Postgraduate taught 

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

MSc Genetic and Genomic Counselling at the University of Glasgow

A genetic counsellor provides a information and support to individuals and families affected by genetic conditions. Our MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling is 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

  • NUMBER 3 in the UK for Medicine (Complete University Guide 2020)
  • The aim of this programme 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.
  • The University of Glasgow Medical Genetics Teaching Staff won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering), to recognise and reward excellence and good practice; they were also finalists in the 2013 awards and are finalists in the category of "Outstanding support for students" in The Herald Higher Education Awards for Scotland in association with UWS 2016.
  • 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 in 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

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 placements 1 & 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 & 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.

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.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2020-21

MSc(MedSci)

Home and EU

  • Full-time fee: £11000

International

  • Full-time fee: £25170

Fees are payable per annum.

Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only

Deposits terms & conditions

The University requires a deposit to be paid by applicants in receipt of an offer to this programmes and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.

If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant decides to go to another institution.
  2. Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
  3. Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
  4. Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
  5. Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry. 

Refund requests must be made within 60 days of the programme start date stated on your offer letter: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.


Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £360
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £340
  • Registration/exam only fee: £160

Funding opportunities

The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences)

The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.

All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.

More Information

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

More Information

Alumni Discount

The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. 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.

More Information

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re starting a master’s degree, you could get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,609 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.

Examples of postgraduate master’s qualifications include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Art)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

If you plan to study for Master of Architecture (MArch) or an Integrated Master’s qualification, you should apply for undergraduate support

More Information

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 to us for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500. 

Please see the Postgraduate funding guide.

For more information visit the SAAS website

More Information

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

More Information

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering 4 scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2019. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £4,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria please see the Residential Services section on the website.

We are also offering 4 scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.

More Information

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.

More Information

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.

More Information

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):

  • overall score 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 100; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 24
    • Listening: 24
    • Speaking: 23
    • Writing: 27
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 185; no sub-test less than 185
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 185; no sub-test less than 185
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 70; no sub-test less than 70
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEIII at Pass with Pass in all sub-tests

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 an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test 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:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form


 

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 med-sch-medgen-msc@glasgow.ac.uk.

Application deadline

  • 31st March 2020

Applications are for entry in September 2020. Deferred entry is not available as an option, so you should only apply if you would accept an offer of a place to start the programme in September 2020. 

Apply now