Visiting Student Electives

Electives for Visiting Students at UCL Medical School

UCL Medical School is pleased to offer a visiting student electives programme to international undergraduate medical students and those from other UK medical schools who have completed a minimum of 3 years of a medical degree programme excluding an IBSc and including 12 months of clinical study. These attachments are spent within the academic clinical divisions of the School of Life and Medical Sciences and in clinical units within the associated teaching hospitals: University College London Hospitals (WC1); The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust (N19) and The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust: Royal Free (NW3); Barnet (EN5); Chase Farm (EN2).

Electives are offered for a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of 8 weeks during 7 blocks starting in August and running throughout the year.  One elective period only may be spent at UCL.

All administration and correspondence is by email to: medsch.visitingelectives@ucl.ac.uk

Administration and contacts

All administration and correspondence is by email to: Jelena Baburina  medsch.visitingelectives@ucl.ac.uk

Emails will normally receive a response within 2 weeks.

Telephone enquiries cannot be taken and we regret that no other members of staff are able to answer queries in the absence of the electives administrator.


Fees for electives are:

  • £100 non-refundable processing fee which must be sent with the initial application form (Part 1) via
  • UCL online store (you will receive a link on the completion of the application form)
  • £550 registration, tuition & certification fees (4 weeks) must be paid via UCL Online store 4 months before the start of an elective placement (£75 for each consecutive week e.g. 5 week)


Please note that students who are not granted a visa or unable to join electives after the final confirmation letter has been issued may request a reimbursement of the tuition fees but not the administrative fees incurred in processing their application (£300 only out of £550 for 4 weeks).

Dates and availability of electives

The minimum length of an elective placement is 4 weeks and the maximum length is 8 weeks.  Placement dates must start and finish within the block dates set out below.     

20 places are offered in each block.  The number is determined by the availability of educational supervisors with capacity to teach visiting students in addition to their normal allocation of UCL medical students and the resources needed to arrange placements.

The deadlines for application for each block are given below, but the application process may close earlier if all 20 places are taken up before the deadline.


Block 2 Mon 26 Oct – Fri 18 Dec 2015 - Deadline for applications 27 Apr 2015

Block 3 Mon 4 Jan – Fri 12 Feb 2016 - Deadline for applications 4 Jul 2015

Block 4 Mon 15 Feb – Fri 11 Mar 2016 - Deadline for applications 14 Aug 2015

Block 5 Mon 4 Apr – Fri 13 May 2016 - Deadline for applications 3 Oct 2015

Block 6 Mon 16 May – Fri 24 Jun 2016 - Deadline for applications 15 Dec 2015

Block 7 Mon 27 Jun – Fri 22 Jul 2016 - Deadline for applications 26 Jan 2016

Application process and timing

12 to 6 months before the requested start date:

· complete Part 1 Application Form (see live links at the bottom of the page)

· make a payment of £100 non-refundable deposit via UCL online store


Allow at least 6 weeks for an elective placement that meets your requirements to be found and for email notification of a provisional offer to reach you.

6 to 4 months before the requested start date:

· Email Part 2 and ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS (IN ENGLISH) to medsch.visitingelectives@ucl.ac.uk

List of documents to be emailed with part 2:

· Confirmation of personal travel insurance including medical emergencies and repatriation

· Confirmation of Medical Malpractice Insurance valid in UK *if not covered by home University

· Copy of Criminal Records Bureau clearance or equivalent police check undertaken within the last 2 years

· Complete a payment of registration, tuition & certification fees (4 weeks) via UCL Online store

· Complete and email scanned Part 3 and all required documents (in English) to: uclstudentoh@ucl.ac.uk

· If you have further questions regarding Part 3 please contact Occupational Health on uclstudentoh@ucl.ac.uk

Please note that Part 2 & 3 must reach UCL Medical School at least 4 months before the start date. Allow at least 4-6 weeks for the Medical School to verify documents and check health clearance to enable the offer to be confirmed.

All documents and a fee payment should be received and finalised 3 months before the requested start date so the CAS letter (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) could be issued

· Please note that UCL only able to request and issue a CAS number 3 months before the start of your elective so please plan your travelling schedule accordingly.

· 2- 3 weeks before the requested start date: Student will receive an email reminder about the start date and joining instructions

Further OH information:


UCL Medical School follows guidelines produced by the Department of Health and agreed by the Medical Schools Council.

Medical students are required by the Department of Health in the UK to provide evidence that they are not infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) before they can perform EPPs. The Department of Health defines EPPs as “those invasive procedures where there is a risk that injury to the worker may result in the exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the blood of the worker. These include procedures where the worker’s gloved hands may be in contact with sharp instruments, needle tips or sharp tissues (eg. spicules of bone or teeth) inside a patient’s open body cavity, wound or confined anatomical space where the hands may not be completely visible at all times”. Venepuncture, canulation and suturing are not considered as EPPs.

