Diploma of Family History

Ever wanted to know more about your past?

There's a world of information at our fingertips about our ancestors' lives. It's simply a matter of knowing where to look, and what to do with material once you uncover it.

The online Diploma of Family History (R2H) course builds your skills and knowledge in finding and interpreting information about your ancestors (or even someone else's), and sharing family stories with others. It's not solely about the paper trail though. Objects, images, and places also play a part in learning about the past. You will also learn about organising, storing, and conserving knowledge for future generations.


Online: The Diploma of Family History (R2H) course is made up of eight fully online units to enable flexible study.
Note: Regular access to a desktop computer is required to participate.


HECS Scholarships* may be available for domestic students in 2018 that cover 75% of the tuition fees for foundation-level units and 50% of the tuition fees for 100-level (introductory) units (* conditions apply).


Free access to Ancestry.com Library: Gain free access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories and other resources that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.


What you will learn

Graduates of the Diploma of Family History will have:

  • Skills to identify, analyse, synthesise information from a range of relevant family history sources;
  • Technical and creative skills to express ideas and perspectives relevant to family history;
  • Skills to analyse, plan, design and evaluate approaches to family history data management requirements; and
  • Communication skills to share knowledge and to transfer specialised family history skills to others.
Location: Online

Next Intake:
See individual unit dates below.

General Enquiries:
E: ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au
T: +61 3 6226 6365

What students say...

"We completed the very first Introduction to Family History course during the summer of 2014/2015. The lecture material was great and the small discussion groups encouraged students both to learn from and encourage others in the group. Though we have been researching for many years, the course reinforced much of what we knew and offered a different perspective on research."
- Rosemary and Eric Kopittke, Brisbane


Units on Offer

New students will be enrolled in the Diploma of Family History when an application is successful in a unit below.

  • To graduate with your Diploma of Family History (R2H), eight units need to be completed, four at foundation-level and four at 100-level (introductory).
  • There are five foundation-level units available from which to select. Only four can be counted towards towards your Diploma. Convict Ancestors is currently the only compulsory foundation-level unit. If you completed Introduction to Family History when it was unit code HSP105, you can choose to count this unit as either a foundation-level unit or 100-level unit ††.
  • There are currently only four units available to study at 100-level (introductory), which means they are all compulsory ††.

Foundation-level Units

100-level (introductory) Units


You must successfully complete Convict Ancestors before you can be enrolled in Convicts in Context, which makes Convict Ancestors a compulsory Foundation unit.

†† If you completed Introduction to Family History when it was HSP105 you can choose to count this unit as either a foundation-level or 100-level (introductory) unit. If you choose to use it as a foundation-level unit, your options are the same as for other students. If you choose to use it as a 100-level (introductory) unit, you must complete all four other Foundation-level units, but need only complete three of the other 100-level (introductory) units above. Please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form if you have any further queries.


Fees & Scholarships

In 2018, a range of HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) Scholarships may be available for domestic students ^ studying the Diploma of Family History.

In 2018, foundation-level units within the Diploma of Family History may be available to eligible domestic students with a 75% HECS scholarship on tuition fees, with a student contribution of $205.03 per unit. The 75% HECS scholarship may apply to any four of the following five foundation-level units:

From 2018, new Diploma of Family History students may receive their first foundation-level unit only with a 100% HECS scholarship.

In 2018, the 100-level units may be available to eligible domestic students with a 50% scholarship on tuition fees, with a student contribution of $410.06 per unit. The 50% HECS scholarship may apply to the following 100-level units:

Where eligible, HECS scholarships are applied to your record as soon as possible after you enrol in a unit within the Diploma of Family History. Initially, your invoice in eStudent may reflect the cost of the unit. Sometimes this may take up to a week after your enrolment is processed, but please be assured your correct invoice will appear in eStudent after this time.

Students will also be exempt from paying the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) for the foundation-level units in the Diploma of Family History in 2018. This exemption will be automatically applied during the enrolment process. However, students will be required to pay the SSAF for 2018 when enrolled in the 100-level units. The cost of the Student Services and Amenities Fee is $44.70 per unit. This amount can be deferred through the SA-HELP form on eStudent for eligible domestic students ^.

