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Competition ratios

Clinical radiology is a very rewarding career but getting a training post is competitive.

Key statistics from 2020:

  • There were 1677 applications for 353 ST1 training posts in England, Scotland & Wales.
  • 491 candidates were interviewed.
  • There were on average 4.75 applications to every 1 post.

Click here for more information including statistics from previous years

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Competition ratios for Clinical Radiology ST1

Clinical radiology is a very rewarding career but getting a training post is competitive

Key statistics from 2021 ST1 recruitment:

  • 1677 applications
  • 353 ST1 training posts in England, Scotland & Wales
  • TBC took the SRA
  • 491 candidates were interviewed
  • Applicants : Posts = 4.75:1
  • Interviews : Posts = 1.65:1

Graph showing the number of radiology applications, SRA examinations, interviews and posts filled for each year (2012-2020)

Graph showing the number of radiology applications, SRA examinations, interviews and posts filled for each year (2012-2020)
Graph showing the number of radiology applications, SRA examinations, interviews and posts filled for each year (2012-2020)

The competition ratio refers to the number of applications per post.  This means that in 2021 there were roughly 4.75 applications for every ST1 clinical radiology training post.  This places clinical radiology with other competitive specialties such as neurosurgery, microbiology and ophthalmology which all had relatively high competition ratios.

It is important however to understand these ratios in the context of applicants making multiple applications to different specialties.  For example one applicant may apply for both clinical radiology and paediatrics, however they will only accept one of the two posts.  Approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of applicants make two or more applications.  This has the effect of artificially increasing the competition ratio for specialties they applied to, but did not accept.  Therefore the ‘true’ competition ratio for clinical radiology in 2021 was almost certainly lower than 4.75:1.  It is useful to bear this in mind and try not to let competition ratios influence your choice of specialty when applying.

Between 2016-2020 the number of interview slots was set at 600.  These are offered out to the highest ranking candidates based on their MSRA score.  The final number interviewed is lower than 600 due to applicants dropping out or not attending on the day.

The 2021 recruitment round was different to previous years in that the top 55 applicants as ranked by their MSRA scores were automatically offered a training place without the need for interview. This lowered the number of applicants subsequently invited to interview in 2021.

Another thing to bear in mind is that there will usually be more posts available than the number stated on Oriel.  If you managed to reach a minimum score at interview but did not score enough to get an offer, you will be entered into clearing for any rejected offers.

Previous years

(England, Scotland and Wales)

Below are tables of the ST1 clinical radiology application numbers from previous years:

2021

Posts available353
Applications1677
Took SRATBC
Interviewed491
Posts filledTBC
Fill rateTBC

2020

Posts available311
Applications1128
Took SRA977
Interviewed572
Posts filled309
Fill rate99%

2019

Posts available278
Applications967
Took SRA769
Interviewed555
Posts filled278
Fill rate100%

2018

Posts available282
Applications970
Took SRA760
Interviewed543
Posts filled282
Fill rate100%

2017

Posts available267
Applications937
Took SRA771
Interviewed554
Posts filled267
Fill rate100%

2016

Posts available249
Applications963
Took SRA823
Interviewed537
Posts filled249
Fill rate100%

2015

Posts available244
Applications917
Interviewed734
Posts filled244
Fill rate100%

2014

Posts available229
Applications794
Interviewed635
Posts filled229
Fill rate100%

2013

Posts available210
Applications754
Interviewed604
Posts filled210
Fill rate100%

2012

Posts available167
Applications693
Interviewed544
Posts filled167
Fill rate100%

(Source: The Royal College of Radiologists Statistical summary of previous rounds webpage)

Previous years

(Northern Ireland)

Below are tables of the ST1 clinical radiology application numbers from previous years:

2020

Posts available7
Applications180
Number interviewed37
Number appointable17
Posts filled7
Fill rate100%

2019

Posts available13
Applications128
Number interviewed40
Number appointable21
Posts filled13
Fill rate100%

2018

Posts available4
Applications120
Number interviewed38
Number appointable5
Posts filled4
Fill rate100%

2017

Posts available9
Applications84
Shortlisted and invited for interview45
Attended interview34
Posts filled9
Fill rate100%

2016

Posts available9
Applications91
Shortlisted and invited for interview43
Attended interview38
Posts filled9
Fill rate100%

2015

Posts available8
Applications94
Shortlisted and invited for interview40
Attended interview30
Posts filled8
Fill rate100%

2014

Posts available9
Applications58
Shortlisted and invited for interview32
Attended interview29
Posts filled9
Fill rate100%

(Data summarised from NIMDTA – October 2020)

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