Physiotherapy student placements

Physiotherapy clinical placements are in high demand so you should apply early to avoid disappointment. We offer physiotherapy clinical placements for all years of study; however final year undergraduate or pre-registration master's level students will be prioritised.

Due to high demand and our priority commitments with university placements, we are unable to offer work experience to school leavers considering a career in physiotherapy. The trust facilitates work experience for school leavers through a separate pathway.

If you are school leaver, read more information about work experience.

If you are a current school student, learn more about the GOSH Young Visitors Programme.

Placements may be available for postgraduate post-registration physiotherapy students on request. If you are a qualified physiotherapist seeking a short-term observational visit for research purposes or career development, clear learning objectives are required. To ensure an appropriate learning opportunity these requests are considered on an individual basis.

Currently we are unable to accept any overseas students seeking a physiotherapy placement at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Clinical placement capacity relates to the maximum number of students able to undertake their clinical placement within GOSH at any one time whilst maintaining the quality of the student learning experience and the safety of physiotherapy service delivery. As such, all clinical placements are subject to caseload availability and staffing capacity.

We aim to provide students with an opportunity to be clinically involved and gain hands-on practice in managing patients under the clinical supervision of a qualified physiotherapist. Due to the specialist nature of the work that is carried out at GOSH some clinical areas will be primarily observational. Clinical placements may also involve self-directed learning and virtual elements, which could require working from home or online.

Clinical educators will support learning, individualised to students needs and ensure objectives are met. Placement duration varies between four to six weeks. Due to fairness and capacity, we are unable to support any placements requiring a longer duration than six weeks.

Students undertaking clinical placements are expected to be professional, work within their scope of practice and adhere to organisational policies, procedures, and standards of care. Students should be aware that working with children in an acute hospital setting may expose them to emotionally demanding clinical experiences.

Our commitment to you - Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive clinical placement provider and fostering a culture where all students are valued, respected, and acknowledged. All staff will be treated fairly regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, pregnancy, maternity, disability status.

We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and consistently. Discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated within GOSH. We promote allyship to create a supportive working environment.

Our commitment to you - Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive clinical placement provider and fostering a culture where all students are valued, respected, and acknowledged. All staff will be treated fairly regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, pregnancy, maternity, disability status.

We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and consistently. Discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated within GOSH. We promote ally ship to create a supportive working environment.

Applying for a physiotherapy placement

If you meet the eligibility criteria, please contact the Physiotherapy Student Placement Team with proposed placement dates, university details and clinical area preferences. We are unable to respond to general enquires and if you do not meet the eligibility criteria you may not receive a response. If you are eligible, you will be sent an educational placement application form to complete.

If your application is successful, you will need to complete the following and provide evidence of completion before your placement commences:

Pre-registration BSc and MSc physiotherapy students

  • Educational Placement Application Form
  • Model Declaration Form
  • Honorary Contract Application Form (providing two referees and three forms of identification)
  • DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check
    • A copy of the original/valid enhanced DBS certificate (both adults and children’s) which is in date within 3 years of placement dates, or your DBS renewal service number if you pay for this service.

Post-registration / qualified physiotherapists (HCPC registered)

  • Observer or Honorary Contract Application Form
  • Relevant identification / DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check
    • A copy of the original/valid enhanced DBS certificate (both adults and children’s) which is in date.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Human Resources (HR) Department and the AHP (Allied Health Professions) Student Education Team are responsible for this paperwork. For any new university providers, a signed partnership agreement (SLA) between GOSH and the university needs to be in place before the application is accepted and placement dates are confirmed. A student placement contract cannot be issued before a student placement contract is issued.

You will not be able to commence your placement until all these items are completed. Your placement may be cancelled if any of the above checks are not satisfactory.

Our placement catchment includes all London Universities and some Southeast England Universities. If you attend University outside of London, please contact us to see if we have any placement capacity.

Frequently asked questions

We may not be able to offer you a placement for several reasons. This could be because you may not meet eligibility criteria, staffing capacity could not accommodate a student, or there may not be availability for requested dates.

If we can offer you a placement, we will usually inform you within a few weeks of your request with a provisional offer letter, but this may be longer in high activity periods. Offers will not be finalised until relevant paperwork has been received by the GOSH HR/AHP Student Education Team. This process can take up to six weeks, therefore please send us your placement requests early. We normally book placements over a year in advance.

Please ensure you fill in and return any necessary paperwork promptly as your pre-placement checks must be completed prior to commencing placement. You will need to provide a valid DBS (appropriate for working with children) prior to this process. Prior to placement, you may be required to attend an appointment with HR for identification verification purposes.

Hospital accommodation at Great Ormond Street Hospital is not available for physiotherapy students. Accommodation needs to be self-sourced.

Most of our clinical teams can offer student placements:

  • Orthopaedics
  • Neurosciences
  • Neuromuscular including neuromuscular research
  • Rheumatology
  • Neurodisability
  • Respiratory including:
  • paediatric and neonatal intensive care
  • cardiac intensive care unit
  • cystic fibrosis service

If your query is not physiotherapy-specific, we will not be able to respond to you. For any other allied health professions, please contact the relevant department that you are interested in directly.

Feedback and testimonials

“One of the best learning experiences and most enjoyable placements I have experienced. Would not change a thing.”

"I feel that this was ideal for an elective placement as I got a good all-round experience of paediatrics."

"I enjoyed the wide variety of caseload, from PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit), NICU, CF and transplants, as this gave me a wide experience of ventilated and non-ventilated patients."

"All my learning needs were met. I was able to experience lots of different paediatric areas. I was able to spend time working with other multidisciplinary members which was useful."

"I thoroughly enjoyed this placement. Clinical educators and other staff were friendly and approachable. I was given the opportunity to experience a wide area of paediatric physiotherapy and develop autonomy in assessing and treating patients – Thank you!"