Diploma?

Our diploma is perfect irrespective of whether you are doing the course for personal reasons such as tracing your ancestors for a hobby, or whether you are looking to an exciting new career.

Students find their passion for History ignited by this course, leading many students to look at further courses with NCC such as History-based courses. Many genealogists also started their careers with a broad base course such as this diploma.

Our genealogy courses distance learning support package is second to none. Enrol today and discover your ancestors. 

Required knowledge

There is no previous learning knowledge or experience needed to enrol on to this programme. This makes our Genealogy course easily accessible to anyone who would like to learn more about this subject area.


The Certificate of Achievement from NCFE is gained by successfully completing a series of assignments. Your personal tutor will review, mark and provide you with feedback on your work.


This qualification has been developed by NCC to meet the specific needs of our learners and has been accredited by NCFE demonstrating the quality and rigor. NCFE is an awarding organisation recognised by the qualification regulators for England (Ofqual), Wales (Qualifications Wales) and Northern Ireland (CCEA Regulation). This is an unregulated qualification and is not a nationally recognised qualification. On completion of the Customised Qualification, learners will receive a certificate of achievement. The certificate is evidence of the knowledge and skills gained by completing the qualification. This qualification has been accredited by NCFE under the Customised Qualification and the certificate of achievement will be issued directly by NCFE.

Course modules

  • Module 1: An Introduction to Genealogy
  • Module 2: Career or Hobby?
  • Module 3: The History of Surnames
  • Module 4: Using Birth, Marriage and Death Records
  • Module 5: Using the Census and Parish Registers
  • Module 6: War/Prison/Immigration Records
  • Module 7: Using Workhouse Records and Tracing Noble Ancestry
  • Module 8: Other Sources Available: Wills, Newspapers, and Research Centres
  • Module 9: Recording a Family Tree Online and Other Ways
  • Module 10: What to Do with Your Findings and How to Write Up a Family Tree
  • Module 11: DNA Testing

Learner support

You will receive the course manual, assignments and study guide plus tutor support by mail and email.

Our student support team are also available for any other queries that you may have whilst completing your Genealogy Diploma. You can be assured that unlimited support is available for your home study course, so there is no need to struggle or feel isolated during your studies.


What does NCC stand for?

NCC originally stood for the National Consortium of FE (Further Education) Colleges. This brought together the FE Colleges to achieve the best provision. Regular national meetings were attended by both Colleges and Government agencies who funded them. This was very helpful to them both to best deliver training to their students.

For more than 25 years NCC has supplied FE Colleges with learning materials as well as student marketing.

NCC now specialise in online training of a very high quality to students both self-funded, paid for by schools, employers and training providers.

What is distance learning?

Distance learning is the most flexible and convenient approach to studying. There is no need for you to attend college and you can study anytime, anyplace, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a job, family commitments, or any other commitment that won’t allow them time off to study.

What is the difference between the online and paper versions of courses?

Both our online and paper courses are completed via an online learning portal (LMS) which you can access after you receive your login details by email. Please ensure that you check your junk email if you do not receive your login details within 48 hours.

All learners will submit their assignments, receive feedback and correspond with their tutor directly through the LMS. If you require help from our support team, then simply email [email protected].

If you opt for the online course, you will not receive any course materials through the post. Everything is available via the LMS.

If you opt for the paper version, you are simply paying for a study book to be printed and posted to your home, or place of work. You will use this book as a reference guide, but you will still be required to upload your assignments and correspond with your tutor via the LMS.

If you are unable to access our online LMS, we do have alternative options available, so please email [email protected] in order to request further support.

What do I need to do to get started?

We recommend that you choose a course that will interest you and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, contact us here or dial 0333 3445 690.

To purchase a course, simply click on the ‘Buy now’ button against your chosen course and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively if you would prefer to purchase the course over the phone, call 0333 3445 690 and speak to one of our expert course advisors.

How much will it cost?

The cost largely depends on the type and size of the course. The course cost is determined by the expenses associated with its provision, taking into consideration the course's size and complexity, development costs, the presence of a study materials, and the level of tutor support required. Some courses also necessitate additional in-person assessments by assessors, which incur additional expenses and consequently affect the course's cost.

All prices are clearly stated on the course description page and will always be displayed prior to you committing to purchase a course.

