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Elective Placement in Clinical Medicine

Key information

Subject area:

Life Sciences & Medicine

Course type:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Credit level:

Not for credit


Maximum 4 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 02 September 2024 To: 27 September 2024
Application deadline: 17 May 2024

From: 07 October 2024 To: 01 November 2024
Application deadline: 31 May 2024

From: 04 November 2024 To: 29 November 2024
Application deadline: 31 May 2024

Course overview

The GKT School of Medical Education runs an Elective Programme offering 4-week clinical elective placements for medical students who are in their penultimate or final year of clinical study at an institution external to King's.

Placements are available in a variety of specialties and are offered at our Teaching Campus Hospitals and their associated sites - Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital and King's College Hospital.

  • We are now considering applications for entry during the 2024/25 academic year.
  • Applications for September, October and November 2024 will open on Monday 22 April 2024.
  • Please read the information below for specific details about when and how to apply.
  • N.B Please note: our Elective Placement start dates are fixed and cannot be altered. 

What does this course cover?

Specialties Available

We offer 4-week long placements in one specialty (we cannot accommodate "split electives" over two or more areas).

Specialties available vary from month to month based on Supervisor availability, as such we cannot guarantee that all specialties will be consistently available. 

We offered placements in a wide range of specialties, examples of offered placements in 2023/24 are as follows: 

Geriatric & Acute Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Haematology, Orthopaedics & Trauma, Plastic Surgery, Paediatric Respiratory Care, General Surgery, Anaesthetics and Intensive care, Respiratory Medicine ENT (Otorhinolaryngology) Trauma and Emergency General Surgery, Women's Health, Paediatrics, Oncology.  

Applicants are advised to list three preferences for a certain start date. We will do our best to match successful applicants to either their preferred specialties or the closest match, however we cannot guarantee you will receive an offer which exactly matches your preferences. It is your choice whether to accept the offered placement.

Pre-arranged Placements

If you have been in touch with a Supervisor at either Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals or Kings College Hospital and they have agreed to Supervise you, you must advise the Supervisor that they must email details of the agreement to You must also indicate the name of your Supervisor and site on your application. The start date of the placement must align with the start dates listed below. If you are looking for an alternative start date this must be arranged directly with the hospital site.

Who is this for?

Elective Placements are open to medical students who are in their penultimate or final year of clinical study. You must be studying at an institution listed on the World Directory of Medical Schools

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.


General Application Information

  • You can only undertake your placement in one specialty for the full duration of your placement. 
  • You may not specify hospital choice, only your three chosen specialties in preference order.
  • The start date and length of our elective placements are fixed and cannot be negotiated. This is to ensure parity of experience for all accepted students.
  • You must be in your penultimate or final year of Undergraduate Medical study at the time you undertake your placement.
  • You will need a transcript of your results from your medical degree to date, authenticated by the Dean or Registrar of your medical school.
  • We require permission from your medical school for you to undertake an elective. This must include confirmation you have had a DBS (criminal record check) or equivalent at your medical school.
  • You must meet our English Language proficiency requirements, outlined below:

- If your current medical degree is taught and examined in English, we will accept this as proof 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.

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

- 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.

- If you have taken your test but not got your IELTS results or certificate by the time you submit your application, we will instead accept evidence of your test booking confirmation. You will still be required to submit to us the test certificate as soon as you receive it, and you must still meet the minimum score of 6.5 for each component before an offer can be made.

  • Elective placements generally commence on a Monday, however you are required to attend a Welcome and Induction session at Guy's Campus in London Bridge on the preceding Friday.
  • We recommend that students arrive in the UK at least a few days in advance of the Friday Welcome session to complete their required 'Right to Study' (visa) check and to settle into accommodation.
  • If you have queries pre-application, or post-offer, then contact the Programme Team via For queries whilst you are an applicant, including technical problems, contact the King's Admissions Team by sending a message via King's Apply. 

Visa Information for International Students

Elective placements may now be undertaken under the Visit Visa (Study) route rather than the Student route. You will receive a visa support offer letter if you receive an offer.


A non-refundable application fee of £200 will be taken as part of the application process. If you are offered and accept a place, you are required to pay a placement fee in advance of commencement. The fee for a four week placement will total £300. Payment of the fee should not be made until you have received confirmation that your application has been successful and you have received an offer. Placement fees can only be made using our secure e-store.

What is the teaching schedule?

Elective placement start on Mondays (except where there are a public holidays on a Monday). 

Successful applicants will be required to attend an in-person enrolment session at the Guy's campus in London Bridge which will be held on the Friday prior to the placement start date.

Placement Start Dates 2024/25:

  • Monday 02 September 2024
  • Monday 07 October 2024
  • Monday 04 November 2024 
  • Monday 03 February 2025
  • Monday 03 March 2025
  • Tuesday 06 May 2025
  • Monday 02 June 2025 
  • Monday 07 July 2025

Please Note:

  • Placements are only offered for 4 weeks.
  • Our placement start dates are fixed and cannot be modified.
  • Placements are not available in August 2024, December 2024, January 2025 or April 2025.

