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Part 1 MRCOG: syllabus

The Part 1 MRCOG covers the basic and applied sciences relevant to the clinical practice of O&G. This page summarises the syllabus, explaining what you’ll need to know for the Part 1 MRCOG exam.

For more detail about the content of each module, please visit the core curriculum page or download the PDFs from this page.

There is inevitably overlap between modules, and not all subjects and domains are relevant to a particular module, as shown in the blueprinting grid (PDF, 43 kb).

Click on the module you wish to learn more about. Modules 2, 4 and 19 are not examined by the Part 1 MRCOG.

Module 1: Clinical skills

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Patterns of symptoms and understand the importance of risk factors
  • Pathological basis for physical signs and clinical investigation
  • How to interpret results of clinical investigations

Download the full curriculum for module 1 (PDF, 450 kb)

Module 3: Information technology, clinical governance and research

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Principles of screening, clinical trial design (multicentre, randomised controlled trials, etc.) and the statistical methods used in clinical research
  • Levels of evidence, quantification of risk, power of study, level of significance, informed consent and ethical and regulatory approvals in research
  • Principles of safe prescribing, quality control in medicine and the accuracy of tests

Download the full curriculum for module 3 (PDF, 376 kb)

Module 5: Core surgical skills

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Underlying physiology, pathology and biophysics of basic surgical skills
  • Methods of measuring clinically important physiological variables, including the range of imaging techniques
  • Basic clinical skills in core surgical practice
  • Pathophysiology underpinning fluid and electrolyte balance, coagulation, control of blood flow, wound healing, inflammation and immune response, including tissue grafting
  • Pathology, management and epidemiology surrounding surgical complications, infection, infection control and trauma

Download the full curriculum for module 5 (PDF, 285 kb)

Module 6: Postoperative care

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Applied clinical science related to the postoperative period, including physiological and biochemical aspects of fluid balance, the metabolism of nutrients after surgery and the biochemistry of enzymes, vitamins and minerals
  • Organisms implicated in postoperative infections and the therapies used to treat them
  • Therapeutic drugs used perioperatively, including analgesics and thromboprophylactic agents
  • Histopathology of the pelvic organs, the breast and the endocrine organs, including the pituitary and the hypothalamus
  • Classification systems of gynaecological and obstetric conditions

Download the full curriculum for module 6 (PDF, 207 kb)

Module 7: Surgical procedures

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Surgical anatomy of the pregnant and non-pregnant female, including anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis, detailed functional anatomy of bones, joints, muscles, vasculature and the lymphatic and nerve supply of pelvic structures, including the genital, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts and the pelvic floor
  • Functional anatomy, including mechanisms involved in continence, pelvic support and sexual response
  • Impact of surgery and anaesthesia on the cells, tissues and organs, including the body’s responses to trauma, haemostasis and homeostasis
  • Properties and effects of analgesic and anaesthetic agents

Download the full curriculum for module 7 (PDF, 242 kb)

Module 8: Antenatal care

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Maternal anatomical, endocrine and physiological adaptations occurring in pregnancy
  • Pathology of major organ systems, including the common haemoglobinopathies and connective tissue disorders as applied to pregnancy
  • Screening tests commonly performed in pregnancy
  • Fetal abatomy, including abnormalities, embryology, endocrine function and physiology
  • Normal fetal physiology and development, together with the aetiology of fetal malformations and acquired problems, including abnormalities of growth; this will include regulation of amniotic fluid volume and fetal interaction with the amniotic fluid
  • Development and function of the placenta in pregnancy, with specific knowledge of how the placenta handles drugs
  • Principles of inheritance and features and effects of common inherited disorders
  • Basic ultrasound findings in pregnancy
  • How to define and interpret data on maternal, neonatal and perinatal mortality
  • Impact of maternal health and other variables, e.g. social deprivation, on pregnancy outcome

Download the full curriculum for module 8 (PDF, 307 kb)

Module 9: Maternal medicine

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Epidemiology and pathological processes that underlie common maternal diseases in pregnancy, including diabetes and endocrine, respiratory, cardiac and haematological disease
  • Pathophysiology and presentation of common infections that affect pregnant women and the treatments and interventions used for these infections
  • Drugs used to treat maternal disease, and the potential maternal and fetal complications associated with their use
  • Imaging methods used to screen for maternal and fetal complications of maternal disease, e.g. ultrasound, X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging, and how to interpret their results

Download the full curriculum for module 9 (PDF, 431 kb)

