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Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine

The 2018 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine Examination (Parts 1 and 2)

The next exam will be held in September and October 2018 at Hamilton House Conference Centre, Bloomsbury, London.

Part 1 (MCQ paper) will be held on Wednesday 19th September 2018 and Part 2 (SAQ and Critical Appraisal papers) will be held the following month on Monday 15th October 2018.

The cost for Part 1 is £360 and the cost for Part 2 is £610.

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

*** The Pass List for the 2017 can be found here ***

Terms and conditions: You will receive a full refund of any exam fees paid if you withdraw from the exam before the published closing date. Refunds will be made, less a £50 cancellation fee, if you notify us after the closing date and before the day of the exam. If you fail the Part 1 exam and have booked and paid for the Part 2 exam, a full refund of the Part 2 exam fee will be made. The Faculty reserves the right to change the venue if circumstances arise that require such changes. In the event of cancellation by the Faculty a full refund of the exam entry fee only will be given, we recommend you take out insurance to cover any travel and accommodation expenses. Your personal details will be used for the purposes of event administration only. Please note the Faculty's data protection statement


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


Registration for the exam is completed online. Registrations for the 2018 exam are now open. Please use the BOOK button below to complete the enrolment process.



Please note our data protection statement.

Once you have successfully completed registration, an official exam confirmation letter will be e-mailed to you after the closing date containing full exam and venue details and your candidate number. Please note that refunds will not be given after the closing date.

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 2014:

  • The four opportunities for Part 2 are 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Therefore if a candidate does not pass Part 2 by 2017, then Part 1 will need to be repeated and passed in 2018 before attempting Part 2. 
  • If the candidate passed Part 1 in 2014, but then fails to take and/or pass Part 2 after four opportunities (i.e. by 2017 assuming no valid reason for extension) and then passes Part 1 in 2018 but fails Part 2 in 2018, 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 DPM exam is based on the PharmaTrain 2010 Syllabus. Read more here.

The syllabus is divided into sections covering the following:


Discovery of Medicines


Development of Medicines: Planning


Non-Clinical Testing


Pharmaceutical Development


Exploratory Development (Molecule to Proof-of-Concept)


Confirmatory Development: Strategies


Clinical Trials


Ethics and Legal Issues


Data Management and Statistics


Regulatory Affairs


Drug Safety, Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology


Information, Promotion and Education


Economics of Healthcare



 The entire syllabus is available to download here.


The FPM led a project last year 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 recent meeting of the FPM Education & Standards Committee, it was agreed that the FPM Board of Examiners will 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 2018 should continue to work to the 2010 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 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