Essential information

Information about elective placements, including dates, fees and documentation you'll need for your application.

An undergraduate medical student making notes in a lecture


Elective placements are available for the following dates in 2024: 

  • 1 April - 26 April
  • 6 May - 31 May
  • 3 June - 28 June
  • 1 July - 26 July
  • 5 August - 30 August
  • 2 September - 27 September
  • 7 October - 1 November
  • 4 November - 29 November

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

Required documents

Due to the volume of applications received, you should include all the following documents with your application. Without them, your application will be rejected immediately.

  • A scanned copy of your passport for identification purposes.
  • A letter of recommendation from the Dean of your Medical School. This must be on letterhead paper, signed and dated, and 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 (see below).
  • If applicable, a scanned or electronic copy of a letter of attachment confirmation from a Sheffield Children's Hospital (SCH) staff member.

Submitting your documents

All required documentation must be received electronically via the online application form. If you have issues attaching any documentation, you should email them to

English language requirements

Where English is not your first language, we require you to submit a valid certificate of English language proficiency. Without this, your application will be rejected.

If you are an international student studying at a UK medical school, we will accept a certified letter from your University confirming you achieved the required English Language Qualification for entry to their institution, as well as confirmation of what those requirements were.

Our English language requirement for international students aligns 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 UK.

Acceptable English language qualifications.

Comparisons of English language test grades

Visas for students outside the 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

Check the UK Border Agency website for information about short-term study visa requirements

An amendment to the UKVI regulations (January 2018) means 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 forshort-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. 

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 study visa application rather than a CAS for a Tier 4 visa application. 

Visit the GOV.UK website for full details

The University cannot assist you with visa applications other than by providing a Certification of Acceptance.

We recommend that you apply for your visa promptly as approval can take considerable time. Placements cannot be re-arranged if visas are not obtained in time to start on the agreed date.

Health requirements

All visiting medical elective students are required to complete pre-placement health screening via our Occupational Health service once an offer of place is made. Students will be required to complete an online questionnaire which will be assessed by one of the occupational health specialist nurses.

After the questionnaire is assessed, students may be required to attend an Occupational Health appointment on their first day of placement. Students will be informed by the University and the Occupational Health Service if an appointment is required.

Tuberculosis (TB)

Students who reside in countries which are considered to have a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB) will be required to attend an occupational health appointment in Sheffield one week prior to the start of their elective attachment so that the necessary tests can be taken and results returned prior to the start of the elective attachment.

View a list of countries at high risk of TB


There are no longer any COVID-19 restrictions in place. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is not required.


There is no charge to apply for the medical electives programme. If you are accepted onto the Electives Programme, you will be required to pay a £300 administration fee upon confirmation of placement.

This is not a tuition fee; it is to cover the cost of the administration required to process your application and the cost of your Occupational Health check.


You have 14 calendar days to request a refund of the administration fee from the date you made payment (in accordance with UK distance selling regulations).

After this period, we will only be able to refund your administration fee if you are unable to start your course for one of the following reasons:

  • Your UK study visa application is refused or rejected (proof will be required).
  • For applicants holding a Conditional offer, if you attempt but fail to meet the conditions of your offer (proof will be required).
  • For applicants to courses requiring ATAS clearance, if your application for ATAS clearance is refused or rejected.

Please be aware that if a refund is requested and approved, your offer will be withdrawn. 

Dress codes

If you are accepted, further information will be sent to you about the existing hospital dress code. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals follow the bare below the elbows policy.

Elective students should dress in a smart but comfortable fashion while on placement.


Please note that we aren't able to offer accommodation or assist with accommodation bookings for visiting students.

However, information regarding accommodation can be found using the links below:

Accommodation for parents and visitors

Hotels and guest houses

Search for a course

Use our search to find the right course for you.