1. Handbook
  2. Courses
  3. Master of Genetic Counselling
  4. Attributes, outcomes and skills

Master of Genetic Counselling (MC-GENCOUN) // Attributes, outcomes and skills

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks

Professional accreditation

The Master of Genetic Counselling constitutes the professional qualification for entry into employment as an Associate Genetic Counsellor and for Part 1 Certification, awarded through the Board of Censors in Genetic Counselling (Human Genetics Society of Australasia)

Intended learning outcomes


  • demonstrate expert knowledge of human genetics & genomics
  • demonstrate expert knowledge of counselling theories relevant to genetic counselling practice
  • illustrate awareness and understanding of research methods for use in in healthcare settings


  • display competence in communicating genetic and genomic concepts
  • display mastery of empathic, client focused counselling, communication and advocacy skills
  • demonstrate skills in designing, developing, carrying out and presenting research

Application of knowledge and skills

  • apply comprehensive knowledge of genetics and genomics in order to analyse, interpret and convey health information to clients and other health professionals;
  • implement best practice interpersonal and counselling skills to deliver client centred, empathetic and respectful care within a socially and culturally diverse environment;
  • contribute evidence based genetics and counselling expertise to multidisciplinary clinical teams;
  • display behaviour in keeping with relevant ethical, legal and professional standards;
  • design and manage genetic counselling related research projects and training programs;
  • critically review and reflect on personal performance in the professional environment;
  • identify future learning needs in order to maintain an expert knowledge level and high quality client care;
  • be able to contribute to the genetic counselling knowledge base and support the ongoing development of the genetic counselling profession
  • demonstrate readiness for further development of skills and competencies in line with professional guidelines from the Human Genetics Society of Australia (HGSA)

Graduate attributes

Academic Distinction

The Master of Genetic Counselling provides graduates with

  • in-depth knowledge of the advancing discipline of genomics
  • skills in explaining complex genetic concepts to individuals and families to promote informed decision making
  • ability to provide non-directive and non-judgemental psychosocial support

Graduates will be critical thinkers with strong reasoning skills to address challenges in their workplaces and communities. They can apply genomics knowledge, information and research skills to complex problems in a range of contexts and are effective oral and written communicators. Graduates are adept lifelong learners.

Active citizenship

Master of Genetic Counselling graduates will have engaged with contemporary local, national and global genomics issues. They have a high regard for human rights, social inclusion, ethics and the environment. Graduates are aware of the social and cultural diversity in communities and can work collaboratively with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In particular, they have an understanding of and deep respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture and values.

The Melbourne experience supports a commitment to civic service in graduates' lives and careers, equipping them to be active, well-informed citizens who make substantial contributions to society. Graduates have the potential to be leaders in their professions and communities, with the capacity to work effectively across disciplines and cultures. Through advocacy and innovation they are able to lead change for a sustainable future.

Integrity and self-awareness

Master of Genetic Counselling graduates are motivated, self-directed and well-organised, with the ability to set goals and manage time and priorities. They are able to work effectively both independently and in groups. They are also highly self-aware and reflective, with skills in self-assessment, and place great importance on their personal and professional integrity.