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Running an MRCPsych course

  • Christopher A. Vassilas and Giles S. Berrisford


This article outlines how MRCPsych courses have developed historically and gives an account of the factors that are currently driving changes in postgraduate psychiatric education. A brief description of educational theory that is applicable to the teaching of these courses is given, followed by a description of the teaching methods used. We also describe the different elements of an MRCPsych course, from the resource requirements to the way the course is structured and delivered. The principles described and examples given may be of interest to experienced course organisers and may be helpful to those taking on the role of course organiser for the first time.

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Corresponding author

Dr Christopher A. Vassilas, Ashcroft Unit, The Moorings, Hockley, Birmingham B18 5SD, UK. Email:


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Declaration of Interest

C.A.V. is Chair of the Birmingham MRCPsych Course Board, Director of Medical Education for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Programme Director for the West Midlands Old Age Psychiatry Higher Training Scheme. G.S.B. is an educationalist for the Birmingham MRCPsych course in psychiatry.



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Running an MRCPsych course

  • Christopher A. Vassilas and Giles S. Berrisford
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