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Duke Elder Undergraduate Prize Examination

Each year, the RCOphth sponsors a prize examination exclusively for undergraduates studying in the field of medicine. This is an exciting opportunity for you to demonstrate your passion for a career in ophthalmology.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists will again sponsor a prize examination for undergraduates. This will be held on Wednesday 18 September 2024 at 2:30pm. The exam will be delivered online, to the candidate in their own home, whilst monitored by a live exam proctor via webcam. The exam is offered to any medical student worldwide, who will need to apply via their medical school.

Candidates are strongly recommended to read the:

Please note that from 2024, the Duke Elder examination will be moved to September instead of March each year. For 2024 and this transition, medical students who are in their final year 2023-24 will be permitted to sit the exam in September 2024.

The Duke Elder Undergraduate Prize

Candidates scoring in the top 10% will score 2 points towards their national ophthalmology training application and 1 point for being in the 60%.

All candidates will receive their percentage score and ranking – in groups of 10%. The top 10% of candidates will receive special commendation – this is in the form of an email addressed from the President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and is sent to each of the top 10% candidates.

What is the structure of the exam?

The examination will take the form of a single paper of 90 multiple choice questions. There will be a time limit of 2 hours.

How do I book the exam?

The College sends the exam information pack to medical schools in April 2024. Candidates should then submit their names and email addresses to Clinical Deans or other appropriate officers at their medical school who will then send us the list of names,

The closing date for candidate applications is Monday 13 May 2024. Candidates must apply via their medical school. Once the College has received the list of student names, they will be sent the payment link to pay for the exam.

Unfortunately we cannot accept late applications and there are no exceptions.

Please refer to the Examinations Terms and Conditions before booking the exam.

How much is the exam fee?

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists will then liaise directly with candidates, as confirmed by their medical school, regarding payment of the £50 examination fee. Examination fees should not be submitted to your medical school.

The deadline for fee payment is 5pm on Monday 10 June 2024. This has now passed. Candidates who have not paid will not have a place at the examination.

Associate Membership of RCOphth

Duke Elder candidates are eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the RCOphth. This membership offers benefits to medical students and foundation doctors. Full information can be found here.

Key information for candidates


The College takes very seriously any attempt at cheating including the copying and intended sharing of exam questions. Candidates are strictly forbidden to copy the exam questions in any way and this includes taking screenshots or photographs of the screen. The proctoring system will flag up any security breach such as this and the candidate will unequivocally be disqualified from the examination for misconduct and their medical school informed of the breach.


The Royal College of Ophthalmologists runs the Duke Elder Undergraduate Prize Examination for UK and Eire medical students at an operating loss in an effort to be inclusive and to encourage learning of ophthalmology in greater depth.

We remain very happy to provide this examination for medical students at a low fee but under such circumstances we are both disappointed and out of pocket when candidates either fail to attend, or attend and then void the examination. We would therefore like to encourage all medical students who enrol for the examination to sit the examination unless there are genuine extenuating circumstances.

We would also like to encourage medical schools to impress upon their students the importance of commitment. We will henceforth feedback, for information only, the names of those students that either failed to sit or voided the examination, to their educational institutions.

Requests for reasonable adjustments

Candidates must be aware that any requests for any form of reasonable adjustments for the examination (such as extra time) MUST be submitted BEFORE the deadline for fee payment, accompanied by the required evidence (e.g. letter from an educational psychologist). Requests made after the deadline for fee payment will not be accepted and no exceptions will be made.


Information Packs sent to Medical Schools April 2024
The College will send the exam information packs to medical schools during April 2024.
Application Deadline – Monday 13 May 2024
All candidates should apply to their medical schools by this date
Payment Deadline Monday 10 June 2024
All candidates should pay the £50.00 exam fee by 5pm on this date. Instructions on how to pay will be sent directly to candidates after the application deadline*. Candidates should not submit payment directly to medical schools.
Supporting documents for additional requirements submitted Monday 10 June 2024
If a candidate has additional requirements, such as extra time, they must notify RCOphth and supply supporting documentation prior to this date. For more information about what documentation to supply, please contact us directly.
Exam Date Wednesday 18 September 2024
The exam will be delivered online, to the candidate in their own home, whilst monitored by a live exam proctor via webcam.
Results Date Friday 18 October 2024

Results letters will be sent to candidates directly via email.  Those in the top 10% will receive special commendation – this is in the form of an email addressed from the President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, sent to the Top 20 candidates.


If possible, the College may release results prior to this – medical schools and candidates will be notified if there are any changes to the published date.

*Please check your junk email folder


Remote Invigilation Candidate User Guide v1.1

This document is a user guide for candidates sitting remote invigilated tests using ProctorExam. Follow the steps outlined in this document to ensure this process is as smooth as possible. Contact your organisation if you are having any difficulties.