Neurosurgery ST1 Interview Guide 2024
Neurosurgery ST1 7th November 2023

Neurosurgery ST1 Interview Guide 2024

If the Neurosurgery ST1 pathway interests you, then it’s important to know what you’re up against. In round 1 of 2023, there were 255 applications for 20 posts, giving a competition ratio of 12.75. This means there were nearly 13 people applying for each post on offer! In fact, it was in the top 5 most competitive of all the entry pathways in 2023 (CT1/ST1 – ST4).

With a limited number of posts available, you’ll have to make sure your application stands out. And to help you with this, we’ve put together this Neurosurgery ST1 interview guide for 2024 recruitment. The guide goes through everything you need to know about the Neurosurgery ST1 application process, giving you the best chance of success.

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Note: For the 2024 recruitment window, Neurosurgery will be recruiting to ST1 and ST2 level only, and are no longer recruiting to ST3 level. For ST2 the recruitment process and timeline for 2024 is the same as ST1 (provided in the following sections). However, the eligibility criteria varies, notably the ST2 person specification includes providing evidence of achievement of ST1 Neurosurgery competencies as described in the Neurosurgery specialty curriculum as essential criteria. For more information about the ST2 entry requirements, see the 2024 person specification here.

Neurosurgery ST1 Application

Before you can submit a Neurosurgery ST1 application, you must first create an account on the Oriel Online Recruitment system. Here, you can create an account and complete a short applicant registration form.

The application window for Neurosurgery ST1 opened on 26 October 2023. Within the application form, you’ll find the following sections:

  • Personal Details
  • Eligibility
  • Fitness to Practise
  • References
  • Evidence of Competences and Experience
  • Employment History
  • Evidence of Selection Criteria
  • Supporting Information
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Monitoring Form
  • Declarations

You must complete each section of the application form. But, remember, once you’ve submitted your application, you can only change your personal details and references. So, make sure you give yourself enough time with this part of the process.

You have until 23 November 2023 to submit a Neurosurgery ST1 application. There aren’t any exceptions made to this deadline. Because of this, it’s worth submitting your application well ahead of time.

You can find more information about the 2024 Neurosurgery ST1 application process in the person specification.

Neurosurgery ST1 Recruitment timeline

The key recruitment dates for Neurosurgery ST1 will follow the timeline below:

Stage Dates
Applications Open Thursday 26 October 2023 at 10am
Application Deadline Thursday 23 November 2023 at 4pm
Shortlisting Friday 5 January 2024
MSRA Window Thursday 4 – Sunday 14th January 2024
Interviews Thursday 7 – Friday 8 March 2024
Nationally R1 Initial Offers Released by Tuesday 26 March 2024 by 5pm
Holding Deadline Thursday 4 April 2024 at 1pm
Upgrade Deadline Tuesday 9 April 2024 at 4pm
Hierarchal Deadline Wednesday 10 April 2024 at 4pm

Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)

All Neurosurgery ST1 applicants are required to sit the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA). Based around clinical scenarios, the MSRA is a computer-based assessment designed to test the essential competencies listed in the ST1 Person Specifications.

The exam is separated into the following two papers:

Paper Time Question numbers
Professional Dilemmas 95 minutes 50 scenarios
Clinical Problem Solving 75 minutes 86 questions

The following is an example question for each paper from our adaptive MSRA question bank:

Professional Dilemmas Paper


Professional Dilemmas Question

Clinical Problem Solving Paper


Clinical Problem Solving Question

A full list of the topics covered in the MSRA are shown in our MSRA question bank dashboard below:


The MSRA provides an opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you gained from medical school. It also tests key components of Neurosurgery, including your professional capabilities and decision making abilities.

Most importantly though, the MSRA accounts for 40% of the total shortlisting score! Therefore, with competition for posts so fierce, it’s essential that you perform well to secure an interview. Most applicants will spend months preparing for the exam; we recommend you do the same and focus on practising as much as possible. Our adaptive MSRA question bank has you covered with over 4000 practice questions. Using sophisticated AI-powered algorithms, questions are tailored specifically to your learning needs, making your MSRA preparation more effective.

Take your MSRA revision to the next level with our artificial intelligence powered, adaptive question bank

Our state of the art algorithms will help you progress faster than ever.

Find out more

To learn more about the exam, visit our MSRA Complete Guide for 2024.

Neurosurgery ST1 Interview format

Before you receive a place on the Neurosurgery pathway, you will have to complete an interview. The online interviews will take place between 7 – 8 March 2024. Each area of the interview provides a unique way to assess your suitability for the specialty.

The three sections of the Neurosurgery ST1 interview are:

  • CV/Understanding of Specialty
  • Clinical Scenario
  • Management & Problem Solving

Neurosurgery ST1 Application Scoring

The Neurosurgery ST1 scoring process provides three stages of feedback.

Firstly, when you submit your application form. If you’re longlisted, you’ll be invited to book an interview. However, if you don’t pass this stage, you will be notified of the reasons for this.

Also, once offers are released, you’ll be able to view your interview score and rank through your Oriel account.

And finally, you’ll receive scoresheets and panel comments, providing you with a summary of your performance.

You can see the results for 2023 below:

Level Posts Applications Submitted Candidates Interviewed Lowest Shortlisting Score to be invited to interview Lowest Score to receive an offer (weighted score)
ST1 20 255 64 88.88 360.5

Good luck!

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