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C04374v1 Master of Genetic Counselling

Award(s): Master of Genetic Counselling (MGenCouns)
UAC code: 940926 (Calendar B Autumn session)
CRICOS code: 098052M
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 96
Course EFTSL: 2
Location: City campus

Overview
Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Applications
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Professional recognition
Other information

Overview

The two-year, graduate entry coursework Master of Genetic Counselling is the entry-level qualification for work as a genetic counsellor. This program is developed and delivered by experienced genetic counsellors, supported by expert educational designers, broad consultation with the genetic counselling profession and a skilled Curriculum Advisory Committee.

The program is delivered in blended mode, utilising online, interactive teaching and learning activities coupled with a block of on-campus learning each session. Expert guest lecturers participate throughout the course, ensuring relevance and real-world application of coursework. On-campus learning takes place in the Graduate School of Health's education and research facility at UTS City campus.

Alongside the coursework, students participate in clinical placements, sourced by UTS, throughout the two-year program. Placements are offered in a variety of settings in Australia and may include the option of an approved international placement for interested students. Placements are supported by weekly reflective practice supervision. Students undertake research training to equip them with the skills to provide evidence-based care, talk with clients about research participation and findings and seek opportunities for higher degree research in the future.

Course aims

The course prepares graduates to work as competent, evidence-based genetic counsellors. Graduates are prepared to work in both the public and private system, and in new and emerging positions in laboratories, biotech companies, research and education.

Career options

Genetic counsellors have specialist knowledge in human genetics and genomics, counselling and health communication. With rapid developments in genetics and genomics, there is likely to be a range of new opportunities for genetic counsellors in the coming years. Career options include clinical roles in public and private settings, research, education, policy, and laboratory and biotech company genetic counselling roles.

Course intended learning outcomes

1.1 Apply evidence-based genetic and genomic health care to practice across a variety of settings.
1.2 Apply professional self-awareness through self-reflection to enhance their practice in genetic and genomic counselling to improve client outcomes.
2.1 Integrate a critical awareness of cultural and societal diversity and disparity in health care into clinical practice.
2.2 Demonstrate respect and value for diverse ways of knowing, being and doing, in particular recognising the diversity of Indigenous Australians while critically reflecting upon the impact of ongoing colonisation and its pervasive discourse on their health and wellbeing, and integrating this knowledge into practice.
3.1 Engage and build relationships with people from all walks of life and across diverse communities.
4.1 Use well-developed research skills to enhance clinical practice through an ability to critically appraise literature and to answer clinical questions.
5.1 Provide education about genetics and genomics to a wide variety of audiences.
5.2 Embody the core tenets of the genetic counselling profession, demonstrating professional and ethical behaviour and positively responding to the changing technological environment.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS recognised bachelor's degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or submitted other evidence of general and professional qualifications that demonstrates potential to pursue graduate studies.

Applicants must have completed either:

  1. an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline such as science, biomedical science, health science, social work, psychology, medicine, or related discipline, or
  2. an undergraduate degree in any discipline and documented relevant work experience including clear evidence of career development, professional writing, and professional achievement or practice comparable to that expected of undergraduate degree holders in cognate disciplines.

In addition to one of the above, applicants must have also completed the following subjects at a tertiary level within the last 10 years and must provide relevant subject outlines with their application:

  • one biology subject (to first-year undergraduate level)
  • one human genetics subject (to second- or third-year undergraduate level, or equivalent).

For prerequisite checking, students must provide a copy of the subject or unit descriptions from the university handbook (or equivalent) of the university where they completed the subjects. If students are unsure whether the previous study meets prerequisite requirements, they can submit the subject outlines for pre-assessment via email.

Applicants must also provide the following.

  • At least two, and no more than three written references as evidence of relevant voluntary/paid work experience in a caring role. Referees may include: teacher/lecturer/academic, employer/supervisor of paid work, supervisor of peer counselling/volunteer work/placement. Referees should include a statement regarding how long they have known the applicant and the capacity in which they know the applicant. Referees are asked to comment on the applicant's character, ability, and suitability to be a genetic counsellor. The references should be submitted as a PDF and, where possible, include the signature of the referee.
  • A personal statement of up to 1000 words. The personal statement should describe the skills and qualities applicants bring to a career in genetic counselling and explain how they meet the selection criteria. Applicants should also include a statement confirming that this is their own work.

Selected applicants are required to undertake a short interview with a panel and final offers are dependent upon interview rank. Applicants are assessed in the areas of communication skills, interpersonal skills, interest in genetic counselling, and commitment to genetic counselling as a career.

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 7.0 overall with a writing score of 7.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 584-609 overall with TWE of 5.0, internet based: 94-101 overall with a writing score of 27; or AE6: Pass; or PTE: 65-72; or CAE: 185-190.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

International students

Visa requirement: To obtain a student visa to study in Australia, international students must enrol full time and on campus. Australian student visa regulations also require international students studying on student visas to complete the course within the standard full-time duration. Students can extend their courses only in exceptional circumstances.

Applications

Local students

Domestic applicants can apply directly or via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

International students

International applicants apply via UTS: International.

Course duration and attendance

The course is offered as a two-year, full-time degree. Students are not permitted to enrol part time. In addition to coursework and clinical placements during sessions, students may be required to undertake clinical placements during mid-session breaks.

Course structure

This course comprises a total of 96 credit points. Students must complete a total of eight 6-credit-point coursework subjects, four 6-credit-point research subjects and four 6-credit-point clinical placement subjects.

Course completion requirements

STM91274 Core subjects (Genetic Counselling) 96cp
Total 96cp

Course program

A typical course program is provided below.

Calendar B Autumn commencing, full time
Year 1
Calendar B Autumn session
96104 Communication and Counselling   6cp
96103 Medical Genetics and Genomics in Practice   6cp
96102 Research Methods in Genetic Counselling   6cp
96105 Clinical and Community Placement 1   6cp
Calendar B Spring session
96110 Genetic Counselling   6cp
96108 Research Project 1   6cp
96109 Research Issues in Genetic Counselling   6cp
96099 Genetic Counselling Clinical Placement 2   6cp
Year 2
Calendar B Autumn session
96107 Advanced Communication and Counselling   6cp
96106 Application of Genetics and Genomics   6cp
96114 Research Project 2   6cp
96100 Genetic Counselling Clinical Placement 3   6cp
Calendar B Spring session
96113 Advanced Genetic Counselling   6cp
96111 Genetics and Genomics in Society   6cp
96112 Advanced Professional Practice   6cp
96101 Genetic Counselling Clinical Placement 4   6cp

Professional recognition

A two-year Master of Genetic Counselling from a program accredited by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) is required in order to apply for Board Eligible status through the HGSA. Board Eligible candidates complete a portfolio of work in order to complete certification as a genetic counsellor and become a Fellow of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (FHGSA).

The UTS Master of Genetic Counselling is undergoing accreditation by the HGSA.

Other information

Register to attend an information session and/or contact:

UTS: Genetic Counselling
email gsh.future@uts.edu.au
telephone +61 2 9514 1448