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Masters Degrees (Genetic Counselling)

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Over the past decade, advances in genomic medicine and genetic technology have been dramatic. Genetic counsellors have an integral role to play in helping patients and other healthcare professionals understand the options, benefits and limitations of this rapidly changing landscape. Read more

Over the past decade, advances in genomic medicine and genetic technology have been dramatic. Genetic counsellors have an integral role to play in helping patients and other healthcare professionals understand the options, benefits and limitations of this rapidly changing landscape. Established in 1996, the University of British Columbia’s Genetic Counselling Program is dedicated to equipping the next generation of genetic counsellors with the skills, knowledge and mindset to flourish as part of an inter-disciplinary team and work across a broad range of health care settings and specialties. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, graduates are eligible for certification and/or licensure across North America.

What makes the program unique?

Based in the heart of Vancouver at Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia, the tertiary care provider for clinical medical genetics services, UBC's Genetic Counselling Program is one of only five programs in Canada, and the largest.

The program balances strong academic grounding and direct clinical experiences with independent research, preparing graduates for the dynamic field of genetic counselling.

With only six students accepted into the program every year, students receive close mentorship and one-on-one support from award-winning faculty in the Department of Medical Genetics.

Program curriculum and learning opportunities are constantly evolving to equip students with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed and adapt to advances in the field of genomic medicine.

Students have the opportunity to gain a specialized skillset and work toward a genetic counselling degree with diverse clinical placements including prenatal, pediatrics, oncology, cardiology, neurology and psychiatric genetics.

Starting in the first week, students learn through a combination of direct classroom and hands-on experience working with genetic counselors, medical geneticists and other health care professionals.

Through collaboration with the College of Health Disciplines, UBC's Genetic Counselling program also offers students a number of inter-professional health education experiences, including:

  • The Health Mentorship Program: A unique educational experience in which teams of students from different disciplines learn together, from and with a patient.
  • The Interprofessional Education (IPE) Passport: An online tool that enables students to register and keep track of their interprofessional learning, and sign up for a variety of activities.

Career options

Our graduates have gone on to pursue stimulating careers in genomic research, private industry, public and private clinical services, as well as policy development.

Many of our alumni and faculty have become international leaders in the field, including President of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) and the National Society of Genetic Counsellors (NSGC), as well as board members on the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), CAGC, and NSGC.



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The MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling is designed to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Genetic Counselling which will qualify them to practice as Genetic and Genomic Counsellors. Read more
The MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling is designed to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Genetic Counselling which will qualify them to practice as Genetic and Genomic Counsellors. The programme will be delivered by University of Glasgow staff in collaboration with NHS staff from the West of Scotland Genetics Service, so that a current perspective on both laboratory diagnostics and clinical services will be obtained. This programme is accredited by the UK Genetic Counsellor Registration Board.

Why this programme

-◾Teaching is based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH), which includes adult services, children’s services and maternity services, as well as one of the largest diagnostic laboratories in Europe, and a new, purpose-built teaching and learning facility. The close collaboration between University and NHS staff ensures that the MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling provides a completely up-to-date representation of genetic services.
◾Counselling and psychology theoretical and research-focused courses are delivered by University staff trained in psychology, providing a firm foundation for the subsequent acquisition of knowledge and skills in genetic counselling facilitated by GCRB-registered Genetic Counsellors.
◾The University of Glasgow Medical Genetics Teaching Staff won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering), to recognise and reward excellence and good practice; they were also finalists in the 2013 awards and are finalists in the category of "Outstanding support for students" in The Herald Higher Education Awards for Scotland in association with UWS 2016.
◾You will develop your skills in problem solving, evaluation and interpretation of diagnostic data, communication of the results of genome testing to patients, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
◾The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.

Programme structure

Component courses are as follows:

Genetic Disease in Clinical Practice

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Genetics Service to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Clinical Genetics which will allow them to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease, and explore the links between genotype and phenotype.

Case Investigations in Medical Genetics

Students will work in groups to investigate complex clinical case scenarios: decide appropriate testing, analyse results from genetic tests, reach diagnoses where appropriate and, with reference to the literature, generate a concise and critical group report.

Distress or disorder: reactions to a medical diagnosis

Note: this 10 credit course may be taken by visiting students, for example as professional development.

This course outlines the process of psychosocial adjustment to a diagnosis or test result allowing participants to establish if and when a distress reaction develops into an adjustment disorder. The implications of diagnosis are explored and evidence considered allowing informed decisions about appropriate referrals to other agencies.

Patient empowerment: supporting decisions relating to new diagnoses

Note: this 10 credit course may be taken by visiting students, for example as professional development.

This course reflects on evidence and experience to explore the psychological and social impact of a diagnosis, or illness, and provides strategies to support resilience and coping in patients. Factors related to lived experience, personal beliefs and values, culture, adjustment processes, decision-making, misconceptions, secrecy and guilt are considered to equip participants in the promotion of patient-centred care.

Effective listening and communication skills

Note: this 10 credit course may be taken by visiting students, for example as professional development.

With a focus on experiential learning and student led study, this course outlines the role of counselling skills to facilitate adjustment and to allow an individual to come to terms with change in a safe way to minimise impact. The focus will be on the theory supporting counselling, developing key listening and communication skills and on establishing reflective practice.

Genetic counselling in clinical practice

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Clinical Service, and will be delivered by NHS staff, to provide students with in depth understanding of the practical skills required in genetic counselling. The course will facilitate development of appropriate critical understanding, reflective practice and skills in relation to genetic counselling for providing accurate complex genetic information for patients and their families.