Please note that there may be additional fees required should your course require an external invigilated assessment, such as A Levels, ICB qualifications etc. To clarify, please speak to a course advisor.

How do I enrol?

Once you've chosen your course, you have two options for enrolment:

  1. You can purchase the course online by clicking the "Buy now" button, which will enrol you automatically.
  2. Alternatively, you can call our helpline at 0333 3445 690, and our expert course advisors will assist you in signing up for the course and arrange for the delivery of any requested additional learning materials to your address.

All courses are available to purchase in full or via affordable monthly payments over 12 months. A £29 non-refundable deposit is required for monthly payments, and you will be required to set up a monthly direct debit.

We do not require you to complete a credit check to sign up for monthly payments.

How quickly will I receive my course materials?

We guarantee that you will receive any course materials ordered within 5 working days of registering, but for many of our courses it may take no more than 48 hours.

The course materials are always sent to you via a tracked courier service, to ensure that you receive your study book within our stated period.

Do I need any additional books or equipment to do my course?

All the relevant information required to complete your course is available via the LMS. Additional research via the internet is encouraged, depending on the level you are working at, to bolster knowledge of the subject area.

There is no requirement to purchase any additional materials.

What support will I receive?

You will have access to a dedicated personal tutor whom you can contact through the Learning Management System (LMS) for assistance and guidance on any course-related matters. Your tutor will only initiate contact in response to your messages. If you encounter any difficulties reaching your tutor, please don't hesitate to email us at [email protected]

Many courses require you to submit work to your tutor during the period of study, and your tutor will assess your work and provide feedback to you within 10 working days. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please note that the course includes tutor support for a duration of 12 months. If you require additional time, please inform us, and we will make every effort to provide you with an option for a paid extension, if feasible, to assist you in completing your course.

Please be aware that our tutors are actively assisting multiple learners, and to ensure they are not inundated with excessive workloads, we have implemented a policy limiting learners to submitting a maximum of three units of work for evaluation at any given time. We recommend that you upload your completed units as you finish them. This way, you can benefit from your tutor's feedback to enhance your future assignment submissions.

How long will it take for my work to be marked by my tutor?

Your work will be marked and feedback returned to you within 10 working days after submission. This is because our tutors are required to provide detailed, considered feedback to our learners that may take a while to formulate. We find that by working this way, our learners actually complete their course in less time, as they rarely need to submit an assignment more than twice.

Whilst it is possible to submit multiple assignments at the same time, we advise that our learners submit only one at a time. We want our learners to develop as they progress through their course, and find this is best achieved when a student embarks on a new module having taken into account tutor feedback from the previous submission.

Kindly note that our tutors are currently supporting multiple learners simultaneously. In order to maintain a balanced workload for them, we have established a policy that restricts learners to submitting a maximum of three units of work for evaluation at any given time.

How long should it take to complete a course?

Depending on the course you have chosen, and the amount of time you can commit, it could take from 6 weeks to 12 months to complete your course. Your end of support date is when you need to have your course copmpleted by in order to be able to be certificated, this is usually 12 months from purchase.

The duration of the course is largely down to you. The beauty of home learning is that it allows you complete flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle and other commitments. You can dedicate as much, or as little, time as you want to your studies - no one will be chasing you for your work or asking why you haven’t submitted an assignment.

We do strongly recommend, though, that before you purchase a course you assess your ability to commit the necessary time to completing the course in a timeframe that will not leave you losing your motivation.

Will I have to sit an examination?

All of our courses are accredited, so you need to show that you have acquired the knowledge to pass the course – this may involve sitting an examination, but it depends on the course you have chosen.

Some courses require you to be continually assessed throughout the course, while others may require an end of course exam or assignment (which may be completed at home) to be submitted to your tutor.

Certain types of qualifications, A-levels and GCSEs for example, do require you to sit invigilated exams at a registered test centre. You will need to organise and pay for the examinations yourself, however full details of what you need to do will be available from the centre who are delivering the qualification.

If in doubt, please email [email protected], NCC can then discuss or put you in touch directly with the course provider.

Will I receive a qualification when I complete the course?

All of our courses are accredited and you will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about this please see the section of the website that details how awarding bodies work and what the different types of qualifications are:

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can take as many courses as your time allows, but we would recommend that you clearly evaluate how much time you can commit to your courses of study.

The good news is that if your circumstances change you can always take a limited break and come back to your studies to save your paid for support.

