Student Elective Awards

Clinical Electives

Sydney Medical School Nepean welcomes applications from International and Australian medical students wishing to undertake elective placements. Applications will be considered on the basis of previous training and only from students in their final year of study or close to their final year.

Electives are generally for a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 8 weeks. Whilst we do accept students for longer periods these long-term placements are limited to only a few students each year. Limited availability is offered mid-Dec to mid-Jan and only in Emergency, Cardiology and Intensive Care due to the summer holiday season and reduced staffing. There are no regular teaching sessions or meetings during this period.

Students must not apply directly to a potential supervisor as bookings are coordinated by the Clinical School and departments are unaware that other elective or University of Sydney medical students are booked in. Students who apply directly to a supervisor will have their place cancelled. Students are expected to have a reasonable amount of prior experience in taking histories and examining patients in a clinical setting so that they are able to participate appropriately as part of a clinical team. The School is not able to offer elective places to students from universities where the majority of teaching is delivered on-line.
Please read the information below then direct all enquiries with your elective dates and preferences:

University of Sydney Local Medical Students

Students enrolled at Nepean Clinical School can find out more about clinical electives during Stage 3 at the Sydney Medical School website
All University of Sydney medical students wanting to apply for an elective at another School of University of Sydney need to apply to the Elective Officer of that School for placement availability and local approval prior to submitting to Faculty.

Policies on Short-Term Overseas Elective Students

Short-term electives at Sydney Medical School Nepean are usually 4-8 weeks in length. The experience is that of a ‘clinical elective’ and does not fulfill requirements in the student’s own course for experience in a specific discipline. The following conditions apply:

  • Acceptance of applications for elective terms by Clinical Schools is at the discretion of the Head of School and subject to load and local considerations.
  • The majority of time is spent in a ward or clinical attachment and, where possible, in association with senior students. Elective students may attend large-group teaching sessions ie: lectures, grand rounds etc, but do not normally participate in small-group sessions ie: Problem-based learning tutorials, Community-Doctor or Personal & Professional Development theme sessions or specifically organized Patient-Doctor tutorials around the bedside.
  • Extended internet access will be arranged for you at orientation. You will have access to the Student Computer Room in the Education Centre; wireless is also available in this building. NB: neither broadband nor wireless are available at the University Units.
  • Access to teaching sessions in the Clinical Skills Centre is at the discretion of the supervisor of the facility and subject to space and availability of equipment.
  • We do not offer formal assessments to elective students. If a student requires a brief assessment sheet, case assessments or log book to be signed off, it is the student’s responsibility to request this on initial application.
  • The Faculty willnot sign the forms provided by students certifying that they have the "same rights and responsibilities as students from this University" howeverwe will sign the form stating that the student has had the same "practical and clinical training as medical students of the University"
    If your University does not accept this statement, please do NOT submit your application.
  • Travel concessions are not available to international students (NSW Government policy).
  • Accommodation arrangements are subject to Medical School rules and availability (see separate note).

Clinical Elective Applications

Owing to a large number of applicants, we cannot accept students who have arranged placements at other Clinical Schools of the University of Sydney. Please email
with a list of preferences and dates. A provisional offer will be made and, if available, a room on campus. These will be held for one week.
To accept you should email your application form, 1 page CV with photo on top corner, registration payment form and room booking form for Nepean. Accommodation at Blue Mountains is automatically booked once your elective is confirmed. The remaining documents must be POSTED. They must either be originals or certified copies and be 12 months current of elective dates. Students must ensure documents are typed or written in BLACK INK legible and complete. Documents not written in English need to be accompanied by a certified translation.
ORIGINALS (or certified copies) of all forms are required before a student will be allowed to start their elective. A certified copy of a document that has been endorsed and signed by an authority figure (eg: solicitor, Justice of the Peace, senior member of your School etc) must include the certifier’s name, position and official stamp. The endorsement should read “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document’ and cannot be completed by a family member.
Nepean Clinical Elective Application Form

Elective Options For International Elective Students

Surgery sub-specialties

We will do our best to meet all request/s, however, you should nominate a minimum of 3 preferences as you may need to rotate through several sub-specialties depending on availability.

  • Acute Surgery Unit
  • Upper GI
  • Colorectal
  • Breast/Endocrine
  • Orthopaedic
  • Neurosurgery
  • Plastics
  • Vascular
  • Urology
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Caesarians, Gynaecological Surgery)
  • General Surgery: students can be signed off in Gen Surgery if allocated to: Upper GI, Acute Surgery, Colorectal, Breast /Endocrine

Medical Sub-Specialties

  • Addiction Medicine
  • Cardiology (available November to mid-January only)
  • Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
  • Emergency(available November to mid-January only)
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics
  • Haematology
  • Intensive Care
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Paediatrics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Psychiatry
  • Rehabilitation
  • Renal
  • Respiritory
  • Blue Mountains Hospital – General Medicine

Elective Fees

New fees to all applications we receive after 1st July 2018

NEW fees are :
Application fee $200 (non-refundable)
First 4 weeks - $900
Weeks 5 to 8 - $1300
Attachments of more than 8 weeks will cost $500 per week from Week 1


Payment is by Mastercard, Visacard or by purchasing a bank draft in Australian dollars payable to ‘The University of Sydney’ and should be submitted with the payment form.