A requirement for all students receiving a HECS Scholarship for each unit is compulsory completion of the eCAF. The eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) is a government form that is available online through eStudent. Completing the form is a requirement for all students. Instructions for how to complete the eCAF form will be included in the content for each unit. Also see eCAF Instruction Guide (PDF 531KB). Should you have any problems submitting your eCAF, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form.

^ Domestic students include Australian citizens or students holding Permanent Humanitarian Visas or with Permanent Resident Status. Citizens of countries outside of Australia (excluding New Zealand), are not eligible to study this unit.

^^ Applications for the 2017 offering for Writing Family History closed on Friday, 17 November 2017 with a unit start date of 20 November 2017. See the unit page for Writing Family History 2017 Fees & Scholarships information.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the Diploma of Family History?

The Diploma of Family History units are available to Australian citizens; and for NZ citizens, Permanent Residents and Humanitarian Visa Holders provided all studies are on-shore in Australia. You will need to have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection.

When do I receive my free access to the Ancestry.com Library?

You will receive details about your access to Ancestry.com on the MyLO page once you begin the unit. Students will be able to access this via the Library portal once they are enrolled.

Are there any pre-requisites for the course?

There are no pre-requisites. If you require any further information please see the Admission Requirements.

What will I be required to do when studying this course?

You should expect to spend approximately 4-5 hours/week undertaking study per foundation-level unit. You should expect to spend approximately 6-8 hours/week undertaking study per second-level unit.

Graduates of the Diploma of Family History will have:

  • Skills to identify, analyse, synthesise information from a range of relevant family history sources;
  • Technical and creative skills to express ideas and perspectives relevant to family history;
  • Skills to analyse, plan, design and evaluate approaches to family history data management requirements; and
  • Communication skills to share knowledge and to transfer specialised family history skills to others.

Is there any face-to-face teaching?

No. The Diploma of Family History course is fully online.

Who would benefit from studying the Diploma of Family History?

Anyone interested in their own family histories or genealogy in general.

Are there exams or assignments?

There will be ongoing assessments throughout each unit in this course. Assessments could include such items as online quizzes composed of multiple-choice and short answer questions (some of which may be time-limited), online discussion forums and/or presenting your genealogical work. There are no exams for any of the units in this course.

I don't own a computer; can I still apply for the course?

You will need to have access to a desktop computer to fully complete this course. If you don't have your own computer, perhaps someone in your family or a friend has one, you could use a computer at your local library, on campus in student areas, or at the university library.

You also require a reliable internet connection. You should expect to download about 1-2 GB of data each month while studying each unit online.

Do I need to be available online at specific times?

Generally you can complete the course work in your own time. Please note that content is usually released on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The unit coordinators may choose to present some content in the form of a live web conference. You will be made aware of this via news items during the semester.

How do I find out more about Diploma of Family History units on offer?

The units offered under the Diploma of Family History are:

Foundation-level Units

100-level Units

Students must complete eight units to obtain the Diploma of Family History, made up of 4 foundation units and 4 first year (second level) units. If you would like more information on any of these units or when they will be offered please Contact Us.

Do I have to study the units in a particular order?

Students can study the Diploma of Family History in any order they choose. Students must complete Convict Ancestors before enrolling in Convicts in Context, however other units can be studied in any order.

What happens if I don't complete all eight units?

Students can choose to study some of the units within the Diploma of Family History without studying all of them. There will be no penalties for completing a partial course, however you will only obtain the full Diploma of Family History qualification if you complete all eight units.

Why is the University offering these units with concession fees?

From time to time the University of Tasmania offers some units with concession tuition fees. These are generally online units which help increase community awareness and skills in areas such as healthy living and social engagement.

For many potential students, the cost of university study is a significant barrier; and those who haven't studied for some time appreciate the opportunity to develop confidence in their ability to succeed at university without the pressure of tuition fees.  In addition, we believe that the development of skills in these units is critical to community advancement and social cohesion - and these concessions are part of meeting our university's broad community obligation.

How do I apply for admission to the Diploma of Family History?

If you are a new student, when you successfully apply for one of the units in the Diploma of Family History you will be enrolled in this course. If you need any assistance to complete the unit application forms, please contact the Diploma of Family History student support at ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au

What supporting documents do I need to apply for the Diploma of Family History?