Further information

Making An Application:

Applications will only be accepted via the King's online application portal, King's Apply. Applications must be made during the advertised application window. The name of the programme to apply for is 'Medical Elective - Certificate of Attendance.'

Before applying, please ensure you can commence the placement on the advertised start date, and that you are available to attend an in-person enrolment session 2-3 days beforehand (usually on the Friday preceding the start of the placement).

Please note that applications that do not include all of the below documents will be considered incomplete. Late/incomplete applications may not be considered, at the discretion of the Admissions Team.

Twin Link Nominated Students Only: All nominated applicants from our Twin Link partner institutions must contact the Deanery of their home institution before submitting an application via King's Apply. Applications received without notification from our Twin Link partner institutions' Deanery will be treated as normal fee-paying applications.

Twin Link nominated students will be offered a Waiver Letter by their home institution to demonstrate that they meet the below requirements.  Please ensure you select the specific Twin Link application route: 'Medical Elective (Certificate of Attendance) for Twin Link Institutions' when you submit your application through King's Apply.

Your application must include:

  • A Personal Statement which demonstrates a clear interest in your preferred specialty. Your Personal Statement should also detail the month you wish to start the placement and your preferred specialties (first, second and third choice).
  • Two written academic references. 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.
  • An official transcript, authenticated by the Dean or Registrar of your medical school, detailing results from your medical degree to date. (We may also use this to determine that you are in your penultimate or final year of study).
  • Written permission from your medical school to undertake an Elective at King's during the dates you have applied for. This must include confirmation that your Medical School has carried out a police record check and this has not returned any concerns, and that your conduct at Medical School has not given any cause for concern, AND confirmation that you are in your final or penultimate year of undergraduate medical study
  • Criminal record check or Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) equivalent from your home country (if not confirmed by your Medical School as per item above)
  • Evidence of your English language proficiency.


King's Apply Application Windows 2024/25

  • The next application window for elective placements starting on Monday 02 September 2024 will be: 22 April - 17 May 2024.
  • The application window for elective placements starting on Monday 07 October 2024 and Monday 04 November 2024 will be: 22 April - 31 May 2024.
  • The application window for elective placements starting on Monday 03 February 2025 and Monday 03 March 2025 will be: 12 August - 13 September 2024.
  • The application window for elective placements starting on Tuesday 06 May 20245 and Monday 02 June 2025 will be: 02 December 2024 - 10 January 2025.
  • The application window for elective placements starting on Monday 07 July 2025 will be: 27 January - 21 February 2025.

Your Application Outcome

All applications submitted by the closing deadline are processed after the closing deadline. Processing the applications can take up to two months after the closing deadline. We request that you do not contact Admissions asking for the outcome of your application during this time. We will notify you as soon as possible after the application deadline whether or not your application has been successful.

If you have to withdraw your application for any reason, please notify us via King's Apply at the earliest opportunity, so we can consider another applicant in your place.

Accommodation & Finance

King's student accommodation is only usually available for full-time year round study, therefore visiting medical elective students are required to make their own accommodation arrangements and are liable for the associated costs. Short Stays ( may be of use.

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

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.

Medical Indemnity/Malpractice Insurance

If you are successful in your application and made an offer, you must provide proof of medical indemnity/medical malpractice insurance cover as a condition of acceptance of that offer.

Your home University may be able to provide you with this cover, or advise you on insurance providers. If your University policy does not cover you you will need to take out a private Medical Malpractice policy which covers you for the duration and purpose of your Elective placement in the UK. 

Please note that King's College London cannot advise on or recommend insurance providers for these purposes. Please see this page from the General Medical Council for more details.

Occupational Health Clearance

All students must have clearance from our Occupational Health team in order to undertake an elective placement. If you are made an offer, we will inform you of these requirements.

Please note standard Occupational Health clearance does not include clearance for exposure prone procedures (EPP) (that is the worker's gloved hands may be in contact with sharp instruments, needle tips or sharp tissues inside a patient's open body cavity, wound or confined anatomical space where the hands or fingertips may not be completely visible at all times) this is important for some surgical procedures. If clearance for EPP is required this requires additional blood tests which must be obtained in the UK and can take 2 weeks to process.

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.


We will ask students to complete an electronic feedback form at the end of their elective.

We will provide students with an Elective Completion Letter at the end of their elective, confirming the details of their placement.

If an evaluation form from your University/Medical School requires a KCL signature and stamp for the end of your elective, you can obtain this by arrangement with the Electives team towards the end of your stay. 

Our partners

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust logo logo

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust logo

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Foundation Trust logo

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Foundation Trust

Course status:

Course closed

Full fee £300

Non-refundable application fee £200

Price per week £75 (duration 4 weeks)

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