University of Technology Sydney

C11375v1 Graduate Certificate in Genetic Counselling Skills

Award(s): Graduate Certificate in Genetic Counselling Skills (GradCertGenCounsSkills)
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 24
Course EFTSL: 0.5
Location: Distance

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


The Graduate Certificate in Genetic Counselling Skills is an online skills-based qualification providing access to training to enhance the provision of genomic healthcare. This program is developed and delivered by experienced genetic counsellors, genetic counselling experts and online educators, supported by expert learning designers, and a skilled Curriculum Development Committee.

The focus of the Graduate Certificate is on communication skill development, the application of genetics and genomics for clinical care and the delivery of genetic counselling. This program is designed with working professionals in mind. Each week students complete readings, watch videos and participate in online discussion boards, all in their own time. Students come to an interactive online class where they practice new skills, applying their learning to a range of situations.

Students study from their hometown, while interacting with a global community of learners and experts who are passionate about genetic counselling and the skills required to deliver genomic healthcare.

Virtual clinical placement subjects provide opportunities to apply genetic counselling skills in simulated clinics, working with a team of students and clinical educators. The virtual clinical placement subjects offer unique opportunities to develop skills across several core genetic counselling activities. Students work with a team of students and clinical educators.

Course aims

The course prepares graduates to communicate complex genetic and genomic information to individuals, families, and healthcare professionals. Graduates are prepared to participate in the provision of evidence-based, culturally sensitive, person-centred genetic and genomic healthcare in a wide range of settings.

Career options

The use of genomic medicine is expanding rapidly. Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Genetic Counselling Skills will follow a range of career pathways. Some graduates will take their knowledge and expertise into the field of human genetics and genomics where they are already working as allied healthcare professionals, nurses, medical specialists, researchers and laboratory specialists. Others will use the qualification as a starting point to establish the profession of genetic counsellors in countries where the profession is emerging. Graduates will use their skills in research, education, industry and policy positions.

Course intended learning outcomes

1.1 Contribute to the delivery and practice of evidence-based genetic and genomic health care.
1.2 Engage in reflective practice relating to professional genetic counselling practice.
2.1 Evaluate and synthesise knowledge of Indigenous contexts and apply principles of cultural safety including reflective practice to work effectively with and for Indigenous Australians across genetic counselling.
2.2 Engage in appropriate and effective relationships with people from diverse communities whilst demonstrating awareness of cultural and societal diversity and disparity in healthcare.
3.1 Facilitate appropriate and ethical implementation of genomic healthcare by interpreting and communicating information provided by genetic and genomic technology in a supportive manner with individuals, families, healthcare professionals and the wider community.
4.1 Demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour within the delivery of genetic and genomic health care.

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, applicants must meet all the following criteria:

a) Previous qualification to be completed with a GPA equal to or above 4/7, and

b) Applicants must have also completed at least one subject at tertiary level within the last ten years from the list below; and

  • Human Genetics
  • Genetics
  • Genomics

c) Provide evidence of:

  • Relevant voluntary/paid work experience with people (preferably in a healthcare setting)

Evidence to be demonstrated through a CV and statement of service.

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64 with a writing score of 50; or C1A/C2P: 176-184 with a writing score of 169.

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.

International students

International applicants apply via UTS: International.

Course duration and attendance

The course is offered on a half-year, or one-year, part-time basis.

Students may enrol in one subject at a time and complete the graduate certificate in a 12 month period or may enrol in two subjects at a time and complete in a 6 month period. The workload per subject is 6-10 hours per week.

Course structure

Students must complete 24 credit points made up of eight three credit point subjects. Two of the subjects are virtual clinical placements. Students select two elective subjects.

Course completion requirements

STM91858 Core Subjects (Genetic Counselling Skills) 24cp
Total 24cp

Course program

The following example shows a typical full-time program.

August commencing
Year 1
August session
96849 Introduction to Genetic Counselling   3cp
96850 Virtual Clinical Placement 1   3cp
September Session
96851 Genetics and Genomics for Clinical Care   3cp
96852 Practical Skills in Genetic Counselling   3cp
October session
96853 Genetic Counselling: Preparing for the workplace   3cp
96854 Virtual Clinical Placement 2   3cp
November Session
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
96855 Laboratory Genetic Counselling 3cp  
96856 Cancer Genetic Counselling 3cp  
96857 Education, Ethics and Social Issues in Genetic Counselling 3cp  

Professional recognition

Graduates will be equipped to use genetic counselling skills in the provision of information obtained from genetic and genomic healthcare. Graduates will not be eligible to register or practice as a genetic counsellor in Australia or New Zealand, unless they go on to complete a Master of Genetic Counselling that is accredited by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia for registration as a genetic counsellor.

Other information

Register to attend an information session and/or contact:

UTS: Genetic Counselling
telephone +61 2 9514 1448