Part 2 examination
Timing of the examination
The examinations are held twice a year, in Spring and Autumn.
1. Entry qualifications
Part 1 is a prerequisite for Part 2.
2. Training requirements
For medical candidates, the Part 2 examination can be taken after a minimum of five years recognised training, including four years of higher specialist training.
For science graduates, the Part 2 examination cannot be taken until eight years after obtaining the degree entry qualification.
Note this does not necessarily mean there has to be a large gap between Parts1 and 2. A candidate entering Part 1 at about 67 years post-degree or later could progress rapidly to Part 2.
Candidates for the Part 2 examination are required to give evidence of widening their experience over a minimum period of two years of training by examination of a written component and an oral examination.
Structure and format of the examination
1. Written component
There are four options for the written component:
a) a casebook consisting of 78 cases
b) a dissertation
c) a minimum of three refereed published papers
d) a PhD/MD thesis, normally completed during the training period.
Guidelines for the submission of a proposal for a casebook or dissertation for approval by the College, and also on the expected standard of the contents, are given in the general guidelines above.
The research work used for the basis of a dissertation or PhD thesis should be on the topic of human molecular genetics or cytogenetics. The work should also be reasonably up to date. Thus a PhD obtained before the attainment of the Part 1 examination will probably not be acceptable for submission and the research work done can be rewritten as a dissertation that brings the results and subject matter up to date in the light of current research and publications in the subject.
The written component has to be awarded a pass mark before application for the oral examination can be accepted.
2. Oral examination
The aim of the examination, as stated in the guidelines above, is to establish that the candidate has demonstrated a level of competence appropriate for independent practice at consultant level.
The examination will test their:
· scientific knowledge relevant to their branch of genetics (molecular or cytogenetics), including recent relevant literature
· ability to apply basic knowledge appropriately in a clinical context
· understanding of laboratory organisation and direction, including principles of budget control, quality control, safety and staff management.
Each of these aspects will occupy approximately one-third of the examination. The candidate should pass in all three areas.
Although the dissertation, casebook or thesis has already been examined and approved, the examination may be opened by discussion of their submission and the College may ask candidates to bring them with them to the oral.
There will be two examiners. The examination will last about 1 hour.
Standards and marking methods
Guidelines for the standards expected of the written options for the Part 2 examination are outlined in the general guidelines above.
The written component is independently marked by two examiners and awarded a pass, fail or a conditional pass subject to further work or modification.
The oral is conducted by two examiners, often different to those who examined the written component, and awarded either a pass or fail mark. Each candidate is asked the same questions relating to the three different subject areas of the examination. To maintain standards between specialties, the oral examinations for cytogenetics candidates are often performed with the attendance of a molecular genetics examiner as an observer and vice versa for the molecular genetics oral.