MSc IN GENETIC COUNSELLING

The MSc programme in Genetic Counselling is designed to provide cutting edge training in genetics while fostering a strong foundation in counselling. This programme is the first in Ghana and the rest of West Africa.

  • Background And Objectives
  • Course Details
  • Course Structure
  • Faculty
  • Programme
  • Fellowship
  • Intended Outcomes
  • Apply

Aim

The aim of the proposed MSc programme in Genetic Counselling is to provide cutting edge training in the science of genetics while fostering a strong foundation in counselling.

Objectives

The programme is intended to achieve the following objectives:

    1. Provide students with in-depth understanding in genetics necessary to support clients (individuals, families, patients, and communities) with accurate explanations of the genetic bases of inherited diseases and those acquired through somatic mutations.
    2. Empower students to competently and professionally explain to clients, genetic screening procedures for different types of conditions as well as the biopsychosocial implications of genetic disorders and risks.
    3. Introduce students to the fundamental aspects of genomics and bioinformatics that underpin clinical practice.
    4. Equip students with essential psychological principles and skills in communicating complex health information to clients of varied socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
    5. Prepare students to offer ethical and professional genetic counselling services with the ability to competently manage ethical, legal, and social issues that may arise in practice.
    6. Offer the opportunity for students to pursue specializations in genetic counselling and other career pathways including genetics education, public advocacy, and research.
    7. Train postgraduates capable of addressing the clinical, laboratory, psychosocial, educational, and research needs of individuals, families, societies, and other healthcare professionals and trainees in ways that meet national and international standards in genetic counselling.

ACCREDITATION
The programme has been approved by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC). Accreditation panel visitation has been completed. Final accreditation is pending.

COURSE DURATION
It is a two year academic programme.  Students who graduate from the programme will be required to complete a mandatory one year internship under the supervision of the Ghana Psychology Council (GPC) to become licensed to practice as Genetic  Counsellors.

1. Required(core) course(s)

    • Human genetics I
    • Human genetics II
    • Clinical genetic testing
    • Counselling skills and communication
    • Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) in Genetic Counselling
    • Principles of genetic counselling
    • Professional development and practice
    • Bioinformatics and research methods
    • Cancer Genetics
    • New born screening
    • Genetics education
    • Special topics in genetic counselling
    • Genetic counselling practicum
    • Long Essay
    • Seminar I
    • Seminar 2

2. Elective course(s)

    • Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology
    • Introduction to clinical health psychology
    • Genetics of blood disorders
    • Psychiatric and behavioural genetics
    • Population genetics
    • Disability and rehabilitation
    • Psychology of survivorship
    • Psychology of predictive testing

3. Research component

Long Essay: The programme will comprise a 6-credit long essay research. Students will receive supervisory support to identify a relevant genetic counselling topic, to collect/review data, undertake critical analysis of data, and to write a report. At the completion of the course, students will submit the long essay, which will be assessed based on a set of core research and scientific writing skills. In addition, students will submit a research portfolio that will detail the research process and experience.

  1. Practical training (industrial attachment, internship, clinical experience)

Practicals: The programme offers 1,032 hours (12-credits) of practical training. Students will complete 6-credits of clinical practicum in the first three inter-semester breaks, and 6-credits during the second academic year. It will include community-based outreach programmes for the students to promote awareness of genetic disorders among local communities and to appreciate the challenges communities face with identification and diagnosis of genetic disorders. The students who graduate from the programme will complete a mandatory one-year internship under the supervision of the GPC.

Solomon. F. Ofori-Acquah, PhD

WAGMC Director
Molecular Genetics & Haematology
University of Ghana

Kofi A. Anie, PhD

Faculty
Clinical Psychology
Imperial College London

Annabella Osei-Tutu, PhD

Faculty
Counselling Psychology
University of Ghana

Judith A. Osae-Larbi, PhD

Faculty
Health Psychology
University of Ghana

Andrew A. Adjei, PhD

Faculty
Cancer
University of Ghana

Amanda Krause, MD PhD

Faculty
Medical Genetics
University of the Witwatersrand

William Kudizi, PhD

Faculty
Pharmacogenetics
University of Ghana

Ambroise Wonkam, MD PhD

Faculty
Medical Genetics
University of Cape Town

Marsha Treadwell, PhD

Faculty
Clinical Psychology
University of California San Francisco

Ellis Owus-Dabo, PhD

Faculty
Molecular Epidemiology
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

David Burke, PhD

Faculty
Human Genetics
University of Michigan

Shelley Macaulay, PhD

Faculty
Genetic Counselling
University of the Witwatersrand

Tina- Marié Wessels, PhD

Faculty
Genetic Counselling
University of Cape Town

Kodjo Senah, PhD

Faculty
Medical Anthropology, Ethics
University of Ghana

Angela Ofori-Atta, PhD

Faculty
Clinical Psychology
University of Ghana

Charmaine Royal, PhD

Faculty
Genome Ethics
Duke University

Ebenezer Badoe, FRCPCH

Faculty
Congenital Anomalies
University of Ghana

Frederick K. Addai, PhD

Faculty
Redox Biology Cytogenetics
University of Ghana

Joseph Osafo, PhD

Faculty
Clinical Suicidology/Mental Health
University of Ghana

K.W. Sagoe, PhD

Faculty
Molecular and Public Health Virology
University of Ghana

Lorna Renner, MPH

Faculty
Oncology
University of Ghana

Akwasi Anyanful, PhD

Faculty
Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cancer Epidemiology
University of Cape Coast

