Work experience

Work experience is an unpaid, short-term placement, normally of a few weeks, undertaken by students wishing to learn about a particular job or area of work. It offers an opportunity for students to find out what skills employers look for when they are recruiting to a position and provides them a chance to develop their self-confidence and communication skills.

Most work experience attachments are from school students wanting to sample healthcare before considering onward choices about subjects related to medicine. There are many aspects to healthcare from nursing to medicine, management to finance, surgery to counselling, catering to pharmacy, transport to security – all of which make up the 24/7 community of carers.

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust does not currently offer a centralised work experience programme, however there are many responsible clinicians and staff in senior posts that would be willing to support a few placements per year. It is for an individual department to decide if a work experience placement can be accommodated and to make the necessary arrangements. Note that because these attachments need supervision, many staff will not be able to assist due to their own clinical commitments which cannot be disrupted.

Individuals interested in a placement with the trust should contact the manager/department directly to secure a work placement. The specific manager/department can be contacted through the hospital’s main switchboard number on 020 3758 2000.

  • Placements cannot be for more than two weeks.
  • Students aged 16 years old or under are only permitted to undertake administrative and clerical placements.
  • Students aged 17 years old or over are permitted in clinical areas but will be supervised at all times.

Please be aware that there is a separate process for clinical observers (doctors) and clinical attachments. Observers are usually students at university level or NHS colleagues that normally spend a shorter period of time at the trust. For further guidance on this please contact the medical workforce team by email:

Find out how to volunteer at the trust.