Examination syllabus

Elementary Level
A sound basic knowledge of the following is required:
a) The ordinaries, sub-ordinaries, and the most frequently-used charges.
b) The rules governing blazoning, emblazoning, hatching, and tricking.
c) The field, party-fields, and lines of partition.
d) The achievement and its component parts.
e) Marshalling and cadency
f) Personal, Royal, ecclesiastical and corporate arms.
g) The origin and development of Heraldry.
h) The Officers of Arms in the British Isles, and their duties.

Intermediate Level
Candidates must have passed the Elementary examination, and should have deeper knowledge, understanding and experience of British Heraldry. They should also have the ability to apply their knowledge in practical ways, demonstrating the following:
a) The ability to identify a coat of arms using Papworth’s “Ordinary of Arms”.
b) Ability to use the records of the Heralds’ Visitations.
c) Knowledge of medieval heraldry.
d) Knowledge of the Law of Arms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and also in Scotland.
e) Some elementary knowledge of foreign heraldry.

Advanced Level
Candidates are required to submit a short Synopsis of the topic for approval by the Examinations Board. On approval, the candidate has three years to complete and submit a Dissertation of around 10,000 words, excluding appendices, etc.
The Dissertation is expected to demonstrate a rational progression from collected material via analysis and/or commentary through to one or more conclusions. What is not required is a work which is solely a catalogue, no matter how exhaustive or well-presented. It is permissible for a candidate to have a Study Director to provide general guidance and advice, indeed, this is recommended to all candidates.
A candidate may submit a Dissertation which has already been published in an appropriate publication, providing the normal guidelines have been met; in particular a Synopsis must first be submitted and accepted; the work must be entirely the candidate’s own, and that any additional requirements by the Examinations Board must be met.