Top tips

What career are you interested in? If you are still unsure about what you would like to do, take a look at our A-Z of careers in the NHS, or try our career mapper quiz to see which role best suits your skills and interests. These are just some of over 350 careers available in the NHS. You don’t need to commit to one yet, but it will help if you have an idea of what you would like to do in the future when talking to the NHS about your placement. For further inspiration, why not take a look at some of our real life stories?

Some students organise placements through their school, while others apply directly to a local NHS organisation. This means everyone has a chance to get a placement. However, if you do know people who work in the NHS, it's also worth speaking to them to see if they can help. Keep as many options open as possible.

If a particular NHS organisation doesn't offer work experience, ask if they know of any others in the area that do. They might even know the name of the person you should speak to.

If contacting the NHS yourself, get a list of NHS organisations near to your home or school. Remember - placements will not necessarily be in hospitals. You may find opportunities in a GP or dental surgery, pharmacy or with an optician. Don’t forget community, mental health and ambulance organisations either. For a full list of NHS organisations in your area, visit

If an NHS organisation you speak to offers work experience opportunities, find out how you need to apply. Is it by letter, an online application or by a form? When can you expect to receive a response to your application?

You might not need a CV but it certainly looks professional if you have one. For tips on writing a CV, visit the National Careers Service website.

Finally, explore our interactive map and get some inspiration from reading stories from other students in your area about the kind of work experiences they have had.