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MRCP SCE in Neurology

  • April 25, 2022

This Blog outlines everything you need to know about the MRCP SCE Examination in Neurology!

It is firstly important to note that the Royal College of Physicians SCE certificates are not something that you can use for your GMC registration. However, having an SCE certification on your CV is extremely valuable and will definitely attract prospective NHS employers. Additionally, the SCE certifications will also benefit any Doctor who is planning on becoming a Consultant and progressing through the CESR route.

What are the entry requirements?

There are no eligibility requirements for international candidates. That said, a UK Trainee will normally sit the SCE in Neurology in their penultimate year of training.

How much is the exam?

The cost of the SCE exam if you're in the UK is £665 and if you're sitting it overseas is £883. Candidates who have requests to transfer from a UK centre to an international centre will then be liable for the difference between the two fees, £168.00.

Where can I sit it?

UK: There are 137 different SCE Test Centres within the UK, which applicants choose from when booking the examination. The test centre bookings operate on a first come first serve basis so the RCP recommend booking earlier to get your preferred location.

International: Candidates are given a choice of regions from which to select, and are then asked to nominate a particular city in that region as the desired location for their test. You will receive a confirmation of your final test centre via email at least three weeks before the date of the examination.

What is assessed?

The SCE in Neurology exam comprises of 200 questions and the composition of the paper is as follows:


Number of Questions

Cerebrovascular disease


Disorders of consciousness and epilepsy


Disorders of the cranial nerves and visual system


Disorders of the peripheral nervous system and muscle


Disorders of the spinal cord and motor neurone disease


Neurogenetics, neuroendocrinology, neurotoxicology, neurourology, neuro-otology


Neuro-inflammatory disorders


Neurological disorders in special groups (e.g. elderly, children, pregnancy, end of life)


Neurophysiology, neuroradiology, neuropathology


Cognitive and behavioural neurology


Management (neurosurgery, intensive care, neuro-rehabilitation, clinical pharmacology)


Pain and headache


Parkinsonism and movement disorders


How do I best prepare?

Preparation for the SCE requires a wide breadth of knowledge around the curriculum and should involve reading of textbooks, journals and guidelines. Experience of the MRCP(UK) examination provides an excellent background to the format of the examination.

Suggested sources and reading are listed below:



  • Practical Neurology (especially major reviews and Bare Essentials)
  • Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
  • Neurology (especially Residents and Fellows section and Neurology in Practice supplement)


  • Anon - Aids to the examination of the peripheral nervous system
  • Compston A, et al. - McAlpine's Multiple Sclerosis (4th Ed)
  • Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel G, and Jankovic J. - Neurology in Clinical Practice 5th Edition
  • Patten J. - Neurological Differential Diagnosis (2nd Ed)
  • Pendlebury, Anslow, Rothwell. - Neurological Case Histories: Case Histories in Acute Neurology and the Neurology of General Medicine (Oxford Case Histories)
  • Shorvon S, Perucca E, Fish D, Dodson W - The treatment of epilepsy. (Blackwell)
  • Walters RJ, Wills AD, Smith PE. - Specialist Training in Neurology
  • Warlow CP, et al - Stroke: A practical guide to management
  • Warlow CP - Lancet Handbook of Treatment in Neurology


  • - on-line training modules, including many neurology (all free)


Sample questions

The questions are in ‘best of five’ multiple choice format. This format, in addition to testing core knowledge and comprehension, also assesses the ability to interpret information and to solve clinical problems. There will be five options – one correct answer and four alternatives to the correct answer. The four distractors will be closely related to the preferred option but less correct, therefore acting as plausible alternatives.

These questions give an indication of the type of question you can expect in the exam:



It’s important to note that taking the MRCP SCE will not grant you GMC Registration alone. Whilst the SCEs are a certificate of excellence, you must also have your GMC approved post graduate qualification –in most cases you will pair your SCE with your MRCP.

Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCE) look fantastic on your CV and will certainly help you stand out when applying for NHS jobs. If you have your MRCP and you’re now looking at sitting your SCE, or if you have already completed your SCE and you’re ready to begin your Palliative Medicine job search in the NHS then we can certainly help. We have a fantastic Medicine team at BDI Resourcing, who are experts at finding positions for Doctors in specialties such as Neurology. Do get in touch and send your CV to: [email protected]



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