Certificate in Cancer Genetics

CPD Credits60

Gain a postgraduate qualification in clinical cancer genetics

The Certificate in Cancer Genetics will lead to an RCPI postgraduate qualification in clinical cancer genetics. This 6-month online programme is aimed at doctors who are working in cancer care and have an interest in cancer genetics.

The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 has acknowledged the acute need for oncologists to upskill in this area and this programme offers formal post-graduate training on the topic of genetics or genomics for clinicians in Ireland.

Develop your skillset

This formal qualification will ensure you have the appropriate skillset to champion the mainstreaming of genetic testing in your practice to patients in routine oncology clinics. It will improve your understanding and application of targeted cancer treatment with multi-disciplinary input, informed screening recommendations of higher risk individuals, and provide awareness of limitations and utilities of new genetic technologies to improve patient care.

Is this course for you?

This programme will facilitate a stimulating online environment for learning and encourage interdisciplinary partnerships and promote the application of current scientific evidence.

This course is open to all senior healthcare professionals working in cancer care. Whilst a strong basic science background is not required to complete the course, it is desirable.

Format of course delivery

This distance learning programme contains 6 modules with online formal learning material, including clinical scenarios and guidelines, and supplemented with videos and graphics. The programme learning material will be made available in our virtual learning environment RCPI Brightspace.

There will be an interactive live learning session halfway through the programme.

Assuming participants complete two to three hours of coursework per week, the certificate takes about six months to complete. Each module concludes with an end-of-module assessment.

In order to be awarded the Certificate in Cancer Genetics, you must complete all modules by working through all the online content and pass all end-of-module assessments.

What you will learn

Participants on this programme will gain an enhanced understanding of the impact of germline and somatic genetic variation in development, progress, and treatment of cancer in a programme developed and delivered by recognised experts in the field. Participants will develop competence and confidence in the recognition, counselling, consenting and testing of patients with germline predisposition to cancer, as well as the interpretation and critical analysis of tumour-based genetic testing.

On completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Explain the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis
  • Discriminate between clinically actionable and non-actionable germline and/or somatic variants
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of cancer predisposition syndrome
  • Implement improved risk assessments and direct preventative strategies in patients at higher risk
  • Discuss technical aspects and limitations of different genetic testing technologies
  • Describe the benefit genetic counselling and testing in patient care
  • Outline the medicolegal and ethical implications of genetic testing


This project was supported by unrestricted Educational Grant 241734273 by the following:

  • Roche Products (Ireland) Limited
  • Novartis Ireland Limited.
  • Hermitage Medical Clinic




Delivered by leading experts in cancer genetics

This course is taught by leading experts in cancer genetics.

Dr Terri McVeigh, Consultant Clinical Geneticist

Dr Terri McVeigh is the clinical lead for this programme.

About Dr Terri McVeigh

Dr McVeigh is a Consultant Clinical Geneticist in the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, specialising in Cancer Genetics. She also holds an Honorary Associate Faculty position in the Institute of Cancer Research.

Dr McVeigh undertook undergraduate medical training, postgraduate core surgical training and Higher Specialist Training in Clinical Genetics in Ireland. Her specialist training was funded by the Health Research Board/Health Service Executive National Academic SpR Fellowship Programme, with research fellowships in Yale University, New Haven, USA, and in QIMR Berghofer, Brisbane Australia. She also undertook a Clinical Research Fellowship in the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and subsequently took up a consultant post there in 2018.

She was awarded a PhD from National University of Ireland, Galway for her work investigating the translational applications of genomic profiling for risk estimation, prognostication and treatment of breast cancer. She also holds a Certificate in Medical Genetics (RCPath) and Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Science (NUI Galway).

Dr McVeigh has a special interest in teaching, and holds a Masters in Clinical Education. She now acts as a core tutor on the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education in NUI Galway. She is also a core tutor of the Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening, and Treatment Module of the ICR -led MSc in Genomic Medicine (Imperial College London), and regularly supervises and examines postgraduate research projects. 

Dr McVeigh keenly supports patient engagement and education. She developed and curates a patient information website (www.cancergenetics.ie). She is also a member of the medical advisory board of the Ovacome Ovarian Cancer charity in the UK.

She is a member of the Council and Social Media/Communications of the Cancer Genetics Group of the British Society of Genomic Medicine.