Higher Specialist Training in Pathology

Doctor and trainee.


We offer six Higher Specialist Training (HST) programmes in Pathology:

  • Chemical Pathology
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Haematology
  • Histopathology
  • Immunology
  • Neuropathology

On satisfactory completion of HST, you will receive a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) which allows you to enter the Specialist Division of the Register with the Medical Council. This means you can apply for consultant posts.

Many doctors spend some time working abroad and building up their portfolio of research, audits and publications before becoming a consultant. However, you will have met the core requirement for consultant appointment, which is registration on the Specialist Division of the Register with the Medical Council.

To find out what HST in each specialty involves and what the entry requirements are, check the relevant curriculum here.

What to Expect

Your first two years of HST will be spent in full-time SpR posts in Ireland. After that, you can continue to train in full-time posts in Ireland, or you can start a period of full-time research or develop a subspecialty interest.

You can apply for up to 12 months’ credit towards your Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) for research undertaken during HST.

During the annual allocation of SpR posts, we will endeavour to be as flexible as possible, within the confines of your specialty requirements, to allow you to develop a subspecialty interest.

Depending on your specialty, you will need to see a set number of complicated cases, attend a certain number of outpatient clinics, and demonstrate competence in certain processes and laboratory skills during HST.


What Do I Need to Do in Addition to Hospital-Based Training?

In addition to supervised training in the hospital, you will attend a number of mandatory courses and study days designed to help you develop professionally and acquire the non-clinical skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care.

You will also be required to pass the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) examination.

The FRCPath examination assesses your knowledge of your specialty and your ability to apply that knowledge in practice. The exam is taken in two parts – Part 1 and Part 2.

The Part 1 FRCPath examination is normally taken after two years of training in your specialty.

For further information about this exam please visit the Royal College of Pathologists website

Where are our Graduates now?

Facts About HST in Pathology

Duration Five years minimum
Job title/grade of doctor Specialist Registrar (SpR)
Average intake each year Chemical Pathology - 0
Clinical Microbiology - 8
Haematology - 6
Histopathology - 6
Immunology - 1
Neuropathology - 1

* these numbers are current and indicative and not a future predictor
Exams to pass Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath)
Mandatory educational courses to be completed as part of HST • Performing Audit
• Health Research Methods – An Introduction
• Mastering Communications
• Ethics I - Professionalism
• Ethics II - Law
• Ethics III - Research
• Ethics IV - Ethics for Pathology
• Core Pathology – Module 1
• Core Pathology – Module 2
• Core Pathology – Module 3
• HST Leadership for Pathology
Study days to attend Three to five depending on the specialty

Check the Minimum Requirements for Training section of your curriculum
Training body Faculty of Pathology, RCPI

Contact us

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Tel: +353 1 8639721

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