Applying to the School


Ophthalmology is proving to be one of the most popular sub-specialities and competition for run through training places is fierce.  In 2019 over 350 applications were received through the National Recruitment for 75 run-through posts in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Applicants are requested to complete an application form which will cover the following:

  • Undergraduate degrees, prizes, qualifications
  • Postgraduate degrees, qualifications, employment
  • Previous experience
  • Audit
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Practical and clinical skills

From 2011 all applications have been made using a national application form designed by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Each section will carry an equal weighting of marks. The application form has been designed to reduce the weighting for publications and presentations to make it easier for F2 doctors to compete with trainees who already have had the opportunity to carry out a period of formal research. On the application form there will also be a chance for you to show evidence of your commitment to ophthalmology in your undergraduate and early postgraduate training, evidence of skills and activities which would suggest you have the aptitude to become a successful microsurgeon, as well your interests and achievements outside of medicine.

Unfortunately many candidates do not do themselves justice when completing the application form. Underneath there is some basic advice on avoiding common pitfalls which could disadvantage your application.

  • It is very important to answer precisely what the question is asking you for. A surprising number of candidates do not give the information requested and instead put down what they would apparently like to tell us. There are no marks if you don’t answer the question you are being asked! Make sure you read the instructions for each question very carefully. You may well be able to answer some of the questions partly by cutting and pasting from your CV. However if you do this you must still read through carefully what your final answer says and check that all aspects of the question have been fully answered.
  • Pay particular attention to good grammar, punctuation and clarity in your application. Do not rely solely on spell and grammar checkers. Only careful proof reading will fully exclude any errors. Think about the impression you are giving us.
  • Try to avoid abbreviations - you may think everyone knows what they mean but they may not be familiar to the person assessing your application.
  • We strongly advise you to ask your Educational Supervisor or another Consultant to read through your application and suggest any improvements. Provided they do not actually write the application for you and that you are not making any dishonest claims this is quite legitimate and makes sure that you are showing us your achievements as clearly as you can.