If you are required to provide Citizenship documentation (if you have changed citizenship and are now an Australian citizen) or Permanent residency documentation (if you are not an Australian citizen but living under a permanent residency visa in Australia) you can scan and email them to us at ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au.

After you have received your login details you will also be required to submit an eCAF. The eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) is a government form that is available online, after you have received your login details, through eStudent.

What is an eCAF?

The eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) is a government form that is available online through eStudent. Completing the form is a mandatory requirement for all Commonwealth supported students for each unit. Completing the eCAF allows you to choose to defer the partial payment for this unit onto HECS-HELP. This form is required for all students. Instructions for how to complete the eCAF form will be included in the unit content. Also see eCAF Instruction Guide (PDF 531KB).

What is a HECS Scholarship?

The cost of university education is usually shared between the Australian Government and the student, with the student contributing a proportion of the cost and payable to the university. This tuition fee is commonly known as HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme).

In 2018, a range of HECS scholarships may be available for domestic students studying the Diploma of Family History.

In 2018, foundation-level units within the Diploma of Family History may be available to eligible domestic students with a 75% HECS scholarship on tuition fees, with a student contribution of $205.03 per unit. The 75% HECS scholarship may apply to any four of the following five foundation-level units: Introduction to Family History | Writing Family History^^ | Convict Ancestors | Place, Image, Object | The Photo Essay.

In 2018, the 100-level units may be available to eligible domestic students with a 50% scholarship on tuition fees, with a student contribution of $410.06 per unit. The 50% HECS scholarship may apply to the following 100-level units: Writing the Family Saga | Convicts in Context | Oral History | Families at War.

Students will also be exempt from paying the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) for the foundation-level units in the Diploma of Family History in 2018. This exemption will be automatically applied during the enrolment process. However, students will be required to pay the SSAF for 2018 when enrolled in the 100-level units. The cost of the Student Services and Amenities Fee is $44.70 per unit. This amount can be deferred through the SA-HELP form on eStudent for eligible domestic students^.

From 2018, new Family History students may receive their first foundation-level unit only with a 100% HECS scholarship.

How will I know if my application is successful and if I have received a place in the Diploma of Family History?

If you are a new student, once your application to a unit(s) has been assessed, and if you have been successful, you will receive a letter/email from the university with details about your new University of Tasmania student username, email address and password. You will use your username and password to access the course content (through the MyLO online learning platform), as well as eStudent to manage your enrolment details and to submit your eCAF.

Please allow 10 working days for us to process your application however if you have not received an email or letter with your password/login details after 10 days, please complete the Have A Question? form so that we check your application.

If you are a current or returning UTAS student, you will receive confirmation of your enrolment in the week before a unit starts. You will not receive new login details but will continue using those already assigned to you. If your password has expired you can change this through the MyPassword Service.

What happens if my application is not successful? Will someone contact me?

All applicants will be advised about the outcome of their application.

What happens if I begin a unit after the official start date?

All units in the Diploma of Family History are delivered fully online. For this reason, you can study flexibly to make up for any time that you may have missed. Please note however that there will be assessment tasks due on certain dates, so please contact ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au to discuss starting the unit late.

How do I get started?

Instruction guides will be available to assist you in the online application and enrolment process. If you have any questions, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form.

I have received a login and password but I can't access MyLO, UTAS email or eStudent, what do I do?

Please contact the UTAS IT Service Desk for assistance: Ph +61 3 6226 1818 (8:30am-6:00pm weekdays and 10:00am-1:00pm weekends and Tasmanian state wide public holidays) or 1300 304 903 (local call charge within Tasmania) or Email: service.desk@utas.edu.au.

I am a previous student and haven't received a username and password, what do I do?

If you have studied with UTAS before, your login details will be the same as they were previously. 

If your password has expired you can change this through the MyPassword Service

If you have forgotten your login details, please contact please contact the UTAS IT Service Desk for assistance: Ph +61 3 6226 1818 (8:30am-6:00pm weekdays and 10:00am-1:00pm weekends and Tasmanian state wide public holidays) or 1300 304 903 (local call charge within Tasmania) or Email: service.desk@utas.edu.au.

What is an eCAF?

The eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) is a government form that is available online through eStudent. Completing the form is a mandatory requirement for all Commonwealth supported students. Instructions for how to complete the eCAF form will be included in the unit content. Also see eCAF Instruction Guide (PDF 531KB).

