Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine

About the specialty: 

Infectious Diseases provides the opportunity of a career ranging from challenging and constantly varied clinical management to intellectually stimulating frontier research into diseases of worldwide importance. The specialty has encompassed the requirements of a clearly objective based training curriculum and offers training programmes ranging from pure infectious diseases to combined training with general internal medicine or medical microbiology / medical virology.

The challenge to rationalise antibiotic use in the light of increasing microbial resistance, to combat clinical problems of healthcare acquired infection and worldwide pandemics of HIV, hepatitis and malaria and to respond to emerging infection problems such as Ebola makes Infectious diseases an exciting and contemporary specialty.

Tropical Medicine training covers the same curriculum as Infectious Diseases but also includes 12 months in an overseas, resource poor setting that has been recognised for training and at least two years of the UK-based training must be in a recognised Tropical Centre ie Liverpool, London (HTD) and Birmingham. Trainees also attend a full-time Diploma of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene course.

Combined Infection Training (CIT) 

The Combined Infection Training (CIT) programme went live on 5 August 2015. CIT was jointly developed with the Royal College of Pathologists to more closely align training in the infection disciplines of infectious diseases (ID), tropical medicine (TM), medical microbiology (MM) and medical virology (MV).  The four curricula incorporating CIT and were approved by the GMC in 2014. All four 2014 curricula require completion of:

  • Core medical training (CMT) or Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) and attainment of the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) examination as an entry requirement
  • Combined Infection Training (CIT) training period to be tested by the FRCPath Part 1 and Combined Infection Certificate Examination (CICE)
  • Higher specialist training in one of the four specialties

The curricula for ID and TM and transitional guidance for these specialties can be found in the relevant sections below. The documents for Medical Microbiology and Medical Virology are available on the RCPath website.

Latest news and developments: 

New curricula have been developed for the infection specialties and will be implemented in August 2021 for trainees dual training in Infectious Diseases or Tropical Medicineg with Medical Microbiology or Medical Virology (RCPath specialties). Training in the new curricula for ID and TM will also be possible as part of a dual programme with Internal Medicine from August 2022.

Doctors in training will need to transfer to the new curriculum from August 2022 unless their CCT date is on or before 31 August 2023.


New curricula have been developed for Infectious Diseases (ID) and Tropical Medicine (TM) as well as the related specialties of Medical Microbiology (MM) and Medical Virology (MV) which are managed by the RCPath. The new curricula will be implemented in August 2021.

PDF icon DRAFT 2021 Infectious Diseases curriculum 161120

PDF icon DRAFT 2021 Tropical Medicine curriculum 161120

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. The FRCPath Part 1 and Combined Infection Certificate Examination (CICE) is the knowledge test for the 2014 curricula and details can be found on the RCPath website

The current curricula for Medical Microbiology and Medical Virology are available on the RCPath website.

The current 2014 curricula for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine are provided below.

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. 

Guidance has been produced for 2021 ARCPs reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please see below and the webpage

Infection specialties ARCP guidance March 2021

PDF icon 2014 Infectious Diseases ARCP Decision Aid (June 2019)

PDF icon 2014 Tropical Medicine ARCP Decision Aid (June 2019)

Forms and guidance: 

Guidance on dual ID GIM training and ARCP requirements

PDF icon Guidance on dual ID GIM training and ARCP requirements