Why join the course?
This free online course will provide healthcare professionals with a basic grounding in genomic medicine. It will introduce you to new genomic technologies, which are revolutionising medicine and will, in time, provide the mainstay of patient diagnosis, treatment and disease prevention.
Discover the potential of genetics in healthcare
The course will give you an awareness of genomic technologies and the data they generate. With ready access to genomic data promised by transformational NHS initiatives such as the 100,000 Genomes Project, genomic data will be integral to all sectors of medicine.
By the end of the course, you will understand the power and the challenges associated with these new technologies and data, enabling you to make appropriate referrals and evidence-based management decisions, and use genomic results for patient benefit, without compromising patient safety.
Learn with experts in clinical genetics and education
The course draws on the experience of experts in clinical genetics and education at St George’s, University of London, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Genomics Education Programme from Health Education England.
As clinical geneticists who undertake diagnosis and care of patients with genetic conditions on a regular basis, the course educators are able to explain the relevance of novel technologies to clinical practice both now and in the future.
Demonstrate your continuing professional development (CPD)
The course has been approved for distance-learning continuing professional development (CPD) by the:
- Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath): for 10 CPD credits.
To qualify for these CPD credits, you will need a Certificate of Achievement as evidence of completing the course. This online course was created in May 2015 and has been revised regularly.
Continue learning with the Genomics in Healthcare program
This course is the first of three in the Genomics in Healthcare program from St George’s, University of London. Completing all of the courses will enable you to study genomic technologies at a postgraduate level, whether for CPD or as a gateway to further study.
What topics will you cover?
- DNA, genes, chromosomes and the human genome;
- Normal genetic variation;
- Genetic variation and disease: genetic mutations and chromosome abnormalities;
- The inheritance of genetic conditions;
- Emerging genomic technologies including next generation sequencing;
- The interpretation of genomic data;
- The application of genomics to clinical practice;
- Communicating genomic information to patients;
- The legal and ethical implications associated with the use of genomic data.
When would you like to start?
Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of human genetics; the human genome, DNA, chromosomes, and genes
- Describe the normal processes of cell division, transcription and translation within a human cell
- Evaluate the mechanisms for the introduction of variation into the human genome, including normal genetic variation and disease causing variation
- Compare the characteristics of somatic mutations vs constitutional mutations within the human genome
- Discuss the different mechanisms by which errors in the genetic code can lead to disease
- Explore the impact of a genetic condition on the lives of patients
- Compare the different technologies used to interrogate the human genome and describe the types of genetic variation which can be identified by different technological approaches
- Reflect upon the myriad clinical applications of genomic technology, their benefits and limitations and how they impact on clinical practice and the development of personalised medicine
- Explore the challenges involved in accurate and effective communication in genomics
- Debate the ethical and legal implications that are presented by the new era of genomics
Who is the course for?
This course is aimed at current healthcare professionals, who are interested in learning more about the fundamentals of genetics and how genomic technologies are transforming medical practice.
If you’re a healthcare professional, you may find it useful to upgrade this course to support your continuing professional development (CPD). By upgrading, you’ll be able to take this course at your own pace and revisit the material at any time in future. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement as evidence of your CPD. This includes details of what you learnt, the number of learning hours required and the CPD credits achieved.
It is not essential to have previous genetic knowledge or experience, although medical terminology is used and the course is designed to be applicable to clinical practice.
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