MSc Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic StudiesRichard Wade

Why did you choose to study at Strathclyde?

During the pandemic, my overseas client business was inactive. I researched to find the best online course in genealogy. In so doing, I quickly discovered that Strathclyde was the market leader in relevant postgraduate studies and had run an online course since 2007. As a mature student, with 40 years of family research experience, I explored requesting a first-year exemption, but the extent of new taught material convinced me to commit to all three years.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I loved being challenged by research projects drawn from actual situations. Other highlights were self-selected client studies, as well as the house and migration studies in the Diploma year. In all cases, excellent suggestions for improvement were offered by the knowledgeable and engaging tutors.

What advice would you give to a prospective student coming to study your course?

Although part time, the MSc course spans three rigorous academic years.  The workload is manageable, provided your other activities are also part time. Otherwise, those in full time employment should consider the ‘modular’ option instead.

What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed studying your course?

In order to meet academic deadlines, after a lengthy interval, it was necessary to reinvigorate my researching and writing skills.  The relatively new field of DNA fascinated me, with its potential to break through brick walls and reunite families.

How is your course helping to enhance your current career and prepare you for your future career?

This course has fully prepared me for a career change. I have become an independent professional genealogist for selected clients, mainly those with ancestors in the UK and Ireland. The course also introduced me to genealogical records from other countries, including several situated outside the English-speaking world.

What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you achieve your goals?

I am becoming a more active member of the Register of Qualified Genealogists.  Working relationships with former Strathclyde students will assist in areas that are less accessible.

Any final points, or words of wisdom?

The mutual support of fellow students in WhatsApp groups has been invaluable and many lifelong friendships have been formed.