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International Diploma in Toxicology

Please note that currently the IDT is not accepting new applications. To register your interest for when the course resumes, please email

Toxicology is a profession requiring expertise in a number of biological and other scientific disciplines. Sometimes it is difficult to define what is meant by a toxicologist, certainly within the context of safety evaluation and regulatory affairs. However it is desirable that toxicologists working in specialist areas of toxicology should have knowledge of other aspects of the subject, in order to make decisions on chemical safety.

The object of a diploma examination is to ensure that successful candidates have adequate knowledge of toxicology outside their own speciality and that they are able to apply the skills learnt for the examination when dealing with toxicological problems. Therefore the examination covers areas generally recognised as comprising toxicology but in such a way that particular groups of scientists (e.g. regulatory toxicologists and those working in contract houses) are not excluded.

Graduates with a minimum of 5 years experience in toxicology are eligible to complete the IDT.

The IDT consists of a 6 hour examination of three papers:

  • multiple choice question paper
  • short answer question paper
  • essay question paper

On successfully passing the examination, the candidate is required to complete a dissertation on an approved topic within a period of 12 months (after the synopsis has been approved). If a candidate fails the examination, they are given a chance to retake the examination the following year.

The examination is held annually in mid-June and the closing date for applications is mid-April the fee for the exam is £350 payable in advance. This includes the fee for the dissertation as well as the examination.

After passing the exam, the candidate goes on to write a dissertation, over a 12 month period. Firstly they must submit a title and synopsis of the dissertation to the Royal Society of Biology which is forwarded to the chief examiner for approval. Once approval has been granted, a letter is written to the candidate informing them that they have 12 months from the date of the letter, to complete the dissertation.