Family History

Family history is for everybody. We all have stories in our family tree waiting to be told.The Diploma of Family History will give you essential knowledge and tools to bring the past to life through tracing your family experiences and understanding the historical forces that shaped them.

Course options

Diploma of Family History

Taught by leading academics in history, genealogy and writing

Become part of a thriving online community of passionate family historians.

Develop your ability to trace the history of any family

Whatever your level of experience, this course will take your family history to the next level

Free access to Ancestry.com Library Edition and the British Newspaper Archive

Access historical documents, photos, local narratives, oral histories and other resources from the 1500s to 2000s.

Study options

To graduate with a Diploma of Family History, you need to complete eight units – four at Foundation level and four at Introductory level.

There are four terms to the year, with two or three units offered each term. This means you have the choice to structure your studies around your lifestyle. Many students study one unit per term to complete the Diploma in two years.

You can study these units in any order you choose, but we strongly recommend commencing your course with Introduction to Family History. Introductory level units build on skills and knowledge developed in the Foundation level units.

Term 1: 9 Feb - 14 Apr 2022

Term 3: 25 Jul - 18 Sep 2022

A key unit for those new to family history and genealogy. You will learn how to plan, record and research family history as well as critically evaluate historical resources and communicate your findings.

More information about Introduction to Family History

Term 1: 9 Feb - 3 Apr 2022

Learn about the important role of oral history in documenting family history and how to incorporate oral history into your research. You will also learn valuable practical skills on how to record, transcribe and share oral histories in written form.

More information about Oral History

Term 2: 2 May - 26 Jun 2022

Learn how to get 'forensic' about the lives of past ancestors and interpret rich, sometimes disturbing evidence from historical convict, prison and court records.

More information about Convict Ancestors

Term 2: 2 May - 26 Jun 2022

Australia is a migrant nation, with a rich and diverse mix of peoples, languages and cultures. Develop your archival and digital research skills and learn how to find Australia and New Zealand migration records and use them to tell your family’s migration story.

More information about Migrant Families

Term 3: 25 Jul - 18 Sep 2022

Develop key skills for the writing of fiction and/or non-fiction based on genealogical records. Learn to craft and polish engaging and readable multigenerational family history narratives.

More information about Writing Family History

Term 3: 25 Jul - 18 Sep 2022

Discover more about your family's unique military past. This unit introduces you to researching online military records, and to contextualising diverse experiences of war with a focus on Australia and Britain during the First World War.

More information about Families and War

Term 4: 17 Oct - 11 Dec 2022

Find stories in your family treasure through homes, heirlooms, albums and art. Find immediate ways to relate to your family's past with remembering, researching and communicating family history and memories.

More information about Place, Image, Object

Term 4: 17 Oct - 11 Dec 2022

Adventure or romance, tragedy or triumph, legends of extraordinary feats or quiet tales of everyday struggles. Develop key skills for the writing of fiction and/or non-fiction based on genealogical records with an emphasis on crafting and polishing your family history narratives.

More information about Writing the Family Saga

Term 4: 17 Oct - 11 Dec 2022

Learn the basics of creating a family photo essay, as you work with media professionals, bringing words and images together to communicate family stories. You will hone your writing skills and learn how to create, select, and edit photographic images.

More information about The Family Photo Essay

Find out more about what you'll study, entry requirements, fees and scholarships - and to apply.

Visit the course page

Career opportunities

Completing a Diploma of Family History develops skills and knowledge relevant to the following fields:

  • family history and genealogical research
  • creative writing
  • non-fiction writing
  • cultural and/or heritage tourism
  • local and regional museums
  • history and heritage consultancies
  • local and community history organisations
  • education
  • volunteering and community activities
  • archives and library information systems
  • further studies in history, heritage and related fields
Further Study with a Bachelor of Arts or Diploma of Arts

The Diploma of Family History opens the door to further study at the University of Tasmania. Many of our students go on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Diploma of Arts. Students in these degrees are curious about the big questions of life, embrace the joy of open enquiry, and are on a life-long quest for knowledge and inspiration. At the University of Tasmania, you will be part of a distinctive academic community that cares deeply about the topics that we teach and study.

Feature Story

Lessons from the life of Sarah Wentworth

“I’ve been interested in family history for many years. One thing I loved about the Diploma was the diversity of the units. There was a unit on writing skills, one on photography, one specifically on convicts – I enjoyed every unit that I did and learning different approaches to the same topic.”

- Ros Escott, Diploma of Family History student

Ros' story