Training in forensic pathology

To train as a consultant forensic pathologist, you’ll need a medical background. Since the practice of forensic pathology is rooted in the science of human tissue, forensic pathologists train in histopathology before specialising later on.

What are the entry requirements?

To enter training as a consultant forensic pathologist, you’ll need to:

  • qualify as a doctor
  • register with the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • complete the UK Foundation Training Programme or equivalent.

How long will it take?

It is anticipated that five years would normally be required to satisfactorily complete the forensic histopathology curriculum to the required depth and breadth, including 2.5 years of the ICPT (Integrated Cellular Pathology Training) and 2.5 years of histopathology training to achieve a CCT.

What will my training cover?

Trainees in the specialty will initially develop knowledge of laboratory work, including the analysis and sampling of organs and microscopic analysis of samples including immunohistochemistry and molecular analysis. Following completion of the FRCPath Part 1 examination (typically after 18 months of training), they will continue to develop their skills in forensic histopathology, with greater responsibility, less direct supervision and increasing experience with independent reporting of suitable specimens. After passing the FRCPath Part 2 examination, trainees will continue to take graded responsibility further, to enable the transition to independent practice required of a CCT holder.

Find out more about specialty training in forensic pathology.

What exams will I need to take?

To complete your training, you’ll be required to pass the following.

  • FRCPath Part 1 in Histopathology – this aims to determine whether you have successfully acquired a core body of knowledge that will underpin your ability to practise in Histopathology.
  • FRCPath Part 2 in Forensic Pathology – this exam is designed to test your practical skills and understanding, and show that you can apply your expertise appropriately and safely.

For further information about the format of exams, visit our exams pages.