University of Technology Sydney

C04374v2 Master of Genetic Counselling

Award(s): Master of Genetic Counselling (MGenCouns)
UAC code: 940926 (Autumn B session)
CRICOS code: 098052M
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 96
Course EFTSL: 2
Location: City campus

Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Rules and regulations
Professional recognition
Other information


The two-year, graduate entry coursework Master of Genetic Counselling is the entry-level qualification for work as a genetic counsellor. This program is developed and delivered by experienced genetic counsellors, supported by expert learning designers, broad consultation with the genetic counselling profession and a skilled Curriculum Advisory Committee.

The program is delivered in a way that actively supports students to study from their home areas by utilising a combination of asynchronous interactive online learning and synchronous weekly, timetabled ‘live and online’ classes, supported with a week-long block each session. Expert guest lecturers participate throughout the course, ensuring relevance and real-world application of coursework. Block learning takes place in the Graduate School of Health's education and research facility at UTS City campus or online.

Alongside the coursework, students participate in clinical placements, sourced by UTS, throughout the two-year program. Placements are offered in a variety of settings in Australasia and may include the option of an approved international placement for interested students. Placements are supported by weekly reflective practice supervision. Students undertake research training to equip them with the skills to provide evidence-based care, talk with clients about research participation and findings and seek opportunities for higher degree research in the future.

Course aims

The course prepares graduates to work as culturally safe, competent, evidence-based client-centred genetic counsellors. Graduates are prepared to work in both the public and private system, and in positions in laboratories, biotech companies, research, policy and education.

Career options

Genetic counsellors have specialist knowledge in human genetics and genomics, counselling and health communication. With rapid developments in genetics and genomics, there is a growing number of newer opportunities for genetic counsellors in the coming years. Career options include clinical roles in public and private settings, research, education, policy, and laboratory and biotech company genetic counselling roles.

Course intended learning outcomes

1.1 Apply evidence-based genetic and genomic health care to practice across a variety of settings.
1.2 Apply professional self-awareness through self-reflection to enhance their practice in genetic and genomic counselling to improve client outcomes.
2.1 Integrate a critical awareness of cultural and societal diversity and disparity in health care into clinical practice.
2.2 Demonstrate respect and value for diverse ways of knowing, being and doing, in particular recognising the diversity of Indigenous Australians while critically reflecting upon the impact of ongoing colonisation and its pervasive discourse on their health and wellbeing, and integrating this knowledge into practice.
3.1 Engage and build relationships with people from all walks of life and across diverse communities.
4.1 Use well-developed research skills to enhance clinical practice through an ability to critically appraise literature and to answer clinical questions.
5.1 Provide education about genetics and genomics to a wide variety of audiences.
5.2 Embody the core tenets of the genetic counselling profession, demonstrating professional and ethical behaviour and positively responding to the changing technological environment.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS recognised bachelor's degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or submitted other evidence of general and professional qualifications that demonstrates potential to pursue graduate studies.

In addition to a completed Bachelor degree, applicants must have also completed the following subjects at a tertiary level within the last 10 years and must provide relevant subject outlines with their application:

  • one biology subject (to first year undergraduate level)
  • one human genetics subject (to second or third year undergraduate level, or equivalent)

For prerequisite checking, students must provide a copy of the subject or unit descriptions from the university handbook (or equivalent) of the university where they completed the subjects. If students are unsure whether the previous study meets prerequisite requirements, they can submit the subject outlines for pre-assessment via email.

Applicants must also provide the following.

  • At least two, and no more than three written references as evidence of relevant voluntary/paid work experience in a caring role. Referees may include: teacher/lecturer/academic, employer/supervisor of paid work, supervisor of peer counselling/volunteer work/placement. Referees should include a statement regarding how long they have known the applicant and the capacity in which they know the applicant. Referees are asked to comment on the applicant's character, ability, and suitability to be a genetic counsellor. The references should be submitted as a PDF and, where possible, include the signature of the referee.
  • A personal statement of up to 1000 words. The personal statement should describe the skills and qualities applicants bring to a career in genetic counselling and explain how they meet the selection criteria. Applicants should also include a statement confirming that this is their own work.

