Please refer to the entry and training requirementssection for your specialty. Do also read the general examination guidelines as well as the relevant candidate information.If you are still not sure of eligibility please read the relevant curriculum for UK trainees. The exam is written in line with UK training so the curriculum will give you an idea of what is tested. Please note that the College cannot assess eligibility. You should speak to your Educational Supervisor or sponsor who can advise you if you are ready or eligible to sit the Examination. Applicants that are rejected will be contacted and refunded in full.
Generally, medical trainees are advised to attempt the FRCPath Part 1 examination after at least one year of specialty training. Non-medical applicants will need qualifications as approved by the College Council (such as veterinary qualifications or a first or second class Honours degree in the appropriate science subject). However please refer to the specialty regulations and guidelines for length of training recommended for your relevant specialty.
To sit the FRCPath Part 2, exam applicants must have passed the FRCPath Part 1 exam in the required specialty. Medical trainees in specialty training programmes are advised to only attempt the FRCPath Part 2 exam after two years of training.
Each part of the FRCPath/Diploma can be attempted four times unless an exam was attempted in or before Autumn 2004 then they have six attempts at each FRCPath Part 1 component. Candidates who have failed their maximum no of attempts may apply to the the Mitigating Cicumstances Panel for a further attempt. The Mitigating Circumstances Panel will make recommendations to Council about whether or not a further attempt can be granted. Council are responsible for making the final decision in such cases.
Candidates should normally pass their FRCPath Part 2 examinations within seven years of passing FRCPath Part 1. This will be the expectation for medical candidates in UK GMC-approved training programmes. However, there will be circumstances where the guidelines will need to be applied flexibly and candidates who feel that they will not be able to comply with this timescale should contact the Examinations Department for further advice.
Applicants should ask their educational supervisor, departmental head or someone with a similar level of involvment in their training to sign their form. Sponsors should ideally be Fellows but this is not compulsory.
Yes, you will pay online for your examination as part of your online application. If you are unable to pay be debit or credit card we also accept bank transfers in exceptional circumstances but you will need to contact the Examinations Department in advance of making an application.
Applicants without exceptional circumstances can withdraw from an exam up to two weeks after the application closing date. All withdrawals in this period will be refunded where there is no loss of fee. After this point, examination fees will only be refunded in exceptional circumstances.
Candidates are advised to give adequate notice if they are unable to attend an examination, particularly in the smaller specialties.
Applicants without exceptional circumstances can withdraw from an exam up to two weeks after the application closing date. All withdrawals in this period will be refunded where there is no loss of fee and the fee will be refunded.
All withdrawals will still need to complete the online form for the next session in which they wish to sit the examination.
Anyone withdrawing after the two week grace period will forfeit their fee unless there are exceptional circumstances. Failure to obtain a visa is not considered an exceptional circumstance.
Withdrawals during an exam forfeit their fee. No answers will be assessed. However, Neuropathology candidates who sit one of the components of their exam but withdraw from the other due to exceptional circumstances will receive one result only. Please contact the Examinations Department urgently if you withdraw due to illness. If you would like the fee to be waived, evidence may be required.
It is not possible to defer an entry to the following session. All candidates will be withdrawn and a full application must be made again for the next session in which they wish to sit.
Only FRCPath Part 1 Written and Diploma candidates can choose a centre. The majority of practical and oral exams only have one centre. For practical examinations with multiple centres, candidates will be allocated to the nearest centre with space that is not within their training Deanery or LETB.
The GMC states: If you continue to hold your licence to practise while practising abroad, you will need to revalidate. This means you will need to connect to a UK organisation that will support you with your appraisal and revalidation. However, you may not need a licence to practise if you practise entirely outside of the UK. You may decide it is better to give it up. You can still maintain your registration without a licence, and this will indicate you are in good standing with us. You can apply to have your licence restored if you need it at some point in the future.
If you continue to hold a licence to practise, you will have to revalidate in the same way as doctors practising in the UK - by participating in annual appraisal and maintaining a portfolio of supporting information for discussion at appraisal. You will need to link to a Responsible Officer (RO) in the UK as the legislation regarding ROs only applies in the UK. If your employer or contractor is based within the UK it may be that they will be able to provide you with a link to an RO, and you should discuss your revalidation with them at the earliest opportunity.
If you require any adjustments to your examination, e.g. extra time, please contact the Examinations Manager at the point of application to discuss this. You will be required to provide supporting evidence such as an Educational Psychologist's report or specialist's letter.
If you are submitting a written option in Clinical Biochemistry or Immunology you can do so at any time after completing the FRCPath Part 1 exam, before or after you sit the FRCPath Part 2 exam.
For all other specialties requiring written options (i.e. Clinical Cytogenetics, Embryology, Forensic Pathology, Histocompatability & Immunogenetics, Molecular Genetics, Toxicology, and Virology) you must submit your project at least four months before the closing date of the FRCPath Part 2 exam session that you wish to enter. The closing dates are normally the first Friday of January for the spring session, and the first Friday of July for the autumn session. So projects are expected to be submitted by the end of March and September, respectively.
The exam period dates are on the College website. Each candidate will be told the date and venue of their exam at least three weeks beforehand. Practical and oral exam dates are put on the website as soon as they are confirmed.
Please note that in many specialties it is not possible to provide a date for the examination before the closing deadline for the session or the point of confirmation letters being issued.
All candidates must bring photo ID (e.g. passport, driving licence, national identity card) to the exam. Any candidate without valid ID will not be allowed into the exam. NHS ID cards are not accepted as valid ID.
Unsuccessful candidates sitting a Part 2 practical and/or oral exam will receive limited feedback and reasons for the failure to discuss with an appropriate specialty adviser or educational supervisor. For the Part 1 written exam involving essay papers or Part 1 practical examination, your educational supervisor/supervising consultant can obtain a summary of your performance for each question from the Exams Department. Additional feedback will not be provided directly to candidates. Please see section 22 of the Regulations and Guidelineson the Exams section of the College website for further details.
Appeals can be made within one month of the examination reults being published or receipt of further feedback. To appeal candidates must write to the College exams department if they consider that an administrative or procedural irregularity has occurred. In no circumstances will papers be re-marked. Appeals which challenge the academic judgement of the examiners will not be accepted. Please see section 23 of regulations and guidelines and the appeals procedure for further details.
Diploma and Part 1 written examinations (including MCQs and EMQs) can usually be arranged in:
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
It may be possible to take the Part 2 Histopathology examination in Irbid, Jordan and the Part 2 Haematology examination in Dubai, UAE. These centres will be offered on an annual basis in either Spring or Autumn session subject to there being sufficient candidates to run the centre.
All other Diploma practical, Part 1 practical and Part 2 examinations can only be taken in the UK.
The written exam last 6 hours and is held from 09:30 (GMT or British Summer Time) to 12:30 and from 13:30 to 16:30. The multiple-choice-question (MCQ) and extended-matching question (EMQ) exams last 3 hours and are held in the afternoon only, from 13:30 to 16:30. The written exams will take place at overlapping times overseas.
If you do not work or do not intend to work in the UK you do not need to prove your English language skills before sitting the FRCPath exam - it is advised, however, that prospective candidates should have an equivalent to 7.5 overall in the academeic IELTS with at least 7 in each of the four sections.
We hope that you will have no reason to be dissatisfied with the service but if you do experience a problem that cannot be immediately resolved please read the complaints procedure. Please note that this procedure covers all the activities managed by the Exams Department not directly linked to an outcome of an exam. Candidates wishing to appeal about an exam result should see the appeals procedure.