Module 10: Management of labour

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Physiology, biochemistry and endocrinology of parturition, including maturation of the fetal endocrine system, the influence of hormones on signaling pathways in the myometrium and the biochemistry of myometrial contractility
  • Principles of tocolysis and stimulation of uterine contraction
  • Fetal physiology in late pregnancy
  • Fetal assessment in late pregnancy and labour, and how to interpret the results
  • Placentation and the implications of infection on labour, and the optical therapeutic options

Download the full curriculum for module 10 (PDF, 238 kb)

Module 11: Management of delivery

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Anatomical adaptations of the pelvis and abdomen in late pregnancy and labour, and the mechanism and physiology of childbirth and the third stage of labour
  • Aetiology and pathology of congenital and bone malformations of the genital tract
  • Mode of action of drugs used in labour, at delivery and in the third stage of labour
  • Indications for and risks of operative delivery
  • Biochemical basis of acid–base balance, normal fetal physiological changes in labour and how to interpret fetal and cord blood analysis
  • Female perineum and principles underlying the management of perineal repair

Download the full curriculum for module 11 (PDF, 103 kb)

Module 12: Postpartum problems (the puerperium)

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Physiology and structural changes in the neonate
  • Physiology of lactation, uterine involution and the pathology and management of puerperal sepsis and infection
  • Common puerperal complications, including mental health issues
  • Postpartum contraception and other drugs used postpartum and during lactation

Download the full curriculum for module 12 (PDF, 326 kb)

Module 13: Gynaecological problems

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Anatomy, physiology and histopathology of the pituitary gland and female reproductive tract, including an understanding of changes at puberty, at menopause and during the menstrual cycle, including ovulation
  • Epidemiology, microbiology and therapeutics of benign gynaecological conditions, including infection
  • How to interpret results of commonly performed investigations for benign gynaecological conditions
  • Principles of medical and surgical management of gynaecological problems

Download the full curriculum for module 13 (PDF, 234 kb)

Module 14: Subfertility

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Epidemiology of subfertility and treatment
  • Anatomy, development, function and cell biology of the organs of the male and female reproductive tracts in the context of their relevance to fertility and its disorders
  • How to interpret results of investigations commonly performed as part of the investigation of subfertility

Download the full curriculum for module 14 (PDF, 264 kb)

Module 15: Sexual and reproductive health

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Physiology, endocrinology, epidemiology and pharmacology of contraception
  • Epidemiology and serology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the microorganisms involved, the drugs used in their treatment and the pathological features of STIs
  • Termination of pregnancy, including assessment, Fraser competency, surgical management and the drugs used in medical termination of pregnancy

Download the full curriculum for module 15 (PDF, 347 kb)

Module 16: Early pregnancy care

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Basic sciences pertaining to early pregnancy and its loss, including the endocrine aspects of the maternal recognition of pregnancy, the luteal maintenance of early pregnancy and the physiology of fetomaternal communication
  • Aetiology and histopathology of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and trophoblastic disease
  • Diagnostic features of ultrasound used in early pregnancy, the epidemiology of pregnancy loss and the medical agents used to manage pregnancy loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and trophoblastic disease)
  • How to interpret the results of investigations used in early pregnancy problems

Download the full curriculum for module 16 (PDF, 162 kb)

Module 17: Gynaecological oncology

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Surgical anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis
  • Cellular biology of cancer, genetic origins of cancer and principles of diagnosis and screening for gynaecological cancer
  • Pain pathways, transmission of pain centrally and pathology of pain in gynaecological malignancy
  • Epidemiology and aetiology of cancers affecting women
  • Pathology of and classification systems for gynaecological cancer and premalignant gyanecological conditions
  • Principles of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the management of gynaecological cancer and their effects on gonadal function

Download the full curriculum for module 17 (PDF, 253 kb)

Module 18: Urogynaecology and pelvic floor problems

You’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Structure of the bladder and pelvic floor and their innervation
  • Mechanisms of continence and micturition and principles of pelvic floor support
  • How congenital anomalies, pregnancy and childbirth, disease, infection and estrogen deficiency affect these mechanisms
  • Principles underlying the treatment of bladder and pelvic floor problems and the impact of other drugs on bladder function

Download the full curriculum for module 18 (PDF, 259 kb)

Elsewhere on the site

Specialty training in O&G
Overview of the specialty training programme in obstetrics and gynaecology, including how the MRCOG exams fit in
Curriculum
The full specialty training programme in O&G – core modules, ultrasound, ATSMs, subspecialty and academic