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World War One Family and Community History: Military Forces Ancestors

Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.

Available Dates:

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This course is designed to help you discover your ancestors living at the time of The Great War, 1914-1918. Identify who served in the fighting forces, whether they were family members or from your local community. Use family, community and public records – which may include newspaper reports, photographs and war diaries – to learn more about the contributions they made as a commemoration to their efforts.

Syllabus content

Week 1 – Introduction to WW1

Week 2 – Find your WW1 family using BMD Certificates and the Census

Week 3 – Medals, awards and newspaper reports

Week 4 – Memorial Records

Week 5 – Service Records

Week 6 – Uniforms and Insignia, Photographs

Week 7 – Prisoner of War

Week 8 – Museums & Archives

Week 9 – Exploration of museums, such as The Museum of the Welsh Soldier

Week 10 – War Diaries


To find out more about the course, please watch this short video presented by the course tutor, Melanie Pettersen


Who is this course for?

Anyone with an interest in the topic. No previous knowledge is assumed.

Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching are undertaken by means of small group work. This is a 10-credit course, so there will be two-hour meetings once a week (20 contact hours in all) which will include discussions, exercises, internet work, visual information, and opportunities for students to examine and extract and interpret information from the historical sources.

Coursework and Assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

There will be no formal examinations. The basis of assessment is flexible, but will usually take the form of a single written assignment (1500 words) or a portfolio of shorter assignments (totalling 1500 words). The assessment is designed to demonstrate understanding of the basic family and community history sources and methodologies introduced in the module, to develop skills in the location, interpretation and evaluation of historical information, and in its presentation in a clear and logical form.

Your work will be assessed by your tutor, who will offer you written feedback which we hope you will find constructive. The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are flexible and are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

Key Texts

The module tutor will recommend other specific source materials.

Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on

(029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices.  This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.