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Genetic counsellors are health care professionals with specialized graduate training in the areas of medical genetics and counselling. Read more

Masters in Genetic Counselling

What is a Genetic Counsellor?

Genetic counsellors are health care professionals with specialized graduate training in the areas of medical genetics and counselling. Genetic counsellors usually work as members of a healthcare team, providing information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. Genetic counsellors work in a wide variety of settings, these include: general genetics, prenatal care and family planning, pediatrics, oncology, cardiology, neurology, laboratories, research, education, public health settings, and corporate environments. (NSGC website, accessed Oct 7, 2012).

GENERAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Department of Medical Genetics, through Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) at the University of British Columbia, offers a unique two year graduate program leading to an MSc degree in Genetic Counselling. The program has full accreditation status by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). Students, upon graduating, will be eligible to apply for “Active Candidate” status for both the ABGC and the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) certification exams.

Six students are accepted into the Program each year to begin their studies in September. Genetic counsellors, geneticists, other healthcare professionals and UBC faculty members instruct and supervise students during their course of study.

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

Academic coursework provides a comprehensive overview of:
- Molecular genetics and genomics
- Clinical genetics
- Counselling techniques and psychology
- Bioethics

Clinical experiences cover a broad range of specialties, preparing graduates for the expanding professional role. These include both private and public settings in the areas of:
- Prenatal genetics
- Pediatric and adult genetics
- Reproductive medicine
- Cancer
- Psychiatric genetics
- Focused practical rotations in embryofetopathology, fetal ultrasound and prenatal procedures, prenatal biochemistry laboratory, molecular biochemical and cytogenetic laboratories.

Interprofessional health education prepares graduates for a patient centred, team-based approach to healthcare delivery. Collaborating with the College of Health Disciplines, unique experiences include:
- Health Mentorship Program
- The Interprofessional Education (IPE) Passport
- Rounds and educational seminars held by the Department of Medical Genetics, Hereditary Cancer Program, Child and Family
Research Institute, BC Clinical Genomics Network and other departments within the hospital and university network.

While this is not a thesis program, all graduates complete an independent research project. The program provides mentorship, research skills development and encouragement towards contributing to the published literature in genetic counselling outcomes.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Genetic Counselling
- Subject: Health and Medicine
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework only
- Faculty: Faculty of Medicine

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Are you interested in raising children? In the way their environment shapes their development? Would you like to learn how to support parents and educators, creating a context where children and youth can reach their full potential? Then this Master's programme may be just right for you! . Read more

Are you interested in raising children? In the way their environment shapes their development? Would you like to learn how to support parents and educators, creating a context where children and youth can reach their full potential? Then this Master's programme may be just right for you! 

The Master’s programme Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies (Dutch:Orthopedagogiekchallenges you to make connections between scientific research and practical issues. It addresses what is needed when problems arise in child and adolescent development, or in parenting or education of children at risk.

Objective of the programme

This Master’s programme will enable you to develop yourself as an academic and clinical professional. Armed with scientific insights and clinical skills, you will be able to give advice, support, treatment and guidance concerning clinical issues in raising children and adolescents. You can make an important contribution to research of practical care issues related to children and youth. You will help children, youth, their parents and the systems surrounding them to function to their optimum potential. This programme prepares you to work as a scientist practitioner in youth care in clinical or transnational settings.

Working in a multi-disciplinary way

While studying complex situations you will combine insights from education and child and adolescent studies, psychology, neuropsychology, child and youth psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, juvenile justice, pediatrics and sociology.

An international programme in English

This programme’s working language is English. This means that English will be used during lectures, for scientific exchange between students and staff. You may opt to use Dutch or English for your thesis and individual assignments. Certain parts of the programme, such as a clinical internship in an institution with Dutch speaking clients or patientsare only available to students who speak Dutch.

Clinical issues in raising children and youth: a sound basis

You will take three mandatory courses concerning:

  • Working as a clinical professional in different contexts;
  • Critical Analysis of Youth Development: an Ecological Systems Approach
  • Functioning as an academic professional.

On top of these courses you will follow an elective course, a specialisation (‘track’)and write a Master’s thesis.

Research feeds education

Your lecturers participate in highly qualified research in the field of parenting, adolescence, education, development and learning in the research programmes Child and Adolescent Studies and Education and Learning. This means you will benefit from their most recent scientific insights. Moreover, as a Master’s student your thesis can contribute to the current research within the programme concerning projects such as:

  • STudy of Attention capacities of moderately Preterm born infants (STAP)
  • The YOUth cohort study: social competence and behavioral control
  • Extra support for toddlers: “ToddlerExtra”
  • Evaluation of the Rock and Water support programme
  • Evaluating therapy for depressed adolescents
  • Projects from the Consortium on Individual Development (CID)
  • Research on Adolescent Development And Relationships (RADAR)

Preparing for the labour market

The Master’s programme in Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies prepares you for work from a transnational perspective, or for a career in a clinical setting. You will be able to give advice, support, treatment and guidance when problems in child and adolescent development arise. You will be a trained expert in clinical issues in raising future generations. You could work as a policy adviser or care giver in several fields such as youth care, special needs care in schools, care for people with a disability, paediatric rehabilitation, forensic care and (inter)national knowledge institutions. You can also pursue a career in research, for instance at a university or knowledge institution.



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