Medical Electives

Applicants who are studying a medicine degree abroad are now permitted to enter the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa for study to take up a clinical elective placement.

The Standard Visitor Visa for study (formerly the Short-Term Study Visa) is generally easier to obtain than a Student (formerly Tier 4) visa but does have some limitations. These are as follows:

  • You cannot switch into another visa category once you are in the UK. That means you must leave the UK on or before the visa expiry date
  • You are not allowed to work in the UK
  • You are not covered under the NHS (National Health Service). This means you will need to make sure you have adequate medical insurance to cover your stay in the UK
  • You cannot bring dependants with you

Students are permitted to undertake courses concurrently and consecutively within the six month period of leave granted. This means that it will be possible for visiting elective students to undertake more than one placement during their period of leave, without having to leave the UK.

Whilst there are some nationalities who are eligible to apply for the Standard Visitor Visa for Study at the UK border, we strongly advise all visiting elective students to obtain a Standard Visitor Visa for study vignette in advance of their journey to the UK. You can make your application from any overseas post.

Find out more about the Standard Visitor Visa for study.

If you require immigration advice in relation to this immigration route, please contact the Student Immigration Advice Team

The Student Route and supplementary study

Students with a Tier 4/Student visa who are currently studying a medical degree in the UK at another institution are not permitted to enrol on elective programmes as supplementary study at UCL.