Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is a specialist children's hospital providing state-of-the-art management and research in paediatric conditions.

With an emphasis on serious and rare disorders, the hospital is a great choice for students looking for a specialist paediatric experience. Some departments follow patients into adulthood, but the majority see children aged up to 18.

Our 'Always Values' are to be:

  • ‘always welcoming’,
  • ‘always helpful’,
  • ‘always expert’
  • ‘always one team’
Cristine Sortica Da Costa

Dr Cristine Sortica Da Costa

Education Lead for Undergraduate Education

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7 405 9200 ext. TBC
Email: Cristine.SorticadaCosta@gosh.nhs.uk

For all medical student queries

Email: student.observer.placements@gosh.nhs.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7 405 9200 ext. 1702 or 0066

It was an absolutely fantastic placement and I have felt very supported during my placement.

Year 5 student

I felt as I was part of the team because every member has endeavoured to involve me as much as possible.

SSC student

doctors on the wards were welcoming, and encouraged us to ask questions.

International Student

Role and responsibilities

Our medical student supervisors work with each student to tailor their visit to their requirements. The aim of most student placements is to learn about clinical paediatrics, but opportunities may arise to perform audits and get involved in the research.

Throughout your time at GOSH you will be supervised by a responsible clinician or consultant to make sure you do not engage in any activity beyond your level of competence.

Examples of skills and tasks that medical students may perform:

  • take a history from children and their parents
  • examine children
  • access written and computerised patient records
  • observe procedures
  • attend investigations
  • present patients on the ward round and/or clinical meetings and discuss patient details with other members of the team
  • review additional patient information for audit, research or other official projects

You must, therefore:

  • Respect patient consent and confidentiality at all times. In particular, you should be careful not to have clinical-related discussions outside designated medical areas.
  • Be aware of, and adhere to, GOSH policies, particularly regarding child protection and child safety within the hospital and their specialty areas. You should make your supervisor aware of any issues as a matter of urgency.
  • Inform the team immediately of new health or probity issues that may affect your dealings with children, parents or other team members.

Application process

In order to apply for a medical student placement, please complete an application form:

January to March

April to June

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Upon receipt of your completed application, we will endeavour to secure a placement for you in your nominated specialty.

If a placement is agreed, you will be required to complete a number of pre-placement clearances; Occupational Health, Disclosure and Barring Service, Identity check, mandatory training and reference check.

Once all the checks have been completed, we will issue a contract and send the reporting instructions further to the start date.

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Registration and Visas

UK and European based medical students will be processed by PGME at GOSH. At present, a visa is not required for your placement.

Applicants from outside the EU/EEA will require a Short-Term Study Visa to undertake an undergraduate medical elective. 

Please note, all completed application forms and supporting documents must be submitted to GOSH, a minimum of 3 months before the anticipated start date of your placement. Incomplete applications and those that do not meet the specified time frame will not be considered. 

All queries regarding this process should be made to GOSH PGME, via the email Student&Observerplacements@gosh.nhs.uk

Helpful Information:

  • In the first instance, students should take advice about visa requirements from the British Embassy/British Consulate in their home country 
  • UK Visa and Immigration

GOSH Summer School
Are you a Medical Student, Newly Qualified Doctor or ANP, Physicians Associate and considering a career in paediatrics?
An exciting and interactive 3-day event, offering a detailed look into a career in Paediatrics.

GOSH Paediatric Bioethics & Law Masterclass 
This interesting, informative and perhaps challenging day for Medical Students and Foundation Doctors will enable you to spend a day learning about ethical and legal issues in the treatment of children. 

Further information on how to book for this course will be made available shortly.

We schedule regular facilitated teaching for students once a week on Wednesday mornings including:

Student simulation sessions – these sessions provide an immersive experience of multi-professional working in our clinical simulation centre. Using manikins and simulated patients you can learn how to manage some common paediatric emergencies.

Group teaching - these short seminar-style sessions are facilitated by staff from across the Trust.

Peer-learning presentations – presentation of a case or topic of interest to fellow students.

During your placement, you will also have the opportunity to also attend regular ward or departmental teaching relevant to your placement.


Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application process?

The student will need to submit an application following the links above. Once an application has been submitted, we will find you a placement based on your preferred departments. Should a department agree to accommodate a student, we issue a conditional offer letter which contains a list of documents the student must complete and attach. Once all the documents have been submitted, we issue the acceptance letter.

