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Our History

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)

The People’s Palace on Mile End Road, 1890
The People’s Palace on Mile End Road, 1890

The East End is renowned for its resilience. Continually reinventing and reshaping itself in response to an ever-changing world, it’s a part of London that has been a constant scene of social, political and environmental change. By the 19th century, many workers in the capital called the East End home, and at its heart grew an institution committed to providing them with educational and cultural opportunities.

Today, Queen Mary University of London has evolved into an international hub of education and research excellence. We offer hundreds of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and also offer an inspiring environment in which to undertake a PhD

We’ve formed partnerships with like-minded institutions both here in the UK and overseas. Students and staff from more than 160 nationalities are a part of our family and we continue to empower future generations with the skills and knowledge they need to make a difference. But we keep our commitment to our home in east London – and whether we are working with local schools, businesses, charities or community groups, we take pride in our philanthropic roots.

From the very beginning, our founders aimed:

…to create an institution in which, whether in Science, Art or Literature, any students may be able to follow up his education to the highest point by means of Technical and Trade Schools, Reading Rooms and Libraries…
Sir Edmund Hay Currie, Chairman of the Beaumont Trust

Read more about the beginning of our journey...

A timeline of QMUL

See how QMUL has grown


East London
23 May 2017
Visiting Professor at QMUL Charles Saumarez Smith, who has lived in the area since the early 1980s, invites the reader to join him and discover more about his explorations, which are both historical and geographical, describing the unique character of East End spaces and places, new and old.

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