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Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Visiting Students' Elective Programme

Please note that the Visiting Student Elective Programme is currently suspended.     

The electives programme has three intakes throughout the year, with application rounds in March, August and November. 

Please email if you have any questions.

Thank you for your interest in the Barts and The London Visiting Electives Programme. 

What is the Visiting Student Elective Programme?

The Visiting Student Elective Programme offers short term, observational placements, for medical students, in their final year of study. Students are placed with one of the consultants working for the Barts Health Trust and spend their time shadowing and experiencing typical days in a specific medical speciality.

Recently, the Visiting Student Elective Programme has been reviewed, and has undergone a policy change. In recognition of the increasing demand for elective placements, whilst ensuring we maintain high standards for all learners, QMUL in partnership with Barts Health have developed a new model to support this important activity. This model will provide a collaborative approach which will ensure we can optimise the opportunities available for quality assured placements.  

The elective programme opens for applications 3 times during the year: March, August and November. The time you should apply depends on when you would like to undertake your elective: 

Programme open... ...for electives beginning in
March  August - December 
August  January - April 
November  May - August 

Please note that the application round is for applicants to complete the online application form and make the payment required. 

Applicants are given three choices. Around 99.9% of students who apply are placed and those who submit the same week the applications are opened are more successful at gaining a first choice placement, providing they meet the eligibility requirements. 

You may apply for electives in the following specialties:

  • Accident and Emergency
  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiology
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Haematology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Orthopaedics and Trauma
  • Paediatrics
  • Radiology 
  • Renal Medicine
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Urology

Please note Internal Medicine is not offered as an elective placement.

Hospitals within the Barts Health Trust: Please note that elective placements can be at a number of different hospitals within the Trust, based on the rotation of your supervising consultant. The official list of these hospitals can be found at the Barts Health website here: 

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust: Elective students can now undertake an elective at The Princess Alexandra Hospital. If you would like to find out further information about the hospital please visit 

Hospitals where placements occur include (but are not limited to): The Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew's Hospital, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Newham University Hospital, The Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Pre-hospital Care and Emergency Medicine - please note that the Pre-hospital Care and Emergency Medicine elective placements are administered exactly the same as our other specialties. If you have further queries about Pre-hospital Care and Emergency Medicine, please visit for contact details.

Please read the handbook before applying.

Elective Programme Handbook 2019 [PDF 626KB]

Am I eligible for an elective placement?

You are eligible for an elective placement at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry if you:

  1. Are in your final year of medical school at the time of your elective placement
  2. Are in good standing at your medical school and are able to provide a letter of recommendation from your Dean of Clinical Studies
  3. Can meet the necessary occupational health requirements
  4. Have the appropriate immigration permission.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All elective placements are offered purely for observational purposes, in order to comply with occupational health and immigration requirements. Please see the Electives Handbook for further information.

How to apply (Only applicable during application rounds):

  • Complete online application form via the below link (during application round), ensuring you specify your dates of attendance and your three speciality preferences. Placements may last between 2-8 weeks, must begin on a Monday, and must be in one specialty only. 


  • Pay the elective fee via the Queen Mary online payment facility (during application round).





How much should I pay?   

The elective fee is made up of a £300 administration fee, and a £550 standard placement fee for 2-4 weeks. 

Additional weeks up to 8 weeks will be charged at £50 per week. 

Please note that the administration fee is non-refundable, but you may be eligible for a placement fee refund if you are not placed or do not attend.

Please review our refund policy below for further details.

Incoming Elective Refund Policy 2019 [PDF 271KB]

The grid below should help you work out how much you need to pay. 

Length of Stay Administration Fee Placement Fee Total to Pay
2 weeks  £300 £550 £850
3 weeks £300 £550 £850
4 weeks £300 £550 £850
5 weeks £300 £600 £900
6 weeks £300 £650 £950
7 weeks £300 £700 £1000
8 weeks £300 £750 £1050

Please note that an application which is received without payment will be rejected automatically and you will lose the £300 administration fee.  

What happens after I apply?

Timelines to follow:

Application round

To pay and complete application

Submission Deadline

For applications to be completed

Decisions Deadline

We'll email you by

Elective Date

Any Monday of these months

March TBC TBC August-December
August TBC TBC January-April
November TBC TBC May-August


Once you have applied:

  • If a consultant of the School agrees to accept you, an official email will be sent confirming you are a successful applicant for the elective placement. Please note that it may take several months for us to confirm your placement, depending on the time of year you are applying for
  • The successful applicant email will include a link to the Occupational Health Questionnaire which will need to be completed and returned to Occupational Health at least four weeks prior to the start of your elective. Failure to provide the completed Occupational Health questionnaire four weeks prior to your elective start date may result in your offer being withdrawn. This email will also include information regarding immigration permission should this be relevant to you.
  • The School reserves the right to withdraw its offer to you depending on medical or immigration advice.
  • A further email will be sent to you detailing the limits of the elective.
  • Please see to determine whether or not you are required to apply for a visa should you require it.  
  • At least 2 weeks prior to the start of your elective, you will be emailed again where you will be asked to pre-enrol. This process requests preliminary contact information from you which speeds up the enrolment process on your first day.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are offered a placement, you MUST come to the student office in the Garrod building (Turner Street) between 09:30 and 11:30 on the first day of your elective to enrol. Failure to do this will mean you will be unable to begin your placement. 

    Please ensure you bring the following documents to enrolment:
  • Pre-enrolment certificate (this will be available to print once you have completed pre-enrolment)
  • Passport
  • An official copy of your transcript from your current course of medical study
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • English Language certificate (if applicable)

If you have any queries about the programme, please send an email to

More information and FAQs:

For more information and a list if commonly asked questions, please view our FAQs.    

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