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Medical education in the UK

This page provides a brief overview of medical training in the UK, with links to external sites which will give you more information.

Medical education in the UK is wide and diverse. On average, undergraduate courses last between 4 and 6 years. After their undergraduate training, newly qualified doctors undergo 2 years of foundation programme training before choosing a specialty. In obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G), specialty training takes 7 years.

Undergraduate training

To find out which UK universities offer medical degrees at undergraduate level, please visit the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website.

For more detail about O&G training at undergraduate level, see the undergraduate curriculum in O&G.

Foundation training

The 2-year foundation programme was set up to ensure that all newly qualified doctors followed a structured programme of study and practical experience before progressing to specialist training.

For more information, please visit the foundation programme website and read the RCOG’s information about foundation training.

Specialty training

Upon successful completion of the foundation programme, doctors then have the option to undertake further study in a specific field of medicine to develop the intermediate and advanced competencies and skills required to practise in their chosen discipline.

Specialty training in O&G

The RCOG works closely with the training deaneries and the General Medical Council (GMC) to promote medical education, develop standards and curricula and deliver specialty training in O&G. For more information, please visit the Health Education England website.

Doctors who’ve completed their foundation years or have equivalent training who wish to become obstetricians and gynaecologists must apply for selection onto the national specialist training programme via the Oriel website. It’s not possible to enter run-through training in O&G at a later point in your career.

Find out more about the structure of specialist education and training in O&G.

Find out more about the specialty training curriculum in O&G.

Academic O&G

Find out how the College promotes and supports academic work within obstetrics and gynaecology