Campus Life: Living in London's East End at Queen Mary University

Sep 27, 2019 9:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

It’s rare to find a traditional campus environment in such a sprawling and busy global city as London, but Queen Mary University is just that. It provides a pocket of calm and security for its students, and the student body mirrors the incredible diversity of London itself. Students from over 160 nationalities study here, and Queen Mary has been ranked one of the most diverse institutions in the world. The mix of cultural backgrounds makes campus life incredibly vibrant and exciting.

Read on to find out more about what it’s like to live and study at Queen Mary, from the housing, to all of the facilities available within the campus gates, to the many clubs and events that will help you make new friends, to the student support services, and some bonus CAPA inclusions.

Pinterest Graphic - Queen Mary - Campus Life



As a CAPA Queen Mary student, you’ll be guaranteed a single room in one of the residence halls on the main Mile End campus. You’ll have a wardrobe, a desk and chair, storage space and bookshelves in your room, Wi-Fi, and central heating. Many rooms will also have their own toilet and shower room and a personal fridge.

You’ll share a communal kitchen with anywhere from 3-11 students. Queen Mary doesn’t have separate international student housing, so you’ll be able to live with both UK and other international students. Your kitchen will have a fridge/freezer, microwave, sink, storage cupboards, counters for prepping food, and a dining area. Depending on the number of students sharing the space, there may be two of everything.

Be prepared to buy your own bed linen, towels, crockery, cutlery, and cooking utensils when you arrive. Ask your new friends if they’d like to split the cost and share the kitchen supplies.

Kitchen in Student Apartments at Queen Mary



On campus, you’ll find a central reception and Security Lodge which is manned 24 hours a day; laundry facilities very nearby the housing; a library (plus access to other libraries across London, including Senate House Library); a student health service; a variety of faith facilities where students are welcome to go for a quiet space to contemplate, reflect, meditate, or worship; a fitness center (as well as access to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park not far away); more than a dozen social and study spaces like the Students’ Union Hub, The Nest, and Canalside; seven cafes and restaurants; two convenience shops and a bookshop; and a Santander bank.

The local area is full of additional shops, cafes, galleries, and more, but we’ll look outside of the campus gates in another post.

Queen Mary Campus Local Provisions



There are over 250 clubs, or “societies”, on campus. They cover the areas of academics; art, music, and performance; campaigning and political; cultural; education, employability, and enterprising; faith; recreational; social; and sports.

These range from the usual groups you’d expect to see, like Debate Society, Amnesty International, Book Club, LGBT+ Society, and Basketball Club. There are also many that appeal to more niche groups. For example, you’ll find a Zoological Society, Bhangra Society, Pole Fitness Society, cultural clubs covering about 35 different nationalities, Blockchain Society, more than a dozen faith-based societies, the Black Girl Book Club, Anime Society, Harry Potter Society, Baking Society, and Fashion Society. You can also get involved in the Student Union.

Nothing here for you? You’re welcome to start your own!


There are other ways to get involved in campus life too. Consider joining a RAG (Raise and Give) team which organizes fundraising events and activities to benefit a variety of charities. Check out the Volunteer Fair that will happen shortly after you arrive to find out about opportunities to get involved with one of the campus volunteering groups. If you’re interested in filmmaking, journalism, or radio broadcasting, then you’ll also find opportunities to get involved with student media outlets. There are endless student events to attend, so keep an eye on the calendar for any that interest you.




Queen Mary has an amazing range of student support services covering topics that range from academics to counseling to careers and beyond.

A great place to start is the Global Opportunities Office, where staff who have worked with international students for more than 30 years will be happy to guide you to the best place for help depending on your questions or situation.

We’ve talked about some of the academic support available already, but you’ll also find one to one counseling, group therapy, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy available; a housing services team on hand to help with repairs or other issues related to accommodation; and a student health office, among many other useful services.


As a CAPA student, you’ll have access to extra benefits and inclusions like a CAPA orientation; welcome and farewell events; and access to CAPA emergency services, including the CAPA Guardian App.

You’ll also be able to join in on My Global City events. These change depending on the term, but some examples include exploring the iconic South Bank, taking a riverboat tour to Greenwich, visiting the multicultural neighborhood of Brixton, taking a Beatles and Abbey Road Magical Mystery Walking Tour, enjoying a curry dinner in Brick Lane (very near to Queen Mary), visiting Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, exploring London markets, taking a back-stage tour of the National Theatre, and rolling around the city on a Royal London bike tour.

Brick Lane Photo


Queen Mary has collaborated with the organization AccessAble to create a comprehensive set of access guides for all of the university's physical locations, covering each of their five campuses. Know that there is accessible accommodation available for wheelchair users, students who are mobility impaired, and those who are hearing impaired as well.

Read more about accessibility and related services on campus on the Queen Mary website and view the Mile End campus access guides.

Wondering what lies just beyond the Queen Mary University gates? We’ll be exploring the local neighborhoods in a coming post. Stay tuned.

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Topics: London, England, Direct Enroll