New Master of Genetic Counselling from 2011
The Discipline of Genetic Medicine is pleased to announce that a new Professional Masters Degree in Genetic Counselling to be conducted out of the Northern Clinical School (Sydney Medical School – Northern) has been launched to meet the challenges of genetic medicine.
The two year, full-time 96 credit point (CP) course for a small cohort of domestic and international graduate students will begin under the leadership of Professor David Sillence, Head of the Discipline of Genetic Medicine, Sydney Medical School and A/Professor Kristine Barlow-Stewart, Sydney Medical School-Northern and Director, Centre for Genetics Education, Royal North Shore Hospital.
Highlights of the course include a 36 CP Clinical Practice component with a minimum of 13 weeks full time clinical placement, and 200 hours of Reflective Practice. The findings form their 27 CP Research Project will be presented by the students as a finale to the program. Interstate and international students can complete the fourth semester in their home clinical context with suitable arrangements for supervision can be negotiated.
The home for the program – the wonderfully equipped Kolling Building at Royal North Shore Hospital - provides an apt setting for the teaching of the genetic science and the communication skills essential for the role of a genetic counsellor.
At a February 2010 count, 156 Genetic Counsellors are currently employed in Australia and New Zealand, 60 of those largely in NSW Health Genetics Services or private health practices in assisted reproduction in New South Wales.
The course will meet the soon-to-be-published Accreditation Criteria for Master of Genetic Counselling programs by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA). The University of Melbourne is the only other institution in Australasia currently providing a 2 year graduate genetic counselling program. The Sydney Medical School program will go beyond the one year courses previously provided by Newcastle and Charles Sturt Universities. Placements with major genetic counselling facilities and community organisations representing patients with rare genetic disorders will be required.
Inquiries are welcome at the following contacts:
Professor David Sillence:
Associate Professor Kristine Barlow-Stewart: or
• Detailed course information