Queen Mary University of London

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Queen Mary University of London
Queen Mary, University of London Crest.svg
Motto Latin: Coniunctis Viribus
Motto in English
With United Powers
Type Public research university
Established 1882 (Westfield College)
1885 (Queen Mary College)
1989 (merger of Queen Mary & Westfield)
1995 (medical schools merge with QMW)
Endowment £33.0 million (at 31 July 2014)[1]
Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal (University of London)
Principal Simon Gaskell
Students 15,960 (2014/15)[2]
Undergraduates 11,390 (2014/15)[2]
Postgraduates 4,570 (2014/15)[2]
Location London, United Kingdom
51°31′23″N 0°02′25″W / 51.52306°N 0.04028°W / 51.52306; -0.04028Coordinates: 51°31′23″N 0°02′25″W / 51.52306°N 0.04028°W / 51.52306; -0.04028
Campus Urban
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities
Russell Group
UCL Partners
Universities UK
University of London
Website www.qmul.ac.uk
Queen Mary, University of London logo.svg

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is a public research university in London, England and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It dates back to the London Hospital Medical College founded in 1785. Queen Mary College was admitted to the University of London in 1915 and named after Queen Mary of Teck. In 1989, Queen Mary College merged with Westfield College to form Queen Mary and Westfield College. In 1995, Queen Mary and Westfield College merged with St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, established in 1843, and the London Hospital Medical College, founded in 1785.

According to The Guardian, Queen Mary has been ranked ahead of other London institutions in the fields of law, dentistry, media and film studies, and second in medicine and history.[3] Queen Mary won the Research Project of the Year 2012 and was runner-up in 2013.

Its main campus is situated in the Mile End area of Tower Hamlets, with other campuses in Holborn, Smithfield and Whitechapel. It has 20,260 students and 4,000 staff.[4] Queen Mary is organised into three faculties – the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry – within which there are 21 academic departments and institutes. It is one of the largest colleges of the University of London.

Queen Mary is a member of the Russell Group of leading British research universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and Universities UK. Queen Mary is a major centre for medical teaching and research and is part of UCL Partners, the world's largest academic health science centre. It has a strategic partnership with the University of Warwick, including research collaboration and joint teaching of English, history and computer science undergraduates. Queen Mary also collaborates with Royal Holloway, University of London to run programmes at the University of London Institute in Paris.

Queen Mary is frequently ranked among the top universities in Europe.[5] There are six Nobel Laureates amongst Queen Mary's alumni and current and former staff.[6]


Queen Mary's origins lie in the mergers, over the years, of four older colleges: Queen Mary College, Westfield College, St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College and the London Hospital Medical College. In 1989 Queen Mary merged with Westfield College to form "Queen Mary & Westfield College". Although teaching began at the London Hospital Medical College in 1785, it did not become part of Queen Mary until 1995. In that same year the two medical schools merged to form the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary & Westfield College.

In 2000, the college adopted the working title of Queen Mary, University of London while retaining the legal name Queen Mary and Westfield College. In 2013 the legal name of the institution was changed to Queen Mary University of London.[7]

Queen Mary College[edit]

Formative years[edit]

Queen Mary College was founded in the mid Victorian era when growing awareness of conditions in London's East End led to drives to provide facilities for local inhabitants, popularised in the 1882 novel All Sorts of Conditions of Men – An Impossible Story by Walter Besant, which told of how a rich and clever couple from Mayfair went to the East End to build a "Palace of Delight, with concert halls, reading rooms, picture galleries, art and designing schools."[8] Although not directly responsible for the conception of the People's Palace, the novel did much to popularise it.

The trustees of the Beaumont Trust, administering funds left by Barber Beaumont, purchased the site of the former Bancroft's School from the Drapers' Company. On 20 May 1885 the Drapers' Court of Assistants resolved to grant £20,000 "for the provision of the technical schools of the People's Palace."[9] The foundation stone was laid on 28 June 1886 and on 14 May 1887 Queen Victoria opened the palace's Queen's Hall as well as laying the foundation stone for the technical schools in the palace's east wing.

