Genetics in Society

Verbredende minor
10 weken
Minor hoort bij de opleiding


In this minor you get 9 weeks of education from the best teachers in genomics and society. In lectures you learn the ins and outs of genetics, and in problem based learning groups you work on genetic issues yourself and with your group. Furthermore, different types of education regarding the “in society part” will be provided. Besides the mandatory education for all participating students, you can choose if you want to enrol in the research track or in the counseling track. Students enrolled in the counseling track of this minor participate in 5 counseling workshops. During these workshops all students get the opportunity to practice with a simulation patient twice. These workshops cover a range of genetic disorders and are led by two psychologists working at the Clinical Genetics department. Students write a counseling report of these workshops. Students enrolled in the research track can take part in an ongoing research, or carry out their own research in an area of their interest. They write a scientific research paper regarding this topic. Furthermore, these students take part in three supporting sessions regarding their research paper; in these sessions they present the current status of their research and paper and learn tips and tricks about writing a scientific research paper.

Learning objectives

After completing this minor, the student can:
− recognize different ways of genetic analysis and distinguish the different applications of these ways of analysis;
− articulate how the functions of genes are investigated and how these insights are used to treat diseases;
− form a substantiated judgment about prenatal genetic screening and prenatal diagnosis;
− recognize, describe and analyze a moral dilemma from the clinical genetics practice;
− explain how legal genetic evidence comes about;
− recognize different earning models in genetics;
− articulate how CRISPR-Cas functions;
− describe the pros and cons of genetic manipulation of crops, animals and humans.

After completing the counseling track of this minor, the student can:
− explore how people deal with the threat and/or being carrier of genetic disorders, and guide people through decision-making processes;
− enter into a therapeutic relationship with a patient and/or child.

After completing the research track of this minor, the student can:
− identify a relevant issue in the genetics research domain and form a personal research question;
− carry out a research study independently;
− write a scientific paper on a genetic research problem of their interest.

Special aspects

This minor is broadening and particularly interesting for students studying Medicine, Psychology, Clinical Technology, BMG, Biomedical Sciences, Erasmus University College, Philosophy and Criminology. We take into account the different studies and have noticed in previous years that the mix of different studies is valued a lot by the students. This minor requires a basic understanding and ability to speak English, and it is convenient to have some background knowledge about biology. We offer an afternoon to brush up your biology and genetics knowledge preceding the opening lecture. Attendance is mandatory for all educational activities in this minor course.

Overview content per week

In the genetics education of our minor, week 1 will give an introduction to genetics. Week 2 will focus on the genome, DNA analysis techniques and gene editing. In week 3 genetic manupilation of crops and people will be the focus point. Week 4 discusses the different specialisms within clinical genetics (such as cardiogenetics, neurogenetics, dysmorpholoy and prenatal genetics). Week 5 focuses on the genetics of common diseases. Week 6 is all about forensic genetics. In week 7 the students will participate in speeddates with the different researchgroups from the department of Clinical Genetics, entailing various topics within genetics. Week 8 focuses on germline modification. Finally, in week 9 a symposium will be held organized by the students themselves. The research carried out and the counseling workshops followed will be presented here.
The “in society”part of our minor starts in week 1 by giving an introduction to ethics and genetics. Furthermore, students will pitch their idea of the future of genetics. Week 2 will focus on family dynamics within genomic issues. Week 3 focuses on the future of genomics. Week 4 focuses on prenatal genetics. In week 5 community genetics, direct to consumer testing and science communcation, will be discussed. Week 6 focuses on the psychosocial side of forensic genetics. In week 7 the genetic counseling of children will be the main focus point. Week 8 zooms in on pharmacogenetics and the business side of genomics.

Teaching methods

This minor makes use of the following teaching methods: lectures, study groups, problem based learning groups, practical courses, self-study and the possibility to experience the outpatient clinic. Various prominent speakers provide inspiring lectures: prof. Sjef Smeekens; prof. Andre Uitterlinden; ethicist Eline Bunnik; dr. Tjakko van Ham; prof. Manfred Kayser; Mr. Marnix van der Werf and many more.

Teaching materials

Students receive a folder containing the week by week program and information about the minor, classrooms and teachers. An electronic learning environment is available on Canvas. On Canvas, background literature, assignments and forums are available. Furthermore, we make use of case studies, practical assignments, scientific research papers, book chapters, movies, Youtube videos and presentations. The number of contact hours at the Erasmus Medical Center varies, but will roughly concern 10 to 20 hours each week.


Method of examination
Examination consists of the digital exam on the last day of the minor and writing a scientific research paper or a counseling report.

Composition final grade
The final grade is composed as follows:
− The exam (60%).
− Scientific paper or counseling report (40%).
Each of these elements needs to be passed with a grade of 5,5 or higher.

Groups of 5 students get appointed a mentor. This mentor can answer questions, make sure students make the most of their minor, can help with problems when needed and can stimulate professional behaviour. Students meet with their mentor three times during the minor. Students enrolled in the counseling track participate in 5 counseling workshops. During these workshops the students get feedback on their conversational and counseling skills. Students enrolled in the research track are appointed an assessor, who provides them with feedback on interim versions of their paper. Furthermore, students take part in three supporting sessions in which they present the current status of their paper and learn tips and tricks about scientific writing. Students have the possibility to view the assessment of their exam and paper or counseling report. In the event of a difference of opinion about the assessment, and independent colleague expert is asked for advice. That advice is binding.




Mw. Dr. Sam Riedijk
010-7034487 or 06-42625210
kamer Ee-2038

Verbredende minor
10 weken
Minor hoort bij de opleiding
Erasmus MC
Studiepunten (EC)
Erasmus MC


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