Social science research methods

The research methods course will focus on developing students’ research skills primarily in questionnaire-based qualitative and quantitative observational research methods and students will be introduced to ethics procedures for the college of MVLS.

Community placements 1 & 2

These placements, for 16 days and 20 days respectively, will each take place in one or more care settings for individuals with complex needs (adults or children or both) to enable students to gain insight into effects of complex needs on affected individuals and on their family.

Genetic counselling placement 1 & 2

These placements, for eight weeks and six weeks respectively, in different genetics centres will allow students to observe clinical practice in a variety of contexts, and to undertake relevant tasks under supervision within a clinical team that is delivering a genetic service, to enable the student to develop their own skills as a future genetic counsellor. Following each placement students will discuss and share experiences, facilitated by one of the NHS lead team and a counselling supervisor, to further develop their ability to deal with practical and emotional challenges in genetic counselling.

Clinical genomics

This course will provide an overview of the clinical applications of genomic approaches to human disorders, particularly in relation to clinical genetics, discussing the methods and capabilities of the new technologies. Tuition and hands-on experience in data analysis will be provided, including the interpretation of next generation sequencing reports.

Career prospects

The programme aims to provide students with skills to work as Genetic Counsellors. This programme is accredited by the Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB) producing graduates who are eligible for entry as a ‘trainee genetic counsellor’.

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You will be given a thorough grounding in human genomics, genetics, genetic analysis and bioinformatics, in communication and counselling skills, and in the skills required for you to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team providing genetic and genomic counselling for families. Read more

You will be given a thorough grounding in human genomics, genetics, genetic analysis and bioinformatics, in communication and counselling skills, and in the skills required for you to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team providing genetic and genomic counselling for families.

Overview

The primary aim of this course is to train graduates interested in the clinical application of advances in human genetics and genomics so that they can provide and critically evaluate genetic and genomic counselling services.

You will be given a thorough grounding in human genomics, genetics, genetic analysis and bioinformatics, in communication and counselling skills, and in the skills required for you to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team providing genetic and genomic counselling for families. 

The course is particularly suitable for students interested in pursuing a career as a genetic counsellor. It is designed to meet the UK Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB) Set ‘A’ educational requirement to submit a Notification of Intention to Register with the GCRB (see http://www.gcrb.org.uk/), as well as the European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG Genetic Counsellors division) educational requirement to submit a Notification of Intention to Register with the EBMG.

Distinctive features

The MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling is an innovative part-time, largely distance learning course. Being a ‘blended learning’ course, this opens up our well established genetic counsellor training expertise to a European and international audience, as it removes the need for you to relocate to Cardiff for full time study to train as a genetic counsellor. Instead, you will attend short intensive teaching blocks in Wales (UK) and engage in the online learning components throughout the remainder of each year. Approved placement learning in your own location is also undertaken in year 2. 

We are committed to developing your practice in evidence-based genetic and genomic counselling, with a strong emphasis on preparing you to contribute to clinical and health services research in genetic and genomic counselling. The programme team includes world-class researchers in genetic and genomic counselling and counselling skills are taught by an expert counsellor.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a combination of face-to-face and online lectures, tutorials, seminars, self-directed study and experiential learning on placement.

Lectures take a range of forms but generally they aim to provide a broad structure for each subject, to introduce key concepts, and to convey relevant up-to-date information. In tutorials and seminars, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss particular genetic counselling and genomic counselling topics, to consolidate and receive feedback on your individual learning and to develop skills in oral presentation. Tutorials will enable you to make individual contributions to group study, for example by summarising a particular genetic condition or your dissertation project for the group.

You will have the opportunity to practise and develop counselling, intellectual, team-working and presentational skills by participating in diverse learning activities, such as solving clinical problems, small-group discussions, debates, oral presentations, independent research tasks and written assignments as well as your practical placement activities in year 2. 

Career prospects

This programme is particularly suitable for those interested in pursuing a career as a genetic counsellor in the UK, as it is designed to meet the UK Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB) Set A educational requirement to submit a Notification of Intention to Register with the GCRB. The programme is accredited by the GCRB, so that the MSc qualifies trainee genetic counsellors to apply for Assured Voluntary Registration with the GCRB, which enables a trainee genetic counsellor (paid on Agenda For Change (AFC) band 6) to move into an AFC band 7 NHS post in the UK NHS. 

It is also suitable for those interested in pursuing a career as a genetic counsellor in Europe and internationally, as it is designed to meet the European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG Genetic Counsellors division) educational requirement to submit a Notification of Intention to Register with the EBMG. The accreditation from EBMG means that the MSc qualification qualifies trainee genetic counsellors to apply for EBMG registration. 

Over 90% of graduates from the Cardiff University genetic counsellor training programmes have obtained employment as genetic counsellors since the course began in 2000. 

In the UK and in the USA, the demand for genetic counsellors has increased in recent years. Graduates from existing UK MSc in Genetic (and Genomic) courses will be insufficient to meet the needs of the UK NHS over the next few years, as many UK genetic counsellors are approaching retirement. The Transnational Alliance of Genetic Counsellors (a partnership of genetic counsellor educators from eighteen countries) have strongly emphasized the need for training more genetic counsellors to practice internationally, specifically across the EU, Asia and South America.



