MSc in Clinical Genetics

A brief description about the course:

This course is conducted by the Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo in collaboration with the Institute of Medical Genetics University of Oslo, Norway. The degree will be awarded by the University of Colombo.

The intake is for 25 students at present. The selections are based on the application, the pre-examination and personal interviews.

  • This course aims to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by medical graduates to deliver clinical genetic services. It includes training in diagnosing genetic diseases using clinical evaluation and genetic testing, and choosing appropriate genetic investigations and interpreting results. It also includes formulating effective research proposals based on medical genetics and perform effective researches.

By the end of this course students must have the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to:

  • Obtain the medical history and carry out clinical examination as it relates to genetic diseases
  • Record and analyse family history data
  • Diagnose genetic diseases using clinical evaluation and genetic testing, choose appropriate investigations and interpret results
  • Provide accurate information and effective genetic counselling to individuals and families
  • Write clear summaries of genetic clinic consultations in post-clinic letters to colleagues and patients
  • Formulate management plans for genetic aspects of genetic/hereditary disorders
  • Perform risk calculations
  • Conduct literature searches and use medical genetic databases
  • Work effectively in a team with other colleagues providing genetic services
  • Liaise appropriately with colleagues from other specialities
  • Make use of lay organisations to support patients and families with genetic diseases
  • Communicate and explain genetic issues to colleagues and the lay public
  • Work effectively with colleagues in other disciplines
  • Formulate effective research proposals based on medical genetics and perform effective researches
  • Document and publish rare genetics findings and research outcomes

Duration: 2 Years (Completion while working is possible)

Eligibility criteria:

    • M.B.B.S. or equivalent degree registered with the Sri Lanka Medical Council
    • Foreign applicants should have a M.B.B.S.  or equivalent degree registered with the Medical Council of the country of residence of the applicant

Application fees:

Rs. 5,000.00

Those who are selected for the course, the following fees will apply

Course Fees: Rs. 250,000/- per year

Registration fees:

Rs. 25,000.00

Library fees:

Rs. 2,500.00

Teaching style and methods:

This is a two year course with classroom teaching, laboratory work, clinical rotations and a research project (Completion while working is possible).

Course structure and contents:

The course structure and subject areas are as follows:

Semester 1: Core Modules

Module 1: Cytogenetics

Module 2: Molecular Genetics

Module 3: Special Topics

Module 4: Introduction to Research Methods

Semester 2: Clinical Genetics Modules

Module 5A: Clinical Genetics

Module 6A: Genetic Counselling

Module 7A: Hands on experience attached to a genetics clinic including hospital rotations

Semester 3 and 4: Research

Module 8: Research project, dissertation writing, and defense of the dissertation


The assessments would consist of written and practical assessments in modules 1 to 7A and carrying out a research project, writing a dissertation and defense of the dissertation at a viva.

Further Information:

Further information will be available on the website Please contact Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake at for any clarifications.

How to apply:

Applications will be called in April/May every year. The Course commences on the first week of August. Information will be available on the website of the Human Genetics Unit;

Students will be selected to follow the course from applicants on the basis of their performance at a selection examination which has a written component and an interview. The written component will contribute 75% and the interview will contribute 25% to the total mark. Students who obtain an overall mark of 50% or more will qualify for selection.

**The first intake for this course was taken in in August 2010. They graduated in August 2012. The second intake was taken in August 2012. The third intake will be taken in August 2015.

Download previous MSc Clinical Genetics dissertations:

2010 (First) Batch:

Dissertation 1          Dissertation 2          Dissertation 3          Dissertation 4             Dissertation 5            Dissertation 6     

 2012 (Second) Batch

Dissertation 1          Dissertation 2           Dissertation 3           Dissertation 4             Dissertation 5