Heraldry encompasses the design, display, and study of armorial bearings or heraldic achievement. These generally include a coat of arms on an shield, helmet, and crest, as well as supporters, badges, heraldic banners, and mottoes.

Heraldry has been described poetically as “the handmaid of history”. This fascinating discipline has survived the gradual abandonment of armour and can be studied today as an academic qualification.

1. Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury, Kent (IHGS)

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies launched, in 2015, a course to meet the needs of those who wish to acquire an in-depth knowledge of Heraldry. The course is suitable both for beginners and for reasonably experienced heraldists and prepares students for the Examinations offered by the IHGS and the Heraldry Society. 

Heraldry Online Course

The Heraldry Online Course by IHGS covers the full range of heraldically useful sources to considerable depth. This is the best course available for those who simply wish to have the best heraldic knowledge-base to help in their research. Progress through practical assignments and academic study leads to the Intermediate Certificate in Heraldry. Further practical experience and the submission of a thesis or dissertation can lead to the Diploma in Heraldry.

The course includes topics such as Introduction and Language and Colour, Heraldic Identification and Gentry and Nobility.

The cost of the course is £480.00.

Read more about IHGS’ Heraldry Online Course >

More Information:

Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
79-82 Northgate,
Kent, CT1 1BA,

2. The University of Strathclyde

University of Strathclyde Logo

The University of Strathclyde offers two main programs: a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma and a Masters (Msc) by dissertation. The Certificate covers the origins and intentions of Scottish and English heraldry and heraldic art, as students learn to understand heraldry’s use in tracing families. The Diploma deepens and extends the knowledge of sources and techniques used when researching non-UK countries and in mediaeval genealogy. 

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies (MSc)

This postgraduate course is for anyone with an existing interest and some experience in genealogy and covers heraldry. The course is is delivered online and requires computer access from home. There are three levels within this postgraduate course. Most students begin with the PG Certificate/Part-time MSc Year 1 before moving to the PG Diploma/Part-time MSc Year 2 and then onto the MSc by Dissertation year. The MSc dissertation gives students the opportunity to choose an individual topic of interest.

The cost of the MSc (full-time) is £8,700 (post PgDip/third year of part-time £2,200 and PgDip/PgCert Year 1/2 of part-time MSc £3,250 per year).

Read more about Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma >

More Information:

University of Strathclyde
40 George Street,
Glasgow G1 1QE,

3. The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada

Heraldry Society Canada

The mission of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada is to promote the Art and Science of Heraldry. Although they focus on Canadian heraldry, encourage an interest in the subject among people all arond the world. The Society has vigorously pursued the education in the science and art of heraldry, and offer a variety of resources online.

Heraldry Proficiency Program

There are three levels to the Heraldry Proficiency Course offered by RHSC. The courses are designed to be completed through self-directed learning, with mentoring provided on-line. The Introductory Level is catered for those individuals who wish to learn more about the art and science of heraldry. The Intermediate Level is for those who wish to further their study of heraldry and covers a more comprehensive study of blazonry, a survey of a range of special topics and a broad overview of international heraldic practices. The advanced level is for those who wish to achieve the designation of Licentiate of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada.

The cost of the course is £47 for Level 1, £70 for Level 2 and £117 for Level 3.

Read more about the Heraldry Proficiency Program >

More Information:

Royal Heraldry Society of Canada
Heraldry Proficiency Examination
P.O. Box 8128
Terminal T
Ottawa, ON K1G 3H9


4. Other Courses and Resources

City of Bath Heraldic Society

The City of Bath Heraldic Society celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 2018. Their membership is open to all; expert or beginner. They meet regularly and their encounters involve talks with slides, many given by Members themselves (several of our Members lecture to other Societies around the country) as well as outside speakers. 

Annual Subscription to the society is £12 and we are always happy to welcome new members. Visitors are welcome to attend individual meetings on payment of a fee of £3.

Read more about the City of Bath Heraldic Society Programme >

Books to Learn Heraldry on Your Own

More about Heraldry