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The UBC Department of Medical Genetics is an inspiring and productive community of scholars of genetics and genomics; an outstanding provider of knowledge… Read more

The UBC Department of Medical Genetics is an inspiring and productive community of scholars of genetics and genomics; an outstanding provider of knowledge, technical expertise, and compassionate care for our patients. The Department is composed of dozens of faculty members at the forefront of their fields who use cutting edge genetic, epigenetic, genomic, and bioinformatic methodologies to gain insight into diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative and neurological disorders, and other genetic diseases. Research is highly interactive and often involves local, national, and international collaborations which further enrich the research experience.

Individual labs conduct clinical and/or translational research and basic experimental research engaging a wide variety of approaches including the use of model organisms such as mice, flies (D. melanogaster), worms (C. elegans), and yeast (S. cerevisiae).

What makes the program unique?

The mission of the Department of Medical Genetics is to pursue basic and clinical research for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of genetic disease. Our goal is to be a world leader in the research, clinical practice and teaching of Genetic Medicine.

Research focus

Research in the Department of Medical Genetics covers the study of human genetics with areas of focus in mammalian development, regulation of gene expression, genetic diseases due to single gene or complex inheritance, birth defects, reproduction, cancer, immunology, genomics, bioinformatics, ethics and population health.

  • Research Areas of Expertise:
  • Cancer Genetics and Genomics;
  • Developmental Genetics & Birth Defects;
  • Epigenetics, Epigenomics & Chromosome Transmission;
  • Gene Expression, Genomics & Bioinformatics;
  • Genetic Epidemiology & Human Gene Mapping;
  • Neurogenetics & Immunogenetics;
  • Stem Cells & Gene Therapy;
  • Pharmacogenomics;
  • Proteomics; and
  • Clinical Genetics, Genetic Counselling and Ethics & Policy.

Program components

Medical Genetics Rotation Program: MSc and PhD applicants who have applied for the September-start, and who are highest ranked by the Medical Genetics Admissions Committee, will be offered the opportunity to join the Medical Genetics Rotation Program. The four top-ranked applicants offered these positions will also receive one-year Rotation Program Awards. Rotation Program students rotate through three different laboratories before choosing a final, thesis lab. Rotations are for nine-weeks each, from September to April. The Rotation Program is open to Canadians, Permanent Residents of Canada, and international applicants.

Career options

The MSc program in Medical Genetics is a research-based, thesis-based program which generally takes two - three years to complete. Graduates find employment in the public and private sector, and also pursue further studies in the field of Medical Genetics. Following is a brief sample of occupations that our graduates are pursuing:

Training:

  • Genetic Counselling
  • Medical Doctor
  • Clinical Genetics Technology

Industry / Clinical Careers:

  • Molecular Diagnostic Technologist
  • Research Associate
  • Data Management Coordinator
  • Research Program Manager
  • Online Marketing Coordinator
  • Scientific Sales Representative
  • Research and Development Scientist


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The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires close collaboration between research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to deliver a high quality service to patients. Read more

The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires close collaboration between research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to deliver a high quality service to patients. The Clinical Genetics MSc has a specific focus on delivery of the clinical service to patients including risk analysis and application of modern genetic and genomic technologies in medical genetics research and in diagnostics and population screening.

Why This Programme

  • This is a fully up-to-date Clinical Genetics degree delivered by dedicated, multi-award-winning teaching and clinical staff of the University, with considerable input from hospital-based Regional Genetics Service clinicians and clinical scientists.
  • The full spectrum of genetic services is represented, from patient and family counselling to diagnostic testing of individuals and screening of entire populations for genetic conditions: eg the NHS prenatal and newborn screening programmes.
  • The Clinical Genetics MSc Teaching Staff won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering). These awards recognise and reward excellence and good practice in postgraduate education. 
  • The close collaboration between university and hospital staff ensures that the Clinical Genetics MSc provides a completely up-to-date representation of the practice of medical genetics and you will have the opportunity to observe during clinics at the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital laboratory medicine building.
  • The Clinical Genetics degree explores the effects of mutations and variants as well as the theoretically basis of current techniques used in NHS genetics laboratory diagnostics and recent developments in diagnostics (including microarray analysis and the use of massively parallel [“next-generation”] sequencing).
  • New developments in genetics are incorporated into the lectures and interactive teaching sessions very soon after they are presented at international meetings or published, and you will gain hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenesis of DNA sequence variants.
  • You will develop your skills in problem solving, evaluation and interpretation of genetic data, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
  • This MSc programme will lay the academic foundations on which some students with prior MBChB or MBBS may build in pursuing careers in Clinical Genetics.
  • The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.
  • For doctors: The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board (JRCPTB) in the UK recognises the MSc in Clinical Genetics (which was established in 1984) as counting for six months of the higher specialist training in Clinical Genetics.

Programme Structure

Genetic Disease and Clinical Practice

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Regional Genetics Service to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Clinical Genetics and Genomics which will allow them to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease. The link from genotype to phenotype, will be explored, with consideration of how this knowledge might contribute to new therapeutic approaches.

Distress or Disorder: Reactions to a medical diagnosis

This course outlines the process of psychosocial adjustment to a diagnosis or test result allowing participants to establish if and when a distress reaction develops into an adjustment disorder. The implications of diagnosis are explored and evidence considered allowing informed decisions about appropriate referrals to other agencies.

Patient Empowerment: Supporting decisions relating to new diagnoses

This course reflects on evidence and experience to explore the psychological and social impact of a diagnosis, or illness, and provides strategies to support resilience and coping in patients. Factors related to lived experience, personal beliefs and values, culture, adjustment processes, decision-making, misconceptions, secrecy and guilt are considered to equip participants in the promotion of patient-centred care.

