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Visiting schemes

Medical elective placements


Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

In light of recent Public Health England guidance, we regret that due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are not able to accept any applications or host any incoming Elective students until further notice. 

The scheme

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) in liaison with the South London and Maudsley Hospital, one of the largest and most well-established centres for mental health treatment in the UK, runs a Medical Electives scheme for medical students from the UK, EU and overseas interested in undertaking a clinical placement in Psychiatry or any other discipline related to Mental Health.

The application portal will be open to receive applications for electives commencing between July 2020 to December 2020 as follows:

Application portal opens – Monday 16th December 2019

Application portal closes – Friday 17th January 2020 

Applications cannot be accepted outside of these dates.


Admissions for placements from January 2020 until June 2020 are now closed


Subjects Offered

The IoPPN works closely with the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM) to form 7 Clinical Academic Groups (CAGs). Medical Elective placements will usually be with clinicians in these groups and in such fields as:

  • Addictions
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Home Treatment
  • Liaison Psychiatry
  • Mental Health in Learning Disabilities
  • Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  • Psychological Medicine
  • Psychosis                               

Selecting your Specialty

You should list your top three specialty choices from the list of fields above, in order of preference, in the "Personal Statement" section of your application.

If your application is successful we will work to offer you a placement in one of these specialties - please note that we do not offer "split electives", you are only able to undertake one specialty during your placement.

Dates and availability of electives

The minimum length of an elective placement is 4 weeks and the maximum length is 8 weeks. Only one elective period may be spent at King’s by any student.

All applications submitted by the closing deadline are processed after the deadline.

 Application open  Placements between
 16th December 2019  July 2020 - December 2020

  • There is a non-refundable application fee of £100, which will be taken as part of the application process. 
  • There is a placement fee of *£50 per week. For the minimum 4 week placement, this equates to a placement fee of £200 and for the maximum 8 week placement a placement fee of £400. Payment of this fee should not be made until after you have been sent an elective placement offer.  Placement fees can only be made using our secure e-store.

* Some departments within the SLaM NHS trust may charge fees in addition to the standard £50 per week.

Insurance and Healthcare

If you live outside the EU you must arrange personal health insurance for unlimited medical cover and send evidence of this insurance to the Medical Electives Officer before you take up your place on the Elective Programme. It is a condition of your acceptance that you are adequately insured to cover the cost of medical attention, including repatriation if necessary, should you become ill during your Elective period.


Medical Indemnity/Malpractice Insurance

You must provide proof of medical indemnity/ medical malpractice insurance cover as part of your online application. It may be that your home University is able to provide you with this cover, or advise you on insurance providers - please ask them in the first instance.

If your University policy does not cover you and you need to take out a private policy, we are not able to advise on insurance providers as this varies by location.

An internet search should assist you in finding a private insurance provider.


Health Insurance

It is obligatory for all overseas elective students to obtain adequate health insurance to cover them during their stay. You are responsible for your own health insurance. You need to arrange the insurance before leaving your country. It is NOT possible for overseas students to purchase health insurance in the UK. You are responsible for paying any costs in case of illness or accident. It is also strongly recommended that you have insurance for your personal belongings during your stay in the UK.

Application Information

You will need to complete the online application form and upload a number of important documents to undertake an elective at King's College London. Due to the large number of applications that we receive for a small number of places any incomplete applications will be automatically rejected.

Please read all the information on this page carefully.


General Application Information

  • You must be in your final year of Undergraduate Medical study at the time you undertake your placement.
  • You can only undertake your placement in one specialty for the full duration of your placement, whether this is for the minimum of 4 weeks or up to the maximum of 8 weeks.
  • You may not specify hospital choice, only your 3 chosen specialties, in preference order with your preferred placement dates.


English Language Proficiency

If you are not a citizen of a Majority English-speaking country (list below), you are required to provide proof of your English Language Proficiency as part of your application.

If your current medical degree is taught and examined in English, we will accept this as poof of your proficiency - as part of your application you must include a letter from your school certifying that you are a current student of their medical degree which is taught and examined in English.

Alternatively, you can take a test to prove your proficiency. Currently, we only recognise and accept tests from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (either Academic or General Training). The minimum score required to prove your proficiency is 6.5 in each component and the test results must be within two years of your elective period in order to be valid.

We will not accept any other English Language certification.

Majority English Speaking Countries:

Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America; United Kingdom.


Short-Term Study Visa

Applicants from outside the EU/EEA who are studying for a medicine degree abroad are now permitted to enter the UK on a Short-Term Study Visa to take up a clinical elective placement.

