Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons

Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) is a postgraduate diploma for surgeons in the UK and Ireland. Obtaining this qualification allows a doctor to become a member of one of the four surgical colleges in the UK and Ireland, namely the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The examinations are currently organised on an intercollegiate basis.[1]


The MRCS qualification consists of a multi-part examination including both theory and practical assessments. Part A is a 4-hour written examination which assesses the applied basic sciences and principles of surgery in general using multiple-choice Single Best Answer and Extended Matching Questions. It has a pass rate of around 30 per cent.[2] Part B is a 4-hour practical examination which assesses elements of day-to-day surgical practice through a series of stations on anatomy, pathology, critical care, clinical procedures and patient evaluation (history taking, clinical examination and communication skills).[3] It has a pass rate of around 50 per cent.[2] Current curricula has changed to introduce the completion of both exams as a mandatory requirement to complete core surgical training prior to application to higher surgical training (ST3) in the UK. Trainees often require multiple attempts at the examination in order to pass.


Each college used to hold examinations independently, but latterly to a common syllabus. In January 2004, the four colleges switched over to a common examination, known as the Intercollegiate MRCS.

Examination preparation

A large and varied collection of commercial revision resources are available which can improve a candidate's chances of success. These resources include courses, books, online question banks and mobile applications.

See also


  1. "Welcome to MRCS From September 2008". Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 Brennan, PA; Sherman, KP (December 2014). "The MRCS examination--an update on the latest facts and figures". British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 52 (10): 881−3. doi:10.1016/j.bjoms.2014.08.011. PMID 25218314.
  3. "Your Guide to the MRCS" (PDF). The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2015.

External links

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