Effective listening and communication skills

With a focus on experiential learning and student led study, this course outlines the role of counselling skills to facilitate adjustment and to allow an individual to come to terms with change in a safe way to minimise impact. The focus will be on the theory supporting counselling, developing key listening and communication skills and on establishing reflective practice.

Case Investigations in Medical Genetics and Genomics

Students will work in groups to investigate complex clinical case scenarios: decide appropriate testing, analyse results from genetic tests, reach diagnoses where appropriate and, with reference to the literature, generate a concise and critical group report.

Clinical Genomics

This course will provide an overview of the clinical applications of genomic approaches to human disorders, particularly in relation to clinical genetics, discussion the methods and capabilities of the new technologies. Tuition and hands-on experience in data analysis will be provided, including the interpretation of next generation sequencing reports.

Disease Screening in Populations

This course will cover the rationale for, and requirements of, population screening programmes to detect individuals at high risk of particular conditions, who can then be offered diagnostic investigations. Students will work in groups to investigate and report on, a screening programme of their choice from any country.

Dissertation

The course will provide students with the opportunity to carry out an independent investigative project in the field of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Teaching and Learning Methods

A variety of methods are used, including problem-based learning, case-based learning, lectures and tutorials. These are supplemented by a wide range of course-specific electronic resources for additional learning and self-assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in clinical genetics. These skills include team-working and data interpretation. You will use the primary scientific literature as an information resource, although textbooks such as our own Essential Medical Genetics will also be useful. You will have the options of: attending genetic counselling clinics and gaining hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenicity of DNA sequence variants.

Career Prospects

This programme would be beneficial for anyone with a previous MBChB or similar degree, and would facilitate a career as a Clinical Geneticist.



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The practice of medicine, especially in the disciplines of Pathology and Genetics is increasingly reliant on Genomic technology. Read more

The practice of medicine, especially in the disciplines of Pathology and Genetics is increasingly reliant on Genomic technology. The aim of this programme is to increase the knowledge and capability of scientific and clinical staff using genetic data in their daily work allowing them to engage confidently with the scientific concepts of Molecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine, and to use their skills to improve patient care. The programme could also provide a foundation for those students interested in developing a clinical academic career.

The University of Edinburgh is at the forefront of Genomic Technology. To adequately realise the potential of these technologies in a diagnostic setting this programme will cover the scientific underpinning and clinical application of genomic technology to enable clinicians and scientists to provide maximum benefit to patients.

The programme will provide a structured environment for students wishing to develop cutting edge knowledge and practical skills in Clinical Genomics and Molecular Pathology. The programme structure is designed around three central themes: scientific foundation, diagnostics, and patient management and treatment.

Programme structure

The PG Cert is comprised of four compulsory courses, totalling 60 credits.

Students will learn via a mixture of guided online activities, in-person tutorials, and in course four, an extended project. In addition to structured learning, students are expected to conduct independent study and read around the subject area.

Students will develop their critical analysis skills through evaluation of primary research articles and reviews. Students will learn how to perform variant analysis and next generation sequencing data analysis using relevant bioinformatics tools. Students can also expect to develop the communication skills required for interacting with the major stakeholders of genomic information: clinical scientists, doctors and patients.

Teaching is performed by a variety of staff who are leaders in their field, as well as experienced educators. The core teaching team is comprised of staff from the NHS Lothian Clinical Genetics Service and Pathology departments. Additional teaching is performed by clinical and scientific staff from across Edinburgh University and the UK. In addition, the programme has a dedicated teaching teaching fellow, who will provide academic and pastoral support throughout all courses.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

Aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on the Postgraduate Certificate programme. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain how genetic variation is involved in human disease and the development of cancer
  2. Critically evaluate molecular pathology diagnostics and select the appropriate diagnostic for disease stratification to determine patient treatment
  3. Analyse next generation sequence data in the context of germline mutations that cause human genetic disease, and somatic mutations involved in cancer
  4. Understand how genetic variation can be a major determinant of patient treatment and apply this knowledge to clinical scenarios in Genomic Medicine and Molecular Pathology

The programme will adopt a blended learning format, with teaching delivered via online as a eLectures and interviews, in-person tutorials, and online interactive content.

Programme materials and resources will all be available in the virtual learning environment, Learn. Learn provides an interactive forum for students to engage with other learners and the programme teaching staff. Multiple feedback opportunities will be integrated within each course and will comprise of weekly interactive online quizzes, discussion boards and office hours. In-person tutorials will also represent an important feedback opportunity for students. Assessment will vary slightly with each course, common assessment modalities include structured written assignments, presentations and data analysis reports.

Career opportunities

The programme is aimed primarily at NHS laboratory and clinical staff. It is designed for anyone wishing to expand their understanding of molecular pathology and how it applies to clinical diagnostics. The PG Cert will be of use to a wide range of individuals as it can be used to support FRC Path, Clinical Scientist Development and Genetic Technologist Registration. It can be used as a component of STP and could potentially contribute the first 60 credits of MSc. It will also provide the scientific underpinning for Genetic Counselling.



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Our MSc in Genomic Medicine is accredited by Health Education England and designed to fulfil the aspirations of the . 100,000 Genome Project. Read more

Our MSc in Genomic Medicine is accredited by Health Education England and designed to fulfil the aspirations of the 100,000 Genome Project to create a world-class NHS workforce that understands and applies genomics for patient care.