Please note that in accordance with the Department of Health guidelines, we are required to confirm the results of the following tests which were performed abroad, and which will be repeated in the UK, on UK validated blood samples analysed by a CPA accredited laboratory:-

1. Hepatitis B surface antigen

2. Hepatitis C antibodies

3. HIV antibodies

You will be required to meet the costs of vaccinations and/or blood tests.

These confirmatory tests are to be completed before a medical student is given approval to start clinical work as part of their placement. In the interim, a medical student will be able to start their placement but only as a clinical observer during which time a medical student may onlyobserve clinical practice.

You must attend your appointment to have your blood tests on the first day of your placement and the appointment time will be allocated for you by the Occupational Health Centre.

Once your EPP test results have been confirmed, OH will issue you with a “Health and Exposure Prone Procedure Clearance Form” which you must present to your Supervising Consultant by the beginning of the 2nd week of your placement to be able to undertake a clinical placement.

In line with NICE guidelines all students from high TB  incidence countries are required to have a Qantiferon test at Occupational Health for health clearance.


  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of 12 months’ clinical study at their own medical school
  • Students from outside the EU require a Tier 4 visa to take up a clinical elective.

Check the UK Border Agency website at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/ for information about Tier 4 student visa requirements

Students must ensure that they fulfil all the criteria for Tier 4 and have all the documentation required to obtain entry to the UK in time to take up an elective placement (this includes the CAS which is issued by UCL not by the Medical School), evidence of ability to pay fees, and evidence of ability to pay living costs for the duration of the elective placement Please note that students who are not granted a visa may request re-imbursement of the tuition fees but not the administrative fees incurred in processing their application.

  • Students from non-English speaking countries must have passed an English Language test to Advanced level approved by UCL for entry to the MBBS programme no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. UCL's preferred English language qualification being the International English Language Testing System (IELTS academic Overal score: 7.5). The list of approved tests may be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate-study/application-and-entry/english-language/acceptable-qualifications/
  • Students will be required to observe all requirements applying to UCL medical students and including:
  • A-Z Policies at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/general-information/a-z/
  • Students will be responsible for arranging their own accommodation and are not eligible to apply for UCL halls of residence
  • Medical Malpractice insurance is compulsory and is currently known to be available from the following organisations:  
  • Medical Protection Society (UK based) – http://www.medicalprotection.org/uk/student
  • The MPS offers cover for students from the following countries only: UK, Caribbean, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa
  • Medical Defence Union (UK based) - http://www.the-mdu.com/section_Medical_students/index.as
  • The MDU offers cover for students from the following countries only: UK, Ireland
  • Academic Health Professionals Insurance Association (USA based) – http://www.academicgroup.com/
  • Note that neither UCL nor the Medical School can assist with visa applications other than by providing the Certification of Acceptance
  • Note that electives cannot be re-arranged if visas are not obtained in time to start on the agreed date
  • Note that applications submitted with incomplete documentation or without the appropriate fee will be rejected
  • Note that while the Medical School will make every effort to secure a placement for you, the School cannot guarantee that a place will be found

Taking up your place

Prior to arrival students should:

· email Occupational health uclstudentoh@ucl.ac.uk  to arrange your Health Clearance appointment on the first day of your placement

On the first day of an elective placement students should:

  • take an Offer or CAS letter, your passport and a Tier 4 Visa to the: Student Centre, Chadwick Building, on the right of the main entrance to UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, between 10.00-11.00 am to enrol with University College London.
    Please note that only original documents can be accepted.
    Check http://www.ucl.ac.uk/transition/joining/all-students/enrolment
  • when registering in the Chadwick Building obtain a UCL Student ID card to show that you are registered at UCL. The card must be worn visibly at all times on clinical sites and carried at all times on UCL campus

    The card allows access to UCL buildings including the libraries (reading rights only) and the UCL Union after 5pm. To access UCL services and facilities you will be asked for the card to prove your student status

    Check http://www.ucl.ac.uk/new-students/id_card

  • register your address in the UK with Student Records at enrolment, and ensure that you notify Student Records of any changes to your address while you are studying at UCL. This is a requirement of your visa conditions.
  • attend an appointment at the Occupational Health (see above)
  • report to your clinical placement as per supervisor’s instructions

Certification of satisfactory completion

Towards the end of the elective placement, students should liaise with their consultant supervisor and with the electives administrator to obtain any certification of satisfactory completion required by their own medical school.

