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Elective placements

Undertake an elective placement and enhance your clinical skills

Gain hands on clinical experience, broaden your specialised knowledge and develop your clinical and patient care skills with an elective placement at one of our six clinical schools across Sydney.

The Sydney Medical School is now accepting elective placement applications for 2023.

Elective placements

We welcome 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 a duration of 4 or 8 weeks. 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

The full list of Clinical Schools and the areas of interest that are offered is available below. 

Please review these tables before filling in your preferences on the application form. 

Students can only be offered and placed in one specialisation/discipline. Placement cannot be split between multiple hospitals or units. Placements are subject to availability and will be arranged via a participating Clinical School.

For rural site elective applications please follow the instructions provided on their webpages.

You must submit an application a minimum of 6 months prior to placement.

To apply, please complete our online application form.

Once a placement is confirmed we will process your application, this may take up to 6 weeks. A letter of confirmation will be emailed to you.

Student Compliance documents will then need to be submitted 3 months prior to the placement start date.

Additional documents to be provided with the application:

For your application to be processed please provide the following documents as a single pdf file, using your Given name, Family Name and Home University as the file name:

  • A letter of good standing from a Dean or Head of Clinical School - dated within the last 12 months & must include an English proficiency statement and be stamped by the home institution.
  • Written proof from your University or other appropriate body that you are covered by insurance for medical indemnity and public liability while doing your elective in Australia - sent with a certified English translation if necessary
  • AUD$200 Application fee receipt

NSW Health Student Compliance
Three months prior to placement you will need to provide documents to confirm your student compliance.

It is a requirement that ALL students (domestic and international) are required to provide verification documents to Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) for verification.

Please refer to SHLD - Student Compliance for reference and forms.

  • Prohibited employment declaration 
  • NSW Health code of conduct agreement
  • Australian National Police Check from Australian Federal Police (AFP). Must be dated within 12 months of the last day of your elective
  • Criminal record check (for students studying overseas). Must be dated within 12 months of the last day of your elective. Online or local checks are not accepted.
  • Vaccination record card. Every single entry must be signed and stamp by your GP otherwise paperwork will not be accepted) including serology (must be in English). The NSW Vaccination card is to be completed by a health professional, it must be signed AND have the practice stamp affixed to it so it is a legal and valid entry.
  • Student Undertaking/Declaration – Appendix 6
  • TB Assessment Tool – Appendix 7
  • Hepatitis B Declaration - Appendix 9. Appendix 9 only required if the Hepatitis B vaccination record is not available.
  • Blood Borne Virus Declaration

Application and elective fees are payable online at OneStop via Visa or Mastercard. Processing of your application will not be undertaken without receipt of application fee. Elective fee payment is required within two weeks of receiving a placement offer

  • Non-refundable Application fee: $200
  • Elective fee (4 weeks): $900
  • Elective fee (8 weeks): $1,300

We generally do not grant refunds if you have to cancel your placement unless your reasons for cancellation are deemed exceptional. If granted, only the elective fee will be refunded and the amount refunded will be based on your date of notification.

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

  • Only students in their final or penultimate year at a recognised institution at the time of your placement will be considered. The elective placement needs to be a requirement of your degree and students must have at least 2 years of clinical experience prior to the start of the placement.
  • Acceptance by the Clinical School is at the discretion of the Head of School and subject to load and other local considerations.
  • All elective placements must be coordinated via the Clinical School and students should not apply directly to a potential supervisor or department head.
  • We cannot accept students who have arranged placements at other institutions in Australia if the total period is more than 8 weeks.
  • Elective placements cannot occur during December and January, due to staffing restrictions. Exact dates will be on the availability sheet when released.
  • The Clinical School reserves the right to cancel an elective placement if any information provided is incorrect or misleading.
  • Once you are offered an elective placement and sent an application pack, it is the responsibility of the elective student to ensure that all documentation is provided as per the specific deadlines outlined in the offer email. Students who do not meet the deadlines may have their placement cancelled.
  • 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 Clinical 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.
  • As a medical student you will be involved in day-to-day interactions with patients, members of the public, and members of the medical staff. These interactions may involve discussions of sensitive issues and the performance of a range of clinical duties. Thus while attending the ward, clinics or general practice, your dress and general appearance should be appropriate to the environment. As a guide, a medical student must appear well groomed and professional.
  • Students are responsible for their own travel and living expenses. Travel concessions are not available to international students (NSW Government policy).
  • Students are responsible for their own travel and health insurance.
  • Accommodation arrangements are subject to Clinical School rules and availability.


For students to benefit from their placements they are required to have a minimum English level or IELTS 7 or TOEFL IBT 96. It Is assumed that students from non-English speaking countries will have an advanced level of English proficiency both written and spoken before commencing elective placement.

Your university should include in their letter of good standing a paragraph on your English ability: either the language of instruction for your studies is entirely in English; or that they are happy that your English ability is sufficient for you to gain an acceptable level of experience and skills from your elective placement, to satisfy their elective criteria.

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.

We have an Accommodation Service department located on the main campus to help students find off-campus accommodation.

They maintain an extensive database of accommodation in various areas (but primarily close to the University or within easy access to public transport). More information can be found on the website of the University of Sydney Accommodation Service.

Clinical Schools offering accommodation:

Nepean Clinical School 

  • 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.

Westmead Clinical School

  • We have a limited number of single rooms available as student accommodation within the hospital. Please note your interest in being allocated a room for the duration of your stay on your application form. Once a formal offer for an elective placement is made and elective fees paid, room availability will be checked and confirmed if available. All rooms contain a single bed, desk and wardrobe and linen is provided. Shared areas include kitchens, bathroom, dining, sitting areas and laundry with washing machine and clothes drier. Accommodation charges (outlined in your placement offer) are payable upon arrival, with keys available for collection from the weekend prior from the Hospital Security Office.

Australia's national registration and accreditation scheme began on 1 July 2010. The scheme is governed by nationally consistent legislation, the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (the national law) as in force in each State and Territory. The role of the Boards under national law is to protect the public.


The National law requires the Medical Board of Australia to register as a student any person for whom the University of Sydney arranges clinical training, and that they are not enrolled in an approved program of study.

Your initial details are forwarded to the Board by the placement facilitator and require no action by the student. Please read the attached link for your responsibilities. The Board will be notified by the University on completion of your clinical placement.


Please refer to the Fact Sheet and FAQs on the AHPRA website.


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