This course is ideal whether you are a member of NHS staff or a science graduate. NHS professionals will learn how genomics impact on their area of clinical practice, while science graduates will receive training to help them gain employment in the healthcare sector (eg as a biomedical scientist or in genomic counselling) or pursue a PhD in the field.

We emphasise the practice of genomics and bioinformatics in the NHS and academia as a partnership between multiple stakeholders, including clinical, academic and industrial involvement.

As such, you will learn from clinical experts from the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine , The University of Manchester, Liverpool University, Public Health England, AstraZeneca and Qiagen.

Our MSc consists of taught units and a literature review or a bioinformatics-based project. You will be encouraged to use your intellectual curiosity, creativity and critical thinking in the practical application of genomics and bioinformatics.

MRes students will write a literature review and a research proposal (project 1) before going on to complete a six-month practical research project.

Teaching and learning

We take a student-focused and patient-centred approach to teaching and learning.

The course content is delivered using a combination of online and face-to-face methods including lectures, problem and evidence-based learning, workshops and collaborative learning.

The face-to-face elements are designed to help you develop the deeper contextualised specialist knowledge and critical evaluative skills necessary for a questioning and innovative approach to your learning and clinical practice.

You will learn from healthcare professionals and industry partners who are working at the forefront of practice and clinical research and can draw on their scholarship and expertise to help you build your knowledge.

If you choose to study the MRes qualification, the 25-week lab-based research project will provide excellent practical training in a number of research methods and techniques.

Course unit details

The MSc is divided into 15-credit core and optional units. Full-time students will normally do a 60-credit research project, and part-time students a 30-credit literature review.

Course collaborators

We collaborate with the following organisations to deliver this MSc:

What our students say

"So far, I have completed four modules on Bioinformatics, Human Genetics, Pharmacogenomics and Genetic Counselling. I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed each of these and they have opened my eyes to the potential transformation of healthcare in the NHS through genomic medicine."

Bradley Horn, Genetic Technologist

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

Several units from this MSc can be taken as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). Please visit the Genomic Medicine (CPD units) page for further information.

Career opportunities

Our course is designed to support and upskill healthcare professionals working in the NHS in areas where genomic medicine is becoming part of clinical practice.

Our science graduates have gone on to apply their new skills in service labs in their home countries, gained employment in the NHS, undertaken further study for genomic counselling, or have continued their research to pursue a PhD in the field.

Accrediting organisations

This course is accredited by Health Education England.



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The science of human genetics has been transformed in the past decade. Following the sequencing of the entire human genome, a wealth of resources is now available to researchers aiming to identify the genetic variants that influence human health. Read more
The science of human genetics has been transformed in the past decade. Following the sequencing of the entire human genome, a wealth of resources is now available to researchers aiming to identify the genetic variants that influence human health. These findings will shed light on the underlying molecular pathology of many diseases that are poorly understood at present, eventually paving the way for novel treatment and prevention strategies. The speed at which these discoveries are being made is accelerating, and it is likely that molecular genetics will soon underpin much of modern medicine.

Career Pathways:
The MSc in Human Molecular Genetics programme is designed to prepare you for a genetics research career, either in human gene function and genetic disease, or molecular approaches to diagnosis and health care biotechnology. It provides a broad grounding in Human Genetics, with emphasis on molecular aspects, to give a solid basis for subsequent academic or industrial research, or for entry to NHS Genetics training. Approximately 40% of our students go on to do a PhD, 40% become research assistants/associates, while others go on to jobs in industry or further studies (bioinformatics/computing medicine). One or two students every year enter the NHS in clinical genetics training posts.

Programme Structure:
You will study the fundamentals of human and molecular genetics, models of inheritance for rare and common/ complex polygenic diseases, cytogenetics, analytical methods in human genetics and genomics, animal models and transgenesis, gene therapy, epigenetics, cancer genetics and an introduction to clinical genetics and genetic counselling services.

There are four weeks of intensive laboratory practical sessions, as well as computer science practicals applied to problems in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, regular research seminars on site, student seminar and journal presentations, study group activities and a six-month full-time research project in the summer.

The programme is based on an average 20 hours contact time per week. This will vary between 15 hours in most weeks and approximately 40 hours during intensive practicals and projects. Private study time is included within the schedule: you are expected to contribute an additional 10-15 hours private study per week to the course. We do not recommend you try to support yourself by taking a part-time employment whilst studying as your work may suffer.

Assessment:
There are 3 x 3-hour written papers in late February, coursework assessments (poster presentation, analytical methods in genetics, oral presentation), a project report and a viva examination in September.

Programme Location:
The programme is primarily based at Hammersmith Campus in West London although some teaching modules are held at St Mary's Campus and the Northwick Park Campus.

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Genomic Medicine and Healthcare Courses. Read more

Genomic Medicine and Healthcare Courses

The Genomic Medicine and Healthcare course has been developed for healthcare professionals including Specialist Medical Practitioners, General Medical Practitioners, Allied Health Professionals, Nurses and Midwives, Genetic Counsellors and those with related undergraduate degrees or equivalent professional qualifications and background experience. It will be of interest to health professionals in the UK and internationally and will provide a solid foundation in the core concepts of genetics and genomics applied to modern medicine and healthcare. Although there are other courses covering the subject area, none are completely online so they are difficult and costly for global healthcare professionals to get involved. This course will reach an international audience in a cost effective, flexible and inclusive way, helping to develop a worldwide network of genomic medical and healthcare leaders.

