Studying with us

Clinical placements

We offer our Medical Ultrasound (Sonography) students a wide range of clinical placements from Year One thanks to our partnerships with Leeds Teaching Hospitals, local and regional general hospitals, general practices and the community. 

The breadth of specialities you will experience while on placement will give you valuable insight and allow you to develop a more rounded understanding of practices across the NHS. As a result, you will be better equipped to work in different clinical settings following graduation. 

Female sonography 2


Placement locations 

Medical Ultrasound (Sonography) placements are based in a variety of hospitals and centres across Yorkshire. However, we cannot guarantee placement at a particular site and students must therefore be prepared to travel and potentially stay in secondary accommodation when in placement. 

Affiliated hospitals include:  

  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (our key training partner*) 

  • Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Trust 

  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

  • York Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

  • Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust 

*The trust is one of the largest and most innovative in England. It combines high-quality clinical services with academic research, pushing the boundaries of healthcare. We also have close relationships with specialist units in the region and the private provider, Northern Medical Ultrasound. 

Connections with our clinical partners are strengthened by our clinically active academic team who ensure teaching remains current and evidence-based.  

Leaders in patient and carer involvement 

Across 18 weeks of each teaching year, you’ll be allocated day and block placements. In Year One this will be mainly in simulation (14 weeks), with a mixture of clinical placement and simulation in Year Two and Three. In addition, Projection Radiography, Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging experience is on offer in Year Two.  

Placements: what do our students say? 

The School of Medicine places patients at the centre of teaching for medical and allied health students. The learning setting and environment have been closely considered, positioning the patient as a teacher rather than just a passive 'subject'. The course works with patients in a variety of modules to enhance your understanding from a patient's perspective. We also utilise simulated patient scenarios, which will allow you to objectively work through a situation in a safe environment before being introduced to more challenging cases. 

Our students always talk positively about their experiences on clinical placement, but we know providing our students with ongoing support throughout is crucial. We have a clinical placement coordinator who works closely with our clinical colleagues to ensure that all our placements throughout Yorkshire provide students with an exceptional experience. As a sonographer we recognise how important it is to communicate effectively and work in partnership with patients, carers and family members. Based at the Leeds Institute of Medical Education, the team manages the Patient Carer Community, allowing you to gain first-hand experience of individuals who are caring for someone with a medical condition or disability. Patient contact begins in the first year of our Medical Ultrasound (Sonography) programme and the Patient Carer Community is fully involved from the beginning. 

Katie, a recent Diagnostic Radiography graduate, tells us about her experience of placements whilst studying at Leeds: 

Where did you go on placement and what was it like there?

I was on placement in the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) for my first year and third year and I was in the Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Trust during my 2nd year on the course. Each trust is very different and each hospital within each trust is also very different. This varied range of experience has been valuable in the long run and has given me a well-rounded knowledge to propel me into my career. Placement has always been an equal mix of terrifying and exhilarating. It keeps you on your toes and there is so much to learn every day. Each Trust has enthusiastic and supportive staff that are eager to accommodate students and their learning.

What are the best aspects to the way our placements are organised?

By alternating between two trusts, you get to learn a greater range of protocols and techniques that aid in your ability to adapt; essential in a career in radiography. Your placements are organised to ensure you gain experience in each essential area, such as general departments, A&E, theatre and mobiles. As a St James’ student in my first and third years, I saw oncology, minor injuries and non-traumatic theatre. However in Hull, I was based at the trauma hospital, Hull Royal Infirmary, and gained more experience in trauma. The rotation meant I gained a wealth of experience and met some fantastic staff along the way.

How you will gain clinical experience

Year 1: Learning will take place mainly in a simulated setting during Year One (14 weeks) plus four weeks on your clinical placement site. The combination of academic study and clinical exposure will give you the proven advantage of enhanced learning early on, putting theory learnt in lectures into practice. 

Year 2: You will concentrate on ultrasound clinical practice using the same sandwiching method as year one -  a combination of theory and practice. You will develop your skills during 18 weeks of practice development and clinical placement with some additional simulation and diagnostic radiography experience.  

Year 3: Over the course of 18 weeks you’ll experience day and block placements. By the end of Year 3 you will have gained the necessary experience and qualification to secure a Band 5 sonography job. 

We pride ourselves in providing our NHS hospitals and private practice partners with well-trained graduate sonographers - the future of their workforce. This partnership is reflected in the quality of placements provided to us by our clinical partners. We limit our course places to 20-25 students to ensure we can guarantee you a placement. Other courses may have much larger numbers and expect you to try and find your own placement which is not easy and could be anywhere else in the UK.  

Travel and additional accommodation costs 

If your placement is in the Leeds General Infirmary (attached to the School of Medicine building), you should not have additional travel costs. Outside of Leeds, we will provide a financial contribution to your travel costs for all three years of your course. If your placement is within a reasonable commute, we will refund your travel costs. If your placement is further afield and not within a defined commutable time, we will contribute towards your additional temporary accommodation and your travel costs. 

Each sonography student is assigned a personal tutor who will work to address any issues and help you to make the most of your learning opportunities. 

University support and wellbeing

We know that, for many of you, studying at university will the first time you will have lived away from home. This change can be daunting so we aim to provide a welcoming, friendly and supportive network for all students from day one. Our wide range of support and resources are there to help you when you need it.