Founded in 1785 as the London Medical College, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is the amalgamation of four historic medical institutions, including England’s first medical school.
It was officially granted university status in 1887 and now offers over 240 degree programmes across three faculties: Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Medicine and Dentistry.
Home to more than 20,000 students from 155 nationalities, the university’s five campuses are all situated in the heart of the capital. Its main campus at Mile End, in London’s fashionable East End, is the biggest self-contained university campus anywhere in the city.
With international students making up 40 per cent of the total student population, the university prides itself on having a vibrant, multicultural community with programmes in place, including help with English, to support overseas students. It also offers students assistance with job-hunting via the university’s own jobs website.
A member of the Russell Group of research-led universities, QMUL was ranked 9th among UK universities in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. It scores consistently highly in other global league tables and was in The Sunday Times’ top ten UK universities for highest graduate starting salaries.
QMUL alumni include the writers Sir Malcolm Bradbury, JG Ballard and Sarah Waters, as well as Bruce Dickinson, lead singer with the heavy metal band Iron Maiden.
Other QMUL notables include Elizabeth Blackwell, the first fully qualified female doctor in the UK who trained at its medical college in 1850; Sir John Vane, credited with discovering how aspirin works; and Dr Thomas Barnardo, the Victorian philanthropist who founded the charity for poor and orphaned children.
QMUL also lays claim to associations with six Nobel Prize winners, the skeleton of Joseph Merrick (‘the Elephant Man’) housed in its Pathology Museum, and the second oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in England, dating from 1726, located in the centre of its campus.