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University of Glasgow: Genetic and Genomic Counselling (with Work Placement)

InstitutionUniversity of Glasgow View institution profile
Department School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Web www.glasgow.ac.uk/
Study type Taught

Summary

Designed to give you a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Genetic Counselling qualifying you to practice as a Genetic and Genomic Counsellor. This programme is accredited by the UK Genetic Counsellor Registration Board.

  • The aim is to to give you a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Clinical Genetics allowing you to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease, and explore the links between genotype and phenotype.
  • Genetic Counselling Placements in at least two different Genetics Centres will enable you to obtain a broader view of clinical practice, and there will also be opportunity to engage with patient support groups.
  • A key strength of this fully up-to-date and accredited programme is that it is delivered by highly dedicated, multi-award-winning teaching and clinical staff of the University, and by registered genetic counsellors, clinical and laboratory staff from the West of Scotland Genetics Service.
  • Teaching is based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH), which includes adult services, children’s services and maternity services, as well as one of the largest diagnostic laboratories in Europe, and a new, purpose-built teaching and learning facility. The close collaboration between University and NHS staff ensures that the MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling provides a completely up-to-date representation of genetic services.
  • Counselling and psychology theoretical and research-focused courses are delivered by University staff trained in psychology, providing a firm foundation for the subsequent acquisition of knowledge and skills in genetic counselling facilitated by GCRB-registered Genetic Counsellors.
  • You will develop your skills in problem solving, evaluation and interpretation of diagnostic data, communication of the results of genome testing to patients, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
  • The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.

Component courses are as follows:

GENETIC DISEASE AND CLINICAL PRACTICE

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Genetics Service to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Clinical Genetics which will allow them to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease, and explore the links between genotype and phenotype.

CASE INVESTIGATIONS IN MEDICAL GENETICS

Students will work in groups to investigate complex clinical case scenarios: decide appropriate testing, analyse results from genetic tests, reach diagnoses where appropriate and, with reference to the literature, generate a concise and critical group report.

DISTRESS OR DISORDER: REACTIONS TO A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS

Note: this 10 credit course may be taken by visiting students, for example as professional development.

This course outlines the process of psychosocial adjustment to a diagnosis or test result allowing participants to establish if and when a distress reaction develops into an adjustment disorder. The implications of diagnosis are explored and evidence considered allowing informed decisions about appropriate referrals to other agencies.

PATIENT EMPOWERMENT: SUPPORTING DECISIONS RELATING TO NEW DIAGNOSES

Note: this 10 credit course may be taken by visiting students, for example as professional development.

This course reflects on evidence and experience to explore the psychological and social impact of a diagnosis, or illness, and provides strategies to support resilience and coping in patients. Factors related to lived experience, personal beliefs and values, culture, adjustment processes, decision-making, misconceptions, secrecy and guilt are considered to equip participants in the promotion of patient-centred care.

EFFECTIVE LISTENING AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Note: this 10 credit course may be taken by visiting students, for example as professional development.

With a focus on experiential learning and student led study, this course outlines the role of counselling skills to facilitate adjustment and to allow an individual to come to terms with change in a safe way to minimise impact. The focus will be on the theory supporting counselling, developing key listening and communication skills and on establishing reflective practice.

GENETIC COUNSELLING IN CLINICAL PRACTICE

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Clinical Service, and will be delivered by NHS staff, to provide students with in depth understanding of the practical skills required in genetic counselling. The course will facilitate development of appropriate critical understanding, reflective practice and skills in relation to genetic counselling for providing accurate complex genetic information for patients and their families.

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH METHODS (GENETIC COUNSELLING)

The research methods course will focus on developing students’ research skills primarily in questionnaire-based qualitative and quantitative observational research methods and students will be introduced to ethics procedures for the college of MVLS.

COMMUNITY PLACEMENT 1 and COMMUNITY PLACEMENT 2

These placements, for 16 days and 20 days respectively, will each take place in one or more care settings for individuals with complex needs (adults or children or both) to enable students to gain insight into effects of complex needs on affected individuals and on their family.

GENETIC COUNSELLING PLACEMENT 1 and GENETIC COUNSELLING PLACEMENT 2

These placements, for eight weeks and six weeks respectively, in different genetics centres will allow students to observe clinical practice in a variety of contexts, and to undertake relevant tasks under supervision within a clinical team that is delivering a genetic service, to enable the student to develop their own skills as a future genetic counsellor. Following each placement students will discuss and share experiences, facilitated by one of the NHS lead team and a counselling supervisor, to further develop their ability to deal with practical and emotional challenges in genetic counselling.

CLINICAL GENOMICS

This course will provide an overview of the clinical applications of genomic approaches to human disorders, particularly in relation to clinical genetics, discussing the methods and capabilities of the new technologies. Tuition and hands-on experience in data analysis will be provided, including the interpretation of next generation sequencing reports.

GENETIC COUNSELLING DISSERTATION

Students will select a topic or problem of personal interest relevant to Genetic or Genomic Counselling, undertake independent research in the area they have chosen, and produce a comprehensive, concise and critical report as well as oral and poster presentations.

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of methods are used, including problem-based learning, case-based learning, lectures, tutorials and placements. These are supplemented by a wide range of course-specific electronic resources for additional learning and self-assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to a career in genetic & genomic counselling. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and use of scientific literature and databases. There are regular optional supplementary tutorials on topics selected by students.

Electronic Resources

  • Access to a continually updated Moodle (virtual learning environment) with extensive additional teaching and self-assessment materials.

  • An online web-portal with regularly updated direct links to more than 70 worldwide genetic databases & online algorithms (plus the latest new genetics discoveries), all easily accessible and grouped into useful categories.

The programme aims to provide students with skills to work as Genetic Counsellors.

Our MSc is accredited by the GCRB (Genetic Counsellor Registration Board ) meaning that on graduation you are eligible to apply for two year (salaried) genetic counselling training posts in the NHS. On successful completion of this you would be able to register as a genetic counsellor with the GCRB.

Genetic counsellors in the UK are employed by the NHS. There are also genetic counsellors who work for private companies.

MSc(MedSci)

University of Glasgow


The University of Glasgow is one of the UK’s most prestigious seats of learning, and the fourth oldest university in the English speaking world. Established in 1451 and recognised for its world-changing research and teaching, the University has inspired thinkers from eminent scientist Lord Kelvin and the father of economics Adam Smith, to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 

Rankings

The University:

  • is ranked 67th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2020
  • is in the top 100 in the world: Times Higher World University Rankings 2020
  • 95.9% of students in employment or further study 6 …

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