It is not the policy of the University of Sydney to offer a refund for elective payments. However, a refund will be considered if a student can provide a very good reason with supporting documents eg: medical certificate. Cancellations with less than 3 months notice will not be considered regardless of reason. Refunds must be requested through the Executive Officer with a final decision made by the Associate Dean.


Nepean Hospital

Accommodation will be offered, if available, with your initial elective offer. Please complete a Booking Form Request for Nepean accommodation (provided with the information package). The University Units are located at 29-33 Rodger Street, Kingswood, a 5-minute walk from the hospital. The units have 2-3 bedrooms each and are fully furnished with heaters, kitchen appliances, ironing board/iron, linen (duvet, pillow, sheets, pillowcases, blanket, towels). There are only 4 rooms in the 41 bedroom complex with double beds (priority is given to couples). The property has a security fence and locks fitted to all bedroom and bathroom doors. There is a coin-operated laundry on-site. Rental is payable within 2 days of your arrival and 1 week in advance. You will be required to sign a short-term lease. The student rate is $150 per week for a single room and $220 per week for a double-bedroom. Additional payments are: $25 (single room) and $50 (double bedroom) for the Occupancy Pack (linen etc) + $60 refundable booking fee. NB: The manager does not live on-site and therefore we cannot support weekend arrivals.
A representative from the Property Management Office is available to meet students for check-in at the gate to the units at 9am on the first working day of the week.
It is a 10 minute walk to the Sydney Medical School Building at 62 Derby Street opposite the Hospital Entrance. Please attend for orientation- usually 10.30am.
You will be advised by email of any changes to this arrangement.

Blue Mountains Hospital, Katoomba

For students attending Blue Mountains Hospital a single room at $70 per week is automatically booked at when your elective is confirmed (double rooms are not available). The key is left at Switch in the Emergency Department from 4pm on the Sunday prior to your first day.

Accommodation in the City

Youth Hostels Australia
Homestay Worldwide Pty Ltd
Wake up! Hostel
Hostel World
Uni Lodge Sydney
VIP Backpackers


It is the responsibility of the overseas applicant to contact their nearest Australian Consul with respect to visa requirements. We recommend that you apply for your visa promptly as approval can take considerable time. A tourist visa will allow entry and stay in Australia for the purpose of study/training for a period of up to 3 months. This is the appropriate visa for students completing an elective at Sydney University. Any stay in excess of 3 months may require an Occupational Trainee Visa.
NB: The Clinical School will not nominate any student for this visa whose elective is less than 13 weeks. All visas are issued at the discretion of Australian Immigration

Immigration Offices outside Australia

Language Proficiency

It is assumed that overseas elective students will have a reasonable proficiency of intermediate English before commencing an elective attachment


There are mandatory vaccinations required before you can train in any NSW Health Facility. Failure to fulfill the requirements may result in the students’ inability to attend a clinical placement during their training. Students should always carry your vaccination record when travelling.

Ward Dress Code

We expect students to be well groomed and conservatively dressed eg: males may choose shirts with long or short sleeves with a collar; ties are not essential but we suggest you bring one. We recommend dress pants and closed-toe shoes. Females can wear modest skirts (no mini’s, exposed midriffs, low-cut tops). Jeans and sandals are unacceptable. Long hair should be tied back and nails kept short (for bedside work or procedures; hair is an WHS issue in the labs). White Coats: the Intensive Care Unit is the only department in Nepean Hospital where white coats are worn. Students will be issued with a coat for the duration of their placement.Theatre Scrubs: will be provided to students participating in Surgical electives. Stethoscopes: please bring your own.

First Day

Orientation is held Monday 10.30am. You will be advised by email of any changes. Please come to Level 3 Sydney Medical School Nepean, 62 Derby Street, located directly opposite the Main Entrance to the hospital. Orientation takes approx 1.5 hours and we will organize your ID, hospital tour, internet access, etc, you are then free for the rest of the day to unpack, go food shopping, sleep off your jetlag etc.

Travelling to Nepean

Airport to Nepean

There is a train service from the Airport to Central Station where you should disembark then choose between:

  • Suburban platform for the train to Kingswood. Disembark at Kingswood then cross the road to the shop-side, walking in a westerly direction, turn left into Somerset Street then left again into Rodger Street to the University Units (an easy 10 min walk)
  • Country platform for the Blue Mountains train to Penrith, a taxi from the station to the units costs approx $15
Travel to Blue Mountains Hospital

Katoomba is 2 hours west of Central Station and 1 hour west of Penrith. If you are travelling from Central Station you need to embark for the Blue Mountains line on the Country Platform. If you are travelling from Nepean Hospital you need to connect with the Blue Mountains train at Penrith Station.
Taxis are available at Katoomba to take you the short distance to the hospital with your luggage. Once you are familiar with the area you will be able to walk or catch a bus to Katoomba township.
Can I get a student concession on public transport? NO you are not eligible for student transport discounts
The NSW State Government policy states that only students who are registered full-time in NSW are eligible. Inspectors check tickets regularly and give on-the-spot fines. An International Student ID card will give you access to a network of specialist student travel offices around the world and valuable savings on accommodation, tours and transportation .
Apply online: