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What is Genetic Counselling?

Learn about genetic counselling and what genetic counsellors do with this online course for healthcare professionals.

What is Genetic Counselling?
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • Digital upgradeFree

Understand the role of genetic counselling in the genomic era

Who are genetic counsellors? Who has genetic counselling and what does a genetic counsellor do? On this course, you will find the answers to these questions whilst learning about the role of genetic counselling in healthcare in the genomic era.

You will discover why people seek genetic counselling and how it compares in different contexts and countries. You will explore the main skills and knowledge genetic counsellors need, as well as their key responsibilities to patients. You will discuss the ethical issues of genetic counselling, and its opportunities and challenges for the future.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsGenetic technology is set to revolutionise health care. And genetic counsellors are at the heart of this But to many, this profession's a mystery. So what is it, exactly, that genetic counsellors do? We'll be explaining more about the role. And we'll be using case studies, we'll be asking, what would you do? We will learn how genetic counsellors practise in the United Kingdom and around the world. We'll also be learning something about the ethical issues raised by genetic technology. And we'll also be looking forward to the future of the profession. So join us and discover, what is genetic counselling?

What topics will you cover?

  • Why people would see a genetic counsellor
  • Some of a genetic counsellor’s key tasks
  • A genetic counsellor’s key skills and knowledge: counselling skills, medical and scientific knowledge
  • Ethical issues in genetic counselling
  • What the future might hold for genetic counsellors

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify why people have genetic counselling and the different contexts in which people receive genetic counselling
  • Describe the different skills and knowledge needed by genetic counsellors
  • Compare genetic counselling in different contexts and different countries
  • Reflect on some ethical issues that arise in genetic counselling
  • Discuss the role of genetic counselling in healthcare as we enter the ‘genomic era'

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for healthcare professionals, clinicians, biomedical research scientists, and anyone curious about genetic counselling.

Although not required, a basic knowledge of genetics, genetic testing technologies, and inheritance patterns would help support your learning on this course.

“This introductory course provides an excellent overview of the practice of genetic counselling. We recommend the course as a useful resource for all Year 1 STP students on the MSc Genomic Counselling Programme at the University of Manchester.
The course is also highly relevant to any clinician or scientist wanting to know more about the role of a genetic counsellor. The interactive style provides an opportunity to connect with course members and genetic counsellors around the world.” - Dr Rhona MacLeod, Consultant Genetic Counsellor, Pathway Lead MSc Genomic Counselling

What software or tools do you need?

No specific software, hardware or other resources are required to complete the course.

Who will you learn with?

Anna Middleton

Anna Middleton

Past Chair of Association of Genetic Nurses & Counsellors, UK + ROI; Head of Society and Ethics Research, Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge; trained in genetic counselling University of Manchester

Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts

I am a pre-registation genetic counsellor at Addenbrooke's Hospital. I am also a Staff Scientist at the Wellcome Genome Campus. I conduct my research within the Society and Ethics Research group.

Who developed the course?

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences provides open postgraduate courses and conferences focused on biomedicine.

Wellcome Genome Campus Society and Ethics Research

We use quantitative and qualitative research methods to investigate the social and ethical impact of genomics.

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What's included?

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible