All You Need to Know About the MRCP Part 1

MRCP examinations

  • The MRCP Diploma and Specialty Certificate Examinations are designed to test the skills, knowledge and behaviour of doctors in training. It has three parts:
  • Successful completion of the entire three-part examination is required before you can start specialist internal medicine training in the UK.
  • All the MRCP and Specialty Certificate Examinations are approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) as part of the UK postgraduate medical training programme and follow the UK curricula and guidelines.

Foundation Years

  • Training during the foundation years (FY1 and FY2) enables newly qualified doctors to achieve general clinical and non-clinical competencies defined in the UK curriculum.
  • This covers acute, community, mental health and general practice. It forms the bridge between medical school and specialty training.

Internal Medicine Training

  • Internal Medicine Training (IMT) forms the first stage of specialty training for most doctors training in physicianly specialties and will prepare trainees for participating in the acute medical take at a senior level and managing patients with acute and chronic medical problems in outpatient and inpatient settings.
  • The curriculum for IMT stage 1 was approved by the GMC in December 2017 and replaces Core Medicial Training (CMT) from August 2019.
  • Trainees must complete IMT and acquire the full MRCP(UK) Diploma in order to enter specialty training at ST4 from 2022. Some specialties (group 2 specialties) will recruit trainees who have completed two years of IMT and completed MRCP(UK) at ST3 level.

Specialty Training

  • Specialty Training (ST3 – 6) are NHS training posts in specific specialties following on from core medical training.

Purpose and objectives MRCP Part 1

Knowledge as an essential base for the practice of clinical reasoning

  • Knowledge is vital as a basis for learning during postgraduate training, to develop an understanding of disease processes and their treatment.
    • Building on the knowledge of basic medical science gained in undergraduate education, the purpose of Part 1 is to test knowledge and understanding of common and important disorders, as outlined in the UK curriculum, as well as clinical science.
    • Knowledge and understanding of UK national guidelines are also required.
  • Success in the MRCP  Part 1 Examination indicates that the trainee has not only retained the knowledge acquired during undergraduate training, but that his/her knowledge of medicine has expanded and kept pace with developments that have occurred since graduation, and continues to provide an appropriate basis for clinical decision making.
    • MRCP Part 1 is a valuable milestone during training, and helps to prepare trainees for the more challenging Part 2 Written and Clinical Examinations.
  • Clinical science forms the basis of all medical practice, and so it is an important component of the Part 1 exam. Wherever appropriate, clinical science questions will include a clinical stem, although this will not invariably be the case if such a stem would not be justified due to the nature of the question.

MRCP Part 1 at a glance

  • One-day examination
  • Two three-hour papers
  • 100 multiple-choice (best of five) questions per paper
  • No images
  • Sat in an examination hall.

MRCP Part 1 Exam Centres, dates & fees

How to apply online?

    1. Log into your My MRCP(UK) account
    2. Check that all your personal details are up-to-date. You will need to provide evidence of your primary medical qualification. Submit this to your administrative office following the instructions below.
    3. Fill in details about whether you are training in the UK or not
    4. Choose a centre where you would like to take the examination
    5. Complete any special arrangements where applicable
    6. Pay for the examination.

Completing your application

  • When you apply for the Part 1 examination for the first time you will be required to submit evidence of your primary medical qualification.
  • If your payment fails at the time of your application you will also need to provide payment by following the instructions below.
  • Please note that copies of qualifications will only be accepted once a registration period is open and candidates have submitted an online application. Any qualifications sent before the relevant opening date will not be processed.

Primary medical qualification

  • This evidence will take the form of an authenticated copy of your diploma of primary medical qualification (PMQ). This document can be scanned and emailed to the MRCP Part 1 administration team.
  • Candidates with a UK General Medical Council provisional or full registration will need to submit their registration number at the time of application.
  • Candidates registered with the GMC do not need to provide a scanned copy of their qualification unless requested by MRCP(UK) central office.

Submission of documentary evidence of primary medical qualification

  • Photocopies of certificates and/or official translations (in English)* will be accepted only if they have been prepared and authenticated by one of the following:
    1. issuing University or Medical School
    2. a British Consulate or British Council outside the UK
    3. British Embassy
    4. British High Commission
    5. candidate’s own Embassy
    6. High Commission in the UK
    7. a member of the Gardai in the Irish Republic
    8. Government Ministries of Health
    9. a notary public
    10. a Fellow or Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians or a Chair of the Examining Board of the awarding body (verification of the Fellow or Member will be sought to ensure that they are affiliated with the issuing University/Medical School and the authenticated copy should be submitted with the authenticator’s full name, their Royal Colleges of Physicians code and an accompanying official stamp or letter from that Fellow, Member or Chair).
  • Candidates must submit an authenticated translation if their primary medical degree certificate is not in English. A fresh ink stamp, in English, must be used to authenticate the copy or translation of the primary medical qualification.
  • Any stamps/signatures must be made on the front of the certificate and in English. If we are unable to clearly see who as attested the document, you will be asked to provide a new attestation stamp.
  • The Colleges reserve the right to request to see the original documents if there is any doubt as to the authenticity of the submitted copies of documents.
  • Scan and email your documents to the relevant administration office, using the following guidelines:
  • All candidates who register to take examinations in the international centres should scan and send their documents to:
  • Candidates who register with London Administrative office (covering Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, London, Oxford, and Southampton, ) should scan and email documents to:
  • Candidates who register with Edinburgh Administrative office (covering Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield) should scan and email documents to:
  • Candidates who register with Glasgow Administrative office (covering Belfast, Glasgow, Leeds, and Liverpool) should scan and email documents to:
  • Candidates who are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the United Kingdom do not need to send their Primary Medical Qualifications. They will automatically have their qualifications verified via the GMC upon providing the correct GMC number.
    1. The Subject Line of your email should contain ‘Primary Medical Qualification’ and your RCP code number
    2. Attach scanned copies of your forms and documents. You can review the Help instructions of your email program to learn how to attach files.
      • Images must be in PDF or JPEG file format and not password protected.
      • The resolution must be good enough to clearly show all text, images, markings, and seals visible on the original physical document
      • Be sure to include all pages of multi-page documents and both sides of double-sided documents
    3. Emails should not be more than 2MB in size. If you have multiple forms and documents to send us, you should consider sending more than one email.
    4. Zip files cannot be accepted.
    5. If a scanned document image is not acceptable, you will be requested to submit a new, higher quality scanned image, or the original document by post.
  • Please note due to the large amount of primary medical qualifications received during an application period, it may take up to 4 weeks after the close of the application period to process your qualification.

How to pay?

    1. Credit/debit card: You can opt to pay using the options below. If paying via a credit/debit card, you can now log back into your MyMRCP account at later date to make payment of the examination fee (Click here for the complete details).
    2. Cheques/bank drafts: Please ensure all cheques and bank drafts are drawn on a UK bank and are made payable to ‘The Royal College of Physicians’. You may pay by any of the methods listed above regardless of the option which you selected at the time of your application (f\Click here for the complete details).

Declaration form

What to expect on examination day?

  • This information is designed to give candidates who will be sitting an exam centre based Part 1 exam guidance as to what to expect, both before the examination and on the day itself.
  • If you are sitting the exam online: click here for the complete details.
  • Before the examination day:
    1. Check the location of your examination venue, detailed on your admission document
    2. Plan your route to the venue, leaving plenty time for any possible transport delays
    3. Print a copy of your admission document
    4. Check the name on your admission document matches the name on the forms of ID you will present at the examination
    5. Contact MRCP(UK) with any name discrepancy queries well in advance of the examination day
    6. Re-read the MRCP(UK) Regulations, in particular Sections 8 – Format of MRCP(UK) Written Examinations and  10 – Attendance at, and conduct during, the MRCP(UK) Part 1 and Part 2 Written Examinations.
  • On the examination day:
    1. Arrive at the venue at least 30 minutes before the examination starts
    2. Be at your desk at least 15 minutes before Paper 2 is due to start
    3. Be prepared to store any bags, coats and electronic devices (including mobile phones and pagers) away from your desk
    4. Bring enough food and drink for a 3-hour examination (please note that candidates sitting in Lahore, Pakistan cannot take food or drink into the examination venue)
    5. Place any food and drink on the floor under your desk, so that invigilators have a clear view of your examination question booklet and answer sheet at all times
    6. Bring appropriate warm clothing as we may not be able to regulate the examination venue temperature to suit all requirements
    7. Ensure you bring lunch refreshments, as appropriate. You may not be able to buy any close to the examination venue
    8. Be prepared to show your ID before the start of each paper
    9. Leave your admission document easily accessible, for collection by an invigilator during the final paper
    10. Listen to and follow all instructions given by the Chief Invigilator
    11. Leave all stationery on your desk when each paper ends
    12. Remain quiet when leaving the examination venue as other candidates may still be working.
  • On the examination day do not:
    1. Bring any stationery or calculators to the examination, as we will supply all required stationery – 2B pencil, pencil sharpener and eraser
    2. Write any notes on your admission document – all notes should be made in your question booklet
    3. Wear hoods during the examination, as you will be asked to remove it by the Chief Invigilator.

Also Read:

  1. MRCP Part 1 Exam format
  2. All You Need to Know About the MRCP Part 2
  3. MRCP 2–Written Exam Format
  5. Preparation for MRCP PACES
  6. MRCP PACES examination format

Also Watch:

Also read:

  1. MRCP part 1 News
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