Queen Mary is a unique university in East London, between Whitechapel and Mile End. It is amongst the top universities in the country, particularly strengths in Law and Economics and a Medical School which is definitely one of the very best. This university attracts a lot of international students, especially for its postgraduate degrees. In fact QMUL is one of the most diverse universities in the world. Fun fact: The Royal London Medical School which is now part of Barts and The London – Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry- , was the very first Medical School in England.
Queen Mary University of London: A Self-Contained Campus in London
It is a unique university in London because it has a self-contained campus. What this means is that all the departments, the library, the student union and even quite a few halls of residence are situated within the same grounds. In a massive, busy city like London, this is very very rare. Large Universities (like King’s College, for example) will have campuses all over London – sometimes miles from each other.
The self-contained campus makes it particularly convenient – you don’t have to travel across London to get to the university, everything you’ll need during your day to day will be within easy walking distance. This is great for students still getting used to London: London is a city where it’s easy to get lost travelling around, the tube and bus routes can seem a bit confusing during the first few days.
“It’s extra easy and convenient for international students,” says Zlatina, a Bulgarian International Relations student who will stay on to do her Masters. “Because it is all in one campus, it’s also much easier to meet different people, from all degrees and of all kinds. You live in London but get to experience student life of a smaller town.”
A university that is both traditional and modern
On your first look around Queen Mary, it is a beautiful old university. The main buildings – the People’s Palace and the Queen’s building are great white, historic buildings where the University started out in Mile End Road. As you start going deeper into Campus, you’ll find out that actually, most buildings are modern and cool. The Biological Sciences building is unlike anything we’ve ever seen: it kind of looks like something you’d make out of Lego. They’re also building a huge Graduate Centre in the centre of the campus to host the School of Economics and Finance from September 2016.
On one level, this reflects the spirit of the University. It has never been a university that would settle with it’s reputation and history but is trying constantly to reach out to the future.
On another, this means that you will be studying in a university that has 200 years of experience but in brand new buildings with top level facilities.
Queen Mary is not your average London University
There are a number of things that make Queen Mary special and in a class by itself. The fact that the Campus has a wide canal where some of the famous Thames Barges rock, for example. On the other side of the canal, a huge, quiet park where students can walk and enjoy the sun and the fresh air.You almost get the feeling that you’re living in the countryside. While cars and buses pass the campus on their way towards Central London , inside the campus you’ll find squirrels, foxes, ducks and geese walking around. It makes this university – in a city as beautifully crazy and hectic as London – one in a million.
Another quirky detail is that you’ll find a historic Jewish cemetery in the middle of the campus. This graveyard, the oldest Jewish cemetery in London, has been here since the first days of the university and help to remind you of just how old the University is. Let us tell you: this isn’t a sight you’ll see in most (quite possibly any!) other university in the world.
The University Library is a beautiful, modern building. It has plenty of computers in specific areas of its ground floor as well as the so-called Teaching Collection: a room with all the most needed books for every course and degree. That means that if you’re just here to borrow a standard textbook, you don’t have to dig through thousands of other volumes on the same subject in the higher levels of the library. You just walk in the front door, down the corridor, pick up what you need and leave.
There is an in-campus Gym as well. It is a 2-floor building with a female-only section where girls and women can exercise on their own. There are also classes going on all the time for different exercises and sports.
There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and canteens around for students’ convenience. A student shop and a large student union.
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