Elective term opportunities

We welcome applications from overseas and Australian medical students wishing to undertake elective placements at one of our teaching hospitals. The usual duration of these placements is up to 8 weeks and may be clinical or research-based, with the possibility of a longer placement upon request.

The majority of the elective placement is spent in ward or clinic attachments and, where possible, in association with senior local students.

Only students in the final stages of study will be considered. The Sydney Medical Program does not accept study abroad or exchange students with exception of those nominated within our University of Sydney Medical Elective Program.

Clinical schools offering elective placement

The following clinical schools offer elective placements:


Central Clinical School

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, located at Camperdown, is the main teaching hospital of the Central Clinical School. The Clinical School offers a huge scope of clinical exposure to common and rare chronic medical illnesses, including acute illness and trauma, the full range of surgical conditions. Many of the clinical teachers at RPAH are national and international leaders in their respective fields of medicine.


Concord Clinical School

Concord Repatriation General Hospital (CRGH) is situated on the Parramatta River, 15 Km from the main University campus. CRGH is a multi-specialist hospital which consists of 750 beds covering most specialties. Many units provide opportunities for research, notably geriatric medicine, molecular genetics, respiratory medicine, cardiology, immunology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, psychiatry, vascular surgery and renal medicine.

childrens hospital at westmead

The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School

The Clinical School encompasses diverse graduate training areas including: epidemiology of childhood disorders, social and psychological aspects of child development, genetics research encompassing morphologic, biochemical and molecular genetic investigation of disorders in children, vaccination, obesity, neuromuscular disorders, infectious diseases, indigenous health, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Nepean hospital

Nepean Clinical School

Based in the Nepean Hospital precinct in Penrith, at the foot of the Blue Mountains, the School presently supports around 50 students in each of the four years of the course. With its relatively high patient load in comparison to the student population, Nepean Clinical School is able to provide invaluable learning opportunities for attending medical students.


Northern Clinical School

The School is headquartered at the Royal North Shore Hospital which has provided teaching to undergraduate medical students for over 60 years. The School has built a well-deserved reputation for innovative educational programs, and a strong emphasis on giving students access to a broad range of clinical and research opportunities.

Westmead Clinical School

The Westmead Clinical School serves the largest area and population of any of the University of Sydney's clinical schools and has a patient population of approximately 1.1 million. The great number and diversity of people within the Sydney West Area serves to enrich medical student training and experience.

How to Apply

For detailed information on how to apply for a clinical placement and what type of placements are available, contact the relevant clinical school (listed above).

Please note: you may only make one application at a time. If your first choice is not available, the Elective Coordinator will contact you to see if you wish to apply to another Clinical School.

Students seeking to undertake elective placements are encouraged to apply to the clinical schools at least 9 months in advance.

General Application Process

Each clinical school may have its own requirements relating to electives. However, as a general guide to applying for a placement:

  • Fill in an University of Sydney application form (provided by the clinical school to which you are applying)
  • Pay an application fee
  • Provide a current curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Provide information as to the elective requirements of your medical school
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from the Dean or a senior faculty member from your medical school (in English, or provide a certified translation)
  • Provide written proof from your medical school that you are covered by public and professional indemnity insurance (including medical malpractice) for the period of your elective (in English, or provide a certified translation). You should also arrange personal health and/travel insurance prior to coming to Australia.
  • NSW Health requirements: Students undertaking study within NSW Health Department facilities will be required to undertake a NSW Health National Police Check, Prohibited Employment Check and fulfil the NSW Health infectious diseases requirements providing evidence on a Vaccination Card.

Criminal Record Check:

  • Any criminal record check must be dated within 12 months of the expected date of completing your elective. For example, if you plan to finish your elective on 30 November 2005, your criminal record check must not be dated prior to 30 November 2004.
  • Must be state-wide or province wide (local or shire is not sufficient)
  • Must be from the country in which you have spent a majority of the last 12 months (usually the country that you are studying in)
  • If not in English, must be accompanied by a certified translation.
  • Originals or certified copies must be sent with your application.

For further information on National Police Check, please visit the NSW Department of Health website http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/ (type “clinical placement” in the search area).


Application Fee:
AUD $100
This is a non-refundable fee which applies to all medical students and is paid once a placement is allocated.

Elective Fee:
AUD $900 for an elective of up to 4 weeks
AUD $1,100 for an elective of 5 to 8 weeks

Elective placements are also available for more than 8 weeks at a cost of AUD $500 per week from week 1.