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Introduction to Genetic Counselling

$ 1,500.00


30 September




6 wks


Avg 10 hrs/wk

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Meet the expert

Dr Alison McEwen

Dr Alison McEwen
Professor, Graduate School of Health

Alison was the Head of the Department for a number of years and founder of the Master of Genetic Counselling in the Graduate School of Health. She came to UTS from Genetic Health Services New Zealand, where she worked as a senior genetic counsellor.

Alison has held several positions with the Australasian Society of Genetic Counsellors (ASGC) and the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) during the past ten years, including chairing the ASGC between 2014-2016, and the HGSA Board of Censors in Genetic Counselling when the training and certification guidelines underwent a substantial review. She was involved in the accreditation of Master of Genetic Counselling training programs and a member of a working group that prepared the application for professional regulation of genetic counsellors. Alison was also president of the HGSA from 2021-23, the second genetic counsellor to hold this key role. Research interests include genetic counsellor education and training and the ways in which genetic counsellors roles are evolving.

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Genetic and genomic technology is increasingly embedded in all aspects of healthcare, requiring healthcare professionals to develop genetic counselling skills. This microcredential equips you with skills-based learning and resources, preparing you to provide evidence-based genetic counselling.

About this microcredential

During this microcredential you will learn core communication skills and practices, including documenting and using family history, and integrating cultural safety into genetic counselling practices. You will become equipped to speak with clients and families about genetic conditions and will be introduced to a cultural safety framework, reflecting on the skills needed to work with people from diverse communities.

Each week you will undertake self-paced online study to familiarise yourself with skills used in genetic counselling. In addition, you will attend weekly, live Zoom sessions where you will interact with professional colleagues and academic genetic counsellors to develop and practice new skills and apply your acquired knowledge to case studies.  

Key benefits of this microcredential

This microcredential has been designed to equip you to:

  • Apply major psychotherapeutic counselling theories to genetic counselling practice
  • Develop and use core counselling skills including active listening, attending, reflecting, clarifying and summarising
  • Collect, draw and enter family history information to complete a family tree
  • Engage in conversations about family communication
  • Reflect on genetic counselling practice
  • Utilise cultural safety frameworks for genetic counselling practice
  • Apply knowledge of Indigenous experience to genetic counselling practice.

This microcredential aligns with the 3-credit point subject, Introduction to Genetic Counselling (96849) in the Graduate Certificate in Genetic Counselling Skills (C11375). This microcredential may qualify for recognition of prior learning at this and other institutions.

Digital badge and certificate digital badge example for UTS Open short courses

A digital badge and certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the relevant assessment requirements and attainment of learning outcomes of the microcredential.  

Learn more about UTS Open digital badges.

Who should do this microcredential?

This microcredential is suitable for healthcare professionals, including nurses and allied healthcare professionals looking to develop genetic counselling skills. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Nurses
  • Scientists, researchers and research assistants working in genomic research
  • Laboratory scientists supporting referrers who are ordering genomic testing
  • Students and graduates interested in studying genetic counselling
  • Healthcare managers wanting to learn more about genomic healthcare.


Full price: $1,728 (GST-free)*

Special price: $1,500 (GST-free)*

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase.

Discounts are available for this course. For further details and to verify if you qualify, please check the Discounts section under Additional course information

Enrolment conditions

Course purchase is subject to UTS Open Terms and Conditions. 

COVID-19 response 

UTS complies with latest Government health advice. Delivery of all courses complies with the UTS response to COVID-19.

Course outline

This course is structured into 4 modules. Each module includes self-study materials and facilitated live and online skills-based sessions (on Zoom).

Module 1: Introduction to communication and counselling skills for genetic counselling (weeks 1-2)

Module 2: Family history and family communication (weeks 3-4)

Module 3: Cultural safety frameworks for genetic counselling practice (week 5)

Module 4: Putting it all together: Applying communication skills to genetic counselling practice (week 6).

Course learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this microcredential, you should be able to:

  • Use core counselling skills in genetic counselling
  • Collect and document a family history
  • Converse with clients/patients and other healthcare professionals about family communication
  • Use cultural safety frameworks in genetic counselling practice.


Participants will be assessed individually across the following two tasks during the course:

Task 1: Response to Case Studies (weight 40%) 

You are required to complete a series of three short case studies during the The tasks are designed to encourage you to practice and reflect on communication skills, and test and apply your knowledge.

Task 2: Part A: Counselling skills demonstration task; Part B: Reflection (weight 60%)

Communication and counselling skills are essential to the effective provision of genetic and genomic healthcare. This task requires you to use the knowledge and skills acquired during this course to record a short demonstration of your use of core counselling skills, then watch the recording and write a brief reflection.




  • To complete this online course, you will need a personal computer with adequate internet access and sufficient software and bandwidth to support web conferencing. You will also require an operating system with a web browser compatible with Canvas and Zoom.


  • Background knowledge of genetics and genomics, including patterns of inheritance is desirable for participants in this course.  


  • Participants are strongly encouraged to attend the weekly, live Zoom classes where there will be opportunities to practice genetic counselling skills, prepare for assessment tasks and ask questions.  


Discounts are available for this course as follows: 

  • Discounted price of $1,350 (GST-free)* for 6 or more enrolments from the same organisation.

Discounts cannot be combined and only one discount can be applied per person per course session. Discounts can only be applied to the full price. Discounts cannot be applied to any offered special price. 

How to obtain your discount

To obtain your discount code, please contact UTS Open Support at with:

  • your organisation name, and
  • the 6+ staff names and email addresses for your group enrolment.

How to apply your discount voucher 

  • Add this course to your cart 
  • Click on "View Cart" (blue shopping trolley at top right of screen). You will need to sign in or sign up to UTS Open 
  • Enter your eligible code beneath the “Have a code?” prompt and click on the blue "Apply" button 
  • Verify your voucher code has been successfully applied before clicking on the blue "Checkout" button. 

Contact us

  • For any questions about course content, delivery, progression or requirements, please email Alison McEwen at  
  • For any questions about enrolment or payment, please email UTS Open Support at

Book a session

Mon 30 Sep 2024-
Fri 08 Nov 2024
Expert: Dr Alison McEwen
  • Click on the underlined sessions and hours total link below to reveal specific session details.
  • Online
  • 6 sessions, 12 hours total

Enrolments close at 5pm on Friday, 20 September 2024 (AEST), or when all places have been filled, whichever occurs first.

Learners are encouraged to attend a minimum of 85% of the online classes which are live, interactive and an opportunity to discuss issues, ask questions, practice skills and get the most out of this microcredential.


Acknowledgement of Country

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.