If you decide to enrol on more than one course at the same time, speak to our enquiries team for any bundle deals or offers.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Certainly, in most instances, there are no geographical constraints on where you can undertake your studies. However, it's important to note that specific courses may be subject to geographical limitations imposed by the Awarding Organisation, and these restrictions will be clearly stated in the course description.

You just need to be aware that all tutors are based in the UK and work may need to be submitted to them via post, although in most cases e-mail can be used.

Where the course requires that you sit an invigilated exam at a test centre, there are many exam centres outside of the UK. However, we would advise that you check with us before purchasing one of these courses if you want to study from abroad.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you may return the materials within 14 days, provided you have not yet submitted any coursework for evaluation. Please note that you will be responsible for covering the return shipping costs. We will refund your payment, minus a non-refundable deposit of £29. Additionally, you have the option to select an alternative course that better matches your goals and aspirations.

For any help on cancelling your course please email [email protected], we will only deal with cancellation enquiries via email.

What is a Totum Card?

Totum is the new brand for UK student cards and replaces the old NUS student card. NCC students are eligible to sign-up for the Totum card where applicable, giving access to a multitude of retail, food and travel special discounts. For more information, you can visit their website:

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Buy and study with confidence

Over 20 years' experience in adult education

Unlimited assignment submissions during the course

Industry recognised and accredited courses

Interest-free payment plans for up to a year


Reviews from learners who completed...

Genealogy Diploma

M Byrne

“I love researching family history and have found the perfect course to study”

I have just enrolled on a Genealogy Diploma. It was a very straight forward and efficient process. I was contacted by NCC Customer Services almost immediately with helpful information. The staff offer a very friendly and professional service. Cannot wait to get started on my course!


M Byrne

“Easy to enrol”

Easy to enrol, very clear and precise instructions and very clear pricing. I was sent my account number etc within minutes of enrolling and I am looking forward to starting my course this weekend.


M Byrne

“The course folder arrived promptly and…”

The course folder arrived promptly and the customer services team were extremely helpful and quickly set up an account for me to upload my completed modules and communicate with my tutor online.

Christi Carson,

M Byrne

“New customer - Genealogy Diploma Level 3”

It's early days yet as I've only very recently received my course pack, which was sent out promptly and looks exciting and current. I am looking forward to getting going properly and making use of the NCC facilities to aid my progression.

Fiona stone,

M Byrne

“Extremely supportive”

My tutor, Maria Page has been outstanding! During my course, I suffered a famiy bereavement in devastating circumstances which made me question whether I should continue.

Maria was extremely supportive and understanding and her help and encouragement gently guided me back on track so that I was able to carry on and complete the course.

Donna Marina Wilson,

M Byrne

“Would highly recommend NCC”

I am almost halfway through a diploma in genealogy and am really enjoying the course.

I have not studied for many years and was apprehensive at first. However, the course material is easy to read and the assessments reinforce my learning. I would highly recommend NCC to others wishing to study.

Ali MacDonald,

M Byrne

“Would recommend!”

Coming to the end of genealogy diploma, have enjoyed taking the course and got a lot of good hints and websites to use, received quick replies to course work. Price of course was reasonable and monthly payments are helpful.

Would recommend to others wishing to learn more about genealogy.

Paul Mickleburgh,

M Byrne

“Would highly recommend this course”

I am coming to the end of this course now and have really enjoyed it. The material provided is generally well written and broken down into appropriately structured modules. There is enough work to do in the assignments that you feel like you are achieving something worthwhile, but at the same time, not so much that they can't be done around other commitments.

I have not given this five stars for two reasons:
1. The topic is changing quite rapidly with more and more materials becoming available on-line. Frustratingly, I came across multiple instances of web links in the material which were no longer valid, and in some cases the text was also out of date. My impression was that the material was a few years old and was ready for a update.

2. Although very well written in an engaging and informative manner, there was a general lack of pictures of real life examples included. For instance, surely it is easier to describe the information on a birth certificate, if one is actually shown? I realize that including such material increases printing costs etc, but it would make the modules much more varied and interesting to read through. Alternatively, since everyone undertaking genealogy these days generally has a computer, can't supplementary materials like this be provided on a disk, memory stick or placed on-line to view?

Overall though I would highly recommend this course as a good all round introduction to the topic.


M Byrne

“Very pleased!”

