Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Genetic counselling in clinical practice MED5421

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Genetics Service 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.


8 x 3h sessions, Wednesdays

Approximately 30 hours of clinics, schedule depends on timing of appropriate clinics

Requirements of Entry



Two case-scenario-based critical reviews, 1,200 (35%) and 2,000 (65%) words respectively, which consider the ethical, counselling and scientific issues arising in genetic counselling practice.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to allow students to:

■ acquire wide knowledge base to practise as a genetic counsellor to support patients and families with genetic conditions

■ provide critical understanding of relevant counselling theories underpinning genetic counselling practice

■ develop range of skills to work as a genetic counsellor in a multi-disciplinary team with peers, senior colleagues and specialists

■ develop critical awareness of evidence based practice and current issues which influence clinical practice

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ demonstrate critical understanding of appropriate counselling theory including non-directive counselling to support individuals and families with genetic conditions

■ develop skills for reflective practice to better comprehend and address complex issues and conflicting situations which can arise in genetic counselling practice

■ demonstrate critical understanding and critical awareness of the impact of genomic health for the individual, families and society, including the complexity of interpreting results of whole genome sequencing

■ critically evaluate relevant literature to inform genetic counselling practice

■ plan, implement and evaluate with reference to current literature, case presentations and talks to inform colleagues, patients and the public on genetic counselling practice

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.