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Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine

Diploma in
DPM Part 1: Wednesday 18th September 2019
DPM Part 2: Monday 14th October 2019

The next exam will be held in September and October 2019 at Hamilton House Conference Centre, Bloomsbury, London.

Part 1 (MCQ paper) will be held on Wednesday 18th September 2019 and Part 2 (SAQ and Critical Appraisal papers) will be held the following month on Monday 14th October 2019.

More information can be found at the bottom of this page here.

2018 DPM Pass List 


Candidates must possess a medical qualification recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK or be included on an appropriate medical register in their home country.


DPM Part 1 exam entry: £370

DPM Part 2 exam entry: £625


The application window will open in Spring 2019 and close on Monday 5th August after which time official exam confirmation letters containing full exam and venue details and your candidate number will be sent out.

If you are a physician in PMST or undergoing revalidation through an approved designated body, you should discuss the outcome of any exam at your next ARCP or revalidation appraisal respectively.

Privacy Notice: Please note that if you are registered or anticipate being registered with the GMC, your personal data, including examination marks, will be passed to the GMC for quality assurance purposes and to facilitate the awarding of CCTs.

To download further details, including the exam information pack which contains the DPM syllabus, please click on the links at the bottom of this page.

Structure of the exam

The Diploma is a two-part examination. Part 1 consists of a multiple choice question (MCQ) paper and Part 2 comprises a Short Answer Question paper and a Critical Appraisal paper. The two parts of the exam are set on two separate days approximately 4 weeks apart.

Part 1 consists of an MCQ paper of 75 questions each with 5 completions (total of 375 completions) all to be completed in 2 hours 30 minutes;

Part 2 consists of:

  • a Short Answer Question paper of ten questions all to be completed in 2 hours 30 minutes;
  • a Critical Appraisal paper in which candidates have 2 hours 30 minutes to study a published paper and answer questions on it.

The time allowed for the written examination is sufficient to complete the papers working at a reasonable pace. 

Candidates may apply to sit both Parts 1 and 2 at the same time but only candidates that achieve a Pass in the Part 1 exam will be allowed to sit the Part 2 exam.

A Pass in the Part 1 exam will be valid for a maximum of four opportunities to sit the Part 2 examination. If a candidate does not pass the Part 2 exam after four opportunities then the Part 1 pass will become invalid and the candidate will be required to re-sit Part 1. Once a Part 1 exemption expires, there can be no further exemption in future. 

Note: With respect to the meaning of “opportunities”, there is normally an opportunity to sit Part 2 each year. However, situations such as long term sickness may preclude a candidate sitting Part 2 in a particular year.  In this case, the candidate may be entitled to an extension of the validity of their Part 1 pass. The extension of the validity of a Part 1 pass will be considered on a case by case basis by the Officers of the Board of Examiners.  Candidates should contact the FPM Education Administrator with their justification if they wish to request an extension.

For example, if a candidate passed Part 1 in 2015:

  • The four opportunities for Part 2 are 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.  Therefore if a candidate does not pass Part 2 by 2018, then Part 1 will need to be repeated and passed in 2019 before attempting Part 2. 
  • If the candidate passed Part 1 in 2015, but then fails to take and/or pass Part 2 after four opportunities (i.e. by 2018 assuming no valid reason for extension) and then passes Part 1 in 2019 but fails Part 2 in 2019, the candidate will have to retake both parts of the DPM (Part 1 and Part 2) in each future calendar year until successful in both parts in the same year.

GMC Exam Guidance

Candidates are further reminded that the GMC has issued guidance on  ”Expectations about the number of attempts at examinations”
This states that

  • no candidate will normally be allowed more than six attempts at an examination
  • after 6 failed attempts a candidate must provide evidence of additional educational experience to the royal college for each re-sit (including those not currently in GMC approved training programmes).

Therefore applicable to both PMST and non PMST candidates, no candidate will be allowed >6 attempts at each of Part 1 and Part 2 without permission from the Officers of the Board of Examiners and for PMST trainees, additionally from the Pharmaceutical Medicine Deanery.

The Syllabus

The syllabus for the 2019 DPM exam is based on the PharmaTrain 2018 Syllabus. 

The syllabus is divided into sections covering the following:

Section 1 Discovery of Medicines
Section 2 Development of Medicines: Planning
Section 3 Non-Clinical Testing
Section 4 Pharmaceutical Development
Section 5 Exploratory Development (Molecule to Proof-of-Concept)
Section 6 Confirmatory Development: Strategies
Section 7 Clinical Trials
Section 8 Ethics and Legal Issues
Section 9 Data Management and Statistics
Section 10 Regulatory Affairs
Section 11 Drug Safety, Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology
Section 12 Information, Promotion and Education
Section 13 Economics of Healthcare, Health Econocmincs and Pharmacoeconomics

 The entire syllabusis available to download here.



The FPM led a project in 2017 on behalf of the PharmaTrain Federation and the International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) to update the 2010 PharmaTrain Syllabus (2010 syllabus). The output, the 2018 PharmaTrain Syllabus (2018 syllabus), was published in December 2017 and came into effect in January 2018. You can find the new 2018 syllabus and a list of the changes on the FPM’s ‘PharmaTrain Syllabus Revision Project’ webpage.

The syllabus is used worldwide by the universities and course providers that design and run courses and exams in pharmaceutical medicine. The FPM uses the syllabus to write questions for the DPM exam.

At a meeting of the FPM Education & Standards Committee, it was agreed that the FPM Board of Examiners would continue to use the 2010 syllabus for the 2018 DPM exam, and will start to use the 2018 syllabus for the exam in 2019. Therefore, pharmaceutical physicians who are planning to sit the exam in 2019 should work to the 2018 syllabus.

 A key consideration that the FPM Education & Standards Committee took into account was that some courses are taken over two years and a candidate sitting the 2018 DPM exam will have already completed one year of study in 2017 under the 2010 syllabus.  


Information and forms

To download further details about the DPM, please click on the links below.

The Board of Examiners (BoE) release newsletters periodically. Please find the current newsletters in the links below:

BoE Newsletter Winter 2018

BoE Newsletter Summer 2018

BoE Newsletter Winter 2017 

BoE Newsletter Spring 2017

BoE Newsletter Winter 2016

BoE Newsletter Summer 2016

BoE Newsletter Winter 2015

BoE Newsletter Summer 2015

BoE Newsletter Spring 2015

BoE Newsletter Winter 2014

BoE Newsletter Summer 2014