Training in immunology

To work as a consultant in immunology, you can begin your career as a medical doctor or as a clinical scientist. Medically-qualified doctors need to complete specialty training in immunology, whilst scientists need to complete Higher Specialty Specific Training (HSST) in immunology to become a consultant clinical scientist.

The medical route

What are the entry requirements?

To enter training to be a consultant immunologist, you’ll need to:

  • qualify as a doctor
  • register with the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • complete the UK Foundation Training Programme or equivalent
  • complete two years Core Medical Training (CMT) or Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) training
  • gain membership to the Royal College of Physicians.

How long will it take?

After your CMT or ACCS, specialty training in immunology takes five years if you’re training full-time. There might be opportunities to extend your training, by undertaking research or out-of-programme training. 

What will my training cover?

Your training will equip you to deliver a diagnostic immunology laboratory service, as you expand your knowledge to investigate and manage cases of congenital and acquired immunodeficiency disorders, autoimmune – including rheumatic – disease, and allergic diseases. You’ll learn the principles underlying organ and stem cell transplantation, and will be required to demonstrate key generic skills like communication and team-working, in accordance with Good Medical Practice. 

Find out more about specialty training in immunology via the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) website.

What exams will I take?

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

  • FRCPath Part 1 in Immunology – this aims to determine whether you have successfully acquired a core body of knowledge that will underpin your ability to practise in Immunology.
  • FRCPath Part 2 in Immunology – this 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.

The science route

To train to be a consultant clinical scientist specialising in immunology, you’ll first need to become a qualified clinical scientist. You can then enter Higher Specialty Specific Training (HSST) in immunology.