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New Students

Checklist: Starting Preparations

Step One – Secure your place

When you are ready it is important that you secure your place at Queen Mary by accepting your offer online. UCAS applicants can do this at Direct applicants should do so by following the instructions outlined in your offer letter or on the MySIS Student Portal.

If you have applied for more than one course, please be aware that you can only accept one offer. Once you have accepted this offer, your application to other courses will be automatically declined.

If for any reason you are unable to accept your offer online, please contact the staff member or the admissions team named in your offer letter, clearly indicating your name and application number.

If you are unsure please contact the International Office at: 

Step Two- Tuition Fee Deposits

Please be aware that Queen Mary requires the payment of a deposit for most of its courses. Failure to make this payment may result in Queen Mary being unable to generate a CAS. Any monies paid in the form of a tuition fee deposit will be deducted from the tuition fee balance stated on your CAS statement.

Please note that you may not be required to pay a deposit if you are a fully-sponsored student or are in receipt of a full fee-waiver scholarship. If you believe that this applies to you but require further clarification then please contact the Admissions office at

To find out more about how/ if the requirement of a tuition fee deposit applies to you and how to make the payment, please see the pages.

Step Three – Ensure you have sufficient funding

Once you have confirmed your place at Queen Mary you need to make sure you have secured sufficient funding for the duration of the course. When you apply for entry clearance or a visa, you will be required to prove that you have enough money to cover all of your expenses and those of any dependants. It is important that you plan your funding very carefully before you get here, and that you manage your finances well whilst you are here.

Some of the costs that you will need to budget for are:

• Tuition fees

• Accommodation (for you plus any dependents)

• Entry clearance application fees

• Travel to & from the UK, plus during your time in the UK

• Food and other daily living expenses (for you plus any dependents)

• Books and equipment for studying

• Clothing

• Household bills (including TV license)

• Social events and entertainment

• Child care (where required).

It is very difficult to suggest to you exactly how much money you will need to support yourself, as each person’s circumstances will be different.

To apply for UK immigration permission, you will usually need to show that you have £11,385 for your personal and living expenses, but what you will actually need may be higher or lower than this figure. The Queen Mary Advice and Counseling service have tools and guidance to help you write a budget so you can work out how much money you will need to show.  

Check out for great advice and tools to help you plan and manage your budget whilst studying in the UK.

More information with regards to banking, including how to open an account, will be available closer to the time. Please check this website regularly. 

Step Four - Apply for immigration permission (sometimes called a visa or entry clearance)

To help you decide what immigration permission you need (if any) and for guidance on how to apply, the University's Advice and Counselling Service have produced the following guide:

What Immigration permission do I need to study at Queen Mary?


This guide contains the following sections:

Do I need immigration permission to study in the UK?

Applying for immigration permission before you travel to the UK

Applying for immigration permission when you arrive in the UK

Important information about entering the UK via the Republic of Ireland

What if things go wrong?


If you need to make an immigration application, we recommend that you start to think about your application four months before your course is due to start. You may need time to obtain the required documents and it may take the UK visa application centre in your region some time to issue you with a visa or entry clearance. You can find up-to-date statistics for the visa application centre in your region on the UK Visas website.

Please note that most visa application centres get much busier and can be subject to delays in July, August and September. We recommend that you make your application as early as possible. Please note that it is not possible to submit your application more than three months before your course is due to start.

If you apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission and are granted immigration permission, which is valid for more than six months, you will be issued with a single use Entry Clearance Sticker, which is valid for 30 days. You must travel to the UK during this 30 day period.

You will also be given a letter of decision which details the conditions and length of your immigration permission.

When you arrive in the UK, you will need to collect a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) with your full immigration permission from a UK Post Office. You will choose the Post Office to collect your BRP from when you complete your online Tier 4 (General) Student immigration application form. For more information, including a map of the Post Office branches that are near Queen Mary's campuses, please see the Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service's Guide to Completing the On-Line Tier 4 Entry Clearance Application From (from outside the UK).

*Please note: it is not possible to choose Queen Mary as your BRP collection point.*

When you arrive in the UK you will not be penalised for being unable to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) with 10 days, while coronavirus measures are in place. 

If you have to self-isolate, you should collect your BRP card as soon as possible after you have finished your period of self-isolation. We understand that the Post Offices will be keeping the BRP cards for longer, so it should be still be available to collect after your period of self-isolation.