The technical schools were opened on 5 October 1888, with the entire palace completed by 1892. When opening them, the Master of the Drapers' Company declared their aims to be "to improve the scientific and technical knowledge of apprentices and workmen engaged in industrial life". However others saw the technical schools as one day becoming a technical university for the East End.[10] The conflicting demands of pleasure and education were identified by the Assistant Charity Commissioner as early as 1891 and for the next forty years this was to dog the People's Palace. In 1892 the Drapers' Company provided £7,000 a year for ten years to guarantee the educational side income.

Into the University of London[edit]

Part of the Charterhouse Square site

The classes reached a peak of 8000 tickets in 1892–1893 but fell to less than half for the following year, due to competition from the London School Board, despite the Palace's classes being more advanced. With the level of teaching growing, in 1895 John Leigh Smeathman Hatton, Director of Evening Classes (1892–1896; later Director of Studies 1896–1908 and Principal 1908–1933) proposed introducing a course of study leading to the Bachelor of Science degree of the University of London. By the start of the 20th century the first degrees were awarded and Hatton, along with several other Professors, were recognised as Teachers of the University of London. In 1906 an application for Parliamentary funds "for the aid of Educational Institutions engaged in work of a University nature", led to the College being told it was "of the highest importance that there should be a School of the University in the faculties of Arts, Science and Engineering within easy reach of the very large population of the East End of London." The educational part of the People's Palace was admitted on an initial three-year trial basis as a School of the University of London on 15 May 1907 as East London College.

The ground-breaking wind tunnel built in the first ever Aeronautical department in the UK.

Teaching of aeronautical engineering began in 1907 which led to the first UK aeronautical engineering department being established in 1909 which boasted a ground-breaking wind tunnel. Thus creating the oldest Aeronautical Programme in the World.[11] A. P. Thurston, a former student at the College gaining a first class degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in 1906, was encouraged and financially supported by P. Y. Alexander, a wealthy aeronautical enthusiast and acquaintance, and J. L. Hatton, the then Principal, to start regular courses of lectures in aeronautics.[12][13] Thurston gradually brought in more and more skilled aeronautical engineers, and with the newly built laboratory, started giving lectures in aeronautics ("Flying machines", "Balloons, airships and kites", "The mechanical principles of flight")[14] and started extensive research on fundamental matters such as the characteristics of wing sections and propellers, structural and material characteristics, and the forces on struts, leading to use in military aircraft for the First World War.[13][15]

In 1910 the College's status in the University of London was extended for a further five years, with unlimited membership achieved in May 1915. During this period the organisation of the governors of the People's Palace was rearranged, creating the separate People's Palace Committee and East London College Committee, both under the Palace Governors, as a sign of the growing separation of the two concepts within a single complex.[16]

During the First World War the College admitted students from the London Hospital Medical College who were preparing for the preliminary medical examination, the first step in a long process that would eventually bring the two institutions together. After the war, the College grew, albeit constrained by the rest of the People's Palace to the west and a burial ground immediately to the east. In 1920 it obtained both the Palace's Rotunda (now the Octagon) and rooms under the winter gardens at the west of the palace, which became chemical laboratories. The College's status was also unique, being the only School of the University of London that was subject to both the Charity Commissioners and the Board of Education. In April 1929 the College Council decided it would take the steps towards applying to the Privy Council for a Royal Charter, but on the advice of the Drapers' Company first devised a scheme for development and expansion, which recommended amongst other things to reamalgamate the People's Palace and the College, with guaranteed provision of the Queen's Hall for recreational purposes, offering at least freedom of governance if not in space.[17]

