How to apply

There are currently three placements per month available through the University of Sheffield elective programme.

A group of medical students observing a demonstration on a dummy.

All students must submit their applications via the on-line application page.

The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has agreed to take three students per month for a four week period. We are now considering applications for March 2020 onwards.

Elective periods will run for four weeks starting on the 1st Wednesday of each month. The Trust is not in a position to accommodate students whose elective time falls outside this period.

At present, we are unable to arrange elective placements at the Sheffield Children's Hospital (SCH). If, however, you have identified a clinical supervisor in the SCH willing to accept you as an elective student, we can help facilitate this.

Please note that we cannot guarantee a placement for all students.

Whilst we aim to have applications dealt with within three weeks, this process may take up to six weeks.

Elective Placements are available as follows: 

  • 5th February to 4th March 2020
  • 4th March to 1st April 2020
  • 1st April to 29th April 2020
  • 6th May to 3rd June 2020
  • 3rd June to 1st July 2020
  • 1st July 2020 to 29th July 2020
  • 5th August to 2nd September 2020
  • 2nd September to 30th September 2020
  • 7th October to 4th November 2020
  • 4th November to 2nd December 2020
Requirements to submit with your application

Due to the volume of applications received, please ensure you include all the following documents with your application otherwise it will be rejected immediately.

  • Passport: scanned copy for identification purposes.
  • Letter of recommendation from the Dean of your Medical School: In our experience, senior students find these placements more useful. As such we recommend students be in their 4th or 5th year of a five year medical course or their 5th or 6th year of a six year medical course. The document must be on letter head paper, signed and dated. This must confirm that you are a student in the recommended clinical years of study and the language used for course instruction.
  • An up-to-date scanned Criminal Records Check: This can be provided by your local police station or your home University can carry out a DBS check.
  • A brief description of your academic aims (max. 500 words)
  • A brief CV (max. 500 words)
  • A valid English language qualification: Please visit this site for acceptable English language qualifications. To reiterate, without proof of English language ability, your application will be rejected until such proof is provided. Where English is not your first language, we require you to submit a valid certificate of English language proficiency. Our English language requirement for international students is in line with current GMC guidelines. Generally, you will require an overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each testing component (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing). An IELTS certificate is valid for two years and you must ensure your certificate is therefore valid for the duration of your elective placement in the U.K. The University will only accept those listed alternative English language qualifications. Comparisons of English language test grades can be found here.
  • Sheffield Children's Hospital(SCH) staff attachment confirmation: If applicable, a scanned or electronic copy of a letter of attachment confirmation from a clinical SCH staff member.

All required documentation must be received electronically. Please email your recommendation and transcript of results, copy of passport and certificate of good conduct to

The application process

Your initial application will be processed by the University of Sheffield. This ensures you will have, if successful, Sheffield University student status and access to University facilities. On your application, you will be required to choose three departments within the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STH). Once this initial processing is complete, your application will then be shared with STH staff within the Medical Education Department who will, if possible, allocate you to a department of your choice by contacting the relevant supervisor(s). If your first choice department is not available, they will try to allocate you to your second or third choice.

Once a clinical supervisor is identified and if your application is deemed satisfactory, an offer will be made to you. You then have fifteen working days to accept or decline this offer through University Admissions.

All successful students will be required to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire before undertaking their elective. After completing the questionnaire,  students may be required to attend an Occupational Health appointment on the first day of their clinical attachment, so that full health clearance can be given prior to the start of the attachment. Students will not be allowed to attend placement until they have received clearance from the Occupational Health Team.

    Administration fee

    At the point of accepting your offer, you will be required to pay the administration fee of £300. You have 14 calendar days to pay the administration fee after accepting your offer, if you fail to make payment within 14 days your offer will be withdrawn.

    Payment of the admistration fee should be done through the University’s online store. You will need to provide a copy of the receipt to the electives administrator.

    You do not need to pay anything if:

    • you do not receive an offer.
    • you receive an offer but do not accept it.
    Final confirmation of your offer

    Providing you meet all of the conditions of your offer, we will then send you a letter of final confirmation detailing appointments for your first day of placement.

    This will include

    • Induction with the Medical School and the relevant NHS Foundation Trust
    • Occupational Health Appointment (if applicable)
    • Registration with the University
    • Meeting your Clinical Supervisor

    Visas for students outside of EU

    Once an offer has been made and accepted, it is the responsibility of the overseas applicant to obtain the necessary visa for their elective attachment

    1. Check the UK Border Agency website at: for information about Short Term Study Visa requirements. 
    2. An amendment to the UKVI regulations (January 2018) meant that overseas medical elective students can now use the Short-Term Study Visa route rather than having to apply for a Tier 4 visa. You must ensure that you fulfil all the criteria for Short Term Study Visa and have all the documentation required to obtain entry to the UK in time to take up an elective placement including evidence of ability to pay fees, and evidence of ability to pay living costs for the duration of the elective placement. 
    3. Students will be required to provide confirmation of their overseas medical course, and that the medical elective relates to it, from their overseas medical education provider with their visa application. Sheffield Admissions will issue Short-Term Study Visa letters to such applicants to support their Short-Term Student Visa application rather than a CAS for a Tier 4 visa application. For full details of this process please see our webpages at
    4. Please note that neither the admissions service nor the Medical School can assist with visa applications other than by providing the Certification of Acceptance.
    5. Please note that placements cannot be re-arranged if visas are not obtained in time to start on the agreed date.

    We recommend that you apply for your visa promptly as approval can take considerable time.

    Jessop West

    Undergraduate scholarships

    We have a range of undergraduate scholarships available to fund talented students starting an undergraduate course in 2020.