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January 2021 start

Queen Mary will be delivering January starts across six of our Schools, as well as the more traditional September start. 

This is to ensure that if you’re unable to join our September programmes due to delays with transcripts, English Language testing or a change in personal circumstances, you have the opportunity to join a slightly later intake, rather than having to wait until September 2021.

The programmes themselves will be very similar to what is delivered from September, but may have some changes, potentially in the modules that form part of the elective element of the degree or the length of the programme.

Guidance on specific questions you may have relating to starting your studies in January can be found in our FAQs below.

Programmes available

School of Business and Management

Centre for Commercial Law Studies

In addition to the full year programme, an accelerated option is also available for January 2021 entry on many of the LLM programmes at CCLS. Check your programme of interest to see if this is available.

School of Economics and Finance

School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

School of Mathematical Science

School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

  • International Foundation Year (not Science and Engineering pathways)
  • Pre Masters Programme


For January start programmes, we will be asking international students to pay a £4,000 deposit. This deposit will secure your place on the programmes which we expect to be popular, and for which we may need to introduce caps on the number of students we are able to accept

We will also be delivering a number of induction sessions (detailed below) for students who have made deposit payments for the January programmes through the autumn semester (September – December).

If you’ve already paid a £2,000 deposit for a programme starting in September and you wish to defer to the January programme, you will need to make an additional payment to fulfil the £4,000 deposit.

New international applicants for January 2021 entry will be expected to pay a £4,000 deposit before their CAS is released to support their Tier 4 visa process.

New applicants and deferring students from the two programmes below will be excluded from the £4,000 deposit:

  • International Foundation Year

  • Pre-Masters Programme

All payments are subject to our deposit refund policy for 2020/21.

Autumn semester arrangements

Between 28 September and 18 December, the Global Engagement Office (GEO) will coordinate a series of webinars, workshops, taster lectures, E-mentoring sessions, live Q&A sessions and student socials to start the induction to the university for our January start students before your studies begin.

The sessions will be delivered by numerous student support services including: Alumni Engagement, Careers, Library, Advice and Counselling, the Students’ Union and the Global Engagement Office, as well as the Schools involved in the January start programmes. 

Invitations to these webinars will be sent to students successfully admitted to the January 2021 programmes.


Queen Mary has an accommodation guarantee in place for students joining Masters programmes that start in September 2020.

We hope to have some university accommodation available for our January start students and will announce this in the summer.

Students who wish to join our January programmes are advised to view our Alternative Accommodation guide.  There is a huge amount of privately rented accommodation available within close proximity to Queen Mary’s campuses.


The majority of our January programmes will have a start date of 18 January. We will offer a Welcome Week from 18 January and teaching will start on 25 January. We will ask you to enrol in the week beginning 18 January.

The exception is students studying on the programmes below which will have a 4 January 2021 start date:

  • MSc Big Data Science
  • MSc Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Students who start on 4 January will be invited to attend induction webinars prior to arrival in the UK, as well as participate in the Welcome week activities between 18 – 24 January.


The following questions cover topics related to starting your studies in January 2021 such as offers, exams, exams results, deferred entry, start dates, campus facilities, learning support, fees and funding, visas and immigration.

These will be updated on an ongoing basis. If you have concerns over a matter not covered below, then please feel free to contact us.

When is the deadline for applications for a degree programme starting in January?

Please visit our web page with application deadline information for full information on application deadlines for all of our postgraduate programmes.

What is the difference between the 12 month and accelerated programmes?

The shorter programmes are accelerated in nature; whilst the first semester is broadly the same with a slightly higher credit load than you would have on a typical Masters programme, the second semester is shorter in length and so modules will be delivered at a faster pace. Students will also be expected to start writing their dissertation alongside studying for their taught modules and to submit it by an earlier deadline than the 12 month Masters students.

If I take my entrance exams in October/November 2020, can I gain admission in January 2021?

This will be dependent on what level of study you are looking to enter at Queen Mary and whether the degree you are interested in is available for a January start. Please refer to the list of programmes on this page.

Will you offer Pre-Sessional English courses for January entry (aside from the summer PSE programmes)?

This is currently under consideration but we would advise all students who require a Pre-Sessional English programme to register for the summer pre-sessional which can be used for the programmes that start in January 2021. Your summer 2020 pre-sessional English certificate will be valid for two years.

If I start in January will I study a one year programme or an accelerated version?

Each January programme is slightly different, with accelerated programmes available for some courses alongside the more traditional 12 and 13 month options.

Please refer to our coursefinder website. For further assistance please use our enquiry form.

Will the new quarantine rules still be in place in January?

At present we do not know when the new quarantine rules will end, but we expect that they will be in place for some time.

We will include information on any new developments in our weekly e-mail newsletters to offer holders to ensure that you are kept up-to-date.

What happens if I still can’t travel to London in January 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic?

