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

Jonathan Smith
Dr Jonathan Smith - Education Lead for Undergraduate Education

With an emphasis on serious and rare disorders, the hospital is a great choice for students looking for a specialist paediatric experience in medicine, anaesthesia, radiology and surgery. As we do not have a casualty department, GOSH may not be an appropriate choice if you wish to learn about general paediatrics. Some departments follow patients into adulthood, but the majority see children aged up to 18.

[It] was a really useful learning experience. - SSC Student 2016

Thank you so much for giving me the most wonderful elective I could hope for! I have met some wonderful staff & patients and learned so much. I would recommend it to any medical student. - Elective Student 2017

Role and responsibilities

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

In order to apply for an elective, please complete the application form and submit along with a copy of your CV and two written references. Your references must be on headed paper and from university tutors or clinical consultants who know you well. Please submit your completed application form and attachments to Student&Observerplacements@gosh.nhs.uk. The subject of your email should be “Your Name – Medical Student Elective – Month/Year of elective”. 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 notified of the required next steps in order to secure your placement. This will include a number of pre-placement clearances and mandatory training -occupational health, Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly Criminal Records Bureau disclosure), identity documents and Safeguarding Children training (e-learning). 

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 6 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 - 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


SSC students will pay a placement fee through their home UK medical school. If a student’s UK medical school does not pay for SSC placements then the individual student will pay a weekly tuition fee of £100.00

Elective and Observer students will pay a registration fee of £150.00 to PGME at GOSH and will pay an additional weekly tuition fee of £100.00. This is payable in advance to PGME at least 4 weeks prior to starting your placement.

International elective students from Low and Middle-Income countries may apply for a reduction in the tuition fees. 

Undergraduate courses and events for 2019

  • GOSH Summer SchoolMon-Wed 8-10 July
    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 - Sat 9 November
    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. 
    See details of our 2017 and 2018 events.


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.