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Which documents are required?

Once placement is confirmed further paperwork and clearances are required. We expect the following checks to be completed within four weeks of receiving the conditional offer.

  • UK students are required to attach an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) dated within the last three years.
  • International students require an Oversees police check or a letter of good standing. This must be in English or translated into English by an official notary.
  • Occupational Health (OH) status check.
  • Honorary Training Booklet. This must be read, signed and returned along with the other required information.
  • Two valid forms of ID and one valid form of address (or vice versa).
  • Two letter headered references.

We will also require you to accept your conditional offer (by logging into Trac) and attach a receipt to confirm you have cleared your placement fee.

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What is a valid form of ID and address?

Bank statements or utility bills dated within the last three months are valid forms of address. Passports, driving licence, identity card, residential permit are valid forms of ID.

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What should my reference contain?

A reference needs to include the student's full name and mention the student's personal character, clinical competency and academical qualities. References must be on letter headered paper. In the event your referee is no longer able to provide a reference, you may change your referee.

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How do I obtain an enhanced DBS

Contact your university and they will be able to apply for an enhanced DBS on your behalf. If your DBS is outdated, you may apply for a new enhanced DBS through your university. Alternatively, we accept letters from universities which contain the students name, DBS date of issue and whether annual DBS checks have taken place.

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Which departments offer placements?

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Is accommodation available during my placement?

Unfortunately, we do not offer hospital accommodation to medical students. There are hotels and airbnbs in the local area.

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How long can my placement last?

Generally, departments only permit placements to last two to six weeks. If you require a longer placement, it may be possible for you to complete two separate four week placements (continuously) in different departments but this would be subject to availability.

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Can I have multiple placements?

This is possible, but subject to availability.

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Is my placement guaranteed?

Placements are subject to availability and completing all the required checks prior to the deadline.

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Is there a placement fee?

Placement fee is £100 per week of placement and an additional £150 for admin fee. Please note, payment will be taken towards the end of the application process and the placement fee is refundable up to twelve weeks before the start of your placement.

Fee reductions will only take place in extreme cases.

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Is there a deadline for when I should submit my application?

We require all applications to be submitted at least four months prior to the proposed start date. We also require all documents and clearances to be completed and attached within four weeks of receiving the conditional offer.

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How long does the application process take?

From receiving your completed application form to confirming an offer of placement, we aim to complete this process within sixteen weeks and will update you on the progress of your application form. All applications will be completed at least two months prior to the start date.

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What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

Due to the limited number of placements at Great Ormond Street Hospital, it is not always possible to accommodate all those who wish to attend. Therefore, we allow students who are not successful, to submit another application containing different placement dates or a different choice of department.

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Do you hold adequate insurance to cover any liability incurred by a placement student as a result of his/her duties as an employee?

The Trust has Public Liability cover through the NHSLA Public Liability Scheme which will cover you while you are on Trust premises, on Trust business or working for the benefit of the Trust against accidental injury.

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What can I do as part of the placement?

The purpose of permitting access to the Trust is to enable you to undertake your medical student placement. You will be permitted to take a history from children and their parents, conduct physical examinations, access written and computerised patient records, observe procedures, attend investigations, present patients on the ward round and/or clinical meetings and discuss patient details with other members of the team and review additional patient information for audit, research, or other official projects. This role does not permit you to participate in the clinical management or treatment of any patient including taking of specimens and any invasive or diagnostic procedures.

During the placement you will be supervised by a responsible clinician or consultant to make sure you do not engage in any activity beyond your level of competence or pose a risk to the child, parents or other team members.

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What is the dress code during my placement?

You are required to remain professional; we therefore ask you to dress professionally/smart for your placement. Should you be completing a placement where scrubs are required, we recommend that you bring your own scrubs that are bare below the elbow. Scrubs are provided in most departments but are not always available.

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Will students on elective have the opportunity to work in various fields within paediatrics and/or engage in medical research/education?

Students may have the opportunity to complete projects and audits as part of their placement, but this would need to be discussed with the student’s supervisor.

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Will I receive a certificate at the end of my placement?

Once you complete your elective experience, please feedback on your placement through the survey below.

Thereafter, you may contact student.observer.placements@gosh.nhs.uk to be issued a certificate. Note, the feedback you leave will help us to improve our elective program for future students and so we welcome any feedback.

Complete the medical student placement feedback form.

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Who should I contact if I have any other queries?


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