Our course is well timed given increasing public and professional interests in genetic and genome-level diagnostic and predictive testing for clinical management, disease risk evaluation, prevention of major complications and offering the prospect of improved prognosis. Personalised benefits include the option for reproductive choices and reducing lifetime medical or health risks by judicious use of new emerging preventive medicines and devices combined with lifestyle/behaviour modifications.

Diploma in Genomic Medicine and Healthcare Courses

Our online 1 year Postgraduate Diploma in Genomic Medicine & Healthcare is designed to be practical and clinically focused. The course will provide an integrated approach to Genomic Medicine and Healthcare and focus on applying scientific principles to direct patient care. The Genomics Diploma course is worth 120 credits and comprises 6 modules of 20 credits each.

The Diploma course aims to equip graduates with critical knowledge and understanding of genomics medicine. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge for direct clinical benefit and future study. Our Genomics Medicine Diploma course caters to the educational needs of a primary and secondary care audience and is the only one of its kind that is completely accessible online.

Our Genomic Medicine Diploma has been designed for General Medical Practitioners, Specialist Medical Practitioners (for example Paediatrics, General Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Medical Oncology), Allied Health Professionals (Clinical Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists), Nurses (Cancer, Cardiac, Paediatric, Neurology etc.) and Midwives. In addition, the course would be of interest to those with related undergraduate degrees (e.g. Dietetics, Biomedical Science, Pharmacy) or equivalent professional qualifications and background experience

On completion you will demonstrate:

- a systematic understanding of genetics and genomic factors in human diseases

- a critical awareness of current issues affecting the management of inherited human diseases

- an advanced knowledge of clinical genomics that will facilitate decision-making in unpredictable and/or complex situations

- an ability to critically evaluate current research in applied and translational genetics and genomics

- an ability to deliver management strategies for the investigation and treatment of patients with inherited human diseases

- a basic understanding of the scope and effect of genomics on treatments including horizon scanning of potential new targeted treatments for wider population

Course Structure

The online course lasts one calendar year and is a part time distance learning course. It consists of 6 modules per year, each of 6 weeks duration.

Module 1 - Principles of Medical Genetics and Genomics

Module 2 - Genetic Counselling

Module 3 - Genomics and Society

Module 4 - Practice of Clinical Genomics

Module 5 - Reproductive Genomics

Module 6 - Genomic Healthcare

Assessment

Online Diploma in Genomic Medicine and Healthcare

The course puts assessment at the heart of learning by using clinical scenarios to facilitate problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. The scenarios act as both the focus for learning and assessment thus embedding assessment within the learning process.

Each of the 6 modules have the same assessment format. Due to the online nature of the course, students are expected to login and participate in the course regularly throughout the module (ideally on a daily basis).

Students are split into groups of 10-15 students and are assigned a dedicated expert tutor who:

Facilitates clinical case discussions with the group.

Monitors, assesses and marks each student throughout the module.

Students use the skills gained during the lectures to engage with the different activities (see below).

Clinical case scenarios with case based discussion - 40%

Individual learning portfolio - 10%

Group/individual activity - 20%

Case based examination - 30%



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This course aims to inform and equip the practitioner with the necessary skills to function in a modern biomedical/clinical environment specialising in caring for the patient with a genetic disorder. Read more
This course aims to inform and equip the practitioner with the necessary skills to function in a modern biomedical/clinical environment specialising in caring for the patient with a genetic disorder.

Why Study Medical Genetics with us?

You will receive training in the skills required in the reading and interpretation of the literature and translating that into evidence-based practice. We aim to develop your research and writing skills so that you will be in a position to contribute to the scientific literature in an effective manner.

The course culminates in the Research Dissertation, which will be assessed through your production of two publishable scientific articles.

The content of the course is mapped to The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board Speciality Training Curriculum for Clinical Genetics.

If biomedical or clinical research is your interest, successful completion of the MSc will allow you to directly register onto PhD study and join our team of researchers at the Institute of Medicine.

What will I learn?

You will study how to apply molecular approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions that have a genetic component. We will discuss novel approaches to prevention and treatment, plus the increasing potential of genomics. We will also consider ethical implications of interventions, and the role/nature of genetic counselling. You will carry out a research project in one of these areas.

Seminars and tutorials will be held with various healthcare professionals and clinical researchers.

How will I be taught?

Our course consists of taught modules and a Research Dissertation.

We deliver taught modules as three-day intensive courses to facilitate attendance from students in employment. Weekly support sessions and journal club supplement learning – all held in our modern facilities in Bache Hall.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via clinical reviews, laboratory reports, posters, oral presentations, or data manipulation exercises.

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The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires contributions from research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to investigate the causes of, and therefore permit optimal management for, diseases for which alterations in the genome, either at the DNA sequence level or epigenetic level, play a significant role. Read more
The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires contributions from research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to investigate the causes of, and therefore permit optimal management for, diseases for which alterations in the genome, either at the DNA sequence level or epigenetic level, play a significant role. Collaboration between staff from the University of Glasgow and the NHS West of Scotland Genetics Service enables the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics to provide a state-of-the-art view of the application of modern genetic and genomic technologies in medical genetics research and diagnostics, and in delivery of a high quality genetics service to patients, as well as in design of targeted therapies.

