There are three parts to the MRCP(UK) examination - Part 1, Part 2 (written), and Part 2 (clinical examination) - commonly referred to as 'Part 1', 'Part 2' (or 'Part 2 Written') and 'PACES'.

There are different requirements for when these parts must be gained for you to be eligible within the Physician ST3 recruitment process.

For information on the MRCP(UK) examination and its constituent parts, please visit the MRCP(UK) website.

Part 1

You must have sat and passed Part 1 by the time of application (the deadline for application submission can be found on the timeline page).

Any applications received without Part 1 (or suitable alternative) will be rejected as ineligible.

Part 2 Written and PACES

You must have sat and passed the remaining two parts of the examination by the published deadline; in round 1 this is the 'posts commencing from' date, ie 1 August 2019. In round 2 this date is 31 December 2019.

If you are missing Part 2 and/or PACES at the time of application, you must still be able to demonstrate that you can sit and pass the missing exam(s) before the published deadline.

It is possible to progress through the remainder of the recruitment round subject to completing the examination. In the event you fail to gain the missing part(s), any offer will be withdrawn and will not be held for you should you choose to make an appeal.


As shown on the application scoring page of this website, 12 of the 80 points available to your application relate to having gained Part 2 (four points) and PACES (8 points).

Please note these 12 points are only available at the time of application. Exams passed post-application do not gain any points as part of your assessment; although interviewers can take this into account as part of your assessment at interview.

PACES examination dates

When applying for PACES you are able to indicate on your application form if you have a preferred timeframe for your examination date and, if so, what are your reasons for the request. This can include citing that you are applying to Physician ST3 Recruitment. Where possible the PACES team will try and allocate requests for this reason, although it cannot be guaranteed. Reasons you may want to request a specific date include:

  • Avoiding a clash with an interview date - if your preferred specialty's interview date is known when you apply to PACES, you should state this on the form so they can avoid scheduling this date.
  • Requesting an early date - this could either be because:
    • In round 1 you want to get results in time to include the achievement on your application form (bearing in mind results take up to two weeks after the examination date to process); it will not be possible to accommodate all these requests so if you want to be guaranteed of the points you are advised to attempt to complete the examination in an earlier examination diet.
    • In the second assessment period for round 1 and third for round 2, an early date will enable you, and the offering region, to confirm whether you can take up a post.

Providing information

On your application : give details on which parts of the examination you have passed to date.

At interview : provide certification of passed examinations, and evidence of places booked on any upcoming examinations.

While all specialties will accept the MRCP(UK) as a suitable postgraduate examination for ST3 entry, several will also accept applications from trainees who have undertaken alternative training pathways; and will thus accept alternative UK postgraduate examinations.

The specialties participating in the nationally-coordinated process which accept alternative training pathways: audiovestibular medicine, clinical genetics, clinical neurophysiology, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, dermatology, haematology, immunology, palliative medicine, rehabilitation medicine and sport & exercise medicine.

The only postgraduate examination accepted by the other participating specialties is MRCP(UK).

For information on what alternative examinations your specialty accepts please visit that specialty's page.

Providing information for alternative examinations

Information is provided in exactly the same way for any of the above examinations:

On your application: give details on which parts of the examination you have passed to date

At interview: provide certification of passed examinations, and evidence of places booked on any upcoming examinations.

Application scores

Just as with the MRCP(UK), 12 points are available within the application when using alternative examinations; the alternative to MRCP(UK) Part 2 is worth 4 points, and PACES is worth 8.

As with MRCP(UK), these points are only awarded at the time of application. Passing these exams after applying will not see your application score amended, although your interviewers can take this into account as part of their assessment.

In order to be considered eligible to apply for an ST3 medical specialty, candidates are ordinarily required to hold evidence of completion of the UK core medical training programme including the full MRCP(UK) diploma.

However, in accordance with EU directive 2005/36/EC (describing free movement of professionals) it is possible for certain individuals to provide alternate evidence in order to fulfil this requirement.

In order to support movement of professionals within the EEA, whist ensuring candidates are trained to an appropriate level to enter UK training at ST3, the following guidance must be demonstrated in order to be considered under directive 2005/36/EC, rather than need to have undertaken the MRCP(UK).

This is an extremely complex area, so please read the guidance carefully if you wish to apply under these rules. Please click on the relevant heading for more information:

Providing information

On your applicationin the MRCP(UK) section of the form you will be given the chance to indicate that you are applying via the EEA alternative training route and that you meet the MRCP(UK) requirement through your EEA training.

You will be directed to include details of your training to demonstrate that it is comparable to UK core medical training. This will require you to explain how your training meets each of the bullet points within the "How do I know if I am 'EEA eligible?'" heading  above detailing what your training must have entailed.

At intervieweither provide evidence that you are on the GMC specialist register, a letter from the GMC confirming mutual recognition of training or from your country's equivalent of the GMC confirming that your training meets the directive; Irish trainees completing Basic Specialty Training in general internal medicine can provide evidence of completing this programme, in addition to their MRCPI diploma.

Application scores

Please also note that EEA candidates who have completed training in another country can be awarded the same 12 points for MRCP(UK) that is available to those completing the MRCP(UK); please see the application scoring guidance for details about how to demonstrate this on the application form.

MRCP Ireland

The MRCP(Ireland) examination will not be accepted as a direct substitute for the MRCP(UK) in Physician ST3 recruitment.

However, candidates who are EEA nationals, whose training to date has been undertaken under the Irish 'Basic Specialty Training' system, and who have gained the MRCP(Ireland) examination, are likely to be eligible under the EEA eligibility rule described in the above tab (assuming all other criteria are also met).

Hong Kong & Singapore

The MHKCP (Hong Kong) and MMed Singapore qualifications both contain the full MRCP(UK) diploma, and hence both will continue to be accepted as 'alternative' to MRCP(UK); as has been the case in previous years.