In-demand genomics course returns for another year

Healthcare professionals taught to think genomics via funded places on this popular introductory genomics course

As the NHS broadens its use of genomic medicine across healthcare, it is important that education and training in the workforce keeps pace with this change.

To enable all healthcare professionals to develop their knowledge and understanding of genomics and better support their patients, the University of the West of England is again running its popular online course, Genomics and Counselling Skills. The course has been developed in collaboration with a range of NHS genomics specialists, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS England’s Genomics Education Programme.

Previously open to nurses and midwives, the course is now being offered to all healthcare professionals working in England. Individuals can apply for funding to cover the introductory 15-credit module.

Discover the applications of genomics

The course has been developed for health professionals with little-to-no previous knowledge of genomics. It will provide learners with an introduction to the key areas of genomics, human genetics, and genetic variation in the fields of cancer, rare genetic conditions and infectious diseases. There is some pre-course learning to complete, which will help learners to get the best from the course.

The module will be delivered online, and includes five core units:

  1. personal and professional development in genomics;
  2. cancer genetics and genomics;
  3. rare and inherited conditions;
  4. talking genomics; and
  5. pharmacogenetics and personalised medicine.

In addition, the applications of genomics in infectious diseases will be covered in discussion forums.

Beginning in September 2024, participants can expect to spend six to eight hours per week engaging with the module content. To accommodate clinical commitments, all lectures will be pre-recorded and available online. Participants will be supported by weekly live online tutorials with the expectation that these are attended. Please review the dates and times below when considering your commitment with your line manager.

A blended approach

The module will require learners to spend their time completing synchronous learning (learning via live webinars and virtual classroom tutorials), asynchronous learning (such as pre-recorded lectures and online discussion boards), and independent/self-guided study time.

Teaching will be delivered via a virtual learning environment, Blackboard, and live sessions via Microsoft Teams. Dates and times for the live sessions can be found below.

Dates and times

The application deadline is the 20 May 2024. The course will start from the 9 September 2024. Learners must commit to attend the live seminars, which will be held on:

  • 13 September 2024, 9am to 10am;
  • 11 October 2024, 9am to 10am;
  • 01 or 08 November 2024, 9am to 1pm;
  • 15 November 2024, 9am to midday;
  • 22 November 2024, 9am to 11am;
  • 29 November 2024, 9am to 10am;
  • 06 December 2024, 9am to 11am;
  • 03 January 2025, 9am to midday;
  • 17 or 24 January 2025, 9am to 5pm; and
  • 31 January 2025, 9am to 11am.

The two assessment dates are on:

  • either 17 or 24 January 2025; and
  • 11 February 2025.

Learner testimonials

Healthcare professionals who have previously completed the 15-credit CPD module said:

“The expertise available to students on this course is invaluable! Really appreciate the access we have to these professionals and their level of understanding really makes the subject interesting and engaging.”

“I have loved every single minute of this course; the support from all of you has been incredible. It has given me more confidence in myself and my abilities.”

“I came into the course feeling like I knew next to nothing about genomics, and I was very daunted by the subject. But once I was at the other end of the course, I was surprised by how much more confident I was talking genomics. This is in no small part due to the excellent speakers and their ability to deliver complex subjects to a novice audience, our module leads for the support and encouragement throughout the course and the comradery of the cohort. As hard as I found it sometimes, I thoroughly enjoyed the course and it felt very bittersweet when it ended.”

Apply for your place

Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort. The deadline is 5pm, Monday 20 May 2024.

Please fill in this form and submit your application.

Should you want more information or have any queries on the course, please see the course’s webpage.