CUH Careers logo

Mobile menu open

Frequently asked questions

How long is a typical placement?

Placement days can vary from 1-10 days depending on department, speciality, staff capacity and the time available.  We aim to offer to as many students as possible.  Most shadowing placements are 1-2 days only.  It is important to focus on the quality and the learning taken from the placement, rather than the quantity of time within the placement.

How do I apply?

An application form via your Careers Advisor or Tutor at college.

Will I be guaranteed a place?

No, we cannot guarantee a placement but we do our best to accommodate as many suitable students as possible.   We accept students from within our local Cambridgeshire area and just over the border.  Please email to see if you fall within this if you have any doubts.  We take students from year 12 aged 16 and upwards on shadowing placements, but for our Insight programmes from year 10.  Some areas have an age limit of aged 17 or 18 for a placement. Please note that we are oversubscribed with applications and it may be 3 months before we can confirm a placement date with you due to the clinical area and capacity of staff.

Is there a waiting list?

When we receive an application it will be registered on our database and put into a pending file.  We usually organise placements in date order of application depending on the preferred area or placement. We try to place students in their area of interest, but sometimes this is not possible and so we will aim for a placement which is most relevant.

How long does it take to process an application form?

For the insight days, there is a closing date for applications.  We aim to notify students within 2 weeks of the closing date if they are successful / unsuccessful.  For placements we aim to notify you with a date within 3 months.  If it is outside of this time frame it maybe that you have been unsuccessful.  Due to the amount of applications received we are unable to reply directly to everyone.  However, if you are unsuccessful due to being outside of our catchment area we will notify you.

What time will my placement start?

Generally placements start at 8.30am and end at 4.30pm; however that can vary depending on the activities. In some cases, students may be asked to leave earlier if clinical demands take precedence.  You will be emailed a contract for your placement with all of the details. If you have time constraints due to travel demands please let us know in advance or inform the supervisor on arrival.

What do I need to bring?

You will need some money for lunch, or a packed lunch which may be easier due to time constraints and where you are placed in the hospital.

What shall I wear?

Smart work wear and no jeans, sweatshirts or trainers that are brightly with large logos allowed.  If you arrive inappropriately dressed for a placement you may be sent straight home. If your placement is in a clinical area, you will need to be able to have no long sleeves below the elbow whilst you are in a clinical area.  You will be seeing patients and representing the Trust whilst you are on placement and patients / visitors may not realise you are on a work placement.  You may see staff dressed more casually (i.e. labs), but we ask you to keep to our regulations for your placement as it may change at the last minute and this provides a good impression if you were to need a reference.
Please keep money and valuables to a minimum as CUH cannot guarantee where your belongings will be left. No dangling earrings or other jewellery allowed in a clinical area.  If you are on placement in the emergency department or theatres, you will be required to change into scrubs. Please see further information in your contract for placement.

How do I get there?

There is no parking for students on placements at the Trust.  This is due to capacity of the carpark for clinical staff on shifts and visitors.   There are direct train lines to Cambridge and regular buses to CUH from the train station.  There are park and ride sites around Cambridge that serve CUH – please check your route out before your placement date. Please note if you park on site as a visitor the charge will be in excess of £25 per day. Please do your research for travel before your placement date!   Please see link for information on travelling to CUH on our website.