Proton irradiation is often used as a proxy for neutron irradiation but the irradiated layer is typically <50 μm deep; this presents a problem when trying to obtain mechanical test data as a function of irradiation level. Two novel methodologies have been developed to record stress-strain curves for thin proton-irradiated surface layers of SA-508-4N ferritic steel. In the first case, in-situ loading experiments are carried out using a combination of X-ray diffraction and digital image correlation on the near surface region in order to measure stress and strain, thereby eliminating the influence of the non-irradiated volume. The second approach is to manufacture small-scale tensile specimens containing only the proton irradiated volume but approaching the smallest representative volume of the material. This is achieved by high-speed focused ion beam (FIB) milling though the application of a Xe+ Plasma-FIB (PFIB). It is demonstrated that both techniques are capable of recording the early stage of uniaxial flow behaviour of the irradiated material with sufficient accuracy providing a measure of irradiation-induced shift of yield strength, strain hardening and tensile strength.