The Medical School is able to provide, in English only:

  • a standard UCL Medical School grade and assessment form certifying satisfactory completion (see downloadable forms)
  • a statement that the student has followed a course of study with the same rights and responsibilities as UCL students
  • additional certification on request providing that the certificate requested is in English or accompanied by a certified translation

Self-organised electives and electives arranged through NHS Trusts

Medical School advice to Trusts and consultants at UCLH, The Royal Free and The Whittington Hospitals is that visiting electives should not be offered outside the Medical School scheme because of the limited space available on teaching firms and the detrimental effect of overcrowded firms on the teaching of UCL students. Trusts and consultants should also be aware that students accepted through arrangements with Trusts or individual consultants:

  • will not be registered students at UCL
  • will not be covered by UCL insurance policies
  • will not have the health and immunisation clearance or police checks that are in place for UCL medical students and for students entering through the UCL Medical School scheme
  • cannot be granted access to UCL buildings or libraries
  • will not be bound by UCL rules and regulations of UCL or by Medical Student Agreements governing conduct
  • will not able to obtain any documentation or signatures certifying attendance at UCL from either the Medical School or from College authorities
  • if from outside the EU, will not be able to obtain a Tier 4 student visa and will be entering the UK illegally if they intend to take up a medical elective having entered with a visitor’s visa

Electives organised through Divisions and Institutes

A small number of Divisions/Institutes within UCL organise their own elective schemes separately from the Medical School and students who wish to apply are advised to check Divisional/Institute websites for information about how to apply: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slms

For electives in Neurology, students should email jean.reynolds@ucl.ac.uk

Applicants and Divisions/Institutes are advised that:

  • these electives are independent of the Medical School
  • insurance, health and criminal records checks are the responsibility of the Division/Institute
  • the certificate of satisfactory completion of these electives can only be issued by the Division/Institute. The Medical School cannot certify satisfactory completion of these electives.
  • by agreement with individual Divisions/Institutes (e.g. GOSH), a student whose own medical school requires formal UCL Medical School certification may apply for UCL registration, verification of documents, health clearance, and certification of satisfactory completion as shown above. Students should take advice from the Division/Institute and then submit the Visiting Student Application forms as above with a processing fee of £250. Please note – documents should be submitted to the Medical School 4 months before the start of an elective placement.
  • Students from outside the EU must obtain Tier 4 visas either through the Division/Institute or by applying through the Medical School scheme. Students will be entering the UK illegally if they are intending to take up a medical elective having entered with a visitor’s visa.

Student Selected Components

Student Selected Components are not currently offered to external students, but students at UK Medical Schools who are interested in undertaking a 4 week SSC at UCL may apply under the elective scheme. Offers made will be subject to the same terms, conditions and fee rates, and students should ensure that any placement offered satisfies the SSC requirements of their own Medical School.

Associated Teaching Hospitals

2013-14 Specialty List

  • A & E
  • Acute Medicine
  • Anaesthetics
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • ENT
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Haematology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Intensive Care/Anaesthetics
  • Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Paediatrics
  • Rheumatology
  • Surgery General
  • Surgery (breast)
  • Surgery (colorectal)
  • Surgery (head and neck/maxillofacial)
  • Surgery (plastics breast reconstruction
  • Surgery- vascular and endovascular
  • Surgery- vascular and endovascular
  • Surgical Oncology (gynaecological)
  • Urology



The minimum length of an elective placement is 4 weeks and the maximum length is 8 weeks.  Placement dates must start and finish within the block dates set out below.     

20 places are offered in each block.  The number is determined by the availability of educational supervisors with capacity to teach visiting students in addition to their normal allocation of UCL medical students and the resources needed to arrange placements.

The deadlines for application for each block are given below, but the application process may close earlier if all 20 places are taken up before the deadline.

Please note: At the moment our application process is closed. Please re-visit our website from 3rd August 2015.

Please note that visiting electives in Neurology are not offered through the Medical School programme and are organised separately through the Education Unit at the Institute of Neurology. Students seeking an elective in Neurology are asked to email: Jean.reynolds@ucl.ac.uk or call 020 3448 4460 for information.

A small number of UCL students either choose or are required by the Medical School to take their elective at a Trust affiliated with the Medical School.  To avoid confusion with Visiting Electives, UCL students are asked to contact a Consultant or Departmental Administrator directly themselves. Once the student has established whether they have been accepted, they should then email details to medsch.elective-approval@ucl.ac.uk  to ensure that their arrangements will satisfy MBBS course requirements to enter finals.

Erasmus Exchanges

We regret that UCL Medical School is unable to enter into Erasmus Exchange agreements.