The purpose of the optional elective is to provide medical students with an avenue to gain additional clinical or research experience. Approved students undertaking an optional elective are covered by UQ's travel, public liability and indemnity insurance. The placement will not be noted on students' records. Optional Electives are not a compulsory component of the MD curriculum and students are not assessed during their placement.

Note that this is separate to the year 4 elective course. For further information on the year 4 elective, please see the Year 4 Preferencing and Allocations page.


  • To be eligible for an Optional Elective you must be an enrolled student in the MD program and have no misconduct issues. If you will not be enrolled in any courses in the following calendar year, you will not be eligible to apply.
  • The placement must be related to medicine. It can be of a clinical or research nature.
  • The placement must be supervised by a qualified medical physician.
  • You must meet the entry requirements for the institution you are applying to.
  • The Optional Elective cannot be completed at any UQ Clinical Unit within Australia or within the Brisbane Greater Region.
    • Optional Electives at the Ochsner Clinical School are only available to Year 3 Ochsner cohort students.
    • Applications for placement at any Gold Coast Health Service facility must be coordinated through the Medical Education Unit. Students are not to contact individual Gold Coast Health clinicians to arrange/request clinical placement.  
  • The duration of an Optional Elective cannot exceed more than 30 days (240 hours) in one calendar year.
    • If you completed an Optional Elective during the last Christmas break and a component of it was in the previous year, this will count towards the max number of 30 days you can complete this year.
    • If your placement spans over 2 calendar years (i.e. December to January) you must submit a separate application for each component in each calendar year.
  • The Optional Elective is not assessed.
  • The Optional Elective is not compulsory.
  • The Optional Elective does not appear on your official academic record.
  • If the proposed Optional Elective is in a country listed with "Reconsider your need to travel" or "Do not travel" by the Australian Government's Smart Travellers website, it is always considered 'Restricted' and will require approval by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor International (DVCI) or delegate.

Application process

  • Download The Optional Elective Application Form.
  • Contact the host institution where you would like to complete the Optional Elective, and request they complete the Optional Elective Application Form above.
  • If the host institution requires FoM to complete an application form, or confirmation of your student status, please contact
  • If the proposed Optional Elective is in a country listed "Reconsider your need to travel" or "Do not travel" by the Australian government's Smart Traveller website, you must also submit a letter outlining why your placement should be given special consideration.
  • Submit your completed application form via the link below - 
  • FoM will review your application as per the guidelines and you will be emailed the outcome.



Additional documents

  • Students may be requested to submit additional documents to the host organisation. The following provides a guide as to where you can obtain some of the documents -
  • Letter of Good Standing- request from
    Please note this letter may take approximately 2 weeks to receive
  • Confirmation of Enrolment - You can print an Enrolment Status Report from your mySI-net page. The PDF version of this document lists your name, student number, date of birth and full details of your program and course enrolment. Log into mySI-net and select Enrolment Status Report from the dropdown menu under Program. This document is suitable for use with Centrelink and other government organisations.   If the Enrolment Status Report does not satisfy your needs, you can obtain a Confirmation of Enrolment Letter from a Student Centre. You will be required to produce your student ID card. There is no charge for this service.
  • Letter of Endorsement: Optional Elective - request it at
  • Proof of Insurance- By completing UQ's Optional Elective process, it means the student will be covered by insurance. Details of this insurance can be found under the Insurance website. Please note: students returning to their home country will be protected for malpractice, public liability and travel insurance (excluding medical and evacuation cover).