Education and Training

The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital is the largest training centre in Ireland for ophthalmic surgeons and medical ophthalmologists.

The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) is the accredited postgraduate training body responsible for the delivery of Specialist Training in Ophthalmology.

The training pathway for Specialist Training in both Surgical and Medical Ophthalmology is a streamlined training pathway which consists of three-years of Basic Training (BST or BMT) followed by four-years of Higher Surgical Training (HST) or three-years for Higher Medical Training (HMT).

Trainees on the BST and BMT programme rotate through different subspecialty areas to gain broad experience across a range of ophthalmic disciplines. Following the successful completion of Basic Specialist Training in either Surgical or Medical Ophthalmology, trainees can apply to Higher Specialist Training in the respective pathway, Surgical or Medical Programme.

Trainees on the National Higher Specialist Training Programmes in Surgical and Medical Ophthalmology are based at the hospital and rotate through different sub-specialty units both at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital and at other hospitals around Ireland. A number of fellowship positions also exist in which trainees with a particular interest in a sub-specialty are given the opportunity to focus on a narrow area to develop highly advanced clinical and surgical skills.

The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital benefits from a new Education and Conference Centre that provides state of the art facilities for medical education. The post-graduate teaching programme for ophthalmology is delivered from the Education and Conference Centre to seven regional sites via web-based video conferencing on a monthly basis.

Further information on the National Specialist Training Programmes in Ophthalmology can be found on

RCSI Postgraduate Examinations

For up to date information on Exam regulations and dates please see the RCSI Examinations website.

Postgraduate Training

Changes to post-graduate training in ophthalmology in recent years have led to the need for a more modern approach to the membership and fellowship assessments.

Professor Murphy is leading a number of changes to the MRCSI and FRCSI examinations in ophthalmology, including a restructuring of the examinations and the modernisation of the syllabus. It is expected that once implemented, candidates will be able to sit the new examinations at a number of overseas centres, building on the international reputation of the College. Those interested in learning about career structures in ophthalmology in Ireland can visit the website of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists at  Eye Doctors