Which books did the successful candidates used?
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists recommends the following books for part 1 MRCOphth.

Reading list

The following are examples of the textbooks required for the Part 1 Membership Examination. In terms of the general textbooks, only the relevant sections need be studied.

The Eye: Basic Sciences and Practice. Forrester JV, Dick AD,McMenamin P, Lee WR, WB Saunders Ltd, London.

Duane's Foundations of Clinical Ophthamology. JB Lippincott Co, Philadelphia.

Adler's Physiology of the Eye. Ed Hart WM. Mosby.

Physiology of the Eye: An Introduction to the Vegetative Functions. Fatt I, Weissman BA. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Clinical Anatomy of the Eye. Snell RS, Lemp MA. Blackwell Scientfic Publications.

Wolff's Anatomy of the Eye and Orbit: Comparative Anatomy of the Visual Apparatus, Bron AJ, Tripathi R, Warwick R, Marshall J. Chapman and Hall.

Pathology for the Primary FRCS. Gardiner DL, Tweedle EF. Arnold Publishers.

Ocular Pathology: A Text and Atlas. Yanoff M, Fine BS. JB Lippincott Co, Philadelphia.

Atlas of Ocular Pathology. Yanoff M, Fine BS. Mosby-Wolfe.

Human Physiology. Vander AJ, Shermann JH, Luciano DS. McGraw, Hill.

Medical Microbiology. Greenwood D, Slack R, Peutherer J. Churchill Livingstone.

Elements of Medical Genetics. Emery AEH, Mueller RF. Churchill Livingstone.

Neuro Ophthalmology. Glaser JS, 2nd edition, 1990. JB Lippincott Co, Philadelphia.

Chapter 4: The Visual Sensory System. Chapter 10: Supranuclear Disorders of Eye Movement. Please read the sections on the pathways.

Biochemistry of the Eye. Whikehart R. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Havener's Ocular Pharmacology. Mauger TF, Craig EL. Mosby.

MCQs in Ophthalmology. Vivian A, Manners R. Butterworth-Heinemann.

MCQs in Basic Science Ophthalmology. Ferris J. Foreword by Easty D. BMJ Publishing Group, London.

It would be advisable to read the mini reviews which are published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology and in "Eye".


A recent survey of 33 successful candidates found only half of them ever finished reading the reading list. 22 out of 33 attended a course for part I MRCOphth. 25 of the candidates recommended the following strategies if you have limited time for revision.

  • Do all the past SAQs (short answer questions). The past papers can be obtained for free from the College and some of the model answers can be found on this site.
  • Do as many MCQs of this site as you possible can.
  • The following books have the questions and level of difficulty most similar to the actual examination:
    • Passing Part I MRCOphth. Available from BMJ Bookshop by Chua, Desai, Ghoshal and Maharaj
    • MCQs in Basic Science Ophthalmology. Ferris J. BMJ Publishing Group, London.
    • Revision in Sciences Basic to Ophthalmology. Arnold Publishing, Malhotra, Easty 

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