Medical Student Electives

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is a large teaching hospital that works in partnership with the University of Plymouth, Peninsula Medical School. The Trust offers a limited number of placements for medical students (non-Peninsula Medical School) from the United Kingdom and overseas (subject to Border Agency rules/Visa requirements).

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 students per year.

Duration of Electives:
Placements are offered from Monday 3rd July and must be completed by the end of August, and last between 2 and 4 weeks. Please see the Elective Catalogue for details of how long each department is offering this year. If required, we may be able to negotiate an 8 week placement.

The deadline for submission of applications is Friday 24th February 2023, to be considered for a placement in the Summer of 2023. Any applications made after this closing date will not be considered.

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 2023.

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 Driving Licence).
  • We do not participate in the Erasmus Programme.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you have complied with Border Agency rules/Visa requirements and obtain the correct visa for entry, if required.  Please note we are NOT an accredited institution so you cannot apply for a Short-term Study Visa.
  • Elective placements are hosted and run by University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, which is a teaching hospital. They are NOT offered through the University of Plymouth Peninsula Medical School and are not endorsed by the University of Plymouth or the Medical School. We are happy to sign official forms confirming that you have attended your agreed placement with the Trust and if you require an official organisation stamp this will be from the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, NOT the University.

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. Please note that there is a £100 non-refundable deposit which must be paid upon acceptance of your elective placement offer.

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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