MRCPsych Courses

The KSS year one and year two MRCPsych Courses follow the syllabus of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, typically delivered on alternate weeks over three terms per year. CT1 and 2 doctors have protected study time to attend, and the study leave budget for each doctor covers the cost of the courses.

They are delivered incorporating modern teaching methods and learning opportunities at The Sussex Education Centre, Mill View Hospital, Hove BN3 7HZ.

Year one

The first year is delivered by Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and covers material for Paper A of the Royal College of Psychiatrists exams, focusing on sciences core to psychiatric practice. Trainees have the opportunity to take this year as a Postgraduate Certificate, with credits towards a Masters postgraduate degree (MSc) in Psychiatry, and bursaries supporting this additional qualification have been available. The year one course is led by Richard Whale, Principal Lecturer in Psychiatry at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

Year two

The second year of the course is delivered by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the KSS School of Psychiatry and covers the syllabus for Paper B and the CASC exam of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The Course Clinical Lead is Kate Hill, Consultant in Early Intervention in Psychosis.

The year two course aims are to:

  • Provide relevant clinical knowledge of the clinical areas of Paper B
  • Cover, where possible, the MRCPsych syllabus to be prepared for the Paper B exam
  • Be explicit where it is not possible to cover syllabus area, and signpost how to cover these
  • Expose the doctors on the Course to inspirational clinicians in these areas, show-casing their specialities
  • Be able to share current research developments in each field
  • Be able to share clinical dilemmas or areas of development in each field

Year two is more clinically focused, offering a variety of teaching methods with plenty of discussion of clinical dilemmas, alongside practice Single Best Answer MCQs and Extended Matching Items. We have also added a critical appraisal teaching workshop, and end the year with a fantastic mock CASC with actors and examiners who have experience of the real CASC to prepare trainees fully for their exams.

PG Cert to MSc

Doctors who go on to undertake the MSc course are subsequently offered modules in leadership, teaching and research methods, and are recommended to study these following MRCPsych qualification. The final part of the MSc course is a research project and dissertation, offering a formal, fully supervised research experience. Completion of the MSc is expected within a total of five years.

The final part of the MSc course is a research project and dissertation, offering a formal, fully supervised research experience. Completion of the MSc is expected within a total of 5 years. In addition to the two clinical modules, KSS separately funds a Research Methods module.

Preparing for the examinations 

The MRCPsych Course provides examination preparation and practice. Other Core doctors will be in the same position and usually set up study groups for each exam stage. For more advice, local higher specialist trainees or CT3 doctors who have passed the exams can pass on what they did successfully.

Additionally, the trainers in the Trusts will include current examiners who are able to give informal advice.

The simulation-based practice for the CASC exam is held at the MRCPsych course and locally in the three mental health trusts. These provide realistic preparation, simulating the CASC stations. The chance to practice the CASC should be taken up early, even before feeling ready, for early familiarity and a valuable framework for later preparation