Master of Genetic Counselling

    • CRICOS Code: 061969D

    Where will this take me?


    A Master of Genetic Counselling will provide you with the knowledge and acumen to become a professional genetic counsellor. This world-renowned program will elevate your prospects for employment both domestically and abroad. Graduates of this course are eligible to undertake professional certification by the Human Genetic Society of Australasia (HGSA).

    Specialist opportunities

    Offering in-roads to exclusive career specialisations, a Master of Genetic Counselling allows you to improve the lives of people experiencing challenges connected to genetic conditions. Many graduates work directly with patients in medical areas that include paediatrics, prenatal, infertility, neurology, cancer and cardiology. Others choose to continue along a research path in public or industry-focused laboratories.

    With a Master of Genetic Counselling you can be employed as:

    • An Associate Genetic Counsellor for individuals undergoing genetic/genomic testing in cancer, prenatal, adult or paediatric medicine settings
    • A researcher or program officer in clinical research, public health or community support organisations.

    The Melbourne Medical School’s existing relationship with associated institutes, such as the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Victorian Clinical Genetic Services (VCGS), provides close access to world-class clinical research and laboratory science facilities.

    A world-class qualification

    As a graduate of the Master of Genetic Counselling, you will be well equipped to pursue opportunities in this specialised field throughout worldwide institutions and organisations. Graduates of the program have successfully gained employment in clinical genetics services in Europe, Canada and Asia.

    Lisette Curnow

    Genetic counselling is one of the rarest jobs in Australia – with only 230 employed nationwide. Genetic counsellors work in many areas of medicine, including paediatrics, prenatal, infertility, neurology, cancer and cardiology. Many counsellors work directly with patients, while others carry out research in public laboratories and for industry. Some are employed in health education. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has a not-for-profit genetic testing lab, Victorian Clinical Genetic Services (VCGS), that carries out tests for hundreds of genetic conditions impacting adults and children. Lisette Curnow is one of the longest serving genetic counsellors at VCGS with 18 years of service. She works closely with doctors, lab technicians and families every day and recently spoke to MCRI communications officer Christine Tondorf about her work.

    Become a genetic counsellor

    Genetic counsellors are employed in many different settings. These include clinical genetic services in cancer, prenatal, adult and paediatric medicine. Genetic counsellors may also be involved in research programmes, in health education, in public health, and in community support organisations. Importantly, genetic counsellors will have a central role in the integration of genomic medicine into standard health care across roles including in research, laboratory genomics and clinical care.


    Anna Jarmolowicz