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Elective placements are an important part of the medical school curriculum.

Visiting Elective Students

Newcastle Medical School welcomes international and UK medical students to our elective programme within one of our regional hospitals.


Newcastle University is a regional Medical School that works in partnership with NHS Trusts throughout the North-East of England.  Our partnership allows us to host students across sites in Newcastle, (PLEASE NOTE:  except for PICU the Great North Children’s Hospital are not accepting any further applications for 2024), Northumberland, Gateshead, Cumbria, North and South Tees, Sunderland, Durham, and Darlington, offering students a wide range of experiences in various medical settings.


Elective Placements are open to medical students who are in their penultimate or final year of clinical study.


Due to the large volume of applications, we are only able to offer students one elective for a minimum of 4 weeks or a maximum of 8 weeks.  (We cannot accommodate “split electives” over two or more areas)


Visiting students are required to pay a non-refundable administration fee of £210.  This fee includes application processing, verification of documents, instigation of an online Occupational Health questionnaire and registration. 


Please note, if you complete an elective with The Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH), they are a charity and would appreciate a donation to the charity if students are able to do so. Any donation to GNCH is processed by the charititable trust directly.


You will need to complete the visiting elective online application form at least 6 months prior to your proposed elective start date.  Any incomplete applications will be automatically rejected.  Please note that late applications will not be accepted or treated as urgent. 


Students are responsible for:

  • finding their own elective supervisor and agreeing dates. (PLEASE NOTE:  The Cardiothoracic Surgical Team at the Freeman Hospital are unable to accept visiting elective students until further notice)
  • finding and arranging their own accommodation – please be aware that some supervisors work across multiple sites.
  • making their own travel arrangements for which you are liable for any associated costs. It is not possible to offer any financial assistance towards the expenses of visiting elective students, this includes daily travel costs during the elective placement.  
  • providing all the essential documents listed under Section 1 by the deadlines specified.
  • ensuring that the requirements and deadlines outlined under Section 2 are met.


Section 1

  • Deans Letter: a completed Newcastle University Dean's Letter or Letter of Recommendation from your Medical School confirming they recommend you for the visiting elective programme.
  • Valid Passport: a scanned copy of the photo ID page from your Passport AND a scanned copy of the outside front cover of your Passport.
  • Academic Transcript of Study: a copy of your academic transcript or transcript of study from your home university, showing what course or modules you have successfully   completed so far on the medical programme and your associated grades.
  • Medical Indemnity/ Malpractice Insurance Certificate - A scanned copy of a Certificate of Medical Indemnity/Malpractice Insurance.  Ensure the certificate covers you for the entire period of your elective placement.  Information on obtaining Medical Indemnity/Medical Insurance can be found on page 6 of this document.
  • English Language Proficiency Certificate (international students only) - A scanned copy of evidence of your English language proficiency (English Language certificates accepted can be found on page 7 of the Visiting Medical Electives Policy) or a letter from your   school certifying that the Medical Degree course is taught and examined in English and that you are a current student.
  • Supervisor confirmation email: a copy of your supervisor email which confirms acceptance and dates agreed.  Information on how to find an elective supervisor can be found on page 5 of the Visiting Medical Electives Policy.
  • Passport-style Photograph: an up-to-date passport-style photograph of yourself.


Section 2

  • Acceptance Form: Ensure the offer letter is signed and returned along with payment of the administration fee within 30 days of the date stated on your offer letter.
  • Enhanced DBS/ Criminal Record Check: You MUST provide an Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) certificate (a standard certificate will NOT be accepted) or criminal record certificate dated within 6 months of your elective start date, no later than 2 months prior to commencement of your placement.
  • Fitness to Practice: Complete the Occupational Health questionnaire at least one month before your elective start date (a link will be sent to you approximately 2 months prior to your elective start date).


Failure to provide any of the documents listed in Sections 1 and 2 by the deadline will result in your elective placement being cancelled.


Within two weeks of submitting your online application you will receive an email from the Medical Electives Team confirming receipt of your application.


Email you the outcome of your application within 1 month of you application submission.  You will only receive an offer letter if you have included all the required documentation listed in section 1 with your application.  If you application is incomplete (unable to provide all documents listed under section 1) you will receive an email stating a non-negotiable deadline for submitting your outstanding documents.  Failure to meet this deadline will result in your application being cancelled.


If you are an international student, you will receive a VISA support letter 3 months before the start of your elective placement.  Further information regarding VISAs can be found by clicking on the link:


Elective placements generally commence on a Monday unless this falls on a Bank Holiday which would mean you would start on the Tuesday.   The last elective start date in December is the third Monday of the month and the earliest January elective start date is the second Monday of the month.


Further information on all aspects of our Visiting Elective Programme can be found in our Visiting Medical Electives Policy.


If you have pre-application queries, please contact the Elective Team via


You can access our Incoming Elective Policy, the Dean’s Letter Template and Online Application Form below;


Outgoing Electives

As a Newcastle University Student registered on the MBBS programme, you will undertake an 8 week period of elective study at the end of your 4th year. The Medical Elective is part of the student selected component allowing students to exercise choice and providing you with the ultimate opportunity to gain experience in any specialism, in almost any safe part of the world.


Approximately two-thirds of the year group use the Elective opportunity to go overseas and explore world healthcare, with destinations being as far-reaching as Mongolia, Samoa and Cambodia. However, for students who elect to remain in the UK, the opportunity affords equally rewarding and exciting opportunities in often equally diverse settings, that can help steer students’ future medical careers.


The Medical School provides a number of opportunities during Year 3 and Year 4, for students to receive and discuss information relating to the planning of their elective, such as health and safety considerations and other aspects of elective travel.


Students are able to access information on all aspects of the elective programme, including the study guide – the Medical Elective Handbook, an FAQ document, information about elective bursaries, elective opportunities and feedback from past students, via Newcastle University’s Medical Learning Environment (MLE).


The elective can be one of the most exciting and motivating periods of medical training and we look forward to supporting you in your chosen Elective placement. 

Contact Us


Electives Team
School of Medicine
The Faculty of Medical Sciences
Cookson Building
Newcastle University


+44 (0) 191 208 8091