Genetic counsellors work in a multidisciplinary team with clinical geneticists, nurses, social workers, dietitians, communicating complex genetic information to individuals and families to facilitate decision making. Genetic counsellors are employed in clinical genetics units and work in many areas including: cancer genetics, predictive testing, paediatric genetics, prenatal genetics, adult genetics. Genetic counsellors increasingly are involved in qualitative and quantitative clinical genetic research.
The Master of Genetic Counselling constitutes the professional qualification for entry into employment as an associate genetic counsellor, and for Board Eligible certification, awarded through the Board of Censors in Genetic Counselling (Human Genetics Society of Australasia).
The 2 year Master of Genetic Counselling is designed to build and increase skills and breadth in clinical practice and research, utilising the expertise of tutors who are clinicians, genetic counsellors, scientists, people with a disability and community members. The Masters is taught within the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services at the Royal Childrens Hospital Parkville Victoria. Students are encouraged to attend educational activities within Genetic Health including seminars, clinic meetings and journal club.
The Graduate Diploma is an exit point after 1 year of study in the Masters.
Internationally, genetic counselling is taught within a 2 year clinical Masters. The Masters program aims to increase research and employment opportunities for graduates through developing reciprocity with other countries. With well established links to overseas training programs there are international opportunities for students, through an active exchange program for clinical placements and research collaborations. Past graduates are employed throughout the world -including in Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand. It is expected that graduates of the Melbourne Masters will be eligible to register to practise as genetic counsellors in the UK and Canada, further increasing employment opportunities.
The Master of Genetic Counselling will fulfil the requirements for certification and employment as a genetic counsellor in Australia and reciprocity with training overseas. The program teaches counselling skills, research skills and clinical genetics knowledge in small interactive student groups. Problem Based Learning is one mode of teaching in the genetics tutorials. This mode of teaching facilitates independent learning which equips the student to continue to develop professionally throughout their career. Students will complete a minor thesis with supervision, and have extensive counselling skills practice in varied clinical genetics and community settings. Assessment tasks mirror the skills needed in genetic counselling practice and for professional certification by the HGSA(Part 2)
Teaching staff are primarily practicing genetic counsellors, scientists and clinicians within the clinical genetics service.
Research and Evaluation Skills:
Critical Reflection and Cognition Skills:
This MSc aims to provide medical and science students with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically human genetics, human embryonic development and fetal medicine. There is a strong focus on the development of key skills and careers advice in the programme.
Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically in the areas of basic genetics and technology, genetic mechanisms, medical genetics, organogenesis and fetal development, gametogenesis and IVF, prenatal diagnosis and screening, fetal and perinatal medicine, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis and developing technology. They gain transferable skills including information technology, analysis of scientific papers, essay writing, seminar presentation, research techniques, peer review and laboratory skills.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of eight core modules (120 credits, full-time nine months, flexible study two to five years) is offered.
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All MSc students undertake a clinical, laboratory, audit or library-based research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical demonstrations in laboratories, observation days in fetal medicine and IVF units, and student presentations. There are a number of peer-led learning activities. Assessment is through essays, patient case reports, critical reviews of papers, online problem booklet, examinations and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
On completion of the programme, all students will have gained knowledge of both the clinical and laboratory aspects of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine. This will enable the science-orientated students to go on to pursue research degrees, further training for careers in prenatal diagnosis or embryology, or other careers in the field or in general science. Medically-orientated students will be able to develop their careers in the field of fetal medicine.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Throughout the MSc programme students learn key skills through peer-led activities, such as evaluating and presenting orally on patient cases and media coverage of scientific papers. Students learn how to write essays and patient case reports and how to critically evaluate papers. They also have the opportunity to take part in debates and ethical discussions and to learn basic laboratory techniques. We offer a comprehensive careers programme involving our alumni, covering job applications, CV writing, general careers in science and specific advice on careers in embryology, clinical genetics, medicine and research degrees.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The UCL Institute for Women’s Health delivers excellence in research, clinical practice, education and training in order to make a real and sustainable difference to women's and babies' health worldwide.
The institute's UCL/UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust collaboration provides an academic environment in which students can pursue graduate studies taught by world-class researchers and clinicians.
Our diversity of expertise in maternal and fetal medicine, neonatology, reproductive health and women's cancer ensures a vibrant environment in which students develop subject-specific and generic transferable skills, supporting a broad range of future employment opportunities.
The Master of Genomics and Health, the first such program in Australia, has been designed to prepare a workforce that is knowledgeable and skilled in practical, ethical and socially responsible implementation of genomics in health. Students will gain knowledge about genomics and engage in discourse around the current and potential impact on health and medicine brought about by advances in genomics and genomic technologies.
This course is designed to be available to students at different stages in their careers, including career starters and those with more established careers who wish to further their knowledge, skills and qualifications.
The Master of Genomics and Health requires completion of a total of 200 points of study and allows flexibility in subject choices to suit individual interests and study preferences. Students have the option of enrolling in a Master degree (200 points) or one of the nested awards - Graduate Diploma (100 points), Graduate Certificate (50 points).
Students undertaking the Masters program will be assisted with organising relevant internships and research projects. Successful completion of the research stream will provide adequate training for those who do not have Honours but may wish to undertake a PhD in future.
The program uses a blended learning approach with regular tutorials conducted in the Health Education and Learning Precinct of the Melbourne Children's Campus in Parkville. Students are encouraged to attend relevant seminars, journal clubs and meetings to complement their studies.
Graduates will be well positioned to gain employment across a broad range of fields such as:
Public health genomics is the use of genomic information to benefit public health. The program will provide a grounding for people who are interested in combining genomics knowledge with skills in public health to work in areas of public policy for government or across a range of healthcare sectors. This would suit graduates from science, biomedical science or health sciences who would undertake electives from the Master of Public Health and/or science communication with internships in government, health policy think tanks, hospital settings or community advocacy groups.
Variant curation is a process of examining genomic data results and using literature and databases to provide evidence about whether a patient’s genomic results have clinical significance. There is a need for variant curator scientists working in clinical services or in research. This would suit a graduate of applied science, science or biomedical science who would undertake electives in bioinformatics, the research stream with internships with clinical laboratories including pathology services, or clinical services with a focus on learning hands-on variant curation.
Coordination, patient recruitment and informed consent are critical to the success of clinical trials and research in which patients or the public are involved. This would suit graduates from science, biomedical science or health sciences who would undertake the research stream, electives from the Master of Public Health and/or science communication with internships in research organisations, clinical trials centres, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Health practitioners whose disciplines are at the forefront of the genomics revolution and wish to be better prepared to incorporate this area into their practice. This includes, for example, specialist clinicians and nurses looking to upskill in genomics. In both cases knowledge and skills in genomics can applied to their everyday practice, or prepare them for more research or education based roles.
Given the advances in technology, medical law is an exciting field to be in. Ethical discourse and legal leadership often lag behind the introduction of new medical technologies, yet both are required to ensure safe, equitable and appropriate health system integration. This program will provide those from a law background with a level of specialist genomics knowledge and will allow students to tailor their studies to focus on legal research, or undertake a range of relevant electives to support more applied career paths.
NB Completion of this course does not fulfil the professional requirements for employment as a genetic counsellor. Students who exit with a Graduate Certificate or a Graduate Diploma in Genomics and Health and who wish to apply for the Master of Genetic Counselling will need to meet all eligibility criteria for that program. Their application will need to demonstrate relevant volunteer work/experience and they will be ranked with all other applicants for that year. If they are successful at interview and are accepted into the Master of Genetic Counselling cohort they may receive appropriate credit for some subjects.