We are currently planning to welcome you to our campuses in person in September or January: if you are able to travel to join us on campus, please plan to do so. If you can’t travel, we will make sure you can fully access your education from wherever you are and will look forward to welcoming you in person as soon as your local restrictions are lifted.  

When is the accommodation deadline for a January 2021 start, and can you guarantee accommodation for students starting then?

We are guaranteeing accommodation for students who start on our postgraduate taught programmes in September 2020 to complement our existing accommodation guarantee for undergraduate students

We expect to have a limited amount of accommodation available for January 2021 entrants and will be announcing this over the coming months.

We have published relevant dates and deadlines for students wishing to join us in January.

Will there be an impact on library and other services when on campus study resumes? Will the new January start put these under greater pressure?

Study space and computer labs (PC labs) will be made available with social distancing in place. The exact offer to students will be based on Government guidance which is still emerging, but it will be Covid-19 secure.

With this in mind, we are re-configuring our libraries and our study spaces to ensure that we can provide the best possible services while maintaining the social distancing and hygiene standards necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students.

Will I still be eligible for student finance if my course starts online or begins in January?

Yes. Please see the loans section of our Postgraduate Funding Guide for more information.

Will I be able to receive a Masters Loan for the accelerated programmes?

UK and EU students will be able to apply for a Masters loan. Our guidelines explain how to apply for a postgraduate loan.

If I pay my deposit now and cannot attend in January due to the coronavirus pandemic will my deposit be refunded?

We have updated our refund policy regarding tuition fee deposits to provide more flexibility in the current circumstances where applicants will be affected by travel and immigration issues, changes to the advertised programme of study and difficulties in meeting the conditions of entry due to cancellation of exams and closure of universities. 

Will I still be eligible for student finance if my course starts online or begins in January?

Yes. Please visit our postgraduate funding guide for more information.

When is the deposit deadline for a January start?

We have published relevant dates and deadlines for students wishing to join us in January.

I want to defer my place. What is the deadline?

If you would like to defer your place to January 2021 or September 2021, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team via the applicant portal by Tuesday 20th October 2020.

Please note, EU students starting their postgraduate programmes in January 2021 will be eligible for Home fees. From September 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss national students will be required to pay international fees.

Please see our guidance for EU/EEA nationals which will be updated on an ongoing basis.

I am an EU student. Will I still be able to apply for pre-settled status in the UK if my course begins in January 2021?

Based on the current proposals, EU/EEA nationals who arrive in the UK before 31 December will be eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021.

EU/EEA nationals who arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020 will need to apply for immigration permission to study in the UK.

You will not need to apply for a visa while studying online.

We recommend, where possible, EU/EEA nationals plan to enter the UK before 31 December 2020.

Please see our guidance for EU/EEA nationals which will be updated if the transitional period is extended.

I have an immigration question which is not answered here: Where can I find out more information about Tier 4 visas?

If your question is related to the impact of coronavirus on your immigration permission or application, please see our Covid-19 and immigration page, which will be updated as the situation develops.

If you have a general question about applying for Tier 4, please see our detailed Tier 4 guidance.

If you have further questions after reading through the guidance, you can contact Advice and Counselling directly.

What will be the impact on my Tier 4 student visa be if I study on the shorter study period option?

Students will still be able to receive a Tier 4 visa for the accelerated programmes but there are some differences to the rules that apply for students who enrol on the standard-length masters programmes, including:

  • Students on the shorter programmes would not be able to travel to the UK with dependants unless they are sponsored by their governments to undertake their studies in the UK.
  • Students will be issued with a Tier 4 visa for an additional two months from the course completion date. Students on a standard 12-month masters will be issued an additional four months on their Tier 4 visa from their course completion date.

  • International students who join the shorter programmes will need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa from their home country in order to return to the UK to attend their graduation ceremony.

When is the deadline for obtaining a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a January start?

We have published relevant dates and deadlines for students wishing to join us in January.

How quickly can I expect to receive my Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)?

We only send out a CAS number once you have an unconditional firm offeryou have paid the required deposit (if required) and you have accepted the draft CAS statement details as correct. 

Once these conditions have been met, you should normally receive your CAS number within five working days. 

You cannot currently apply for a Tier 4 visa more than three months before the start date of your course.

If I have been awarded a scholarship for September 2020 entry, can I use it for January entry?

Queen Mary postgraduate scholarships awarded to students in the School of Business and Management and Law can be used for a January start. 

If you hold another scholarship offer then you should check with your funder if they are willing to sponsor you for January entry. 

When will students who start in January be awarded their degree certificates?

A final date is still to be confirmed, but graduation ceremonies are most likely to be held in April 2022.

When will I graduate if I start on the accelerated programmes?

Graduation ceremonies will be held in December 2021 for students who successfully complete the programme.

International students who join the shorter programmes will need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa from their home country in order to return to the UK to attend their graduation ceremony.

What if I need to resit one of the modules?

Because of the accelerated nature of these Masters programmes, resits will take place outside of the allotted study period and students will therefore take longer to complete the programme.