Welcome to the parents' section of the Queen Mary, University of London website. Here you will find useful information concerning term dates, tuition fees, accommodation and facilities and services for international students, as well as general information about the College’s location, history and reputation.
Queen Mary’s academic and International Office staff make over 50 overseas visits per year to meet with prospective students and their parents. Where possible we are happy to answer any queries you have regarding the College face to face. You can find out details of our forthcoming visits to your region on our overseas calendar.
Queen Mary has a long history of educating international students and our current intake reflects the College’s commitment to providing a multicultural learning experience, with a third of our student body representing over 130 nationalities worldwide.
What is now Queen Mary, University of London was originally 4 historic Colleges which have merged over the last century to form one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions. Over the past five years our student population has increased by 25% to become the third largest college of the University of London with 16,000 students. Although the size and diversity of Queen Mary gives it all the characteristics and facilities of a university in its own right, being a part of the federal University of London, a wide-ranging body comprising some 40 academic institutions and 120,000 students, gives our students access to some of the best teaching and research facilities in the world. Furthermore Queen Mary students become part of ULU, the largest student union in the UK which brings far reaching social, cultural and financial benefits.
Currently ranked 120th in the world (Times Higher Education 2011) the College has a burgeoning international reputation amongst peers and prospective graduate employers. Our dedicated Careers Team provide support for international students in all aspects of their career preparation from finding part-time work and internships, to application & interview training, and deciding on a career after they graduate. Queen Mary’s graduate employment rate and graduate starting salaries are consistently amongst the highest in the UK.
Queen Mary is unique in being the only University of London College to have a fully integrated campus in the City. With accommodation for over 2000 students alongside teaching and research facilities, academic schools, library, study centres, a gym and sports hall, not to mention shops, restaurants and coffee houses, the Mile End campus offers Queen Mary students the best of both worlds, a study environment conducive with learning that has central London just minutes away.
The campus is also located in one of the greenest parts of London, between Victoria and Mile End parks and alongside the Regent Canal. This allows students to experience the quieter side to London living when they’re not studying or exploring the capital’s rich history. We also have the advantage of being the University of London College closest to the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, only two miles from the Mile End campus. Hundreds of current Queen Mary students have already registered as volunteers for next summer’s event and the College will be playing its own important part in making the Games a success, by providing accommodation for many administrators, officials and organisers on the College campus.
The College has three other smaller campuses which span London's diverse districts. As with Mile End, the Whitechapel campus is in east London, between The City and Canary Wharf, a multicultural and socially diverse area that is one of the most rapidly developing parts of London. Whitechapel is home to part of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, which includes the stunning Will Alsop Blizard Building, housing the largest open plan laboratories in Europe, and a London tourist attraction in its own right.
Our other two campuses are in central London: at Charterhouse Square just outside the financial district is St Bartholomew’s Hospital and at Lincoln's Inn Fields, in London's Legal District, the home for our Graduate School of Law and the world-famous Centre for Commercial Law Studies.
See our section on international student tuition fees for 2012.
A number of our schools offer scholarships and bursaries for international students, particularly those interested in studying Science and Engineering programmes.
Academic Calendar 2011/12
The College operates an academic year that is made up by three semesters. All undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes start in September, at the start of semester one. Foundation students also start in September although the International Science and Engineering Foundation Programme does also have an intake who begin their studies at the beginning of semester two, in January.
Full details of the term dates for the forthcoming academic year can be found here.
Support for students
At Queen Mary we pride ourselves providing a friendly, welcoming and secure campus environment in which students can thrive both academically and socially. Most students have a trouble-free time at university, but it is reassuring to know that we offer a comprehensive support network which could be a real help to your son or daughter. No matter what the problem there is always someone they can turn to for help and advice.
Firstly, all students are assigned a personal tutor: a member of the academic staff of their department. Your son or daughter should meet with their tutor early in their first term. Thereafter s/he can discuss any academic problems with their tutor, whether they need advice on module choice, feel they have made the wrong choice of course, or are having problems meeting deadlines – and so on.