Charles Antwi- Boisiako, PhD

Faculty
Vascular Physiology in SCD
University of Ghana

David Adjei, PhD

Faculty
Biostatistics
University of Ghana

Dwomoa Adu, MBChB

Faculty
Kidney disease
University of Cape Coast

Lily Paemka, PhD

Faculty
Cancer
University of Ghana

Samuel Antwi-Baffour, PhD

Faculty
Haematology
University of Ghana

Samuel K. Kwofie, PhD

Faculty
Bioinformatics
University of Ghana

Thomas Tagoe, PhD

Faculty
Epilepsy
University of Ghana

Yvonne Dei- Adomako, PhD

Faculty
Oncology, SCD
University of Ghana

Joana Salifu Yendork, PhD

Faculty
Child Development and Aging
University of Ghana

Semester 1: Core Courses

 
COURSE CODECOURSE TITLECREDIT
GENC 601Human genetics I3
GENC 603Clinical genetic testing3
GENC 605Counselling skills and communication3
GENC 607Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) in Genetic Counselling3
    Semester 1: Elective Courses (Students may take any one elective in addition to the relevant pre-requisite course in Semester 1)  
COURSE CODECOURSE TITLECREDIT
GENC 609Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology3
GENC 611Introduction to clinical health psychology3
GENC 613Genetics of blood disorders3
GENC 615Psychiatric and behavioural genetics3
Note: GENC609 and GENC611 are pre-requisite courses for students from social science backgrounds and biological/biomedical science backgrounds respectively.  

Semester 2: Core Courses

COURSE CODECOURSE TITLECREDIT
GENC 602Human genetics II3
GENC 604Principles of genetic counselling3
GENC 606Professional development and practice3
GENC 608Bioinformatics and research methods3
GENC 610Seminar I3
    Semester 2: Elective Courses (Students may take between one to two electives in semester 2)
COURSE CODECOURSE TITLECREDIT
GENC 612Population genetics3
GENC 614Disability and rehabilitation3
GENC 616Psychology of survivorship3
GENC 618Psychology of predictive testing3

Semester 1: Core Courses

 

COURSE CODE

COURSE TITLE

CREDIT

GENC 617

Cancer genetics

3

GENC 619

New born screening

3

Note: There are no electives in Year 2 Semester 1

 

Semester 2: Core Courses

COURSE CODE

COURSE TITLE

CREDIT

GENC 622

Genetic counselling education

3

GENC 624

Special topics in genetic counselling

3

GENC 620

Genetic counselling practicum

6

GENC 630

Long essay

6

GENC 640

Seminar II

3

Note: There are no electives in Year 2 Semester 2

Students take GENC 620 and GENC 630 beginning from Semester 1 of Year 2

 

 

INTER-SEMESTER CLINICAL COURSES

COURSE CODE

COURSE TITLE

CREDIT

GENC 600

Inter-semester clinical attachment – Part I

2

GENC 600

Inter-semester clinical attachment – Part II

2

GENC 600

Inter-semester clinical attachment – Part III

2

Note: Students take GENC 600 beginning from Year 1 (Part I, II and III will be taken during the vacation periods of Year 1 Semester 1, Year 1 Semester 2, and Year 2 Semester 1 respectively).
A total of 31 core credits must be completed in Year 1
A total of 29 core credits must be completed in Year 2

National (Ghanaian citizens) and Regional (citizens of other West African countries) applicants for the MSc Genetic Counselling programme are eligible to apply for a WAGMC Postgraduate Fellowship to support their tuition and other related fees. For more information, visit: WAGMC Fellowship.

By the end of the programme, it is intended that students will acquire the following knowledge and skills:

  1. Elicit and evaluate clients’ (individuals, families, patients) concerns, expectations, and a detailed family, medical, and psychosocial history for assessment of likely patterns of disease risk/inheritance as well as eligibility for genetic testing.
  2. Make referrals for genetic testing (where available); interpret genetic/laboratory/special investigation reports, and expertly communicate confirmed diagnostic and predictive information to clients based on the outcome of genetic testing and/or assessment of clients’ history.
  3. Conduct basic psychological wellbeing assessments pre- and post- genetic testing for children, adults, and families and expertly support management of distress including referrals to clinical psychologists.
  4. Provide accurate information and expert counselling that is suited to clients’ individual needs about the genetic disorder(s) of concern and results of the assessment conducted, to facilitate informed and autonomous decision making.
  5. Provide genetic counselling with empathy; compassion; sensitivity to clients’ background; respect for autonomy, diversity, human dignity, privacy, and confidentiality; and with knowledge of human rights as indicated in the constitution of the country.
  6. Develop and display an awareness of the interaction between clients, counsellors, and other systemic factors associated with genetic counselling across diverse clinical settings.
  7. Provide timely referral to appropriate healthcare professionals, relevant genetic support groups, non-governmental organizations, other local and international sources of support.
  8. Recognize and appreciate the scope and limitations of genetic counselling as well as the licensure and other requirements of regulatory bodies.
  9. Reflect on personal strengths and limitions in practice, seek help when necessary, and commit to continuous professional development.
  10. Design and roll out community outreach programmes regarding genetic disorders.
  11. Adopt innovative teaching methods in tutoring subsequent students on the programme and in training other healthcare providers.
  12. Design, conduct, and collaborate on rigorous research that informs practice, training, and policy in genetic counselling.

• Potential applicants must purchase a University of Ghana (UG) postgraduate admissions voucher. For more information visit: https://admission.ug.edu.gh/applying/postgraduate/how-apply-graduate-programmes
• Visit https://apply.ug.edu.gh/admissions/graduate/login to access the admission form
• Shortlisted students will be notified for interview
• Students who are interviewed will be notified about the admission status
• Deadline for application: 25th October 2021