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Nepean Clinical School elective placements

Develop your professional clinical skills in medicine and surgery
With a relatively high patient load in comparison to the student population, elective placements at Nepean Clinical School provide invaluable learning opportunities for attending medical students.

Updated 22 January 2021: Due to travel restrictions in place related to the COVID-19 pandemic, The University of Sydney Medical School will not be accepting elective placement applications or making elective placement offers until further notice.

The next update is expected to be provided in July 2021. Please check this website then for any updates.

Elective placements

The University of Sydney Nepean Clinical School welcomes elective applications from international and Australian medical students in their final or penultimate years of medical studies. Elective placements are provided on the basis that they are “clinical electives”, which do not fulfil course requirements for experience in specific disciplines.

Electives are generally offered for between 4 and 8 weeks, with limited opportunity for longer-term placements. Please note that we are unable to offer elective placements to students from universities where the majority of teaching is delivered online as students are expected to have a reasonable amount of prior experience in taking histories and examining patients in a clinical setting.

Available placements

We do our best to meet all placement requests, however, you should nominate a minimum of 3 preferences on your application as you may need to rotate through several sub-specialties depending on availability.

  • addiction medicine
  • cardiology (available November to mid-January only)
  • diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine
  • emergency (available November to mid-January only)
  • endocrinology
  • gastroenterology
  • geriatrics
  • haematology
  • intensive care
  • neurology
  • oncology
  • paediatrics
  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • psychiatry
  • rehabilitation
  • renal
  • respiratory
  • Blue Mountains Hospital – general medicine
  • acute surgery unit
  • upper GI
  • colorectal
  • breast/endocrine
  • orthopaedic
  • neurosurgery
  • plastics
  • vascular
  • urology
  • obstetrics & gynaecology (caesareans, gynaecological surgery)
  • general surgery: students can be signed off in gen surgery if allocated to: upper GI, acute surgery, colorectal, breast /endocrine

How to apply

To apply, complete our application form (pdf, 80KB), noting your preferred terms and dates and email

Owing to a large number of applicants, we cannot accept students who have arranged placements at other clinical schools of the University of Sydney. Once your application has been accepted, a provisional offer will be made and, if available, a room on campus. Please note, offers will only be held for one week.

Originals (or certified copies) of ALL of the forms are required before a student will be allowed to begin an elective placement. Please make sure the information we receive is clear, legible, and complete. Documents that are not written in English need to be accompanied by a certified translation.

  • Application form
  • Enrolment form
  • Prohibited employment declaration form
  • Vaccination declaration form
  • A recent letter of recommendation from a senior Medical School member of your school
  • Written proof from your university or other appropriate body that you are covered by insurance for public and professional liability (including medical malpractice) while doing your elective in Australia.
  • Criminal record check
    - must be dated within 12 months of the last day of your elective (for example, if you complete your elective on 28/08/2011, your CRC must not be dated prior to 28/08/2010).
    - must be at least a state-wide (or province) CRC.
    - must be from the country in which you have spent the majority of the past 12 months.
  • Curriculum vitae and passport photo
    Please provide a brief, one page curriculum vitae. Scanning and emailing a photograph is acceptable.

Clinical elective applications are considered on the basis of previous training. Only students in the final stages of study will be considered. Owing to a large number of applicants, we cannot accept students who have arranged placements at other institutions in Australia if the combined attachments exceed eight weeks.


It is the responsibility of the overseas applicant to contact their nearest Australian Consulate with respect to visa requirements. A tourist visa will allow entry and stay in Australia for the purpose of study/training for a period of up to 3 months. Any stay in excess of 3 months may require an Occupational Trainee Visa.

Language Proficiency

It is assumed that overseas elective students will have a reasonable proficiency of intermediate English before commencing an elective placement.


There are mandatory vaccinations required before you can train in any NSW health facility. Please see NSW Health policy directive for more information.

  • Acceptance of applications for elective terms is at the discretion of the Head of School and subject to load and local considerations.
  • Limited availability is offered mid-Dec to mid-Jan and only in Emergency, Cardiology and Intensive Care due to the summer holiday season and reduced staffing.
  • All elective placements must be co-ordinated via the clinical school and students should not apply directly to a potential supervisor or department head.
  • The majority of the placement is completed in a ward or clinical attachment and, where possible, with senior, local students.
  • Elective students may attend large group teaching sessions, ie lectures, grand rounds, etc, but do not normally participate in small group session such as bedside tutorials, clinical reasoning sessions, etc.
  • Extended internet access will be arranged for you at orientation. You will have access to the student computer room in the education centre.
  • Access to teaching sessions in the Clinical Skills Centre is at the discretion of the supervisor of the facility and subject to space and availability of equipment.
  • We do not offer formal assessments to elective students. If a student requires a brief assessment sheet, case assessments or log book to be signed off, it is the student’s responsibility to request this on initial application.
  • The medical school will only sign forms provided by students to certify that they have “the same practical (or clinical) rights and responsibilities as local students. If your University does not accept this statement, please do NOT submit your application.
  • Travel concessions are not available to international students (NSW Government policy).
  • Accommodation arrangements are subject to Medical School rules and availability (see separate note).

Accepting your offer

To accept, email your application form, a one page CV with photo on top corner, the registration payment form and room booking form to:

The remaining documents (originals or certified copies) must be posted. Please ensure that your documents are 12 months current of elective dates. Documents not written in English need to be accompanied by a certified translation.

A certified copy of a document must be signed by an authority figure and include the certifier’s name, position and official stamp. The endorsement should read “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document’ and cannot be completed by a family member.


Students should not pay any fees until a formal offer is made. Application and elective fees are payable via the payment form provided upon acceptance of a formal offer.

  • Application fee: $200 AUD
  • Elective fee (up to 4 weeks): $900 AUD
  • Elevective fee (up to 5-8 weeks): $1,300 AUD
  • Elective fee (for electives over 8 weeks): $500 AUD per week


It is not the policy of the University of Sydney to offer a refund for elective payments. However, a refund will be considered if a student can provide a valid reason with supporting documents. Cancellations with less than 3 months notice will not be considered regardless of reason. Refunds must be requested through the Executive Officer with a final decision made by the Associate Dean.


Nepean Hospital

The Nepean student accommodation units are located at 29-33 Rodgers Street, Kingswood, a 5-minute walk from the hospital. The units have 2-3 bedrooms each and are fully furnished with heaters, kitchen appliances, linen and a coin-operated laundry on-site.

Blue Mountains Hospital

For students attending Blue Mountains Hospital a single room at $70 per week is automatically booked when your elective is confirmed (double rooms are not available).

Accommodation will be offered, if available, with your initial elective offer. Please complete the booking form request provided within your information package.

Alternative accomodation options

Nepean Clinical School

  • +61 2 4734 1817
  • Nepean Campus Nepean Hospital

Nepean Clinical School