About the specialty: 

Dermatology is one of the most varied of the physician specialties allowing options for seeing all age groups of patients with inflammatory, inherited, environmental, occupational or malignant skin disorders. At present skin disease is one of commonest reasons for patients to consult a doctor and given the current observed increases in skin cancer and inflammatory conditions like eczema it is likely that dermatology will expand in the future. There will be an ongoing need to have secondary care based dermatology clinics and services nationally, although in some parts of the UK a component of out patient work may be carried out in other settings e.g. community hospitals. Specialist dermatology involves predominantly out patient work for diagnosis, investigation and treatment supported by appropriately staffed in patient facilities for severe inflammatory disorders.

Dermatology is a career option worth considering in terms of sheer variety of case mix from milder to severe, life limiting inflammatory disorders in all age groups. There are options, during subspecialty attachments to experience advanced skin surgery, skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, investigation and treatment of cutaneous allergy, paediatric dermatology and phototherapy/ photobiology. Specialist dermatology training allows exposure to all these potential subspecialties in addition to dermatopathology and infectious conditions.

Dermatology is a group 2 specialty and does not dual accredit. Entry into Dermatology higher specialist training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core traning programmes for Dermatology:

  • Internal Medicine (IM) stage 1 - two years
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM) - three year

Full MRCP is required.

However, trainees who have completed two years of core surgical training (CT) or three years of level 1 paediatric training with the relevant high stakes examination (MRCS or MRCPCH respectively) will be eligible to aply for higher specialist dermatology training. Trainees entering via these alternative pathways will require a gap analysis to determine what internal medicine training may be required to ensure they have the relevant internal medicine capabilities.


The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.

A new curriculum for Dermatology will be implemented in 2021, the final version is published below.

Dermatology 2021 Training Curriculum

Information on the Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Dermatology can be found on the MRCP(UK) website.

PDF icon 2010 Dermatology (amendment 2012).pdf

Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from

ARCP Decision Aids: 

The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. ARCP decision aids were revised to reflect the changes to the assessment and review process from August 2014 and replace all previous versions.

PDF icon 2010 Dermatology ARCP decision aid (revised 2014).pdf

Forms and guidance: 

2017 National Trainee Survey reports

The following reports are based on the results of the 2017 National Trainee Survey. For copies of older reports email

PDF icon 2017 NTS Dermatology Generic Indicators.pdf

PDF icon 2017 NTS Dermatology Specialty Specific Questions.pdf