Learn how to apply for short term clinical electives with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London.

If you are a medical student in in your final or second-last year of medical school or university you can take a clinical elective. These short learning opportunities give you a chance to observe clinical practice but not participate in clinical work like patient investigation and treatment.

Clinical electives at Imperial College Healthcare

We work with Imperial College London to take applications from medical students in the UK and abroad who wish to take clinical electives at our hospitals. Placements last for up to six weeks and cover a single specialty. There are a limited number of places available each year and these are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Placement locations

Clinical elective placements may take place at any of the following hospitals:

  • Charing Cross Hospital 
  • Hammersmith Hospital 
  • St Mary's Hospital 
  • Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital 
  • Western Eye Hospital 


You will need to meet the following criteria to be considered for a clinical elective place:

  • be a medical student at a university or medical school
  • be in the last or second last year of study at the time of taking the elective
  • have good spoken and written English (more details below)
  • request a six week or less elective placement
  • apply to only one hospital within the Imperial College London hospitals group
  • be able to enter the UK using a European Union-issued passport, or any other passport with a Teir-4 visa

English language requirements

All electives must meet our minimum College English language requirement. See the full list of acceptable qualifications.

Please note: we do not accept any other English language qualifications. If you do not have one of those listed, then you will be required to pass one to the required standard before you will be permitted as an elective student.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for an elective placement, please email the electives team in the first instance at imperial.Electives@nhs.net. You will receive an application form and application guide that includes visa information for international students, clearly outlining the application process to be followed in order to undertake an electives placement at Imperial College Healthcare.

Please note that further visa information for international students is also available at www.imperial.ac.uk/study/visas.

When to apply

All applications should be made between twelve and six months in advance of your intended elective start date.

We do not accept elective applications or supporting documents that have not been provided in time for processing.

You can apply at any time of the year but no electives take place between 1 December and 15 January.

Fees and other costs

A non-refundable application fee of £600 (GBP) is payable for each application.


Although we don’t provide or assist with finding accommodation, the Imperial College Student Halls of Residence may be available outside of normal term times.