Community placements

Year 2 Student Selected Component

An exciting opportunity for Keele medical students to work with a local charity or service to expand their awareness of community services.

What happens on placement?

  • Voluntary or work shadow role
  • Students gain practically acquired knowledge and first-hand experience of what the organisation does



We want our medical students to understand how the community supports people with health and social care needs. When they qualify we want them to:

  • Recognise the health and social problems that communities face and understand the individual experiences of vulnerable groups within the community
  • Understand their patients’ experience
  • Be able to direct patients to community based sources of help and advocate for community services that support individuals
  • Value voluntary and other non-health agencies for the difference they make in patients’ lives
  • Be able to advocate for community services which support patients



Students and placement provider will agree a programme of activities to:

  • As far as possible experience what it is like to deliver and receive the service
  • Understand what the service does, its aims and achievements
  • Understand the needs of service users
  • Understand how the service fits in with other services and supports its clients
  • Provide useful work to support the organisation, staff or clients
  • Develop knowledge of the range and scope of health and social care organisations working in the local community


What we expect from you (the placement provider)

  • A named supervisor for the student(s).
  • At least eight half days (totalling 24hrs) contact sessions with the provider. Typically three hours on either Tuesday AM*, Thursday AM* or Thursday PM between October and March (*AM: 9am–12 noon & PM*: 2pm–5pm). Typically three half days between October and November and a further five half days from February to March.
  • It may be that some activities occur outside the placement times. If students would like to swap their placement hours in negotiation with the provider then this is possible.
  • Completion of a record of attendance for each student.
  • Early informal feedback to the Medical School on any issues or concerns.
  • Formal feedback on the students’ participation via completion of a short evaluation questionnaire at the end of the placement.


What we expect from our students

  • To behave professionally at all times, i.e. to be punctual, courteous, flexible and hardworking
  • To arrange and attend at least eight half day contact sessions (total 24hrs minimum) with the organisation
  • To seek guidance and direction whenever appropriate
  • To seek out rationale, evidence and local data to fully describe the service and its context
  • To complete and submit 1,500 word reflective article
  • Prepare and present a poster on the placement provider (to be presented at the Medical School at the end of the placement)


How the medical school will support Placement Providers

  • Provide a placement payment of £320/student which can be claimed at the end of the placement upon completion of an evaluation form
  • Provide a named contact for guidance and feedback
  • Ensure each student is checked with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) prior to commencing placement
  • Provide attendance pro-forma in the back of each student’s log book


If you are interested

For further information please contact Sarah Thirlwall on 01782 734729 or

Community Cluster Project

An exciting opportunity for final year Keele medical students to work with a local community organisation to make a real difference.


Final year medical students will work in cluster groups (typically 2–6 students) for up to 15 weeks on a designated project for a community organisation. Initial project titles and focus will be determined by the organisation, but the detail will be developed by the students. Organisations may include; charities, mutuals, trusts, foundations, support groups etc. Projects will be allocated to student groups who are working in practices close to the community organisation. This is intended to enhance the student’s knowledge of the needs of the local population and the services offered. This is a tremendous opportunity for students to make a real difference to the communities they have been working in. There is also scope for larger projects to be addressed and handed on between student groups.



  • Projects that address the specific needs of community organisations and their service users
  • An opportunity for the Medical School and students to improve and develop engagement with the community it serves
  • An opportunity to foster links with general practices and community organisations
  • To give the students opportunities to develop their team-working and project-working skills
  • To provide students with a deeper knowledge about the wider framework of organisations involved with healthcare
  • To deliver potential benefits for future doctors, patients and community organisations
  • To develop students ability to advocate for community organisations


We are seeking project ideas now.



  • Students will be expected to spend half a day per week working on their projects over 15 weeks
  • Students will be linked to your organisation for 15 weeks but they will not be formally placed with you for that period of time. They are likely to work as teams in their practices

Students will require:

  • A named project supervisor – who can be contacted by email with queries during the 15 week period
  • An initial induction to the organisation max 1–2 half days in the first few weeks



 Student projects will be assessed by the School of Medicine by:

  • Written project report and hand-over (if project requires)
  • Presentation to faculty and placement providers
  • Evaluation of student projects by providers


Project ideas

  • Development of new resources for service users
  • Establishment of new service(s) for service users
  • Audit of existing services
  • Work with service users, i.e. Health Promotion
  • Advocacy and building better links in the community, private sector or with health professionals.
  • Liaison and promotion of links with primary care
  • Evaluation of commissioning issues
  • Evaluation of new service provisions
  • Gap analysis


How we will support you

  • Provide contact for guidance and feedback
  • Ensure each student has been checked with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • £150 per student per project payable upon receipt of an invoice at the end of the 15 week block


What to do next

If you would like your organisation to be part of the programme or if you require any further information, please contact Sarah Thirlwall on 01782 734729 or