Skip to main content


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

Incoming Electives

Newcastle’s Incoming Medical Electives Programme is available to visiting students who wish to complete a Medical Elective within one of our regional hospitals.


We are currently accepting applications for 2023-2024 and require applications to be submitted at least 6 months prior to an elective start date.


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, Northumberland, Gateshead, Cumbria, North and South Tees, Sunderland, Durham and Darlington, offering students a wide range of experiences in various medical settings.


The Medical Student Office, and in particular, the Medical Electives Team at Newcastle University, oversee the administration and arrangements of elective placements but it is the responsibility of each student to find their own clinical supervisor.


Due to the large volume of applications, we receive for elective placements, we currently only offer Medical Electives for a duration of 4 or 8 weeks and only one elective placement (meaning one supervisor and one clinical specialism) is permitted per medical student. This condition to our placements enables us to offer electives to a larger number of students.


Please note;

  • Students MUST find and make an agreement with their own supervisors before we can provide an elective.
  • The Cardiothoracic Surgical Team at the Freeman Hospital are unable to take any in-coming elective students until further notice.
  • Students are responsible for confirming supervisor's location (supervisors can work across multiple sites).
  • Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation.
  • We only provide electives for students in their final or penultimate year of study. 


We require students to provide a range of documentation in support of their application. A full list and details of these documents is available in our Incoming Elective Policy. While it is preferable for students to submit these documents at the time of applying, if there are any documents (not denoted with an asterix within the application form) that you are unable to submit, then please email these separately to the Medical Electives Team as soon as possible.


While we do not charge tuition fees for Electives, students are required to pay a £210 non-refundable administration fee which covers the cost of the administration process, document checks and an online health screening questionnaire. More details are available in the Incoming Elective Policy Document.


Students MUST find and make an agreement with their own supervisors. We can provide advice on how to find and contact supervisors in our region (information available in our Policy Document) but we do not hold a list of email addresses. You can provide your supervisor confirmation either when you submit, or after submitting your application form, but you will not be provided with a formal offer of an elective place until we have received evidence of your supervisor confirmation from you. If you wish to confirm a supervisor before submitting your application, please note that applications are required to be submitted at least 6 months before an elective start date.


All students are required to obtain Medical Malpractice Insurance (or Medical Indemnity Insurance) prior to your elective placement. This is usually free to Medical Students but may depend on where you are studying and which organisation you choose to obtain your insurance through.


Non-UK students may need to obtain a Standard Visitor Visa prior to entering the UK. The Medical Electives Team will provide you with a letter in support of your VISA application, approximately 3 months prior to your elective start date. If a VISA is not required then you may use the letter at the UK border to confirm your reason for entry. Further information about VISA requirements can be found in the Incoming Elective Policy Document.


All non-UK students must supply evidence of their English proficiency in the form of a formal language certificate such as an IELTS, DAAD or TOEFL. Some countries are exempt from this and some students will not require this certificate if they can supply evidence that their course is taught and examined in English. More information about the English Language proficiency requirement can be found in Appendix A of the Incoming Elective Policy Document.


Please carefully read the Incoming Elective Policy Document for full details on all aspects of our Incoming Elective Programme. The Policy also includes helpful information on how to find a supervisor and accommodation whilst on your placement.


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


How to Apply

We require students to submit their online application form and accompanying documentation at least 6 months prior to their proposed elective start date. We regret that late applications may not be accepted.

In support of your application, students are required to provide us with copies of the following documentation:

  1. Passport - A scanned copy of the photo ID page from your Passport AND a scanned copy of the outside front cover of your Passport.
  2. Medical Indemnity/ Malpractice Insurance Certificate - A scanned copy of a Certificate of Medical Indemnity/Malpractice Insurance.
  3. Disclosure and Barring Service (Enhanced Check) - A scanned copy of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Check certificate (or equivalent letter of good standing from your relevant government department) This MUST be dated within 6 months of your elective start date in order to comply with NHS Trust regulations. 
  4. Deans Letter – We request that the Dean of your Home University or Medical School signs and stamps our template confirming they are able to recommend you for the incoming elective programme.
  5. Letter of Good Conduct – This is additional to the above ‘DBS/Letter of Good Standing from your local Government and should be issued by your home university, confirming you are a student in good standing and of good conduct. Please note, you will be asked to provide an updated version of this on the day of registration, dated within 3 months of your elective start date.
  6. Certificate or Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination – This must be a UK approved vaccine, which currently include; Moderna vaccine, Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Janssen vaccine, Novavax vaccine and Valneva vaccine.
  7. 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 completed so far on the Medical programme and your associated grades.
  8. Any assessment documents that your home Medical School may wish to be signed by a representative of Newcastle Medical School – Please email these separately and we will review them on an individual basis.
  9. English Language Proficiency Certificate (international students only) - A scanned copy of evidence of English language proficiency, for example an IELTS certificate or equivalent, normally obtained within two years of the start date of the elective. If your course is taught and examined in English then you do not need evidence of an English Language proficiency course but we do need you to provide evidence that your course was/is taught in English. This could be a letter from your Dean or copy of your academic transcripts. More information can be found in Appendix C. After submitting your online application you will receive an email

After submitting your online application you will receive an email from the Medical Electives Team within approximately 2 weeks, confirming receipt of your application. If you have arranged a clinical supervisor at the time of applying then we may be in a position to also provide you with an informal acceptance of a place on our elective programme. If you do not yet have a supervisor, we will ask you to provide us with confirmation of one as soon as possible. Once your application and supporting documentation has been reviewed fully, and we are able to accept you onto the electives programme, we will provide you with a formal offer letter, which will include an agreement for you to sign and return to our team. We will keep in touch with you at regular intervals prior to your elective start date to discuss the next step and any requirements prior to your arrival. For example, if you are an international student, we will contact you approximately 3 months prior to your start date, to provide you with a VISA support letter.

Please ensure you have read the full Incoming Medical Electives Policy 22/23

Incoming Medical Electives Policy 22-23

Please ensure you have read the full Incoming Medical Electives Policy Newcastle

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.


Despite the recent impact of the coronavirus on overseas travel, approximately two-thirds of the year group have continued to 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