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Counselling Skills for Genetic Healthcare

This course is designed to enable development of your counselling skills through providing or strengthening the theoretical underpinnings to your counselling and through extensive practical work.

You will develop competence to support service users through periods of loss, when making an adjustment to the genetic condition or their genetic status, or when making life decisions related to the genetic condition.

We also offer this non-accredited CPD course as a credit-bearing Postgraduate taught (PGT) standalone module, which includes assessment and coursework requirements. If you would prefer to study the full module (20 credits), you can find module information and application details on the course page.

Please note that places are not transferable so you will need to choose your study route (CPD non-accredited course or credit-bearing PGT module) before the programme begins. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss which option is best suited to your requirements and we’ll be happy to help.

No upcoming dates available

There are currently no upcoming dates available for this course, but you can . We will be in touch when a new course date is scheduled.

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Who it’s for

This Masters-level module is aimed at practitioners who work with individuals or families who have or are at risk of a genetic condition, in any setting. It is suitable for those working as genetic counsellors, for other health professionals working with individuals or families affected by a genetic condition (e.g. haemophilia, haemoglobinopathy, familial cancer, inherited cardiac conditions) and for professionals offering screening for genetic conditions.

What you’ll learn

You will develop competence to support service users through periods of loss, when making an adjustment to the genetic condition or their genetic status or when making life decisions related to the genetic condition.  At the end of the course, you will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate understanding of counselling theory in relation to genetic healthcare.
  • Understand the use of counselling techniques in relation to genetic healthcare.
  • Understand ethical principles relevant to genetic healthcare.

Cognitive/intellectual skills

  • Synthesise evidence regarding the practice of genetic counselling to inform best practice
  • Integrate ethical principles into counselling practice.
  • Evaluate and act on situations in which referral to another health practitioner may be indicated.
  • Apply an awareness of the impact of his or her own personal or professional issues on the counselling relationship.
  • Utilise relevant counselling theories in the practice of counselling in a genetic context.

Practical skills

  • Use a range of skills and competences to conduct a counselling consultation in a safe and appropriate manner.
  • Engage constructively in peer supervision.

Topics covered

The course provides or strengthens the theoretical underpinnings to the student’s counselling and includes extensive practical work to develop counselling skills.

You will practise and develop a number of skills, particularly practical counselling and communication techniques.This module will be delivered face-to-face in one four-day residential teaching block.

The teaching sessions actively involve participants throughout, encouraging engagement, contribution and reflection from students and interaction within the group.


The teaching sessions will comprise lectures, group discussion, experiential exercises and skills practice involving role play and case discussion.

The style of delivery significantly contributes to the development of practical skills and enhances opportunities for shared learning, also contributing to a strong group identity which facilitates learning in this context.

A strong, supportive environment also creates an atmosphere in which personal and professional reflection is nurtured alongside development of the participants’ skills base and theoretical understanding.

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