International menu

Parents' guide

Welcome to the parents' section of the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) 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 our location, history and reputation.

QMUL 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 questions you have 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 a 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 four 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 to become the third largest member of the University of London with 20,260 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 are part of Student Central, the University of London students' union and the largest student union in the UK which brings far reaching social, cultural and financial benefits.

Currently ranked 98th in the world (Times Higher Education) we have 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 and 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 member of the University of London  to have a fully integrated campus in the city.  With accommodation for over 2000 students alongside teaching and research facilities, academic schools, libraries, 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 Regent's 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 close to the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, only two miles from our Mile End campus. Completely transformed since the Games, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park hosts a year-round calendar of events. Our students can use the elite facilities at the Copper Box Arena (the third largest indoor venue in London) and the Aquatics Centre.

There are also 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 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.

Fees and funding

See our section on international student tuition fees.

A number of our schools offer scholarships and bursaries for international students, particularly those interested in studying Science and Engineering programmes.

Academic Calendar 

QMUL operates an academic year that is made up of 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.

Support for students

At Queen Mary we take pride in 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 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 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 time at QMUL.

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 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 most recent results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF)  confirmed our position at the forefront of world-leading research, with Queen Mary ranked 9th in the UK (Times Higher Education). This 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 work skills are 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. Our 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). Our award-winning QProjects work placement scheme  provides student with a chance to gain experience at a range of organisations, enhancing employability as well as contributing to the local community. 

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.

Return to top