Psychiatry Speciality Training

Applying to Psychiatry Speciality Training in the UK 2023: A Step-by-step Guide for IMGs to a Rewarding Career

For many International Medical Graduates (IMGs), the prospect of psychiatry speciality training in the UK is both exciting and challenging. Psychiatry, in particular, is a rewarding field that offers a unique blend of scientific rigour and human connection. In this blog, we provide a step-by-step guide for IMGs on how to navigate the application process for Psychiatry Specialty Training (ST) in the UK. Along the way, we’ll show you how resources like the MRCPsych course at can support your journey.

Psychiatry Speciality Training

Step 1: Understand the Specialty Training Structure

The first step in applying for psychiatry speciality training is to understand the structure of the training. The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) oversees this process, which consists of three years of core psychiatry training followed by three years of higher psychiatry speciality training. Successful completion of these stages leads to a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT), allowing you to practice as a consultant psychiatrist.

Step 2: Preparing for MRCPsych Exam

While applying for the training, it is also crucial to start preparing for your MRCPsych exam. The MRCPsych exam is a necessary step in your path to becoming a psychiatrist in the UK. It consists of written papers (MRCPsych Paper A and MRCPsych Paper B) and a Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies (CASC). Preparing for these exams is a challenging yet rewarding process. At, we provide a comprehensive MRCPsych course designed to help you succeed. We offer revision resources meticulously matched to the MRCPsych syllabus, over 5000+ MCQs, and mock exams that mimic the real exam experience. Our MRCPsych preparation also includes a mobile app with all the notes and questions available at your convenience.

Step 3: The Application Process

Application for psychiatry speciality training typically opens in November for entry in the following August. The application process is conducted online via Oriel, the UK’s medical training application system. During the application process, you will need to provide details about your qualifications, training, and experience. A well-crafted Medical CV is crucial at this stage. Check out our blog post on ‘How to Write a Medical CV’ for valuable tips.

Step 4: The Interviews

After the application process, you will be invited for interviews. These typically take place between January and March. The interview process for Psychiatry speciality training is designed to assess your commitment to psychiatry, clinical skills, and understanding of ethical scenarios. For tips on how to excel at this stage, read our blog post on ‘Preparing for Psychiatry speciality training Interviews’.

Step 5: Acceptance and Onboarding

If you are successful at the interview stage, you will be offered a place in a Psychiatry speciality training program. Before starting the program, you will be required to undergo pre-employment checks including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Once these checks are complete, you will begin your journey as a psychiatry trainee in the UK!

Psychiatry speciality training

Setting Your Ultimate Objective

Embarking on this professional journey necessitates the identification of your ultimate objective, a step often overlooked by many IMGs. This oversight can lead to a seemingly never-ending, convoluted path. So, before reading further, take a moment to address this pivotal question: What is your main aim in coming to the UK?

There are typically three principal avenues in clinical work:

  • Attaining the status of a UK Recognised Consultant Psychiatrist: Whether you plan to establish a long-term career in the UK or eventually move to another location is a decision that remains in your hands.
  • Engaging in psychiatry in the UK long-term, without pursuing Consultant recognition. Check out what the RCPsych have to say!
  • Completing a Psychiatry fellowship in the UK or acquiring UK experience, then returning to your home country.

So, what’s your chosen route? By providing an answer to this question at the onset, you can avoid the waste of time and resources that could arise from pursuing a pathway that does not align with your end goal.

Additional Alternatives

Of course, additional options exist, such as venturing into research, medical education, the pharmaceutical industry, hospital management, etc. However, these career pathways are outside the scope of this blog. Check out our blog on the alternative routes to long-term psychiatry careers in the UK!

Throughout this process, remember that applying for psychiatry speciality training is not just about securing a training spot – it’s about laying the foundation for your career as a psychiatrist. Your MRCPsych exam preparation is not just about passing the exams – it’s about gaining the knowledge and skills to become an effective psychiatrist. At, we understand this. Our MRCPsych course and blog posts are designed to help you succeed in your exams and beyond. For more details on MRCPsych exam dates, MRCPsych revision, MRCPsych questions, and MRCPsych preparation, visit us today. Your journey to becoming a psychiatrist starts here!