If you are a non UK or EU citizen, please read through the information provided by our International Student Advisers and familiarise yourself with the visa application requirements before applying for a placement. 

You cannot request a visa support letter until you have received an offer from King's College London. 


Professionalism and Student Code of Conduct

It is a condition of offer and enrolment that students agree, during their placement, to observe all the regulatory and policy requirements that apply to King’s College London students, including:

A-Z Policies at   

King’s College London’s Regulations & Student Conduct:

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted via the online application portal, during the advertised application window.

The link to the online application portal can be found here

Please follow our Online Application Guidance when completing your application, making sure that you include all of the required supporting documentation listed below.

Please note that all documents must be in English or with certified English translation if the originals are not in English.

Your application must include:

  • Completed and signed New Immunisation Form (including the evidence of immunisation/ history of disease as requested on this form) 
  • Two written academic references 
    We do not specify content or format but as a guide, these should refer to your course performance to date as well as experience and suitability for the elective placement. At least one reference should be from an academic tutor who knows you well.
  • A transcript of results in medical education to date, authenticated by the Dean or Registrar of your medical school 
  • IELTS test certificate or booking confirmation, if applicable
  • Certificate of medical indemnity or malpractice insurance valid for the duration of your proposed elective and confirming UK cover.


Please note that applications that do not include ALL of the above documents will be considered incomplete. Incomplete applications will automatically be rejected.

Accommodation and Finance

Visiting medical elective students are required to make their own accommodation arrangements and are liable for the associated costs.

For most of the year the halls of residence are fully occupied and so visiting students will not be able to apply for accommodation there.

In July and August only, there may be vacancies which students can apply for by contacting the Accommodation Office, once in receipt of a confirmed elective placement offer.

All enquiries regarding halls of residence accommodation, including queries on cost, should be made direct to the Accommodation Office

Other Expenses
Visiting medical elective students are required to make their own travel arrangements and are liable for the associated costs.

It is not possible to offer any financial assistance towards the expenses of visiting medical elective students, and this includes daily travel costs during the elective placement.

It is advisable that students take the travel, accommodation and other general living expenses into consideration before applying for a medical elective placement.


Q: What fees are charged for Medical Elective (IoPPN) students?



Q: I have contacted a supervisor directly and they have agreed to offer me a placement. What do I need to do to take this forward?

A: Students who arrange elective placements directly with NHS Trusts, KCL/IoPPN Academic Divisions should note that:

  • You are required to submit an application, the same as every applicant.
  • You must state in your personal statement that you have secured a placement, giving the full contact details (name, location, email address and telephone number) of your intended placement provider.


Q: What year of my university studies should I have reached when I take up a place on the Elective Programme?

A: Usually students are in the final year (sometimes final two) of their course at their home university when they take up their place on the Elective programme.


Q: How many Elective places are offered each year?

A: We are able to offer up to 30 Elective placements per academic year (September – August). Medical students from any country (including the UK) are eligible to apply for an Elective. You must be a medical student at the time of your Elective placement. 


Q: What are the minimum/maximum number of weeks of an Elective placement?

A: The minimum number of weeks for an elective placement is 4 weeks and the maximum length is 8 weeks. You must attend for the duration of your Elective placement. If you are planning on spending some of your time in England/Europe as holiday, this must be taken before or after your placement NOT during your Elective placement.


Q: My school requires certification of satisfactory completion, where can I get this?

A: We will, upon request, provide students with an elective Completion Certificate at the end of their elective, confirming the details of their placement.

If your medical school issues its own report/evaluation form, you may ask your clinical supervisor to complete this at the end of your placement. However, completion of your medical school’s form is at the discretion of your clinical supervisor, and may be declined if it requires assessments beyond those made to complete KCL’s medical elective completion certificate, or where the information required is already fully covered by KCL’s Medical Electives Certificate.

Please note that no evaluation forms will be completed after you have left the King's College London.


We aim to respond to enquiries within 5 days. However, please do not seek an update on your enquiry before then as this may delay rather than hasten our response. If a truly urgent matter related to your application arises for reasons beyond your control, and you require a more rapid response, please mark your email as urgent in the subject line. 

While we will try to respond as soon as we can, we cannot guarantee to do so more rapidly than for routine correspondence. If you do not receive a response after 2 weeks, please contact the Medical Electives Officer again.


Medical Electives in Psychiatry

Medical Electives Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 0787


Education Support Team

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

King’s College London

16 De Crespigny Park








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