This paper describes a modular design approach for robotic surgical manipulator under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance. The proposed manipulator provides 2 degree of freedom (DOF) Cartesian motion and 2-DOF pitch and yaw motion. Primarily built up with dielectric materials, it utilizes parallel mechanism and is compact in size to fit into the limited space of close-bore MRI scanner. It is ideal for needle based surgical procedures which usually require positioning and orientation control for accurate imaging plane alignment. Specifically, this mechanism is easily reconfigurable to over constrained manipulator structure which provides 2-DOF Cartesian motion by simple structure modification. This modular manipulator integrated with different end-effector modules is investigated for prostate brachytherapy and neurosurgery applications as preliminary evaluation.