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Genetic and Genomic Counselling (Taught)

Cardiff University
Program overview
3 years
Part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
10,950 GBP
Start dates
Cardiff
10,950 GBP
28 September 2020

Cardiff
10,950 GBP
27 September 2021

Program description

Genetic and Genomic Counselling (Taught)

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. 

This is an innovative, part-time, largely distance-learning course. This opens up our well-established training expertise to an 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 and engage in online learning throughout the remainder of each year.

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 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.

Admission requirements

Typical graduate offer:

In addition to satisfying the requirements of the Cardiff University General Entrance Requirements, applicants must:

  • 2:1 in biological / (bio)medical science or equivalent science, social science, nursing, psychology.
  • Evidence demonstrating knowledge, motivation, and commitment to a career in genetic and genomic counselling i.e.knowledge/experience of genetics and genomics in healthcare
  • >6 months full-time equivalent (approx. 800 hours) non-family caring experience e.g.healthcare work, volunteering with a counselling service, in a genetic or genomic counselling clinic, or supporting a vulnerable child or adult (e.g.with a disability)
  • Evidence of English language ability: 7.0 (with minimum 6.5 in each sub-domain) or equivalent.

In your personal statement, please answer the following questions and use them as headings:

  1. What motivates you to apply for this course?

  2. What personal qualities and attributes do you possess that would enhance your ability to work as a genetic counsellor?

  3. Please describe any experience you have had working with individuals who might be considered vulnerable.

  4. If you have previously applied for this course and were unsuccessful please describe what further experience you have gained which may strengthen your application.

Please note that having a valid Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) or Local Police Check (for EU and International applicants) in place is a condition of enrolment so successful applicants are advised to commence this process, following the offer of a place, in good time before the prospective enrolment date. 


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Program content

  • Introduction to Healthcare
  • Introduction to Genetic and Genomic Counselling
  • Counselling and Communication Skills
  • Research Methods
  • Introduction to Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Science and Bioinformatics
  • Applied Genetics and Bioinformatics in Clinical Care
  • Advanced Genetic and Genomic Counselling
  • Placement: Genetic and Genomic Counselling
  • Dissertation: Genetic and Genomic Counselling

Tuition fees

tuition fees for UK and EU students is £6,950

tuition fees for students from outside the EU is £10,950

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Qualification

What skills will I practise and develop?

The course will provide you with the opportunity to gain a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific skills and more generic employability skills. Through the programme, you will have the opportunity to develop counselling and communication skills, IT and practical clinical skills, and you will be presented with a number of opportunities to extend your communication and analytical skills.

Knowledge & Understanding

On completing the Programme, you will be able to:

  1. Appreciate ways in which a range of healthcare sciences contribute to the practice of genetic counselling

  2. Combine knowledge of human genetics and genomics including Mendelian inheritance patterns, cytogenetics, molecular genetics and genomics, for the purposes of genetic and genomic counselling.

  3. Assess and calculate individual genetic risks using the principles of probability and statistics.

  4. Predict the psychosocial aspects of genetic conditions using theories of counselling, sociology of health and illness, cultural awareness, family dynamics and decision-making.

  5. Calculate an individual’s risk of inheriting or developing a genetic condition that runs or may run in their family, taking in to consideration the inheritance pattern of the condition, their family structure and any conditional events that may have influenced their risk.

Intellectual Skills

On completing the Programme, you will be able to:

  1. Integrate knowledge of genetics and genomics, including dysmorphology, inherited and multifactorial disorders, cancer genetics, genetic and genomic testing, bioinformatics and screening including prenatal diagnosis for the purposes of genetic and genomic counselling.

  2. Utilise and critically appraise published evidence for the purposes of accurate and appropriate genetic and genomic counselling.

  3. Appreciate and critically appraise the philosophical, legal and ethical issues that arise in genetic and genomic counselling and apply appropriate theoretical frameworks to resolve these issues.

  4. Propose how current counselling theory and research evidence can inform genetic and genomic counselling practice.

  5. Critique the role and development of clinical genetics service within the NHS and internationally

  6. Critically evaluate published research evidence and its role in the delivery of quality genetic and genomic counselling services.

  7. Design, implement and complete a small research, clinical audit, innovation or service evaluation project.

Professional Practical Skills

On completing the Programme, you will be able to:

  1. Provide safe, effective, patient-centred genetic and genomic counselling with appropriate professionalism.

  2. Apply counselling skills appropriately in genetic and genomic counselling practice.

  3. Critique the wider impact of disability on individuals and families and the services available for these people.

  4. Assess psychosocial responses to the diagnosis of a genetic condition, genetic risk status, genetic or genomic test results or termination of pregnancy, using theories of coping and grief-bereavement.

  5. Defend the importance of confidentiality of genetic information.

  6. Critique ways in which genetic and genomic counselling integrate with other healthcare sciences and health professions.

  7. Apply professional self-awareness and self-reflection to their own professional development in ways that enhance their practice in genetic and genomic counselling, and improve patient outcomes.

Transferable/Key Skills

On completing the Programme, you will be able to:

  1. Apply problem solving skills to a range of diverse issues

  2. Manage and prioritise workload and time effectively
    for the completion of quality projects, including working to deadlines

  3. Demonstrate ability to work effectively with others to develop innovative solutions and solve problems

  4. Demonstrate initiative, taking responsibility for accomplishing objectives and goals

  5. Listen effectively to understand and process important and/or complex information

  6. Communicate accurately, clearly and concisely in variety of styles, using a range of media to a wide variety of audiences

Career opportunities

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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About this institute

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Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...


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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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www.cardiff.ac.uk

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