Why this programme

◾This is a fully up-to-date Medical Genetics degree delivered by dedicated, multi-award-winning teaching and clinical staff of the University, with considerable input from hospital-based Regional Genetics Service clinicians and clinical scientists.
◾The full spectrum of genetic services is represented, from patient and family counselling to diagnostic testing of individuals and screening of entire populations for genetic conditions: eg the NHS prenatal and newborn screening programmes.
◾The MSc Medical Genetics Course is based on the south side of the River Clyde in the brand new (2015) purpose built Teaching & Learning Centre, at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospitals (we are located 4 miles from the main University Campus). The Centre also houses state of the art educational resources, including a purpose built teaching laboratory, computing facilities and a well equipped library. The West of Scotland Genetic Services are also based here at the Queen Elizabeth Campus allowing students to learn directly from NHS staff about the latest developments to this service.
◾The Medical Genetics MSc Teaching Staff have won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering). These awards recognise and reward excellence and good practice in postgraduate education.
◾The close collaboration between university and hospital staff ensures that the Medical Genetics MSc provides a completely up-to-date representation of the practice of medical genetics and you will have the opportunity to observe during clinics and visit the diagnostic laboratories at the new Southern General Hospital laboratory medicine building.
◾The Medical Genetics degree explores the effects of mutations and variants as well as the current techniques used in NHS genetics laboratory diagnostics and recent developments in diagnostics (including microarray analysis and the use of massively parallel [“next-generation”] sequencing).
◾New developments in medical genetics are incorporated into the lectures and interactive teaching sessions very soon after they are presented at international meetings or published, and you will gain hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenesis of DNA sequence variants.
◾You will develop your skills in problem solving, experimental design, evaluation and interpretation of experimental data, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
◾This MSc programme will lay the academic foundations on which some students may build in pursuing research at PhD level in genetics or related areas of biomedical science or by moving into related careers in diagnostic services.
◾The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.
◾For doctors: The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board (JRCPTB) in the UK recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics (which was established in 1984) as counting for six months of the higher specialist training in Clinical Genetics.
◾The Medical Council of Hong Kong recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics from University of Glasgow in it's list of Quotable Qualifications.

Programme structure

Genetic Disease: from the Laboratory to the Clinic

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Regional Genetics Service to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Medical Genetics and Genomics which will allow them to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease. The link from genotype to phenotype, will be explored, with consideration of how this knowledge might contribute to new therapeutic approaches.

Case Investigations in Medical Genetics and Genomics

Students will work in groups to investigate complex clinical case scenarios: decide appropriate testing, analyse results from genetic tests, reach diagnoses where appropriate and, with reference to the literature, generate a concise and critical group report.

Clinical Genomics

Students will take this course OR Omic Technologies for Biomedical Sciences OR Frontiers in Cancer Science.

This course will provide an overview of the clinical applications of genomic approaches to human disorders, particularly in relation to clinical genetics, discussion the methods and capabilities of the new technologies. Tuition and hands-on experience in data analysis will be provided, including the interpretation of next generation sequencing reports.

Omic technologies for the Biomedical Sciences: from Genomics to Metabolomics

Students will take this course OR Clinical Genomics OR Frontiers in Cancer Science.

Visit the website for further information

Career prospects

Research: About half of our graduates enter a research career and most of these graduates undertake and complete PhDs; the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics facilitates acquisition of skills relevant to a career in research in many different bio-molecular disciplines.

Diagnostics: Some of our graduates enter careers with clinical genetic diagnostic services, particularly in molecular genetics and cytogenetics.

Clinical genetics: Those of our graduates with a prior medical / nursing training often utilise their new skills in careers as clinical geneticists or genetic counsellors.

Other: Although the focus of teaching is on using the available technologies for the purpose of genetic diagnostics, many of these technologies are used in diverse areas of biomedical science research and in forensic DNA analysis. Some of our numerous graduates, who are now employed in many countries around the world, have entered careers in industry, scientific publishing, education and medicine.

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Gain an in-depth understanding of the latest issues and debates in sociology. Hone your research skills, and develop expertise that will prepare you for a career in social policy, social work, local government, public service and more. Read more

Gain an in-depth understanding of the latest issues and debates in sociology. Hone your research skills, and develop expertise that will prepare you for a career in social policy, social work, local government, public service and more.

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time (September starts); 15 months full-time (January starts).

Teaching times

Semester 1: Monday 3-6pm (part-time).

Semester 2: Monday 3-6pm (part-time).

Overview

Our Master's course will help deepen your knowledge of the theoretical and substantive aspects of contemporary sociology. You’ll develop expertise in the principles and application of social research methodology, and examine key debates and issues like progress and reason, genetic structuralism and the role of modernity.

Our optional modules will also let you explore more specialist areas such as modern crime control, nationalism or nature and society.

All your studies will be supported by our research-active staff, whose interests reflect the latest developments in sociology. Our staff and their areas of expertise are:

  • Course Leader Dr Liz Bradbury : social theory; gender studies; psychoanalysis; the Frankfurt School
  • Dr Shaun le Boutillier : social theory; applied ethics; explanations of the relations between individual and society
  • Dr David Skinner: race and racism, the social and political aspects of scientific and technological innovation; the relationship between the natural and social sciences; forensics, databases and surveillance; the changing management of public services
  • Dr James Rosbrook-Thompson: 'race' and ethnicity; urban sociology; delinquency and disorder; the sociology of sport; and cosmopolitanism and notions of belonging.
  • Daniel Smith: elite identities, Britishness, popular culture, celebrity and new social media.

To support your learning, we run a research seminar series and frequent symposia and conferences. All our students are welcome to attend and contribute.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/sociology

Careers

This course will prepare you for work in many fields, including human resources, social policy, social work, educational development, community development, counselling, local government, the civil service, public services and charities.

Or you might decide to continue on to a research degree, like our PhD Sociology.

