MSc in Clinical Genetics

A brief description about the course:

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

The intake is for 10 students at present. The selections are based on the application, and the pre-examination and personal interviews.

This course aims to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by medical graduates to deliver clinical genetic services. 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, including Bayes theorem
  • 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 finding and research outcomes


2 years full time

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should have a 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.

Course structure and contents:

The course structure and subject areas are as follows:

Semester 1: Core Modules

Module 1: Cytogenetics [10 credit course]

Module 2 : Molecular Genetics [10 credit course]

Module 3: Special Topics [5 credit course]

Module 4: Introduction to Research Methods [5 credit course]

Semester 2:  Clinical Genetics Modules

Module 5A: Clinical Genetics [10 credit course]

Module 6A: Genetic Counselling [10 credit course]

Module 7A: Hands on experience attached to a genetics clinic including hospital rotations [10 credit]

Semester 3 and 4: Research [60 credits]

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


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

Tuition Fees:

Rs. 300,000 + 200,000 bench fees

10 students will receive full scholarships to follow the course and a monthly stipend of about Rs. 30,000/-

The student who obtains the best results in the first year will receive funding to carryout the second year research project at the Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Oslo, Norway.

Further Information:

Students will receive funding support under the NOMA programme of the Norwegian Centre for International Collaboration in Higher Education.

Further information will be available on the website The course co-ordinator Dr. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake can be contacted

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 10 studentships will be filled in the order of merit based on marks at the selection examination.

Teaching style and methods:

This is a two year full time course with classroom teaching, laboratory work, clinical rotations and a research project

**The first intake for this course was taken in in August 2010. They graduated in August 2012. The second intake was taken in in August 2012. The third intake will be taken in August 2014. Applications will be called in early 2014.