In the early hours of 25 February 1931 a fire destroyed the Queen's Hall, though both the College and the winter gardens escaped. In the coming days discussions on reconstruction led to the proposal that the entire site be transferred to the College which would then apply for a Charter alone. The Drapers' Company obtained St Helen's Terrace, a row of six houses neighbouring the site, and in July 1931 it was agreed to give these over to the People's Palace for a new site adjacent to the old, which would now become entirely the domain of the College. Separation was now achieved. The Charter was now pursued, but the Academic Board asked for a name change, feeling that "east London" carried unfortunate associations that would hinder the College and its graduates. With the initial proposed name, "Queen's College", having already been taken by another institution and "Victoria College" felt to be unoriginal, "Queen Mary College" was settled on. The Charter of Incorporation was presented on 12 December 1934 by Queen Mary herself.[18]

Under the Charter[edit]

The Queens' Building

During the Second World War the College was evacuated to Cambridge, where it shared with King's College. Meanwhile, the Mile End site was requisitioned for war work and was for a time used as the Municipal Offices of Stepney Borough Council. After the war the College returned to London, facing many of the same problems but with prospects for westward expansion.[19]

The East End had suffered considerable bomb damage (although the College itself had incurred little) and consequently several areas of land near to the College site now became vacant. The former church of St Benets' to the immediate east of the College was now defunct and was demolished in 1950, with the space used to build a new block for physics, but most of the acquisitions in the immediate post war years were to the west of the college. Even the new People's Palace was no longer able to meet its needs and it was acquired by the College along with several pieces of land that together formed a significant continuous stretch along the Mile End Road. New buildings for engineering, biology and chemistry were built on the new sites, whilst the arts took over the space vacated in the original building, now renamed the Queens' Building (to reflect the support and patronage of both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother).

Limited accommodation resulted in the acquisition of further land in South Woodford (now directly connected to Mile End tube station by means of the Central line's eastward extension), upon which tower blocks were established. Consequently, student numbers continued to expand. The College also obtained the Co-operative Wholesale Society's clothing factory on the Mile End Road which was converted into a building for the Faculty of Laws (and some other teaching), as well as the former headquarters of Spratt's Patent Ltd[20] (operators of the "largest dog biscuit factory in the world" – see Spratt's Complex) at 41–47 Bow Road, which was converted into a building for the Faculty of Economics founded by Maurice Peston, Baron Peston. Both faculties were physically separated from what was now a campus to the west.[21]

From the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s the College was in a period of uncertainty and flux. Much planning was dominated by the "BLQ scheme" which proposed to link Queen Mary College with the London Hospital Medical College and St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College with a joint facility in Mile End, but the land was not yet available. Over the period land that came onto the market was purchased with the intention to consolidate as soon as possible. The Queen Mary College Act 1973 was passed "to authorise the disposal of the Nuevo burial ground in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and to authorise the use for other purposes thereof..." and gave the authority to disinter and reinter most of the graves to Dytchleys. A further link with both The London and St. Bartholomew's was made in 1974 when an anonymous donor provided for the establishment of a further hall of residence in Woodford, to be divided equally between Queen Mary College students and the two medical colleges.[22]

At the start of the 1980s changing demographics and finances caused much concern through the university sector and led to a reorganisation of the University of London. At Queen Mary some subjects, such as Russian and Classics were discontinued, whilst the College became one of five in the University with a concentration of laboratory sciences, including the transfer of science departments from Westfield College, Chelsea College, Queen Elizabeth College and Bedford College.[23]

From the mid-1980s onwards the College began expanding across the newly acquired land to the east, taking the campus to the Regent's Canal. A part of the burial ground remains to this day but the rest of the area has been absorbed by the College's expansion. The long planned Pre Clinical Medicine building for the BLQ Scheme finally materialised in the late 1980s, further strengthening the ties between the three colleges.[24]

1989 to 2010[edit]

The arms of Queen Mary & Westfield College (prior to the merger with the medical schools), combining details from the arms of the two individual colleges. The triple crowns come from the arms of Queen Mary College, originating in the Drapers' arms.

