Medical Student Electives

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is a large teaching hospital that works in partnership with the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. The Trust offers a limited number of placements for medical students (non-Peninsula School of Medical & Dentistry) from the United Kingdom and EU member states. From Summer 2015 we have also been able to accept students from Australia, Canada and New Zealand who are eligible to enter the UK on a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa. 

The placements provide an opportunity to experience the delivery of health care in a tertiary referral centre in the South West of England.

Departments Offering Elective Placements:
The departments offering elective placements may be subject to change from year to year. Departments typically include:

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Ear, Nose & Throat
  • Emergency Department
  • Health of the Elderly
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Other departments may also be available on request. Please see the Elective Catalogue for this year’s availability.

Number of Electives:
The number of elective placements offered is limited to a maximum of 10 per year.

Duration of Electives:
Placements are typically offered from the last week of June and must be completed by the end of August, and last between 2 and 4 weeks. Please see the Elective Catalogue for this year’s exact dates and how long each department is offering. If required, we may be able to negotiate an 8 week placement

The deadline for submission of applications is the end of February, to be considered for a placement in the Summer of the same year. 

All applications should be made via email to the Electives Administrator ( and should be addressed to Mr Jonathan Unsworth-White, Deputy Director for Medical Education (Undergraduate). 

All applications must include the following:

  • A completed Application Form
  • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
  • A covering letter explaining why you would like to carry out your elective at Derriford Hospital
  • A letter of support from the Dean (or nominee) of your Medical School

Please also include the following supporting information:

  • Evidence of successful completion of at least three years of medical school
  • Clear communication skills and knowledge of English
  • Medical School transcripts
  • Evidence of motivation to do elective
  • Clear understanding of the objectives and learning outcomes for the elective, and how it will help you in your career choice

Applications will be considered and the successful candidates will be informed by email by the end of March. 

Please note:

  • Your application will not be considered unless you submit all of the above documents.
  • All offers are subject to Occupational Health clearance and proof of ID (Passport or UK/EU Driving Licence).
  • We do not participate in the Erasmus Programme.

The administrative fee for the elective placements is £75 per week.  This will need to be paid before the start of the elective placement. Details of how to pay will be supplied if your application is successful.

Elective students are required to make their own living arrangements for the duration of their placement. Further advice on available accommodation will be sent to you should your application be successful.

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