Diploma in Hand Surgery

The Diploma in Hand Surgery is a validated programme of study partnered between the BSSH and University of Manchester leading, on successful completion, to the award of Diploma in Hand Surgery. The Diploma is aimed at younger consultants and senior trainees who wish to acquire and/or demonstrate their ability and expertise in Hand Surgery.

The programme is a distributed learning system, by which we mean the course is largely taught and administered within a Department of Hand Surgery. There are 7 topic modules that include a series of departmentally-administered assessments and a final 8th module containing a formal overarching examination. The examination will be held annually in Birmingham (March). Award of the Diploma is intended to be a signal of attainment and competence enjoying the confidence of both profession and public alike.

Examiner's job description

Presentations on 'How I completed the hand diploma' are availble to view by Mark Brewster and by Jill Webb


The participating surgeon will need

  • Basic medical qualification registerable with the GMC
  • Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship in either Plastic or Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Minimum of 6 months in Hand Surgery training following attainment of FRCS(Plast/Orth)


There will be a minimum of 9 months between registration with the University and sitting of the final examination in Module 8 e.g. registration by January would allow completion with the exam in September. In reality 12 months of work is likely to be needed by trainee participants wishing to properly complete the programme on a ‘full-time’ basis. Those who anticipate slower progress and wish to register ‘part-time,’ for whatever reasons, may do so and will complete in between 18 and 24 months.

Registration dates

Registration with BSSH office may be at any date using the downloadable registration form available from this site. Once approval has been granted for the programme to proceed then the participant registers with the University Graduate Office (January, April, July and September). The participant’s course may start once BSSH approval has been granted and prior to University registration.


The course fee including final examination is £1050. This fee has been significantly subsidised by the BSSH. The course fee does not include conference fees for attendance at national courses/scientific meetings which would normally be supported by study leave budgets.