In 1989 Queen Mary College (informally known as QMC) merged with Westfield College to form Queen Mary & Westfield College (often abbreviated to QMW). Over subsequent years, activities were concentrated on the Queen Mary site, with the Westfield site eventually sold.

In 1990, the London Hospital was renamed the Royal London Hospital, after marking its 250th year, and a reorganisation of medical education within the University of London resulted in most of the freestanding medical schools being merged with existing large colleges to form multi-faculty institutions. In 1995 the London Hospital Medical College and St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College merged into Queen Mary & Westfield College to form the entity now named Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.[13]

In 2000 the college changed its name for general public use to Queen Mary, University of London; in 2013, the college legally changed its name to Queen Mary University of London. The VISTA telescope is a 4-metre class wide-field telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile that was conceived and developed by Queen Mary University, costing approximately £36m.[25]

The Westfield Student Village opened in 2004 on the Mile End Campus, bringing over 2,000 rooms to students and a huge array of facilities, restaurants, and cafes.[13][26]

The Blizard Building, home to the Medical School's Institute of Cell and Molecular Science opened at the Whitechapel campus in 2005. The award-winning building was designed by Will Alsop, and is named after William Blizard, an English surgeon and founder of the London Hospital Medical College in 1785.[27][28]

The year 2006 saw the refurbishment of The Octagon, the original library of the People's Palace dating back to 1888.[29]

In 2007 parts of the School of Law – postgraduate facilities and the Centre for Commercial Law Studies – moved to premises in Lincoln's Inn Fields in central London. The Women at Queen Mary Exhibition was staged in the Octagon, marking 125 years of Westfield College and 120 years of Queen Mary College.[13]

In September 2009, the world's first science education centre located within a working research laboratory opened at the Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, hoping to inspire children with school tours and interactive games and puzzles.[30]

2010 to present[edit]

Queen Mary became one of the few university-level institutions to implement a requirement of the A* grade at A-Level after its introduction in 2010 on some of their most popular courses, such as Engineering, Law, and Medicine.[31][32]

Following on from the 2010 UK student protests, Queen Mary set fees of £9,000 per year for September 2012 entry, whilst also offering bursaries and scholarships.[33]

On 12 March 2012 it was announced that Queen Mary would be joining the Russell Group in August 2012.[34][35] Later in March, Queen Mary and the University of Warwick announced the creation of a strategic partnership, including research collaboration, joint teaching of English, history and computer science undergraduates, and the creation of eight joint post-doctoral research fellowships.[36][37]

In January 2013, Queen Mary established the world's first professorial chair in animal replacement science.[38]

From 2014, Queen Mary will begin awarding its own degrees, rather than those of the University of London.[39]


The main Mile End campus contains the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Queens' Building/People's Palace/Octagon, the main college library, the student union, Draper's bar and club, several restaurants, a number of halls of residences and a gym. The educational and research sites of the Arts Research Centre, Computer Science, the large Engineering building, G.E. Fogg Building, Francis Bancroft Building, G. O. Jones Building, Joseph Priestley Building, Lock-keeper's Graduate Centre, and the Mathematical Science Building, are all located within the Mile End campus.[40][41]

The Whitechapel campus encompasses Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Whitechapel Medical Library, the award winning Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, and the Royal London Hospital.

The West Smithfield campus of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the West Smithfield Medical Library, the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, the John Vane Science Centre, the Heart Centre and St Bartholomew's Hospital are based in Smithfield.[42]

The Centre for Commercial Law Studies and LLM teaching and postgraduate law research activities are based in Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn.[42]

Nuclear reactor[edit]

Queen Mary was home to a nuclear reactor from 1964 to 1982.

