Irish Roots: Where to study Genealogy

Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 18:09

As other livelihoods vanish, more and more people in Ireland are trying to make a living from genealogy. The best way to train for it is, of course, to spend years researching your own family, but the grow- ing demand to work in the area is at least partly responsible for the recent increase in the number of genealogy courses.

The longest-established is the Certificate in Genealogy/ Family History, a modular series of evening courses that you can use just to get yourself started, or which can lead over three years to a level-seven diploma, the equivalent of an ordinary-level degree. The course is formidably thorough and is directed by the well- known genealogist and historian Seán Murphy through the University College Dublin Adult Education Centre (

A newly established two- year part-time diploma course in University College Cork also promises a level-seven qualification. Although based in Cork, the course, called just Genealogy, is organised by the Irish Ancestry Research Centre, a University of Limerick campus company that also runs a Certificate in History of Family and Genealogical Methods at UL, as well as an MA in the History of Family (

The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology offers a BA in Heritage that includes genealogy in a much wider context. It’s useful if your aim is a career in the area ( NUI Maynooth has a part-time evening BA and a full-time MA in Local History – genealogy’s more reputable sibling (

There are also shorter courses that can be good jumping-off points. In Dún Laoghaire, John Hamrock of Ancestor Network runs regular weekend sessions (tinyurl. com/m576be7). In Dublin, a 12-week diploma course given in conjunction with the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland starts in early October at Independent Colleges (

And, purely in the interests of thoroughness, I should add that I’m giving a 10-week course at City Colleges myself, also starting in October (