Research course

Genetic Counselling

University of Melbourne
MA by research

Entry requirements

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • an undergraduate degree with a cognate genetics subject at second year level, or equivalent; and
  • a personal statement; and
  • at least 1 year of demonstrated, relevant volunteer or professional experience; and
  • three written, signed references to attest to volunteer/work experience and ability; and
  • an interview (which may be restricted to shortlisted applicants)
  • Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and
  • the personal statement; and
  • demonstrated, relevant volunteer or professional experience; and
  • referee reports; and
  • the interview

Months of entry


Course content

In Australasia, genetic counsellors are allied health professionals who work in partnership with clinical geneticists or other medical specialists, often as part of a multidisciplinary team that may include other allied health professionals and/or scientists.

Genetic counselling is a communication process that aims to help individuals, couples and families understand and adapt to the implications of a genetic contribution to a health condition.

The role of a genetic counsellor includes:

  • provision of risk information to individuals/families,
  • education about a genetic condition to individuals/families/health professionals
  • counselling to individuals/families to promote informed health care decision making
  • psychosocial support to individuals/families who have a history of a genetic condition

The Master of Genetic Counselling is a professionally accredited coursework degree, completed full time over two years.

Learn from leading industry experts

Teaching staff are primarily practicing genetic counsellors, scientists and clinicians within the field of clinical genetics health care and research. Community support groups and individuals/families with personal/family experience of genetics also provide expertise to the teaching and placements in the course.


Graduating with a Master of Genetic Counselling meets the requirements for entry level professional employment as an associate genetic counsellor, and for Board Eligible certification, awarded through the Board of Censors in Genetic Counselling (Human Genetics Society of Australasia). The attainment of Board Certification requires the submission of a portfolio of work, completed whilst employed as an associate genetic counsellor (

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA by research
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

University of Melbourne
+61 3 9035 5511