University of Technology Sydney

C04374v2 Master of Genetic Counselling

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


For 2025 Intake (Autumn B session), applications will open August 2024 and close 31 October 2024. Read how to apply for more information.

From 2025, the English Language requirements have changed. For more information, visit the English requirements page.

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


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 and researchers, supported by expert learning designers, broad consultation with the genetic counselling profession and a skilled Curriculum Advisory Committee.

The program is delivered in a way that actively supports students to study from their home towns by utilising a combination of asynchronous interactive online learning and synchronous weekly, timetabled ‘live and online’ classes, supported with a week-long on-campus block each session. Expert guest lecturers participate throughout the course, ensuring relevance and real-world application of coursework. Block 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 Australasia and may include the option of an approved international placement for interested students. Placements are supported by weekly reflective practice supervision with experienced clinical genetic counsellors. 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 for themselves in the future.

Course aims

The course prepares graduates to work as culturally safe, competent, evidence-based client-centred genetic counsellors. Graduates are prepared to work clinically in both the public and private system, and in positions in laboratories, biotech companies, research, policy 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 a growing number of newer opportunities for genetic counsellors. 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 and roles.
1.2 Apply professional self-awareness through self-reflection to enhance their practice in genetic and genomic counselling to improve client outcomes.
2.1 Demonstrate a critical awareness of cultural and societal diversity and disparity in health care into genetic counselling practice.
2.2 Critically reflect on ethical Indigenous research including relationship building, communication, client-centred and reflective practice to work with and for Indigenous Australians across the genetic counselling profession.
3.1 Demonstrate appropriate and effective relationships with people from diverse communities.
3.2 Establish, develop, and maintain appropriate and effective relationships with clients, within a multidisciplinary team, and as part of the wider health and social care network.
4.1 Use research skills to enhance genetic counselling practice through an ability to critically appraise literature and to respond to a variety of challenges that arise in genetic counselling practice.
4.2 Demonstrate skills in designing and participating in ethically robust research.
5.1 Provide education about genetics and genomics to a wide variety of audiences.
5.2 Demonstrate the core tenets of the genetic counselling profession, including professional and ethical behaviour and responding positively to changes in genetic and genomic healthcare.

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:

a. an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline such as Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences. Other Natural and Physical Sciences, Human Welfare Studies and Services, Behavioural Science, Medical Studies, Nursing, Public Health or Teacher Education.


b. an undergraduate degree in any discipline and documented relevant work experience outlined in a CV 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 a completed Bachelor degree, applicants must have also completed the following subject at a tertiary level within the last 10 years and must provide a relevant subject outline with their application:

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

For prerequisite checking, students must submit a Prerequisite Assessment Table with their application. Prerequisite subject approvals are subject to change as they undergo an annual academic review. This means a new assessment is required for each new intake.

Prior to applications opening, the Prerequisite Assessment Table may be submitted to for pre-assessment. A pre-assessment is not required in order to apply and will not be conducted once applications open.

Applicants must also provide the following.

  • At least one, and no more than two references as evidence of relevant voluntary/paid work experience in a caring role. Referees are to submit their reference directly via UTS Reference form. References that are not submitted via this link will not be accepted.
  • Referees are asked to comment on the applicant's character, ability, and suitability to be a genetic counsellor. Referees may include: teacher/lecturer/academic, employer/supervisor of paid work, supervisor of peer counselling/volunteer work/placement.
  • 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 admission requirements. 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.

Professional and clinical requirements

All successful applicants are required to:

  1. acquire a Working With Children Check and an Australian National Police Check
  2. complete a series of NSW Health forms including a Code of Conduct, and
  3. demonstrate evidence of protection against a number of specified infectious diseases.

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 PTE: 65-72 overall with a writing score of 65; or C1A/C2P: 185-190 overall with a writing score of 185.

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.


Local students

Domestic applicants can apply directly.

International students

International applicants apply via UTS: International.

International applicants, in addition to the above requirements, are required to obtain a police certificate/criminal clearance from every country they have resided in. If a country does not issue police certificates/criminal clearances, applicants are required to complete a Statutory Declaration for Overseas Students.

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. Students may be required to travel for their clinical placements.

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.

Autumn B commencing, full time
Year 1
Autumn B 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
Spring B 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
Autumn B 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
Spring B 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

Rules and regulations

Inherent Requirements are academic and non-academic requirements that are inherent in or essential to the successful completion of a course. The inherent requirements framework for the Master of Genetic Counselling is based on the following six themes:

  1. Legal and Behavioural Requirements;
  2. Communication Tasks – verbal; written; non-verbal;
  3. Cognitive/Intellectual Tasks – literacy; numeracy; knowledge and information;
  4. Sensory Tasks – visual; auditory; tactile;
  5. Physical Tasks – gross and fine motor requirements; and
  6. Sustainable Performance.

It is a requirement of this course to complete a number of clinical placements. Clinical placements involve a genetic counselling student going into a clinical setting to undertake the practical components of the course required for registration. If a student has a condition or disability that prevents them from completing a placement, completion of the degree may be hindered. Students should consult the full inherent requirements.

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 active status (MHGSA) on the genetic counselling register through the HGSA. Active registered candidates can then 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 accredited by the HGSA.

Other information

Register to attend an information session and/or contact:

UTS: Genetic Counselling
telephone +61 2 9514 1448