I have just completed a Genealogy Diploma and I was very pleased with the layout and the content, I received replies quickly when contacting NCC and my tutor has been very positive and encouraging with my feedback.

Brenda Millward,

M Byrne

“Extremely impressed!”

I am extremely impressed with NCC Home Learning. I have just completed a years' Genealogy Diploma and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

I was always able to get help when I needed it and my questions were always answered so quickly!
What a lovely tutor I had too... Maria was very encouraging and helpful in the feedback and nothing was too much trouble....a very enjoyable experience all round, thank you NCC!

Jenni Davis,

M Byrne

“Support staff really helpful”

The support staff I have had contact with namely Shaun and Sally have been really helpful and given the support I needed. The course was good and informative although I did feel some modules had been padded out especially module 8 which had 4 pages on how to do a rubbing of a grave stone, which although interesting, was not covered or could be covered in the assessments. For someone with knowledge of genealogy the course was fairly easy to complete.

Sarah Dobby,

M Byrne

“Genealogy Diploma”

Only one comment - it would have been nice to receive a reminder that I was reaching the 1 year anniversary of my course stating and that I needed to renew. I contacted your Customer Service Team on the day before my anniversary by accident as I knew approximately when it was. However it would have been better to receive a reminder email as it could have been very annoying to submit coursework and not realised.

Lynne Popley,

M Byrne

“Great Course and support”

Just finished my diploma in Genealogy. It's been a great course to do. The support I had was first class and Allison Smith is such an encouraging tutor and Shuna and Sally are great.

I would recommend the course to anyone with an interest in the subject even if you no previous knowledge. The course is easily laid out and the modules are well presented.

If you have been researching your genealogy some of the modules may seem easier than others but it's still worth doing the course. Now I've completed the course I'm going to set up my own Genealogy research company.

Sarah Dobby,

M Byrne

“A great course for learning about Genealogy”

I have just completed my course and found it really enjoyable.

A great course for learning about Genealogy and what information is available. NCC have been great too.

Shaun Connick always replied to my emails promptly with exactly the information I needed and my tutors Kathryn Brown and Allison Smith have been fab. Lots of feedback on my coursework and it has always been marked incredibly quickly, often within 24 hours! I have really enjoyed this course and this has helped with the work I have been doing on my own family tree. Thank you.


M Byrne

“Good course”

I have enjoyed this course and received useful feedback from the tutor.

Mandy Edwards,

M Byrne

“Enjoyed learning from home”

Really enjoyed learning from home, the support received had been really good.
The whole course was a really great way to study.
I am at the moment looking for another course to compliment the genealogy course
Thank you for all the support
Caroline ryder

Caroline Ryder,

M Byrne

“No pressure - really enjoyed it!”

The course is ideal to give you an insight in genealogy and it makes you want to know more. The materials are so easy to follow and there is so much support and the quality of feedback spurs you on to do more. I have really enjoyed doing this course and I am looking forward to completing another. I like the fact that I can do this in my own time - no pressure.

Kerry Jackson,

M Byrne

“Very impressed with the service”

I have thoroughly enjoyed undertaking this Diploma. Thank you to my tutor for all the support. I will be looking at another course later ad I was very impressed with the service. Very professional and the responses very quick.

Linda Willoughby,

M Byrne

“I am interested in further study now”

Thoroughly enjoyed the Course. Some of the assessment questions were unclear regarding what was required and I had to seek clarification from tutor. Turnaround of assessment was quick which encouraged further study and maintained motivation. I would be interested in further study in this subject.

Ann Maloney,

M Byrne

“An excellent experience”

Generally I have found the course an excellent experience. I am confident that it will prove a perfect stepping stone to the beginnings of a new career. The feedback has been very helpful and constructive and I have learnt a great deal. I would very much like to do another Genealogy course with NCC but I believe there is not another available. I am likely to apply for a course with the Society of Genealogists, hwoever your advice would be welcome. Thank you for everything. Adrian.

Adrian Pilbeam,

M Byrne

“Relevant to my hobby”

I thoroughly enjoyed the course as it is relevant to my hobby of tracing my family tree which I started in 2006. This course has helped me with websites and areas I had not thought of looking which has helped to expand my knowledge of the family, by areas they lived and occupations. I have also been able to help fellow work colleagues who are also looking into their family history. I would recommend this course to other people.

Tina Spooner,

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