Postgraduate taught 

Genetic & Genomic Counselling (with Work Placement) MSc(MedSci)

Medical professional consulting with couple

The next intake for this course will be September 2024. Applications will open in October 2023.

Postgraduate Online Event: Wednesday 7 December, 09:00-19:00

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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.

  • MSc(MedSci): 24 months full-time

Why this programme

  • 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.Medicine ranking 2nd in the UK
  • 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.

Programme structure

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.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

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.

        student getting career advice

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2023-24

MSc(MedSci)

UK

  • Full-time fee: £12810

International & EU

  • Full-time fee: £29370

Deposits

All applicants are required to pay a deposit of £1000 when an offer is made.

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Funding opportunities

Scotland's Saltire Scholarships

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships is a programme of scholarships offered by the Scottish Government in collaboration with Scottish universities. Our chosen scholars are people who aspire to become influential leaders in their future careers. They have wide ranging interests outside their studies and a desire to broaden their personal and academic experience in Scotland.

Scholarships are available to citizens of the following countries: Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Japan, India, Pakistan and USA. Saltire Scholars will also have the opportunity to take part in a programme of activities over and above their studies, including dialogue with the academic and business community in Scotland.

GREAT Scholarships 2023 - China

The University of Glasgow, in partnership with the British Council and the GREAT Britain Campaign, is offering seven scholarships to students in China, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey who are applying for one-year master’s programmes and will enrol in the 2023/24 academic year.

The GREAT Scholarships 2023 programme, launched by the British Council and 49 UK universities, supports postgraduate students accessing world-class UK higher education opportunities.

The programme offers a minimum of £10,000 to students pursuing a one-year postgraduate programme in the UK. Students can apply for courses in a range of subjects at the 49 institutions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The University of Glasgow GREAT Scholarships are open to applications for most postgraduate taught courses for China, Egypt, Mexico and Turkey. Applicants from Kenya and Thailand are only eligible if applying for the postgraduate Law programmes. Please see the eligibility section for a full list of courses and exclusions.

For more information on the GREAT Scholarships 2023, please visit Study UK.

GREAT Scholarships 2023 - Turkey, Mexico and Egypt

The University of Glasgow, in partnership with the British Council and the GREAT Britain Campaign, is offering seven scholarships to students in China, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey who are applying for one-year master’s programmes and will enrol in the 2023/24 academic year.

The GREAT Scholarships 2023 programme, launched by the British Council and 49 UK universities, supports postgraduate students accessing world-class UK higher education opportunities.

The programme offers a minimum of £10,000 to students pursuing a one-year postgraduate programme in the UK. Students can apply for courses in a range of subjects at the 49 institutions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The University of Glasgow GREAT Scholarships are open to applications for most postgraduate taught courses for China, Egypt, Mexico and Turkey. Applicants from Kenya and Thailand are only eligible if applying for the postgraduate Law programmes. Please see the eligibility section for a full list of courses and exclusions.

For more information on the GREAT Scholarships 2023, please visit Study UK.

Colfuturo Fundacion para el Futuro de Colombia

The University of Glasgow offer discounts to all successful Fundacion para el Futuro de Colombia (Colfuturo) scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

University of Glasgow Chancellors Award (Nigeria)

The University of Glasgow has 10 Chancellors Award Scholarships available to Nigerian students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in academic session 2023-24. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount.

University of Glasgow Chancellors Award

The University of Glasgow has 40 Chancellors Award Scholarships available to students from low and middle income countries, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline, in academic session 2023-24. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount.

University of Glasgow Caribbean Excellence Award

The University of Glasgow is offering 5 scholarships for International students from the Caribbean, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2023/24.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver.

University of Glasgow Caribbean Partners Award

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 5 scholarships for students, alumni or staff from our partner The University of the West Indies in the Caribbean.  The scholarship is available to International students, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2023/24.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver.

University of Glasgow African Excellence Award

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 15 scholarships for International students from Africa, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2023/24.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver.

CONICyT (La Comsion Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica de Chile)

The University of Glasgow offers a 25% discount to all successful CONICyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) / FUNED Agreement

CONACYT offers a non-refundable scholarship, a monthly stipend and medical insurance of an approximate total of $20,000 USD (in the case of the UK, no medical insurance grant is given since students are already covered by the National Health System) The University of Glasgow offer a 30% discount to all successful CONACyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)

Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £5,500 towards their course. Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500.  

