Exam Details - MFDS Part 2

Key Facts

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MFDS Part 2

The Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) is an internationally recognised dental qualification which demonstrates completion of foundation/basic postgraduate dental training. The exam is bi-collegiate and is organised jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. The papers sat at each of the Colleges at any particular sitting are identical and are held simultaneously. The MFDS exam has two parts, Part 1 and Part 2.

The MFDS Part 2 tests the trainee’s clinical competence by assessing communication skills and the knowledge and understanding required to manage a range of common conditions. 

Exam Format

The MFDS Part 2 is an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE). The exam consists of 10 stations and usually lasts around two hours. Each station will simulate the types of patient consultation that confront candidates during their training.

The 10 areas examined are listed below:

  • History taking (two stations)
    Dental, medical, social
  • Explanations (four stations)
    Diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, procedures
  • Interpretation of investigations/special tests (one station)
  • Managing patient concerns/queries (three stations)
    Gaining consent, handling complaints, managing anxiety, motivating, breaking bad

The stations carry equal weight, and candidates will be awarded either a pass or a fail.

Benefits of the MFDS

  • The MFDS marks a level of achievement above and beyond the primary dental qualification and clearly exhibits an early commitment to professional development.

  • For those aspiring to enter specialty training, it will also provide a significant contribution to the portfolio of evidence that would be required to indicate suitable eligibility.

  • Opportunity to demonstrate the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and clinical competence that will have been obtained during Dental Foundation Training.

Membership of the College

By choosing to sit your MFDS Part 2 at the RCSEd, you will be joining our membership network of approximately 25,000 professionals in over 100 countries worldwide. As well as joining a College renowned for its friendliness and approachability, the College offers a wide range of membership services to support you through every step in your career and professional development.


Exam Fee: 

£770 for UK locations

£1450 for Kuala Lumpur


Exam Eligibility

Candidates must provide evidence of:

  • Having passed MFDS Part 1 or an equivalent exempting qualification, at the time of applying for MFDS Part 2.
  • Completion of a minimum of 12 months full-time postgraduate experience in clinical dentistry. Normally, equivalent part-time experience will be acceptable if gained within a period of four years. It is important to note that experience must be postgraduate and, therefore, must have been gained after the date of conferment on the BDS certificate.

Candidates have four attempts in which to pass their MFDS Part 2.

Additional Information

Before applying for this exam, please ensure you have read and understood the relevant documentation.

Our Exam Policies and Procedures page will provide you with more general information about sitting an exam at the College.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently-asked questions regarding this examination are given below. We hope this information will provide the details you require. The Regulations for the examination are available on our website. However, if you wish to make any further enquiries, please e-mail us at mfds.exams@rcsed.ac.uk

Who is offering the MFDS (2007)?

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow collaborate on this examination and have produced a single set of regulations for the two Colleges. Candidates may enter through only one College for any particular diet. The MFDS (from 2007) examination is a different examination to those offered by the Royal College of Surgeons of England or the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

What is the format of the examination?

There are two parts to the MFDS examination – Part 1 and Part 2.
Part 1 consists of a single written paper containing 180 multiple choice questions (single best answer type). The Part 1 examination stands alone, candidates being awarded either a pass or a fail.
Part 2 consists of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) of approximately two hours’ duration. Candidates will be awarded either a pass or a fail..
Candidate guidance is available on the College website.

What are the entry requirements for the examination?

For Part 1 you must be in possession of a primary dental qualification acceptable to the Councils of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. For Part 2 you must have written confirmation of a pass at Part 1 or must qualify for an exemption from Part 1. Candidates must also provide evidence of completion of 12 months’ experience in clinical dentistry before the closing date for entry to the Part 2 examination they wish to sit.

When and where do Parts 1 and 2 of the examination take place?

Part 1 is currently held twice a year in several centres in the UK and many overseas. Part 2 is currently held in the UK and Internationally. The exam is held by RCSEd in Edinburgh twice a year, and also Leeds, London and Sheffield annually. International centres include Cairo and Dubai once a year and Kuala Lumpur twice a year.  Please refer to the Examination Directory on the college website. This provides full and current information on the examination centres, dates and fees.

Are there any exemptions available?

Yes. Full information on the exemptions which are available from Part 1 of the MFDS Examination can be found on the MFDS Exempting Qualifications document.

Once I have passed Part 1, how soon can I sit Part 2?

Candidates must provide evidence of having passed Part 1 MFDS at the time of applying for Part 2 MFDS and also provide evidence of completion of a minimum of 12 months full-time postgraduate experience in clinical dentistry. Candidates are not permitted to apply for Part 2 at the same time they apply for Part 1.

Can I apply to sit Part 1 and Part 2 at the same time?

No. You must receive written confirmation of a pass at Part 1 before applying to sit Part 2. For example, if you sit and pass Part 1 in an October diet, then the earliest you can sit Part 2 would be in the next diet in February/March of the following year.

Does my training need to be in recognised posts for entry to the Part 2 MFDS Examination?

No, postgraduate experience offered for entry to Part 2 MFDS is not required to be in recognised training posts.

Are candidates required to have completed 12 months or 24 months of experience before they can be awarded the diploma?

12 months. The requirement was previously 24 months however, the Regulations were amended in September 2010, and the requirement is now only 12 months of postgraduate experience in dentistry. This is the same amount of experience as is required for entry to Part 2 and, therefore candidates can apply for election and award of their diploma after passing Part 2 of the Examination.

Can the experience I gained during my overseas internship be counted as part of the required 12 months’ postgraduate experience?

Yes, but only if your internship took place after graduation and only if you have completed the required 12 months’ postgraduate experience by the closing date for applications.

Is the MFDS Examination a pre-requisite for entry to specialty training?

No, however acquisition of the MFDS meets the GDC stipulation that trainees must demonstrate that they have the required broad-based knowledge to enter specialist training. We hope that successful candidates will consider the diploma to be a ‘badge of excellence’ which is stimulating and truly represents a measure of their clinical practice and expertise.

Are there preparatory courses and a reading list available for the examinations?

A reading list is available on our website. Preparatory courses are run within the College at various times subject to demand. Details are available through the Education area of the College website.

What is contained in the syllabus for the MFDS examination?

Details of the syllabus are available as part of the Regulations document.

Is there a time restriction in which candidates must pass both parts of the MFDS Examination as with the MFDS/MFD (2001)?

Yes. Candidates must pass Part 2 within five calendar years of having passed Part 1 or the exempting qualification. Candidates who do not pass Part 2 within five years will be required to sit Part 1 again.

Is there a limitation to the number of attempts at the examinations?

Yes, a restriction to the number of attempts permitted for each part of the examination has now been put in place, allowing a maximum limit of 6 attempts at Part 1 and a maximum limit of 4 attempts at Part 2 with effect from April 2017.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions about this exam, please contact us and a member of our Examinations team will be happy to help you.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Examinations Section

Phone: +44 (0)131 527 1600
Fax: +44 (0)131 527 6406

Email: mfds.exams@rcsed.ac.uk

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