Student profile - Elizabeth Quinlan-Jones

MSc Genomic Medicine, part time 2015/16

Intense but not insurmountable

What is your background?

I have worked as a midwife at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital for 11 years with a background in foetal medicine. Part of my work is looking at pre-natal diagnosis and we find that some issues can have a genetic cause. We now offer genetic testing in pregnancy and I also work on a pre-natal exome sequencing study so this was the perfect way to increase my knowledge in the area of genetics.

How have you found the course so far?

I am working with a really nice group of students with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. We have already completed three modules and have found the range of modules and the week block teaching style useful.

What advice would you give to health professionals thinking about studying on this course?

I would recommend completing the two day access course to prepare you for the steep learning curve. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a genetics or molecular biology background as the staff were very supportive and put on extra tutorials when needed and go out of their way to support you in your learning. There is no doubt that this is an incredibly intense course but if you are up for it and prepared to go into it wholeheartedly then it’s worth it. 

How do you think this course will improve your career prospects?

Genetics in pre-natal medicine is a growing area and developing all the time. When I did my degree this type of training didn’t exist for midwives. This course compliments the genetic counselling I do in my current role and gives me an extra layer of understanding to help me deliver more in depth information. The need for this type of knowledge is no longer specialist and is becoming more mainstream and staff need to be upskilled to understand the benefits and implications. 

How relevant is this learning to your present job?

This course is very relevant and will help develop my role.