Skip to main content



About the specialty

Dermatology is one of the most varied of the physician specialties allowing options for seeing all age groups of patients with inflammatory, inherited, environmental, occupational or malignant skin disorders. At present skin disease is one of commonest reasons for patients to consult a doctor, and given the observed increases in skin cancer and inflammatory conditions like eczema, it is likely that dermatology will expand in the future. There will be an ongoing need to have secondary care based dermatology clinics and services nationally, although in some parts of the UK a component of outpatient work may be carried out in other settings e.g. community hospitals. Specialist dermatology involves predominantly outpatient work for diagnosis, investigation and treatment supported by appropriately staffed inpatient facilities for severe inflammatory disorders.

Dermatology is a career option worth considering in terms of sheer variety of case mix, from milder to severe life limiting inflammatory disorders in all age groups. There are options during subspecialty attachments to experience advanced skin surgery, skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, investigation and treatment of cutaneous allergy, paediatric dermatology and phototherapy/photobiology. Specialist dermatology training allows exposure to all these potential subspecialties in addition to dermatopathology and infectious conditions.

Dermatology is a group 2 specialty and does not dual accredit. Entry into Dermatology higher specialist training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme and full MRCP(UK). There are two core traning programmes for Dermatology:

  • Internal Medicine (IM) stage 1 - two years
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM) - three year

Trainees from surgical and paediatric backgrounds will be able to enter higher specialist dermatology training via one of the following alternative pathways:

  • Satisfactory completion of three years of level 1 paediatric training programme with full MRCPCH (UK) or two years of Core Surgical Training (CST) with full MRCS plus achievement of IMY2 capabilities.
  • Satisfactory completion of three years of level 1 paediatric training programme with full MRCPCH (UK) or two years of Core Surgical Training (CST) with full MRCS plus 12 months’ experience in medical specialties in a range of acute hospital medical specialties that admit acutely unwell medical patients and manage their immediate follow up.

Latest news and developments

A new curriculum for Dermatology has been approved by the GMC and implemented in August 2021. Current trainees will be expected to transfer to the new curriculum unless in their final year of training. Please see the sections below for more information. 


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). Information on the Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Dermatology can be found on the MRCP(UK) website.

The 2021 Dermatology curriculum and syllabus is given below. Please see the relevant sections of this page for supporting documents.

Dermatology 2021 Training Curriculum

Dermatology syllabus guidance 2021

The 2010 curriculum is given 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. The ARCP decision aid for the 2021 Dermatology curriculum is given below.

Dermatology 2021 ARCP Decision Aid

Trainees remaining on the 2010 curriculum should use the version below.