From 1964 until 1982 QMC maintained a nuclear reactor, the first to be built for a UK university. A reactor was commissioned on the Mile End site beneath Mile End Road and operated from around 1964 to 1966 at around 1 kW. This reactor was the brainchild of the first Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Walter Murgatroyd, and was managed by John Shaw. The reactor was purchased from de Havilland. In 1966 it was decommissioned and a new 100 kW reactor was built at the new QMC Nucleonics Laboratory in Marshgate Lane, Stratford, London, upgraded in 1968, and decommissioned in 1982, with the site licence surrendered in November 1983.[43][44] The Marshgate Lane site became part of the Olympic Park from 2006; in response to safety concerns about the former purpose of the site, a Greenpeace spokesman was quoted as saying "In our view there's nothing to worry about."[45]

Harold Pinter Drama Studio[edit]

The Harold Pinter Drama Studio is the main teaching and performance space of the students and staff of the Department of Drama. On 26 April 2005, Harold Pinter, who was to win the Nobel Prize in Literature later that year, gave a public reading and was interviewed by his official authorised biographer, Michael Billington, in the studio named for Pinter and located as part of the Faculty of Arts (Department of Drama, School of English and Drama) in the Mile End campus,[46][47] to celebrate its refurbishment.[48]

Organisation and administration[edit]

Queen Mary and Westfield College was established by Act of Parliament and the granting of a Royal charter in 1989, following the merger of Queen Mary College (incorporated by charter in 1934) and Westfield College (incorporated in 1933).[49] The Charter has subsequently been revised three times: in 1995 (as a result of the merger of the College with the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry); in 2008 (as a result of the Privy Council awarding the College Degree Awarding Powers; and in July 2010 (following a governance review).[49]

Queen Mary is an 'exempt charity' under the Charities Act 1993. The Higher Education Funding Council for England has been Queen Mary's principal regulator since June 2010.[49]

Faculties and schools[edit]

Faculty[50] Number of staff Number of undergraduate students Number of postgraduate students Annual turnover
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 400 4,000 2,300 £43 million
Faculty of Science and Engineering 600 3,000 800 £53 million
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry 1,000 2,300 1,000 £110 million

The three faculties are split further into independent schools, institutes, and research centres:[51]

  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • School of Business and Management
    • School of Economics and Finance
    • School of English and Drama
      • Department of English
      • Department of Drama
    • School of Languages, Linguistics and Film
      • Comparative Literature
      • Film Studies
      • French
      • German
      • Iberian and Latin American Studies
      • Language Centre
      • Linguistics
      • Russian
    • School of Geography
    • School of History
    • School of Law
      • Centre for Commercial Law Studies
      • Department of Law
    • School of Politics and International Relations
  • Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
    • Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
      • Barts Cancer Institute
      • The Blizard Institute
      • Institute of Dentistry
      • Institute of Health Sciences Education
      • William Harvey Research Institute
      • Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine
      • The Centre of the Cell
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
    • School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
    • School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
      • Computer Science
      • Electronic Engineering
    • School of Engineering and Materials Science
    • Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials
    • School of Mathematical Sciences
    • School of Physics and Astronomy
    • Research Centre in Psychology


In the financial year ended 31 July 2011, Queen Mary had a total income (including share of joint ventures) of £297.1 million (2009/10 – £289.82 million) and total expenditure of £295.35 million (2009/10 – £291.56 million).[49] Key sources of income included £100.02 million from funding body grants (2009/10 – £103.97 million), £82.8 million from tuition fees and education contracts (2009/10 – £76.22 million), £73.66 million from research grants and contracts (2009/10 – £68.47 million) and £1.17 million from endowment and investment income (2008/09 – £1.48 million).[49] During the 2010/11 financial year Queen Mary had a capital expenditure of £42.53 million (2009/10 – £45.61 million).[49]

At year end Queen Mary had endowments of £33.59 million (2009/10 – £29.95 million) and total net assets of £300.79 million (2009/10 – £291.38 million).[49]

Academic profile[edit]

The Blizard Building, housing the Institute of Cell and Molecular Sciences.

