Skip to main content

Northern Clinical School elective placements

Develop practical skills for providing compassionate care
Advance your clinical experience and learn vital skills for providing compassionate medical care with an elective placement in one of Sydney's northern hospitals.

Updated April 2022: The University of Sydney Medical School is not currently accepting elective placement applications or making elective placement offers until further notice, including applications for placements in 2022. An update will be provided on this website around October 2022.

Elective placements

The University of Sydney Northern 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 fulfill course requirements for experience in specific disciplines.

Electives are offered for between 3 weeks minimum, to 8 weeks maximum. 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

Available placements are outlined below. Please review these tables before filling in your preferences on the application form.

Please note these tables will be updated and available, once placements are re-opened.

How to apply

To make an initial application for an elective with the Northern Clinical School, students are required to submit the following documents via email. Please ensure that you have signed every page of the application package before submitting it as unsigned applications will be returned for signing.

  • The initial elective application package (pdf, 267KB) consisting of:
    - Elective Application Form
    - NSW Health Student Undertaking
    - Prohibited Employment Declaration
  • A letter of good standing from a senior staff member of the student's medical school (in English or with a certified translation, and no older than 12 months).
  • Written proof from the student's university or other appropriate body (in English or with a certified translation) that the student is insured for public and professional liability while doing their elective in Australia.

Accepting your offer

Once a placement is offered, students are required to pay the application fee and supply the following documentation via email or post:

  • the NSW Ministry of Health verification package (pdf, 1.3MB) consisting of:
    - NSW Health Code of Conduct Agreement
    - NSW Health Attachment 6 Undertaking/Declaration Form
    - NSW Health Attachment 7 Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool
  • evidence of required vaccinations as outlined in the application package.
  • Criminal Record Check (CRC) from the country where you have resided the most over the last three years.
  • National Police Check (NPC) from the Australian Federal Police (required by the NSW Health Department even if you have never visited Australia).


Students should not pay any fees until a formal offer is made. Application and elective fees are payable online at OneStop (not currently accepting payments) upon acceptance of a formal offer.

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


Students may be able to postpone their placement as long as the student provides at least 3 months notice and as long as the new commencement date is within 12 months. If the 12 month deferment period lapses with no new placement commencing, the elective fee becomes non-refundable.

Please note, it is the student’s responsibility to make contact in regard to a new placement once the next year’s placements have been released. Students are liable for any fee increases that take place during their deferment period.


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. Refunds are based on the date of notification outlined in the following table:

Date of Notification

Refund Amount

Six or more months prior to the start date of your placement 75% of the elective fee
Less than six months and more than three months prior to the start date of your placement 50% of the elective fee
Three months or less to the start of your placement No refund
  • Acceptance of applications for elective terms is at the discretion of the Head of School and subject to load and local considerations.
  • Elective placements cannot occur during mid-Dec to mid-Jan, due to staffing reductions.  Exact dates will be on the availability sheet when released.
  • All elective placements must be co-ordinated via the clinical school and students should not apply directly to a potential supervisor or department head. All initial inquiries must be sent to
  • 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).
  • Students must organise their own accommodation arrangements.

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. 

Language Proficiency

It is assumed that overseas elective students will have a reasonable proficiency of intermediate English before commencing an elective placement. A minimum English level of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 600 (100-iBT, 250-CBT) is required and should have their University state this in their letter of good standing.


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


Elective students must always identify themselves as students and their status should be recorded on entries into patient records. Elective students may not:

  • make unsupervised treatment decisions
  • prescribe medications
  • authorise discharge and admission of patients
  • complete forms such as death certificates
  • arrange investigations such as X-rays or blood tests without confirmation by a registered medical practitioner
  • sign off any documentation, request form or discharge letter unless counter-signed by a registered medical practitioner.

Read our frequently asked questions (pdf, 74.4KB) for more information.

Northern Clinical School

  • Kolling Building, Level 7, Reserve Rd Royal North Shore Hospital