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The University of Southampton

MEDI6236 Counselling skills in genomics for health care professionals

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate and discuss the counselling theory that underpins counselling and communication skills.
  • Explain the different purposes of genomic testing in patients with rare inherited diseases and cancer.
  • Describe and demonstrate communication skills to engage and communicate effectively with the individual, the family, health care professionals and the wider public.
  • Explain the importance and application of consent in the field of genomic medicine.
  • Explain genomic results in terms of diagnostic prediction and uncertainty.
  • Discuss the consequences of genomic test results for the patient and the wider family , drawing on the published evidence base and personal experiences of patients, carers and the wider family.
  • Explain the range of mainstream care pathways used to test for inherited and acquired disorders and evaluate their effectiveness including how they support clinical decision making.
  • Discuss and critically evaluate current and potential future ethical, legal and social issues of genome testing and whole genome sequencing.


• Communication and counselling skills • Consent and what it means in relation to genomic testing • Ethical and social implications of genomic testing • How to record and interpret a family history, recognising what is or may be relevant • How to verify personal and family history information; consent, confidentiality, access to records • Different purposes of genomic testing • Approaches to prenatal testing, pre-implantation testing and pre-conception carrier screening in relation to new technologies • Strategies of approach to lifelong patient management of whole genome information • Managing and explaining complex genome results • Sources for patient support: patient support groups, on-line resources, other resources

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will comprise a one week block of intensive on-site teaching, A variety of learning and teaching methods will be adopted to promote a wide range of skills and meet the differing learning styles of the group. The on-site teaching will include seminars, practical demonstrations, discussions and exercises surrounding interpretation of data and clinical scenarios, and specialist lectures given by a range of academic and health care professionals. This will ensure a breadth and depth of perspective, giving a good balance between background theories and principles and practical experience. Off-site independent learning will take place on the virtual learning environment hosted by the UoS.

Independent Study120
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

The assessment for the module provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. In addition to the summative assessments, during the course of the module there will be opportunities to obtain feedback in the form of unassessed, formative activities.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 60%
Oral case presentation  (10 minutes) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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