Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn


Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.  Surgery often covers the full range of neurological disorders.  The two main specialist centers for Neurosurgery in Ireland are Beaumont Hospital, Dublin and Cork University Hospital, Cork.

Neurosurgery Training Pathway

The training pathway to becoming a Neurosurgeon in Ireland commences at Core Surgical Training ST1 and completes at Specialty Training ST8. Within these 8 years of training a trainee will undergo Core Surgical Training in ST1 & ST2. Core Training is a common trunk of training which is undertaken by all surgical trainees, irrespective of their future specialty aspiration. It is intended to introduce trainees to the principles of surgery in general and give them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which are required by all surgical specialities in preparation for Specialty Training (ST3- ST8).

Throughout the two years trainees are assessed via the Competency Assessment and Performance Appraisal (CAPA) process.

ST3 is entry level into (Higher) Specialty Training which completes at ST8. This is based on on-going progression assessment (CAPA), successful completion of the MRCS exam and specialty interview (ST3-ST8).

The General Surgery training programme has a defined curriculum that trainees need to complete. Biannual assessments, training courses, wet labs and modalities such as the Intercollegiate Surgical Training Programme ( are used to track progression throughout ST3 - ST8. Trainees need to complete the curriculum and the FRCS examination in order to achieve a Certificate of Completion of Surgical Training (CCST). Without the fellowship exam (FRCS) a trainee cannot receive their Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST) which forms a part of the eligibility criteria for registration with the Irish Medical Council. 

For further details please contact Programme Director Mr Darach Crimmins at