Queen Mary has around 3,000 staff, who teach and research across a wide range of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Laws, Medicine and Dentistry and Science and Engineering. Almost 17,000 students study at the 21 academic schools and institutes, with just over 30 percent coming from overseas and represent 130 different countries.[41] Queen Mary awarded over £2 million in studentships to prospective postgraduate students for the 2011/12 academic year.[42][52]

A staff survey in 2011 found that Queen Mary staff were highly motivated, proud to work at Queen Mary, felt that Queen Mary is a good place to work, and could see constant improvements over 12 months.[53]


In 2009/10, Queen Mary received a total of £68.5 million in research grants and contracts, the highest research income of any UK university which was not then a member of the Russell Group.[54]

In the UK Research Assessment Exercise results published in December 2008, Queen Mary was placed 11th according to an analysis by The Guardian newspaper[55] and 13th according to The Times Higher Education Supplement,[56] out of the 132 institutions submitted for the exercise. The Times Higher commented "the biggest star among the research-intensive institutions was Queen Mary, University of London, which went from 48th in 2001 to 13th in the 2008 Times Higher Education table, up 35 places."[57]

The growth and strength of research at the College was rewarded with an invitation to join the Russell Group of research-intensive universities in the UK in 2012.[58]


Queen Mary's main library is located on the Mile End campus where most subjects are represented. It also has two medical libraries in Whitechapel and West Smithfield. Usual opening hours are 8am to midnight. This changes to 24/7 during exam season.

As members of a college of the University of London, students at Queen Mary have access to Senate House Library, shared by other colleges such as King's College London and University College London, in addition to library access throughout most of the individual University of London colleges, subject to approval at the given University.


Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications[edit]

Queen Mary offers a joint degree programme with Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, one of China's top engineering universities. This was the first of its kind to be approved by the PRC Ministry of Education: it is taught 50% by each institution; in English; in Beijing; by staff who fly out from Queen Mary to teach its part of the programme; and the students receive two degrees, one from each university. The programmes are in Telecommunications and Management and Ecommerce Engineering and Law. Almost 2,000 students are studying on these programmes in 2009 and the first cohort graduated in the Summer of 2008.[59] The joint programmes have been praised by the UK Quality Assurance Agency; the PRC Ministry of Education; and the UK Institution of Engineering and Technology.[60]

University of London Institute in Paris[edit]

Queen Mary collaborates with Royal Holloway, University of London, to help run programmes at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) which is a central academic body of the University of London located in Paris, France, enabling undergraduate and graduate students to study University of London ratified French Studies degrees in France.[61]

UCL Partners[edit]

Queen Mary is a founding partner in UCL Partners, an academic health science centre located in London. Queen Mary joined UCL Partners in 2011, bringing the benefit of its expertise in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, trauma, stroke and human genomics, as well as experience of reducing health inequalities. The other founding partners of UCL Partners are: Barts Health NHS Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, University College London (UCL) and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


(2015, national)
(2015, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2016, national)
The Guardian[68]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[69]
(2016, national)

Internationally, Queen Mary is ranked 98th in the 2015/16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 16th in the UK.[70] It was also ranked 98th worldwide the year before in the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings.[71]

Queen Mary is ranked in the top 10 for subjects including Law (best law school in London, 3rd countrywide after Cambridge and Oxford universities, according to the current 2014/2015 Guardian ranking[72]) and Medicine (surpassing King's College London), with some of these ranked equal to University College London and Oxford University.[73] It is also very strong in Economics where it currently ranks 4th in the Guardian and 6th in the Times league tables, above both notables LSE and UCL. (http://econ.qmul.ac.uk/news/133268.html) Queen Mary is currently ranked 1st in the UK for Dentistry [74]

Queen Mary has also been ranked the sixth best UK university for student employability[75] – with the second highest UK graduate starting salary.[76] The NUS-supported National Student Survey of 2011 ranked Materials at Queen Mary 1st in the UK, with Aerospace Engineering ranked 2nd and Mechanical Engineering 5th, with the entire School of Engineering and Materials Sciences ranked 1st in London. Overall, Queen Mary achieved student satisfaction of 88% to rank equal 2nd in London with UCL, and ahead of King's College London, LSE and Imperial College.[77]

Student life[edit]

Queen Mary Students' Union[edit]

The Queen Mary Students' Union (QMSU) unites the various clubs and societies of Queen Mary. The Union is based at the recently refurbished, Students' Hub.