Our Advice and Counselling Service is on hand to provide guidance on a huge range of issues from money worries (including budgeting and how to apply for hardship funds) to disability benefits and academic problems such as transferring degrees. Additionally, our experienced trained counsellors can give confidential support to students with emotional and psychological concerns.
Encourage your son or daughter to register with the College Student Health Service as soon as possible. Students who live on or near the campus are eligible, although those living outside this area can also get emergency treatment whilst on campus.
Faith at Queen Mary: as a truly multi-cultural institution we value religious understanding and aim to meet the needs of all our students. St Benet’s is our College Chaplaincy, and we also provide multi-faith prayer rooms with washing facilities. There are many other places of worship near the Mile End campus – from churches, mosques and synagogues to temples and a Buddhist prayer centre.
Other areas of support that we offer specifically to international students are:
- A free airport collection service at the start of semester one for new students.
- An extensive welcome programme to help students settle in to life in London.
- Individually time tabled free English Language support throughout a students studies at the College.
Teaching and learning
Given the financial outlay it is vital that your child’s learning experience is positive. The National Student Survey (NSS) is an annual survey of final year students at most UK universities. It asks a range of questions to find out what they think about their course and university. The results can be seen at www.unistats.com. Queen Mary does well in this survey, with students consistently giving their courses and lecturers high ratings.
One important feature of Queen Mary is academic research. The vast majority of our academic staff are also active in this field: they are pushing the boundaries of knowledge, in many cases undertaking research which is internationally important. The Government assesses all universities’ research every few years. The last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was in 2008 and Queen Mary was rated 11th in the UK (The Guardian). How does this benefit your child? It means that our staff's teaching is kept up-to-date, that they are enthusiastic and do not stick with a particular theory, for example, despite new thinking in the subject; their research ensures, especially in fields like engineering and computing, strong links with the real world of industry; and students’ final year projects are often directly-related to research projects. Plus, of course, all students get a thrill from seeing their tutors on TV or quoted in the press!
Our teaching methods are varied: as well as lectures, your son or daughter, depending on their subject, can also expect to experience small group teaching: tutorials, seminars, workshops, exercise classes and problem based learning (PBL) sessions (for medicine and some materials courses). Most students will also have the chance to work on group projects – this is extremely useful experience for the real world of work, where team working ability is highly prized.
All university students need to develop the skill of independent study and your son or daughter will get good experience of this working on essays, reports, projects, final year dissertations and general reading around the subject. This can be a big difference from school or college, but is another very useful transferable skill.
Rest assured that there is support for students who might find the transition from A-Level (or equivalent) to degree study problematic. Our Language and Learning Unit provides a range of workshops on aspects like note-taking and organisational skills, and also runs tutorials on any aspect of study plus drop-in maths support. They can also go to their personal tutor for guidance.
Clearly the objective for most students is a successful career, and we take this aspect of their university experience very seriously. The College Careers Service is part of the University of London’s Careers Group, the largest careers service in the UK. Our professional careers advisers are available to guide your son or daughter, whether they already have a clear direction or have no ideas at all. We run workshops on a range of aspects such as CV and interview preparation, plus sessions on particular sectors and industries.
The graduate job market is crowded and it is essential that your child is able to demonstrate the skills which employers require. These include things like commercial awareness (so any work experience is very useful), team working, communication skills, logical thinking and analytical ability, organisational skills – and so on. Our students will develop these skills on their courses as well as through extra-curricular activities (especially the ‘soft’ interpersonal skills). We are keen to help them recognise and present these skills – our Mind the Gap resource is a useful starting-point.
Student life at Queen Mary
To find out more about campus life, the local area and accommodation at Queen Mary, browse through our Student life section.
Accommodation for Parents
At the start of term and throughout the academic year many parents of our international students' travel to the UK to visit their children. Here you can find a list of local hotels. Other hotels in central London not listed are usually no more than 20 minutes journey from the College campus.