Elective Term MFAC3514

Elective Term MFAC3514

Open to UNSW enrolled students

Note: Electives for non-UNSW students, please go to the Clerkships webpage

The Elective Term is a compulsory component of the UNSW undergraduate medicine program. These pages will provide the necessary information for organising the term.

Overseas Placements

See the tab Overseas below for more information

News & Updates

  • For available scholarships, refer to Opportunities.
  • Changes to the Eligibility Criteria for International Medical Students Applying for Electives at McGill University - Click here for letter 19 Jun 2018
  • Registrations for South African placements will not be approved.  This country is now on the exclusion list for the Elective.  19 Dec 2016

Objectives of the Elective Term

The objectives of the Elective course will depend on your choice but should include one of the following:

  • To develop your knowledge and skills in a selected area of Medicine;
  • To acquire experience in a selected area of Medicine in consideration of a future career choice;
  • To experience a different type of health care delivery from that practised in Australia;
  • To correct deficiencies in your knowledge and skills in a selected area of Medicine;
  • To gain further experience in an area of research.

About your placement

  • It is an 8-week course which may be completed as a single 8-week attachment or two 4-week attachments. Therefore the minimum duration of a placement is 4 weeks.

  • Students must be adequetly supervised. 

  • Please refer to the MFAC3514 Elective Course Outline 2022 found on the Phase 3 Moodle and Elective course section on the Phase 3 Guide 2022.




Important Dates

Year 6 students in 2022  
Elective term dates Commence after the Biomedical Sciences Viva, 2021.
Complete Elective by the end of Feb 2022; TP1 commences 4 Mar 2022
Withdraw unattended eMed Elective registrations Noon, 25 Feb 2022
Reports on eMed

Supervisor's uploaded by 4 Apr 2022.
Students' due by end of TP1, 2022.

Email questions about reports to phase3@med.unsw.edu.au

Year 6 students in 2023  
Register all intended placements in eMed

Overseas placements (see the information at the top of the page).
Australian placements - register on eMed as soon as possible.

Deadline: 11.59pm, Monday 3rd October 2022, to be guaranteed the placement is reviewed in time.

If you are finding it difficult on meeting the deadline, email medelectives@unsw.edu.au

Elective term dates

Commence after your Biomedical Sciences Viva in Nov 2022.
Complete Elective by the Sunday, 26 February 2023 in time to start TP1 commencing Monday 27 Feb 2023.

Please note: There is approximately 15 weeks in between the 2 dates and you are required to complete 8 weeks.

Student and Supervisor Reports to eMed

Supervisor's uploaded by noon, 3 Apr 2023.
Students' due by end of TP1, 2023.

Email questions about reports to phase3@med.unsw.edu.au



Frequently Asked Questions

Host forms - forward any forms that need to be signed by UNSW to medelectives@unsw.edu.au. The forms can have different names depending on the universtiy or clinic e.g. "Declaration by Dean of University" or "Letter of Recommendation"


Risks & Insurance

Important Considerations about Electives Undertaken Overseas

The safety of UNSW students is of paramount concern to the Faculty. Therefore, the Faculty may not approve some electives.

In general, the University acts on advice issued by The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Whilst electives are organised well in advance, it is essential for students to check the DFAT website on a regular basis for travel warnings before leaving Australia. Conditions in some countries are in a volatile state and sometimes even the most serene location can become unstable in a short time. In addition to generic concerns, there are some areas where it may not be safe for women to travel alone.

The faculty will not approve electives in countries which are declared by DFAT as “Do not travel” or “Reconsider your need to travel”.

Information about the following can be found following the links provided.




Tips on finding a placement: 

  • Speak with senior students about their experience.
  • MedSoc maintains a database of possible elective sites. 
  • Consult with clinical supervisors who may be able to recommend enriching placements.
  • Internet search using keywords e.g. Clerkships, Clinical Electives (non-JCU students), Medical Electives, Medical Clerkships, Clinical Observership Program 
  • See the Opportunities tab for more information


NUS (National University of Singapore), YLL School of Medicine




Electives in Queensland

Please be advised that it is students’ responsibility to consult the following information via the Queensland Health website.

There have been changes to the OHS provisions in Queensland and it is essential for students to comply with Government legislation which includes an e-learning OHS module which is at this link: http://www.elearn.com.au/qh_external/

UNSW Hospitals

Please contact the Education Support Administrators/ Clinical Teaching Support Officers at each Clinical Schools / Campuses


Organisations offering elective opportunities

Listed below are some links that students had previously provided us with to share (and there are no formal agreements with UNSW Medicine).





It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that both reports are received by the end of Teaching Period 1 in Year 6 in time for consideration by the Assessment Committee.

Failure to submit the student and supervisor(s) reports will result in a fail result for the elective term and the term will have to be repeated at the end of year 6, thus delaying graduation.

Email questions about reports to phase3@med.unsw.edu.au


You are required to pass the Elective course but it is not graded.

There are two requirements to pass the Elective course.

1. Supervisor’s Report(s).

Your supervisor will be expected to provide feedback on the following

  • Attendance
  • Attitude
  • General competence

A template can be found under the Assessment section, on the MFAC3514: Elective Course Guide 2022,in the Phase 3 Moodle.

As supervision arrangements can change within the pre-approved Elective facility, students will have to complete a form to provide the faculty with details of their actual supervisors and their official email addresses.   Supervisors will be contacted to complete a feedback report for students.

2. You are required to write a report on the Elective course.

The one report needs to be a between 1,000 and 2,200 words covering all placements. This is to be done via the eMed elective portal for one of the Finalised elective registrations. If there was more than one placement, please submit the report as one submission only. There is no Learning Plan associated with the Elective course.

The Elective report must be submitted to eMed by the end of TP1.  

The report should focus on how the elective has helped in your development in the graduate capabilities. You should describe what you did, how this experience has complemented your experiences at UNSW, what you learnt and how this relates to the graduate capabilities. Please note that the report is not intended to be a travelogue. 

The report will not be graded but will be reviewed by the portfolio examiners at the time of your Phase 3 Portfolio Examination and it may be addressed during your interview.  Failure to submit either the Supervisor Report(s) or your Elective Report will result in a Fail grade which would delay graduation.

Students wishing to pass on practical information for the benefit of future students can provide this to MedSoc which maintains a database of possible elective sites.


Elective Term Checklist

Use the step-by-step checklist below as a guide to organising and completing your Elective Term.

The Elective Term application process is managed through eMed.



Overseas Placements – Now Open!

We are excited to announce that the MFAC3514 Elective Term – Overseas Placements to recommence from 1 July 2022. UNSW has recently approved in-person Learning Abroad programs to recommence to DFAT Level 1 & 2 countries from 1 July 2022.

Students may apply more than 1 overseas placement. However, as a Plan B, students must apply for at least 1 domestic placement.

Important to consider

The Elective term in BMed MD program is a short study period, and overseas travel poses a high risk to your progression in Year 6. 
Please take into consideration what happens if you are stuck overseas as you have to follow local rules (e.g. lockdown; close contact isolation or you contract COVID) and you aren’t able to get back to Australia in time to begin year 6.


Process Overview

1.    Before you apply for international placements, check the Smartraveller Destinations page and research the country.

- Placements WIL BE considered for countries with advice level:

- Level 1: Exercise normal safety precautions

- Level 2: Exercise a high degree of caution

- Placements WIL NOT BE considered for countries with advice level:

- Level 3: Reconsider your need to travel

- Level 4: Do not travel

2.   DO NOT Book any travel arrangements (Flights, Accommodation, Visas etc) until after you have received approval for the Risk Assessment from Risk Management (step 8)

3.   Register the placement on eMed. Students can apply for more than 1 overseas placement however, you must apply for at least 1 domestic placement.

4.   The faculty will review the placement.

5.   If the placement is pre-approved on eMed, go to step 6.

- If your placement is declined, find another international placement

6.   All students interested in undertaking a placement overseas must complete the Learning Abroad Pre-Departure Tutorial.

- Log in to Moodle using your student ID, and enter the enrolment key UNSW_NCP2021

- All BMed students must complete the following modules in this order:

a)   Risk and Responsibilities Module

b)   Sexual Misconduct Module

c)   In-Person learning abroad - Click on “You've been nominated” > click “For a Short Program” (You will be undertaking 'Internships, Placements, Work Integrated Learning')

d)   Preparing to go abroad

e)   While abroad

7.   Once you have decided on the placement you would like to accept, complete the Risk Assessment form and submit.

- If you receive approval for the Risk Assessment, go to next step

- If your Risk Assessment is declined, find another placement

8.   Travel Insurance (Click here for more information).

9.   Make the travel arrangements only AFTER

- you have approval from the faculty

- you have Risk Assessment is approved

- AND you have Insurance

10.   Upload the travel details to Global 24 (more information will be provided closer to departure).

Key Contact

Electives Co-ordinator
Faculty of Medicine & Health
T +61 (2) 9385 8909
E medelectives@unsw.edu.au


Supervisor's Report Form
To be emailed to supervisors based on registered information.

A template can be found under the Assessment section, on the MFAC3514: Elective Course Guide 2022,in the Phase 3 Moodle.

GP Elective Term
Online Form

These forms are also available in your application form on eMed

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