The elected representatives within the Union are made up of a President and three vice-Presidents.

  • The President is responsible for the running of the Union and is the main figurehead of the organisation.
  • The Vice-President Association, also known as the Barts and the London Students' Association (BLSA) President, is responsible for the running of the Association and are specifically there to make sure that the needs of the Medical and Dental Students are addressed and met.
  • The Vice-President Education is responsible for the course reps, elections systems and campaigning on student issues.
  • The Vice-President of Welfare makes sure the College has appropriate services to meet the welfare needs of students

The union mascot is a leopard called Mary.

SU facilities and publications[edit]

  • QMotion (Gym/Fitness Centre)
  • Drapers Bar
  • Ground
  • The Learning Cafe
  • Infusion Shop
  • The Print (Newspaper)
  • CUB (Magazine)
  • Quest (radio)
  • QMTV (television)
  • Students Union Hub
The Students Union Hub replaces the previous office called the Blomley Centre. Named after a former President and VP Education, Laura Blomeley completed her term in office with terminal cancer. In remembrance of her commitment to QMSU, two key rooms in the new Students Union Hub have been named after her.

Queen Mary students are also permitted to use the facilities at Student Central the former University of London Union, located a 15-minute tube ride away in Bloomsbury.

Merger Cup[edit]

Main article: Merger Cup

QMSU and BLSA sports clubs compete every year in the Merger Cup where many of the sports teams within both SUs compete against each other. Queen Mary claimed the cup back in 2010 but lost it again in the following year to BLSA (2011). In 2012, Queen Mary claimed a narrow victory over BLSA, being helped with all five football teams defeating their medical school counterparts. Sporting fixtures include: Badminton, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Netball, Rugby, Squash, Tennis and Rowing.

Student housing[edit]

Many QMUL students are accommodated in the college's own halls of residence or other accommodation; QMUL students are also eligible to apply for places in the University of London intercollegiate halls of residence, such as Connaught Hall.

Most students in college or university accommodation are first-year undergraduates or international students. The majority of second and third-year students and postgraduates find their own accommodation in the private sector.[78]


Feilden House with The Curve restaurant beneath, located in the centre of Westfield Student Village.
Pooley House, the largest campus building on the edge of Regent's Canal.

The College's Westfield Student Village, situated in the north-east corner of the Mile End Campus, has en-suite, self-catering housing for 1,195 students, staff and academic visitors in six contemporary buildings. A shop, laundrette, café bar, 200-seat restaurant and central reception (staffed 24 hours a day), and a communal area situated adjacent to the Regents canal, form part of the Village development. Rooms are arranged in flats and maisonettes housing between four and eleven students.

Undergraduate student housing at Queen Mary includes:

  • Albert Stern House – Located next to Ifor Evans at the western end of the main Queen Mary campus.
  • Beaumont Court – A four-storey building providing housing for 167 first year, associate and foundation students in maisonettes and flats. A convenience store is located on the ground floor. Located opposite Sir France House and adjacent to Creed Court.
  • Sir Christopher France House – Situated on the bank of the Regents canal, flats in this building have been built to a higher specification than the rest of the village development, being larger in size, with full en-suite facilities including a bath and access to the College's internal phone network.
  • Creed Court – A four-storey building providing housing for 124 postgraduate students in 10 maisonettes and 12 flats. Located opposite Sir France House and adjacent to Beaumont Court.
  • Ifor Evans – Located at the western end of the campus.
  • Lindop House – A residential development situated directly opposite the Queens' Building. The seven-storey residence, provides on-campus housing for 74 first year undergraduate, mostly medics, and foundation students in single rooms in 11 six-person flats and 2 four-person flats.
  • Maurice Court – A four-storey building containing 12 maisonettes and 18 flats for up to 173 first year students. Located at the rear of Creed and Beaumont Courts and very close to Mile End Hospital.
  • Maynard & Varey Houses – Two identical five-storey buildings, housing 200 first year undergraduate, associate and foundation students in single study bedrooms with lift access to all floors. Situated in Westfield Way at the eastern end of the Mile End campus directly opposite the College's Chemistry and IT Resource Centre.
  • Pooley House – An eight-storey building located at the far end of the campus, providing housing for 378 first year, associate and foundation students in 48 flats. The largest building in the village development, it has three main entrances with lift access to all floors.
  • Richard Feilden House – A six-storey building providing housing for 200 first year, associate and foundation students. The Curve, a 200-seat restaurant, launderette and university offices are situated on the ground floor. Opened in 2007, it is the newest dwelling in the Village and is situated opposite the Joseph Priestley Building.


