Blogs > Postgraduate Qualifications


  • April 15, 2020

MRCS, the Intercollegiate Membership examination of the Royal College of Surgeons, aims to test a doctor’s knowledge, experience and clinical abilities expected of trainees at the end of their core training in surgery, regardless of your chosen specialty. Completing both parts of MRCS will grant you membership to one of the four Royal Colleges in the UK and Ireland and will grant you access to higher specialist training.

In this article, we will offer an overview of MRCS Part B (OSCE), what you can expect from the examination and provide you with some study resources to offer you the best opportunity of passing this first part of your exam. We also have an article giving a broader overview of both parts of MRCS, which you may read here.

Am I Eligible?

In order to be eligible to attempt MRCS Part B, you must have passed Part A and hold a primary medical degree that is accepted by the General Medical Council (GMC). If you are a first-time applicant and do not currently hold GMC registration, you will need to submit your original primary medical degree certificate to the Royal College.

How Much Does it Cost?

Currently, MRCS costs £997 to take in the UK, the fee can vary slightly depending on the country you plan to sit the exam in. You can find out how much it will cost in a particular country on the Royal College of Surgeons website.

MRCS Part B Format

It is important to note, the MRCS Part B, also known as the Objective Structured Clinial Examination (OSCE) will normally consist of 18 examined stations each of 9 minutes’ duration. These 18 stations will be divided into four broad content areas, as seen below:

Applied Knowledge
160 marks

1. Anatomy and Surgical Pathology

5 Stations

2. Applied Surgical Science and Critical Care

3 Stations

Applied Skills
200 marks

3. Clinical and Procedural Skills

6 Stations

4. Communication Skills

4 Stations

Each station is marked out of 20 marks.

In addition to the four broad content areas examined in the OSCE and listed in the chartr above, there are an additional four areas that are assessed, which encompass Good Medical Practice of a competent surgeon. They are as follows:

1. Clinical knowledge and its application: the clinical knowledge specified in the syllabus; the ability to understand, synthesise and apply knowledge in a clinical context.

2. Clinical and technical skill: the capacity to apply sound clinical knowledge, skill and awareness to a full investigation of problems to reach a provisional diagnosis, the ability to perform manual tasks related to surgery which demands manual dexterity, hand/eye coordination and visual/spatial awareness.

3. Communication: the ability to assimilate information, identify what is important and convey it to others clearly using a variety of methods; the capacity to adjust behaviour and language (written/spoken) as appropriate to the needs of differing situations; the ability actively and clearly to engage patient/carer/colleague(s) in open dialogue.

4. Professionalism: the demonstration of effective judgement and decision making skills; the consideration of all appropriate facts before reaching a decision; the capacity to make the best use of information and think beyond the obvious; being alert to symptoms and signs suggesting conditions that might progress or destabilise; being aware of own strengths/limitations and knowing when to ask for help; the ability to accommodate new or changing information and use it to manage a clinical problem, to anticipate and plan in advance, to prioritise conflicting demands and build contingencies, to demonstrate effective time management; being aware of the need to put patient safety first.

Where can I Sit MRCS Part B?
Part B can be sat in several locations in the UK and all over the world. You can find the full list of countries on the MRCS website, and you can also see the individual fee to sit the exam in each country.

UK Locations:

  • Belfast
  • Cardiff
  • Coventry
  • Dublin
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Stirling

Global Locations

  • Afghanistan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Botswana
  • Burma
  • Cameroon
  • Cyprus
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

Revision Resources

There are many revision resources available for MRCS Part B, and we highly recommend that you make use of them in order to give yourself the best possible chance of passing.

Books are an excellent resource as many of them cover the types of questions you may encounter during the exam, and can offer you excellent opportunities to practice.

MRCS Part B: Essential Revision Notes Book 1  by Catherine Parchment Smith and Claire Ritchie Chalmers

MRCS Part B: Essential Revision Notes Book 2  by Catherine Parchment Smith and Claire Ritchie Chalmers

DrExam Part B: MRCS OSCE Revision Guide Clinical Examination by B.H Miranda


Many websites offer access to multiple resources for the exam, and some of them even enable you to take practice examinations and receive feedback. - This website supplies practice questions and learning resources. - Revision mode, timed tests, extensive performance analysis and powerful question review functions.

Good luck!

If you’re a doctor with full MRCS, and would like support relocating to the UK and finding a job in the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you on your relocation journey.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group every day. We will also be on hand to answer any relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on obtaining GMC registration and securing an NHS job.


Royal College of Surgeons. (2020). Intercollegiate MRCS Part B OSCE — Royal College of Surgeons. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2020].

JCST. (2020). UK Trainees — JCST. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2020].


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