This support extends to online Masters or Postgraduate Diplomas, and not to the online Postgraduate Certificate courses.

For more information visit the SAAS website.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re an English student looking to study a taught Masters programme in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan. Students from England are able to apply for a non-means tested Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students

If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Postgraduate Master's Finance

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2019, you can apply for Postgraduate Master's Finance and receive up to £17,000 as a combination of grant and loan:

  • a maximum grant of £6,885 and loan of £10,115 if your household income is £18,370 and below
  • a grant of £1,000 and loan of £16,000 if your household income is not taken into account or is above £59,200.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course (such as a PhD) from 1 August 2019 you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Alumni Discount

In response to the current unprecedented economic climate, the University is offering a 20% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni, commencing study in Academic session 2023/24. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. This discount can be awarded alongside most University scholarships.

Postgraduate Access Scholarship

The University of Glasgow is pleased to be offering Postgraduate Access Scholarships to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. Applications are particularly welcomed from applicants who met any of our widening participation criteria, or equivalent, at undergraduate level. The value of each scholarship is £4,000 and they are for students undertaking a one or two year Taught Masters programme. For two year Taught Masters programmes, the scholarship is available in year one only.

Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)

If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.

Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding.

For more information visit www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/types-of-finance/postgraduate .

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Clark (Mile-End) Bursary Fund

The Clark (Mile-End) Bursary Fund is a charitable endowment which was established in 1868 by a Victorian philanthropist by the name of John Clark. He was a thread manufacturer and prominent citizen from Paisley. The fund is now governed by Rules laid down in a 1974 Scheme (as varied with the consent of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in 2013).

Please see the Clark (Mile-End) Bursary Fund for more information.

Sanctuary Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 20 Sanctuary Scholarships for applicants to the University who are in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the University of Glasgow applying for entry in September 2023/24.

The scholarship will meet the cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme, for those applicants who are unable to cover full tuition fees through access to public funds by applying to SAAS or Student Finance. The Sanctuary Scholarship also provides a £5,000 per year stipend, to assist with study costs. In addition, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met, this will also be provided for the duration of your degree, if required. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society is offering an award to new entrants to the University of Glasgow who descend from Clan Gregor. Prospective students will be asked to submit an application highlighting areas of consideration such as academic excellence and financial need. The award is open to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate applicants for 2023 entry.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

Either a good BSc (Hons) in Genetics or related subject, with evidence of relevant experience in a care context OR a good BSc (Hons) in Nursing, with experience of working in a care context and evidence of interest in genetics.

Note that care experience does not imply work in a genetics context but might, for example, be in a care home, a school for children with complex needs or charity work involving direct patient care.

Applicants without a good BSc but who have two or more years work experience in a clinical genetics department may be considered and should contact one of the programme directors for further advice.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 7.0; no subtest less than 7.0
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ibt, my best or athome)

  • 100 with minimum R 24, L 24, S 23, W 27.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test, this includes TOEFL mybest.

PTE (Academic or Academic Online)

  • 70 with minimum 70 in all subtests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) 

  • 185 overall, no subtest less than 185
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

 

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form

International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.

How to apply

You must provide with your application a personal statement (maximum 500 words) that concisely discusses (i) your most relevant experience(s) in a care context & what you gained as a result (250 words), and (ii) why you want to become a genetic counsellor & why you think you would be a good genetic counsellor (250 words).

To complete your online application you will need to upload:

  • Your BSc / BN degree certificate PLUS transcript of results from your degree (do NOT upload any pre-University results). Note that preference will be given to applicants who have already completed their BSc / BN and can therefore demonstrate final attainment level.
  • CV (2 pages maximum) which includes a summary of your work experience in care of vulnerable adults and / or children.
  • Your personal statement (see above).
  • Reference letters from your two referees (ideally one academic and one in relation to your work in a care context).
  • (If proof of English level is required) Certificate of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent must be uploaded with the application in order for your application to be considered. 

Queries to mvls-gencounselling@glasgow.ac.uk.

Application deadlines

The next intake for this course will be September 2024. Applications will open in October 2023.