Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Elective Placement in Clinical Medicine

Key information

Subject area:

Life Sciences & Medicine

Course type:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Credit level:

Not for credit


Maximum 8 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 09 January 2023 To: 03 March 2023
Application deadline: 10 October 2022

From: 06 February 2023 To: 31 March 2023
Application deadline: 10 October 2022

From: 06 March 2023 To: 28 April 2023
Application deadline: 10 October 2022

Course overview

The GKT School of Medical Education runs an Elective Programme offering 4-8 week clinical elective placements for medical students who are in their penultimate or final year of clinical study. Placements are available in a variety of specialties, a full list of which can be viewed below. Placements will be undertaken at our Teaching Campus Hospitals - Guy's Hospital, King's College Hospital, St Thomas' Hospital and University Hospital Lewisham.

  • Applications are now open for placements starting on 9 January, 6 February and 6 March 2023.
  • Please read the information outlined in the sections below for guidance on making an application.
  • Please note: our Elective Placement start dates are fixed and cannot be altered. 

What does this course cover?

We offer placements in a wide range of specialties, listed below. You should list your top three specialty choices 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.

Specialties offered

Where some specialties have limited availability or are only available at certain times of the year, this is indicated next to the specialty below.

Acute & Elderly Medicine - very limited availability   

Clinical Chemistry/Metabolic Bone Clinics General Surgery Neurology Paediatric Neonate Renal Transplant

Ageing & Health

Clinical Pharmacology Geriatric & General Medicine Obstetrics & Gynaecology - very limited availability Paediatric Nephrology Research Oncology/Division of Cancer Studies- Medicine
Anaesthesia & Pain Management Clinical Toxicology GI Surgery Oncology Paediatric Neurology Thoracic Surgery
Anaesthetics Critical Care Haematology Ophthalmology Paediatric Neurosciences Transplantation
Breast Surgery Diabetes Histopathology Orthopaedics Paediatric Respiratory Trauma & Orthapaedics
Breast Surgery, Cancer Studies Emergency Medicine HIV/Sexual Health Orthopaedics & Trauma Paediatric Surgery Trauma Surgery
Breast Surgery, Academic Oncology Elderly Medicine Institute of Liver Studies Paediatric Cardiology Paediatric Haemoglobinopathies Urological Surgery
Cardiac Surgery Endocrinology Intensive Care Paediatric Gastroenterology Palliative Medicine - July to September only Urology
Cardiology Gastroenterology Liver Critical Care Paediatric Haematology Plastic Surgery Vascular Surgery
Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders General Medicine - very limited availability Neonatology Paediatric Hepatology Radiology  
Chronic Pain / Anaesthetic General Paediatrics - July to September only Neurosurgery Paediatric Intensive Care Renal & Urology  



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 on-line 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, whether this is for the minimum of 4 weeks or up to the maximum of 8 weeks. Please note that should you accept an offer for a certain placement on certain dates, at the end of your Elective King’s will only verify time spent on that specific placement.
  • You may not specify hospital choice, only your 3 chosen specialties in preference order.
  • The start date of our elective placements are fixed and cannot be negotiated. This is to ensure parity of experience for all accepted students.
  • All elective placements commence on a Monday, however you are required to attend an enrolment and welcome session at Guy's Campus in London Bridge on the preceding Friday. You will not be permitted to commence your placement without attending this session, so you should take this into account when selecting your placement dates.
  • You must study at an institution listed on the World Directory of Medical Schools
  • 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.
  • Permission from your medical school 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 at the bottom of this section), you are required to provide proof of your English Language Proficiency as part of your application.

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.

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.

Visa Information for International Students

Elective placements may now be undertaken under the Visit Visa (Study) route rather than the Student route. You cannot request a visa support letter until you have received an offer from King's College London. You will receive visa information from  King's once you have been made an offer.


A non-refundable application fee of £200 will be taken as part of the application process.

The placement fee is £75 per week. For the minimum 4-week placement, this equates to a placement fee of £300, and £600 for the maximum 8-week placement. Payment of this 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?

Available Elective Placement Dates 2022/23

Please note that placement start dates (below) are fixed and cannot be modified. Successful applicants will be required to attend an in-person enrolment session 2–3 days prior to their start date.

  • 10 October 2022 - maximum 8 weeks
  • 7 November 2022 - maximum 6 weeks (due to College closure over Winter Break)
  • 9 January 2023 - maximum 8 weeks
  • 6 February 2023 - maximum 8 weeks
  • 6 March 2023 - maximum 8 weeks
  • 8 May 2023 - maximum 8 weeks
  • 5 June 2023 - maximum 8 weeks
  • 10 July 2023 - maximum 8 weeks

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.

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 (these are usually on held 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 will not be considered. 

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.   

Your application must include:

  • A Personal Statement which demonstrates a clear interest in your preferred specialty. Your Personal Statement should also include the following: 1) your preferred length of placement (4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks), 2) the month you wish to start the placement (e.g. October 2022) and 3) your placement preferences (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 2022/23

  • The application window for elective placements starting on 10 October 2022 / 07 November 2022 was: Monday 25 April 2022 – Monday 27 June 2022  - NOW CLOSED
  • The application window for elective placements starting on 09 January 2023 / 06 February 2023 / 06 March 2023 is: from August 2022 (open now) – Monday 10 October 2022.
  • The application window for elective placements starting on 08 May 2023 / 05 June 2023 is: Monday 07 November 2022 – Monday 16 January 2023.
  • The application window for elective placements starting on 10 July 2023 is: Monday 13 February 2023 – Tuesday 11 April 2023.

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

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.

Inquiries 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.

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.

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 ask all 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, please bring this to the Faculty Education Services when you collect your Completion Letter. If you require a clinical signature from your elective supervisor, you must give them the form at the start of your placement. Please note that no evaluation forms will be completed after you have left King's College London.

Our partners

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust logo

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Course status:

Places available

Full fee £800

Non-refundable application fee £200

4 week placement £300

8 week placement £600



Offered by