For more information, including what to do if you are not able to travel within the 30 day period of your single-use Entry Clearance Sticker, [see the guidance provided by the Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service] (

Step Five - Apply for accommodation

Living in Queen Mary accommodation has many advantages and living in a student community can be an important part of experiencing university life. A dedicated team of residences staff, wardens and stewards are responsible for the general welfare of the students and to ensure that the residences are clean, comfortable and have a sense of community to promote an active academic and social life. You can find more information on the different types of accommodation available at Queen Mary on our Housing Services webpages.

When you accept your offer to study at Queen Mary, the Admissions Office will email you with details on how to apply for college accommodation (in the form of a web link, application reference number and password). Please follow these instructions carefully. Please be sure to check your junk email folder in the days after accepting your offer to study in case any correspondence from Queen Mary is filtered there.

Please note: You cannot apply for accommodation until you have accepted your offer to study. Your accommodation password will be activated 24 hours after you have accepted your offer. If you try to apply for accommodation immediately after accepting your offer, you may receive an error message.

Should you have any questions regarding accommodation options or the application process, please contact Housing Services directly.

The Queen Mary Residences website also has information on finding alternative accommodation, including information on private sector housing with comprehensive guidance notes, videos and an online property search facility, privately built halls, homestay etc. Housing Services also offer a contract reading service.

Step Six - Attend a Pre-Departure Briefing in Your Country

Due to COVID-19, we are unfortunately unable to hold local pre-departure meetings.

If you are from Brunei, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Philippines, Japan or Indonesia, you may watch the recording of the pre-departure webinar via the link below.

Watch the recording


In addition to the sessions hosted by Queen Mary staff, some of our local representatives and the British Council in-country often run pre-departure briefing programmes for students travelling to the UK. These tell you about immigration and passport control procedures, financial matters, budgeting and cultural differences. 

If you have applied to study at Queen Mary through one of our in-country representatives please contact them directly regarding pre-departure briefings.  

If you wanted to find out about British Council pre-departure briefings, please visit the British Council website and find your country-specific information.

Step Seven - Apply for a Pre-sessional English Course if Necessary

The Language Centre offers programmes which you might find useful if you have not studied in the UK before, or if your first language is not English.

The English Language and Academic Skills Summer Programme offers you a unique opportunity to make rapid progress in academic English, and to acclimatise to life in the UK, London and at Queen Mary. It is a time to make friends and learn about other cultures before the academic year begins.

The programme will help you to: 

• improve your overall ability in English

• learn study skills such as note-taking, academic writing and participating in seminars

• develop the skills you need to work independently at university

The programme consists of three blocks: 4 weeks, then another 4 weeks, and finally 5 weeks. You can join for 5, 9 or 13 weeks between June and September. If your offer is for 5 weeks, this must start in August. If your offer is for 9, this must start in July. Classes have a maximum size of 16 usually.

English Language entry requirements are different for each department. The minimum level that we would recommend entry onto the whole 13-week course is IELTS 5.5, although some Queen Mary departments may require higher entry levels. 

For full details, see the University's guidelines on English Language Entry Requirements

The Language Centre also runs a number of courses throughout the academic year that will be free to Queen Mary students. These can be tailored to meet your individual needs, and range from general areas such as improving conversational English, to courses designed to help you communicate in particular subject areas, such as law or economics. For more information on what to expect, visit the Language Centre website.

Step Eight – Prepare for Study in the UK

Adjusting to Study in the UK

When studying overseas, some differences in ways of teaching and learning are obvious – the timetable, for example, or the need to attend lectures and sit exams. Some differences, however, may be more subtle; for example, the type of writing you are expected to produce or the way tutors believe students learn through questioning.

If your approach to study in the UK in the same way as in your country, you are likely to experience problems, not because of language difficulties but because tutors in different countries often expect and value different qualities. If you’re ready for differences, you’ll overcome problems more quickly and be able to get on with your studies right from the first semester.

Step Nine - Join us on Social Media

Join in and like us on Facebook at

We also have regional specific Facebook and WhatsApp groups for our overseas offer holders, to find out about these groups contact your Queen Mary country manager.

For Twitter users, keep posted by following us on the Queen Mary's International Office’s very own Twitter page:

For those of you on Instagram, you can follow the QMUL International Office on /qmulinternational