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Genetic Counselling (MSc)

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  • Objectives
    The Master's degree in Genetic Counselling programme is designed to prepare students for clinical practice in the field of genetic counselling. For those who do not have a nursing background, the MSc is necessary for entry into the profession.

    There is a strong emphasis on counselling skills and the social and ethical aspects of genetics. Students will be given a thorough grounding in human genetics and genetic analysis, in communication and counselling skills, and in the skills required for them to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team providing genetic counselling for families.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements:

    Graduates from an approved university with at least a second class honours degree in nursing, genetics, biology, psychology, social sciences or education are eligible to apply. Applications from graduates in other appropriate disciplines will be considered.

    Applications from non-graduates will only be considered if they have at least 2 years' experience working in clinical genetics and are to be seconded from a department of clinical genetics. In exceptional circumstances, applicants not fulfilling these criteria may be considered. Please contact the course directors to discuss further.

    Selection of applicants to this course will be on the basis of interviews held after short-listing by the course directors. The criteria will be: academic: A-level (or equivalent) and degree results; experience of ‘care giving’ work, in either a voluntary or paid capacity; evidence of an interest in genetics; proven competence in English.
  • Academic Title
    Genetic Counselling (MSc)
  • Course description
    Course Description:

    The course is a 2-year full-time programme, which is a combination of academic study and placements in relevant clinical and non-clinical areas. It is also available on a part-time modular basis to those already working in the field, or related areas. The academic component is compulsory for all students.

    Students who are not working in the field of genetic counselling will undertake a placement for 2 days per week and academic work for 2 days per week over the two years. Students currently in a genetic counselling post will be exempt from placements. The formal, taught elements of the course will be identical and compulsory for all participants, even those whose previous training might seem to make some elements redundant.

    Human genetics is a rapidly developing field and it is impossible to provide a syllabus that covers all aspects of this discipline. Instead, the course philosophy is to facilitate students’ understanding of key concepts and their application, as well as develop learning skills that will enable the student to continue to develop professionally throughout their career. Assessment tasks mirror the skills needed in genetic counselling practice and for professional registration.

    Module list:

        * Communication and counselling skills training
        * Human Genetics (2 modules)
        * Topics in genetic counselling
        * Research methods and statistics
        * Genetics & the Community

    Special Features:

        * Emphasis on counselling skills and the social and ethical aspects of genetics
        * On completion of the course, students will have developed all the competencies defined by the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors as necessary for good professional practice and have the skills necessary for a career in genetic counselling. These skills are also useful for related careers in human genetics.
        *

          Placements enable students to gain some practical experience of people with, or at risk of, genetic diseases, as well as develop communication and counselling skills. The nature of the placements varies depending upon an individual student's previous background and experience.

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