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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, to be held on Wednesday 9 March 2022 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.

Candidates are strongly recommended to read the:

The Duke Elder Undergraduate Prize

The candidate gaining the highest mark will be offered the chance to visit St John’s Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.  The winning candidate can alternatively choose a monetary prize of £400.

Previous Duke Elder Winner have shared their experiences of visiting St John’s Eye Hospital. Here’s some feedback on their two-week visit.

The Duke-Elder Examination provided a great incentive to explore ophthalmology as a possible choice of specialty. Having a target to aim for made me proactive in learning as much as I could, and now that I have decided to apply for ophthalmology, I hope that winning the prize has increased my chance of securing a training post.

David Maskill – 2019

2015 Duke Elder Prize Winner, Jonathan Y-X-L Than, visited Jerusalem in 2017. Here’s what he learned during his trip.

[This visit] has been a humbling experience which has brought me far out of my comfort zone and opened my horizons – to see the potential to make a tangible difference for people not fortunate enough to have full and free access to modern medicine, such as in the UK, has inspired me to contribute in my own small way once I possess the skills.

Jonathan Y-X-L Than, Duke Elder Prize Winner 2015

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?

Candidates should submit their names and email addresses to Clinical Deans or other appropriate officers.

The closing date for candidate applications is Monday 13 December 2021. Candidates must apply via their medical school. Unfortunately we cannot accept late applications.

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 £25.00 examination fee. Examination fees should not be submitted to your medical school.

The deadline for fee payment is 5pm on Monday 10 January 2022. Candidates who have not paid the examination fee by this date will not have a place at the examination.

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 subsidise this examination for medical students 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.


Application Deadline Monday 13 December 2021
All candidates should apply to their medical schools by this date
Payment Deadline Monday 10 January 2022
All candidates should pay the £25.00 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 January 2022
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 9 March 2022
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 1 April 2022

PDF results letters will be sent to your medical school. Certificates will be awarded to those ranking in the top 10%. Those in the Top 20 will receive special commendation – this is in the form of a letter signed by the President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, sent to each medical school.


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.