It is currently an excellent time to consider a career in neurology.

The specialty is extremely varied and a growth area, given the increasing demand for neurologists both acutely (liaison neurology, acute stroke) and in the management of chronic neurological disorders.

Neurology - trainee characteristics

Neurology will particularly suit trainees who:

  • are innovative, and have and interest in clinical and laboratory research

  • have good clinical skills (that combine a good knowledge of anatomy with good listening skills)

  • are team players but able to work with a measure of independence

Training in an ST3 neurology post

The specialty of neurology is changing rapidly.

Traditionally, neurology had been thought of as an intellectual pursuit, concerned with the diagnosis of rare conditions of the nervous system with relatively little time devoted to the care of the patient and their family.

However, the advent of accessible non-invasive imaging, and the development of new treatments, has led to neurologists' involvement with the treatment and on-going care of patients with disorders which are in fact very common, such as stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

Some training posts combine accreditted training in neurology and stroke without an extension of training time. These five year programmes (initially pioneered at St Georges' and the South West) are an exciting development that reflects the increasing importance of stroke within neurology.

A good clinical neurologist must have a good general medical background - and so full MRCP(UK) is an essential requirement to start at ST3 level.

Research opportunities

There are plenty of opportunities for research, and many trainees will undertake a period of research towards a higher degree as part of their neurological training (as an out-of-programme experience) completing an MD or PhD.

Neurology in demand

There has recently been a rapid increase in the number of consultant neurologists and it is likely that new posts will continue to be developed (even in spite of the current NHS financial climate, such is the demand for specialist neurological care).

Most district general hospitals will require at least two neurologists, responsible for GP referrals and seeing inpatient referrals from other specialists.

Furthermore, the National Stroke Strategy has increased the need for specialists, including neurologists, with expertise in the care of patients with neurovascular disease.

Medical Care

Find out more about neurology and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.

Neurology and Shape of Training

From August 2022 onwards, following changes associated with the Shape of Training reforms, specialist registrars in neurology will dual train in Internal Medicine and Neurology (including Stroke Medicine), in keeping with other medical specialties such as Renal Medicine and Cardiology. A five year neurology training programme is proposed, one year’s worth of which will be more Internal Medicine, to complement the three years (2019-2022) of Stage 1 Internal Medicine (IM 1-3) which all the major medical specialties will complete.

Further information

Queries regarding the progress of a submitted application should be directed to the lead recruiter for this specialty.  The lead recruiter for neurology in 2019 is Thames Valley.

Health Education Thames Valley
Postal address

Health Education England – Thames Valley
Thames Valley Office
4150 Chancellor Court
Oxford Business Park South

email address

General / application queries

For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application or the Oriel system, please contact the Specialty Recruitment  Office via email at


This specialty uses the standard ST3 eligibility criteria, and does not accept candidates from any alternative training routes.

Please visit the am I eligible? section of this website for further information.

National single centre model

This specialty uses the single centre recruitment model.

You will not be required to give any preferences of particular regions when completing your application; you are applying purely for the specialty at that stage.

Later on, you will be required to give preferences of the available posts – at that point, you can opt to be considered for as many (or as few) post vacancies available nationally as you wish.

Lead region and single centre interviews

The specialty will nominate a particular region to act as lead for the round; this region is shown under the 'Who do I contact?' tab above. This lead region will review all applications, liaise with all candidates, host interviews, verify assessments, and make offers on behalf of all regions nationally.

Your application will be handled solely by the lead region throughout the entire round, up to the point where you receive and accept an offer; after which it will be transferred to the region where the post is based for pre-employment checks.

All interviews will be held at this lead region although the clinicians making up the interview panel will be drawn from a national background – ie not just from the host region.

It is possible that there could be changes between now and the interview period. Please bear this in mind when reviewing the information below, although in most cases it is not expected this will change, or any changes will be minimal.  You are advised to check back in closer to the time of interview. The date at the foot of this page shows when the page was last reviewed.

Interview content

You will spend approximately 10 minutes at each of the three interview stations, with three-to-five minutes' transfer time between each. Thus the overall time for the interview will be approximately 40-45 minutes.

Click on the relevant stations below for more information on the content of the interview.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

Interview scoring

Appointable - automatic

If you are awarded a score of at least 3/5, for all marks given to you at your interview, then you will automatically be classed as appointable.

If your 12 interview scores contain one or two marks of 2/5 (and the rest 3/5 or above), and you receive a total raw interview score of 36 or above, then you will automatically be classed as appointable.

Not appointable - automatic

If any of the 12 scores awarded to you at interview are 1/5, this will reflect poor performance and an area of major concern.

If three or more of your 12 interview scores are of 2/5, this will reflect several areas of concern across your whole interview.

Should your interview assessment falls under either category above, the level of concern over your potential progression to ST3 will see your application classed automatically as not appointable .

Total score calculation

After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as the application form score, to give a 'total score'. This score determines your ranking which is used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, can be seen by clicking on 'Total score calculation' below.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

date of last review: 6 December 2018

As part of the process of applying to ST3, you may wish to gain an idea of how recruitment progressed in previous years for the various specialties participating in the nationally-coordinated recruitment.

To this end, we have published data dating back to 2013 (where this is available), based around four main areas:

  • Competition ratios - application numbers submitted to each specialty, along with the number of NTN and LAT posts available in each. It is worth noting that posts are subject to change throughout the round (increasing on average between 20-40%), and post numbers for this data are taken at the end of the round.

  • Shortlist scores - the scores awarded to all submitted applications, including average scores and distribution nationally.

  • Total scores - the total score awarded to all candidates who completed the full recruitment process for a specialty (application and interview), including some analysis of scores.

  • Post fill rates - the number of posts filled by region. 

We have published information for all specialties participating in our process that year; consequently not all specialties will have data in all cases.

Provisional post numbers

Specialty vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts.

It is the intention that initial post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Numbers will be updated as and when notifications are received from each region and will be checked later in the round when programme preferences are open for selection.

Numbers subject to change

Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change throughout the round.

More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. On average post numbers rise between 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.

Round 1 Interview dates & post numbers

Region NTN posts LAT posts* Interview date(s)
East of England 0-2 TBC


Thames Valley (lead)
10 - 11 April 2019

East Midlands 0-3 TBC

London and KSS

Kent, Surrey & Sussex





North East 0-3 TBC
North West




North Western


South West






Thames Valley (lead) 0 TBC
Wessex 0-1 TBC
West Midlands 1-3 TBC
Yorkshire & Humber 3-4 TBC
Scotland** 3 TBC
Wales 0 TBC

*English LATs

Please note, English regions do not recruit to LAT posts.

**Scotland post numbers

If you are interested in working in Scotland, a breakdown of post numbers by the four Scottish deaneries is available on the Scottish Medical Training website. This has details of all specialty training post numbers in Scotland, including specialties which are not part of the nationally-coordinated process.

Please note that whilst we endeavour to keep the Physician ST3 recruitment website up to date, the SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.