Modules

Core modules:

Contemporary Social Theory

Postgraduate Research Methods

Major Project

Optional modules:

Nationalism, Diasporas and Identities

Nature, Technology and Society

Independent Learning Module

Assessment

Depending on the module, you’ll show your progress through a combination of essays, presentations, case studies and portfolio work, as well as a Major Project at the end of the course.



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The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals from a range of backgrounds. Read more

The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals from a range of backgrounds. It follows a syllabus specified by Health Education England (HEE) for training NHS staff in Genomic Medicine, and HEE has ring-fenced funding to allow NHS staff to study for the MSc (Genomic Medicine) at accredited provider institutions, including Birmingham.

Further information about HEE funding is now available. You can choose to study for the full Masters, the intermediate qualifications of Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate, or select individual modules as CPD.

The course is also suitable for other Home/EU or international students who wish to learn about the advances in genomics and bioinformatics particularly as relevant to medical applications, and the challenges of introducing the technology into a healthcare system.

Course details

The Programme aims to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills relating to genomics that will empower you to help lead the holistic integration of genomic technology into patient care within the National Health Service, including via the ambitious Genomics England Ltd (GeL) 100,000 Genomes Project which commenced in 2015.

The course begins with a brief revision of DNA, genes and genetics and updates these concepts to the scale of contemporary, whole-genome information. It will introduce to you the technologies for generating genome-wide data, and how the resulting vast quantities of data can be approached and interrogated to generate meaningful information that can be useful for families affected by inherited conditions, or for patients with acquired diseases including cancer and infections.

You will learn how to interrogate genomic data using bioinformatic tools to identify and investigate the pathogenicity of genetic variants, and relate these to real-life case-studies. The core modules also include consideration of the ethical, legal and social issues that surround genomic medicine, which can be further explored in an optional module. Other options include counselling skills and advanced bioinformatics.

Finally, you can choose either a 60-credit research project (which could be a computer-based bioinformatics project, a lab-based or clinically-based project, either in Birmingham or at your home institution), or a 30-credit dissertation (combined with additional taught modules), to hone your research skills while exploring a genomics-related project of your choice.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as from your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

The course combines face-to-face teaching in lectures, tutorials, workshops, student presentations etc. with independent or group learning, which can be done remotely, using published papers or online resources. Following a 2-day Induction, the face-to-face teaching of most modules is delivered over 5 days, either consecutive (for the two introductory modules), or spread over 5 weeks for most others.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Employability

The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals working within the National Health Service, to improve their capabilities and support career progression. It could be similarly beneficial for those working or aspiring to work in other healthcare systems.

Students who are not healthcare professionals would acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that should help them gain employment or PhD positions especially in the expanding fields of genomics, bioinformatics, or other medically-related research and development in either academia or the pharmaceutical industry.

We have gathered some profiles to give you an idea of the breadth of students we have on our programme.



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Genomic Medicine MSc is suitable for doctors, healthcare professionals and other students with an interest in Genomic Medicine. Overview. Read more

Genomic Medicine MSc is suitable for doctors, healthcare professionals and other students with an interest in Genomic Medicine.

Overview

This course follows a curriculum designed by Health Education England and is suitable for healthcare professionals and other students with an interest in Genomic Medicine. As a jointly taught programme delivered by St George’s, University of London and King's College London, students will benefit from the breadth of expertise provided by both institutions.

Students will learn how recent technological advances have transformed how genetic data is generated, analysed and presented and its relevance to a range of clinical scenarios. This will be a flexible programme, structured to provide options for PGCert and PgDip awards as well as the MSc.

Funding is available from Health Education England (HEE) for NHS employees wishing to apply for the programme (and individual modules). Prospective students wishing to apply for this funding should do so before applying for the course.

Highlights

- Taught jointly by St George’s and King's

- Institutions with world-class research, clinical and teaching expertise across the full spectrum of Genomic Medicine

- Integrated within the South London Genomic Medicine Centre

- Both campuses are co-located with leading teaching hospitals

- Institutional expertise in multi-professional education

- St George’s scored 92% overall student satisfaction in Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2014

- King’s clinical research ranked third in the UK, eleventh in the world

- St George’s clinical research ranked 4th for impact

- Both institutions are ranked among the top 200 universities in the world according to the recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Modules

This MSc award will consist of 8 core modules with a selection of optional modules.

Core modules:

- Fundamentals of human genetics and genomics (15 credits)

- Omics techniques and their application to genomic medicine (15 credits)

- Bioinformatics, interpretation, statistics and data quality assurance (15 credits)

- 60 Credit Research project or 30 Credit library-based dissertation

Core elective modules:

-Genomics of common and rare inherited diseases (15 credits)

-Application of genomics in infectious disease (15 credits)

-Pharmacogenomics and stratified healthcare (15 credits)

- Molecular pathology of cancer and application in diagnosis, screening and treatment (15 credits)

Optional modules

-Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in Healthcare and Science Education

- Counselling skills in genomics (15 credits)

- Cardiovascular genetics and genomics (15 credits)

-Ethical, legal and social issues in applied genomics (15 credits)

Careers

This course is designed for students who wish to acquire training in genomic technologies and the interpretation of their findings within a medical context. An MSc in Genomic Medicine will provide career opportunities for a range of professions from laboratory based researchers to diagnostic and healthcare professionals.

Studying

Teaching will be delivered at both St George’s and King's sites and will include a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, workshops and online formats.

Progress throughout the course will be assessed through a variety of methods, including MCQ, written and oral presentations.



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