Selected applicants are required to undertake a short interview with a panel and final offers are dependent upon interview rank. Applicants are assessed in the areas of communication skills, interpersonal skills, interest in genetic counselling, and commitment to genetic counselling as a career.

Professional and clinical requirements

All successful applicants are required to:

  1. acquire a Working With Children Check and an Australian National Police Check
  2. complete a series of NSW Health forms including a Code of Conduct, and
  3. demonstrate evidence of protection against a number of specified infectious diseases.

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 7.0 overall with a writing score of 7.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 584-609 overall with TWE of 5.0, internet based: 94-101 overall with a writing score of 27; or AE6: Pass; or PTE: 65-72; or CAE: 185-190.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

International students

Visa requirement: To obtain a student visa to study in Australia, international students must enrol full time and on campus. Australian student visa regulations also require international students studying on student visas to complete the course within the standard full-time duration. Students can extend their courses only in exceptional circumstances.


Local students

Domestic applicants can apply directly.

Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as first round applications close on 31 October, and there is no guarantee that there will be further rounds.

International students

International applicants apply via UTS: International.

International applicants, in addition to the above requirements, are required to obtain a police certificate/criminal clearance from every country they have resided in. If a country does not issue police certificates/criminal clearances, applicants are required to complete a Statutory Declaration for Overseas Students.

Course duration and attendance

The course is offered as a two-year, full-time degree. Students are not permitted to enrol part time. In addition to coursework and clinical placements during sessions, students may be required to undertake clinical placements during mid-session breaks.

Course structure

This course comprises a total of 96 credit points. Students must complete a total of eight 6-credit-point coursework subjects, four 6-credit-point research subjects and four 6-credit-point clinical placement subjects.

Course completion requirements

STM91274 Core subjects (Genetic Counselling) 96cp
Total 96cp

Course program

A typical course program is provided below.

Autumn B commencing, full time
Year 1
Autumn B Session
96104 Communication and Counselling   6cp
96103 Medical Genetics and Genomics in Practice   6cp
96102 Research Methods in Genetic Counselling   6cp
96105 Clinical and Community Placement 1   6cp
Spring B Session
96110 Genetic Counselling   6cp
96108 Research Project 1   6cp
96109 Research Issues in Genetic Counselling   6cp
96099 Genetic Counselling Clinical Placement 2   6cp
Year 2
Autumn B Session
96107 Advanced Communication and Counselling   6cp
96106 Application of Genetics and Genomics   6cp
96114 Research Project 2   6cp
96100 Genetic Counselling Clinical Placement 3   6cp
Spring B Session
96113 Advanced Genetic Counselling   6cp
96111 Genetics and Genomics in Society   6cp
96112 Advanced Professional Practice   6cp
96101 Genetic Counselling Clinical Placement 4   6cp

Rules and regulations

Inherent Requirements are academic and non-academic requirements that are inherent in or essential to the successful completion of a course. The inherent requirements framework for the Master of Genetic Counselling is based on the following six themes:

  1. Legal and Behavioural Requirements;
  2. Communication Tasks – verbal; written; non-verbal;
  3. Cognitive/Intellectual Tasks – literacy; numeracy; knowledge and information;
  4. Sensory Tasks – visual; auditory; tactile;
  5. Physical Tasks – gross and fine motor requirements; and
  6. Sustainable Performance.

It is a requirement of this course to complete a number of clinical placements. Clinical placements involve a genetic counselling student going into a clinical setting to undertake the practical components of the course required for registration. If a student has a condition or disability that prevents them from completing a placement, completion of the degree may be hindered. Students should consult the full inherent requirements.

Professional recognition

A two-year Master of Genetic Counselling from a program accredited by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) is required in order to apply for Board Eligible status through the HGSA. Board Eligible candidates complete a portfolio of work in order to complete certification as a genetic counsellor and become a Fellow of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (FHGSA).

The UTS Master of Genetic Counselling is accredited by the HGSA.

Other information

Register to attend an information session and/or contact:

UTS: Genetic Counselling
telephone +61 2 9514 1448