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:
The Genetics of Human Disease MSc aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of molecular genetics, quantitative and statistical genetics and human disease and how this can be applied to improve healthcare through the development and application of diagnostic tests and therapeutic agents.
The programme provides a thorough grounding in modern approaches to the understanding of the genetics of disease alongside the cutting-edge research methods and techniques used to advance our understanding of development of disease. Core modules provide a broad coverage of the genetics of disease, research skills and social aspects, whilst specialised streams in Inherited Diseases, Pharmacogenetics and Computational Genomics, in which students can qualify, and the research project allow more in-depth analysis in areas of genetics.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits) and two specialist modules (30 credits) and a research project culminating in a dissertation (90 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of six modules (four core modules in term one and two modules within the selected stream in term two) is offered, full-time nine months.
A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of four core modules in term one (60 credits) is offered, full-time three months.
In term two you will take specialist modules depending on the specialist stream you select: Inherited Disease (A); Pharmacogenetics (B); Computational Genomics (C).
Students undertake an original research project investigating topical questions in genetics and genetics of human disease which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 to 14,000 words and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
Students develop their knowledge and understanding of genetics of human diseases through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and journal clubs. Taught modules are assessed by unseen written examination and/or, written reports, oral presentations and coursework. The research project is assessed by the dissertation and oral presentation.
Further information on modules and degree structure available on the UCL Genetics Institute website.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Genetics of Human Disease MSc
Advanced training in genetic techniques including bioinformatic and statistical approaches positions graduates well for PhD studentships in laboratories using genetic techniques to examine diseases such as heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders. Another large group will seek research jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, or jobs related to genetics in healthcare organisations.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The MSc in Genetics of Human Disease facilitates acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to a career in research in many different biomedical disciplines. About half of our graduates enter a research career by undertaking and completing PhDs and working as research associates/scientists in academia. Some of our graduates go on to jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, while others enter careers with clinical genetic diagnosis services, particularly in molecular genetics, in healthcare organisations and hospitals around the world. Those graduates with a prior medical training often utilise their new skills as clinical geneticists.
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.
UCL is in a unique position to offer both the basic science and application of modern genetics to improve human health. The programme is a cross-faculty initiative with teaching from across the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) at UCL.
Students will be based at the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI), a world-leading centre which develops and applies biostatistical and bioinformatic approaches to human and population genetics. Opportunities to conduct laboratory or computational-based research projects are available in the laboratories of world-leading geneticists affiliated to the UGI.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Translating fundamental biomedical discoveries into applied clinical practice and public health issues
Human Biology is the only specialisation in the Netherlands that combines fundamental human biology with clinical studies. It provides you with an extensive biological knowledge, and experience in working with animal and patient samples. In this way you’ll be trained to bridge the gap between early biomedical research results and clinical practice.
This wouldn’t be possible within the walls of the Faculty of Science. That’s why there’s an extensive collaboration between the Faculty of Science and the Radboud university medical center in the field of Human Biology. You’ll get the best of both worlds: a thorough background in for example molecular oncology, human genetics, physiology and metabolism as well as a clinical view on diseases. This is an excellent background for a medical researcher or a job at the interface of science and society, such as a consultant, policy officer or communications advisor in the area of food or health.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/humanbiology
- It is the only programme in the Netherlands that bridges the gap between fundamental biomedical research and clinical treatments.
- You’ll get the opportunity to work together with researchers from the Radboud university medical center.
- Radboud biologists and clinicians stand out in the fields of animal and human physiology, human genetics and disease, and molecular and cellular clinical studies.
- Clinical Biology offers internships at multiple related research institutes, such as the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (RIHS) and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI).
- There are various opportunities to do an internship abroad thanks to our wide network of cooperating research groups.
After graduation, our students quickly take up positions as researchers in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies. However, many of our graduates also apply their academic background to societal issues, for example as a communications or policy officer. In general, clinical biologists end up as a:
- Researcher in a hospital or a university
- Researcher in a company, either a large or a start-up company
- Supervisor of clinical trials
- Consultant in the area of health or food
- Policy officer in the area of health or food
- Communications officer at a hospital or a governmental organisation, like RIVM
- Teacher in biology or medical biology
PhD positions at Radboud University
Each year, Radboudumc offers PhD positions in this field of research. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.
- From human biology to clinical treatment
Human Biology at Radboud University connects fundamental biological research to clinical treatments. The courses will provide you with a solid background in human physiology and molecular biology, which you’ll apply in developing clinically-oriented research questions. As there’s an extensive collaboration between the Faculty of Science and the Radboud university medical center, you’ll become familiar with both perspectives.
In your internships you’ll work with biomaterials, such as patient and animal samples. This means you’ll apply your biological knowledge to real-life situations. Clinical biologists do not work with patients or clinical treatments directly.
- Three focus areas
This Master’s specialisation focuses on three main topics:
- Molecular Mechanisms of Novel Therapeutics
Which molecular mechanisms lead to cancer? And how can these be translated into clinical practice? These are key questions in the specialisation in Human Biology. For example, we’ll dive into the functioning of epigenetics (heritable modifications of chromosomes without altering the nucleotide sequence), transcription factors, tumour suppressors and immunotherapy.
- Human Genetics and Physiology
This part is about how new developments and discoveries in genetic and molecular fields can help individual patients to improve functionality, independence and quality of life. You’ll study genetic pathways and the functionality of individual organs, organ systems, regulatory mechanisms, and individuals as a whole, in an integrative way.
- Metabolism, Transport and Mobility
The energy balance in our body is one of the most important factors in health and disease. We’ll teach you how energy and metabolites are integrated into the larger cellular networks for metabolism, transport and motility.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/humanbiology
The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.
Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).
Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.
This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering specialist routes, which include Animal Breeding & Genetics and Evolutionary Genetics.
This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.
Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.
You will gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems in the biomedical industry, and to undertake research in quantitative and population genetics and genome analysis.
You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.
Our MSc Human Nutrition programme will develop your scientific research skills to an advanced level and fuel your interest in this fascinating and vital discipline.
You will develop a deep understanding of current issues in the field of human nutrition – all taught elements emphasise the evidence-based links between diet, health and disease, and are underpinned by a full appreciation for the nutritional mechanisms involved.
Our excellent links with industry will help you to pursue a successful and rewarding career. The programme also forms an excellent foundation for those who wish to pursue further education via a PhD or research post in industry following graduation.
MSc students may apply for Associate Nutritionist status on the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and an original research project.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. All modules described are compulsory.
Our MSc programme caters for the following applicants:
The University of Surrey has long been regarded as a UK centre of excellence for teaching in nutrition and dietetics through our long-running and successful undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Staff within the Department of Nutritional Sciences have an internationally recognised expertise in areas such as diabetes, lipid metabolism, cardiovascular risk, bone health, Vitamin D, selenium and iodine, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity and energy balance.
As a postgraduate student, you will be taught by a variety of lecturers who are actively researching the topic being covered, or have a wealth of experience in that particular area.
You will also have the opportunity to undertake independent research via a project, guided by a dedicated and experienced supervisor. Projects are available across a range of topics representing the strength and depth of the Department and wider Faculty.
You will be working alongside staff, PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to ensure that you receive the full research experience.
This will form an excellent foundation for those MSc students wishing to pursue further education via a PhD or research post in industry.
The strong scientific element of our teaching will attract students looking for a programme of high academic quality.
The Department has excellent links with industry, which will help you to pursue a successful career in nutrition.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
The need to develop new strategies to combat diseases remains a major global challenge. This degree aims to enhance your employability and prepare you to tackle this challenge.
We’ll give you advanced training in the mechanisms underpinning a spectrum of infectious and non-infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and chromosomal abnormalities. You’ll also explore current and emerging diagnostic and treatment strategies.
You’ll learn about the latest molecular, genetic and cellular approaches being used to understand, diagnose and treat human disease, including traditional methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and novel methods involving genome and proteome analysis.
You’ll also have the opportunity to investigate the role of the immune system in the response to infection and disease, covering topics such as innate and adaptive immunity, allergy and immune evasion.
If you choose to study at Leeds, you’ll join a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), and you’ll graduate with the solid base of scientific knowledge and specialist skills highly valued by employers.
On this course you’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences. You’ll investigate five topic areas: molecular biology, structural biology, cell imaging and flow cytometry, high throughput techniques and transgenic organisms.
You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.
To help you to develop and specialise, you’ll get substantial subject-specific training through an independent research project in an area of infection, immunity or human disease.
You’ll also take specialist taught modules covering topics such as infectious and non-infectious disease, advanced immunology, medical diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.
If you have previous experience of immunology, you could opt to investigate the structure, regulation and development of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, or explore aspects of human toxicology. These could include the actions of toxicants on the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, kidneys, liver and lungs, genetic toxicology and chemical carcinogenesis, and the effects of chemicals on fetal development.
In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.
Through your research project and specialist modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.
We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.
The strong research element of the Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.
Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.
Links with industry
We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our programmes.
We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:
Industrial research placements
Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.
Professional and career development
We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.
Our dedicated Employability and Professional Development Officer ensures that you are aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters Career Development Programme will support you to:
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.
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.
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.
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.
This programme would be beneficial for anyone with a previous MBChB or similar degree, and would facilitate a career as a Clinical Geneticist.