Entry requirements, skills and interests (neurosurgery)

This page provides useful information about the entry requirements needed for this specialty up to and including foundation training. It also includes information on the skills and interests you will need.

Entry requirements

Before you train as a surgeon you must complete a degree in medicine and have obtained a MBBS or equivalent qualification. Find out more information about getting into medical school.

You then need to complete a two-year foundation programme. After successfully completing your first year of foundation training you become eligible for registration as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC). Foundation training includes undertaking rotations in a range of specialties including surgery.

To find information about the Foundation Programme, visit our applying for foundation training page.

After completing your foundation training you need to undertake specialty training as in the training and development page.

Skills and interests

Neurosurgery is a technically demanding surgical specialty. You’ll need a special blend of skills and personal qualities which include:

  • a high degree of manual dexterity
  • good hand-eye co-ordination, excellent vision and visuo-spatial awareness
  • a blend of confidence and caution
  • good organisational ability and  excellent communication skills
  • physical stamina to cope with long hours and demanding nature of the work
  • emotional strength in order to manage very sick patients
  • the ability to lead and manage a team effectively
  • able to embrace change and constantly developing technologies
  • a strong interest in anatomy and physiology

If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.

Find out more about NHS values.

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