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Dr Omar Hussain, Class of 2016


Experience an environment that is very different from a regular medical course and medical issues that stretch your understanding, and allow you to reflect on your professional and personal development.


A health experience in a specialist area of your choice

One of the most exciting parts of your medical training with us is your elective.

You will have the opportunity to gain invaluable clinical, research or health experiences in locations where you can stretch your understanding, make a difference, and reflect on your professional and personal development.

You will carry out the six-week elective at the beginning of your final year, where you can choose to work in a specialist service or health related organisation in the UK or abroad.

Students find their elective a hugely educational, enjoyable and rewarding experience.

You will gain invaluable health related experiences in locations where you can help make a difference, both to healthcare services and to those who receive them.

Please be aware that your elective plans can be affected by global and national events.

Laura Foggett on her elective in the Philippines
Students on their elective in Vietnam
Tom Armstrong on his elective at NASA
Louise Gardner, Year 5


I spent my elective in the Oncology, Paediatrics and Emergency Departments at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. I had a fantastic experience and was able to see many conditions that I had never witnessed before in the UK, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and severe acute malnutrition. I particularly enjoyed my time in the emergency department as it gave me further experience in assessing and managing really sick patients.
2020 graduate

Dr Louise Gardner


Where will you go?

The choice is yours!

Our students have undertaken electives within our region, across the UK, or ventured overseas.

There are many local opportunities in NHS trusts with clinical subspecialties as diverse as infectious diseases and neurosurgery and at universities with local academics who lead in their field.

Further afield in the UK, students have been to organisations such as the Institute of Neurology in London, in rural settings like Fort William and Shetland, and within elite sporting environments.

Our students have also undertaken electives in hospitals and research institutes in locations as far-reaching as Vanuatu, Nepal, Belize, Malaysia, South Africa and with NASA in the USA to name but a few.

How is an elective funded?

The elective is funded by the medical student and associated costs will vary depending on the elective you choose, and whether this is overseas or in the UK.

“We recognise the importance the elective has in terms of your undergraduate studies. It is a time for you to design, plan and then enjoy your placement. The scope is wide and will allow for your personal and professional development.

“I still remember my elective, as I know most doctors do, and found it to be an exciting and rewarding time.  It gives you the opportunity to plan for what suits you and can be done very much with future career progression in mind.

“Some smaller specialties, such as my own in cardiothoracic surgery, may not be frequently experienced during routine placements and it affords this opportunity. We are very mindful of how important this time is and are here to fully support you.”

- Dr Michael Gooseman, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon, Academic Lead for Electives

Michael Gooseman