Postgraduate student housing at Queen Mary includes:

  • Chapman, Chesney and Selincourt – Four residences situated in Westfield Way, at the eastern end of the Mile End campus adjacent to the Regents Canal. They provide 94 single en-suite rooms for final year undergraduate and new postgraduate students and are split into seventeen five-six bedrooms flats and one three bedroom flat.
  • Dawson Hall – Located only yards from Barbican tube station in the City of London and set around lawns and trees on the College's Charterhouse campus, close to St Bartholomew's Hospital. This seven-storey residence with lift access to the first six floors provides single rooms for 207 medical and dental students and medical based postgraduates.
  • Floyer House – Houses 145 medical and dental students and medical based postgraduates, located close to the London Hospital and Dental Institute at the College's Whitechapel campus.
  • Hatton House – Situated in Westfield Way at the eastern end of the Mile End campus. A three-storey residence consisting of 34 single study bedrooms housing postgraduates with two rooms specifically designed for wheelchair disabled students. Rooms are furnished and have full en-suite facilities.
  • Stocks Court – Situated just off the Mile End Road, providing housing for 125 postgraduate students. This four-storey residence is less than five minutes walk from the College's main campus at Mile End and is under a minutes' walk from Stepney Green tube station.

Notable people[edit]

Notable staff[edit]

John Rentoul lecturing at Queen Mary
William Ellison-Macartney, who served as the Governor of the Australian states of Tasmania and Western Australia between 1913 and 1920.

Notable current and former staff of Queen Mary include:

Notable alumni[edit]

Nobel laureates[edit]

To date, there have been five Nobel laureates who were either students or academics at Queen Mary.[6]

Name Prize Year awarded Rationale
Sir Ronald Ross Physiology or Medicine
For discovering the life-cycle of the malarial parasite Plasmodium
Edgar Adrian Physiology or Medicine
For his work on the function of neurons
Sir John Vane Physiology or Medicine
For his work on prostaglandins
Joseph Rotblat Peace
For his lifelong devotion to nuclear abolition
Sir Peter Mansfield Physiology or Medicine
For his pioneering work on Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a diagnostic technique


To date, Queen Mary has had a total of 22 Principals (11 of Westfield College, eight of Queen Mary College, and three since the merger of Queen Mary, Westfield, and Barts).[13]

Westfield College
Name Held Office
Constance Louise Maynard
Agnes de Selincourt
Anne W Richardson
Bertha Surtees Phillpotts
Eleanor Lodge
Dorothy Chapman
Mary Stocks
Kathleen Chesney
Pamela Matthews
Bryan Thwaites
John Varey
Queen Mary College
Name Held Office
John Leigh Smeathman Hatton
Sir Frederick Barton Maurice
Benjamin Ifor Evans
Sir Thomas Percival Creed
Sir Harry Melville
Sir James Woodham Mentor
Ian Butterworth
Graham Zellick
Queen Mary University of London
Name Held Office
Sir Adrian Smith
Philip Ogden
Simon Gaskell


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External links[edit]