What is Census date?

Every unit offered by a university has a published census date. Census date is the last day a student can withdraw from a unit without receiving a financial penalty. Students may withdraw after this date from units where the full HECS scholarship is applied without receiving a financial penalty.

How do I get started?

  1. Applying and receiving confirmation
    • If you are a new student, when you successfully apply for one of the units in the Diploma of Family History you will be enrolled in this course.
  2. Receiving your username and password
    • You will receive your username and password in an email from Student.Centre@utas.edu.au followed by a posted letter. You may also receive additional emails or other forms of communication (e.g. SMS), as this is our protocol to ensure that you receive all necessary information.
    • It can take up to five days from your application to receive your username and password. If you have not received your details after this time, you can contact the Student Centre for more information on 1300 361 928 or Student.Centre@utas.edu.au.
  3. Accessing the course
    • From the date your unit(s) open, you will be able to log on to MyLO, our online learning platform, using your username and password. Log on to MyLO.
    • Do not be concerned if you enrol after the start date, as the course material is designed to be studied flexibly, so you can put in a bit of extra work to catch up.
  4. Getting started with MyLO
    • MyLO is our online learning platform at the University of Tasmania. Log on to MyLO using your username and password.
    • To help familiarise yourself with MyLO, we strongly recommend that new students access the online unit "Getting Started with MyLO" after you receive your login details. This unit has plenty of instructions and orientation material to help you within the online learning environment.

How do I pass units without having final exams?

There will be ongoing assessments throughout the study period of each unit. Assessments could include such items as online quizzes composed of multiple-choice and short answer questions (some of which may be time-limited), online discussion forums, e-tivities and/or presenting your genealogical work.

What does online learning look like?

Online learning may involve combining online lectures, tutorials, workshops, group work, problem-based learning, or practical exercises with other approaches such as:

  • Resource-based learning (for example using print, video and audio)
  • Independent/group projects
  • Discussion forums

Flexible teaching and learning approaches are:

  • Learner-centred
  • About good teaching and learning practices for all students
  • Less time- and place-dependent than more traditional forms of teaching
  • Ones that increase the learner's responsibility for his or her own learning

Learning modules will be scheduled for release across the semester (often weekly or fortnightly).

When do I receive unit outlines?

A unit outline will be available on the student unit website (MyLO) when study commences in that unit.

What will I be required to do when studying in the course?

You should expect to spend approximately 4-5 hours/week undertaking study per foundation-level unit. You should expect to spend approximately 6-8 hours/week undertaking study per second-level unit.

Graduates of the Diploma of Family History will have:

  • Skills to identify, analyse, synthesise information from a range of relevant family history sources;
  • Technical and creative skills to express ideas and perspectives relevant to family history;
  • Skills to analyse, plan, design and evaluate approaches to family history data management requirements; and
  • Communication skills to share knowledge and to transfer specialised family history skills to others.

When do I receive my free access to the Ancestry.com library?

You will receive details about your access to Ancestry.com on the MyLO page once you begin a unit. Students will be able to access this via the Library portal once they are enrolled and you will have access for the entirety of your studies.

I have started studying and I am struggling to keep up.  Where can I get help?

Please contact your lecturer in the first instance.

Alternatively, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form and we will be able to assist you with other options.

What happens if I begin a unit after the official start date?

All units in the Diploma of Family History are delivered fully online. For this reason, you can study flexibly to make up for any time that you may have missed. Please note however that there will be assessment tasks due on certain dates, so please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form to discuss starting a unit late.

Can I use my Diploma of Family History unit results as credit towards a degree?

Units undertaken in the Diploma of Family History can only be included as part of the formal requirements for the Diploma of Family History.

Credit into your degree on the basis of completing this unit will be assessed by the College of Arts, Law and Education on a case by case basis.

Can I get a copy of my results?

You can access your eStudent account to obtain an informal statement of your results.  Further information on academic records and transcripts may be found at Examinations & Results.

What happens after I finish all eight units?

Once you have completed all eight units you will receive a Diploma of Family History. This is a certified Diploma level qualification. You will receive a certificate outlining your achievements and a full Academic Transcript.

Inspired to keep learning?