The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
Phone number
01227 768664
79-82 Northgate
United Kingdom
Principal: Richard Baker. Director of Education: Les Mitchinson. Registrar: Emma Jones. Librarian: Sarah Bulson.
IHGS - The School of Family History is an independent educational charitable trust established in 1961 to provide full academic facilities for training and research in the study of the history and structure of the family.

IHGS runs a range of courses including the acclaimed Correspondence Course in Genealogy and the industry recognised Diploma in Genealogy. Our integrated distance learning courses follow a structured path from elementary to advanced level. Day courses on a range of family history and heraldry topics and are held at our base in Canterbury, Kent.

Our Courses

Awaken Your Ancestors - Elementary Level

10 modules – Non-assessed

Covering: Family Records – The GRO – Census Returns – Parish Registers & Parish Records Also includes: Indexes – Internet Searches – Drawing a Family Tree – Methodology

Broadening Your Family Tree - Intermediate Level

10 modules – Non-assessed

Covering: Wills – Palaeography – Nonconformity – Military Records – Education Records - Occupations & the Professions – Names Also includes: additional Awaken material – Internet Searches – Transcribing – Methodology - More family tree drawing

Completing Your Ancestral Journey - Advanced Level

20 modules – Assessed

Covering: Migration records – census substitutes – electoral rolls/poll books – Quarter Sessions/Assize Court records – Convict Transportation – Manorial Records – Title Deeds – Maps – House History – Heraldry – One-name study – One-place study – Scottish, Welsh, Irish & other UK Records – Westminster Court Records – Ecclesiastical Court Records

The Correspondence Course in Genealogy - IHGS Higher Certificate in Genealogy

24 modules – Assessed

Comprehensive practical and theoretical course leading to the qualification The Higher Certificate in Genealogy.


6 modules - Asessed

A comprehensive course in the history, use and interpretation of heraldry