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Happy holidays – information on closures and activities over the holiday period

As term draws to an end, we hope you are all taking a well-deserved break! If you’re staying on campus or in London over the festive period, we’ve compiled a helpful guide of things to do. Also, find all the information you need to know about opening times and availability of services around our campuses here.

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Looking for lunch?

There are plenty of places serving Christmas lunch on 25 December this year!

  • International Student House - All Queen Mary students are welcome. You can get a £15 ticket here.
  • Hackney Christmas Dinner 2019 - The Hackney Christmas Dinner is running again in 2019 for care leavers and care experienced young people aged between 18-25 who are placed or have links with East London and beyond. It will take place on Christmas Day from 12pm to 8pm at a secret location in Hackney for 50 young people. If you are interested in attending please contact Advice and Counselling so they can refer you or direct you to the form for self-referral by 13 December 2019.
  • St. Mary's Church, Battersea - The church is hosting a pay what you can afford lunch, open to all! Click here to register.
  • If you don't fancy the typical roast, venture to Chinatown where many of the restaurants are open on Christmas Day.


Information and Entertainment

  • StandAlone - The organisation StandAlone has produced a festive guide for those who are not in touch with their families (estranged). It is intended to help with some of the most common festive frustrations and give you an idea of how others cope with the season.
  • Church Services - Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral will be open and hosting services welcome to all from 7am, check the websites for more details.
  • If you’re looking for a more local service, St James the Less (Bethnal Green) and St Anne’s Limehouse (Tower Hamlets) are holding morning services.
  • Head to the Serpentine Swimming Club for 9am to watch the annual Christmas Day Peter Pan Cup! The race is for members only but all are welcome to watch, the club have been running the Christmas Day race since 1864.
  • Fancy Ice Skating? The only ice rink open Christmas Day is at JW3, tickets sell out fast so book well in advance here.
  • Why not take a Charles Dickens Christmas Day walk, meeting by the big Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square and ending in Covent Garden, walks are £10 and you can just turn up on the day.



There won’t be any public transport running on Christmas day, but you could use Santander bike hire to get there or a taxi. Please do bear in mind that Ubers and Cabs will be more expensive during this time. Note that there are two Santander Cycle points either side of the Mile End campus; download the app to find the closest to you and top up on the go.

For tube and bus service updates click here.



There’s no better time to help those less fortunate than during the holiday season. Here’s a list of charities that could use a helping hand over the festive period:


Tips for the festive period

Exam support

For semester-based exam support, click here.


Plan ahead

Ensure you have stocked your kitchen cupboards with enough food in anticipation of the shops being closed on Christmas Day (Wednesday 25 December) and Boxing Day (Thursday 26 December).

Most major supermarkets will be closed on Christmas Day (Wednesday 25 December) but some local convenience stores may be open. Details of the seasonal opening times for shops closest to the Mile End campus can be found below. Please note that store opening times and travel links may be subject to change/restrictions: 


Explore the local area

Many local churches will have carol services that you can attend throughout the coming weeks.

See what else is on in the local area:


Opening hours

If you are intending to be on campus over the festive period, it will be a little different from usual.

All central university buildings including the Queens’ Building (with the exception of the Mile End Library)

Closes on Monday 23 December and will re-open Thursday 2 January 2020.

Mile End Library

The Mile End Library will close at midnight on Friday 13 December. It will then be open from 8am to 8pm from Saturday 14 December to Tuesday 31 December, except on the Bank Holidays:

  • Wednesday 25 December - CLOSED
  • Thursday 26 December - CLOSED
  • Wednesday 1 January - CLOSED

The library will revert to 24/7 opening hours from 8am onwards on Thursday 2 January 2020.

IT Services

IT Services Out of Hours phone support service, which is called NorMAN, can be reached by dialling the usual IT Service Desk number, 0207 882 8888. They can be contacted between 4pm-8am on weekdays; all weekends, College Closures and Bank Holidays.

NorMAN can deal with a range of general IT queries. If your query can’t be resolved, a ticket will be raised and passed to the IT Service Desk for further investigation once the university reopens on Thursday 2 January 2020.

Students can also raise tickets by emailing

Security (all campuses)

Available 24/7 every day. Contact numbers for the Security Control Rooms at Mile End, Whitechapel and Charterhouse Square are available on the Security webpages.

The Security emergency number is 020 7882 3333 (internal extension 3333).

Residential Services and Support

Residences Reception in France House will be open as usual (i.e. 24/7) throughout the Christmas vacation period.  Residents remaining on campus for all or part of this period should come to the Residences Reception for assistance with any urgent maintenance issues in their accommodation and for wellbeing support.

The QM Residential Life team will be offering activities for residents remaining on campus after the end of term and during the Christmas vacation period.  Students living in halls will receive more information about these activities by email from Residential Support.

Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service

The Advice and Counselling Service will close for the Christmas closure period on Monday 23 December. It will reopen on Thursday 2 January.

This webpage hosts an array of alternative sources of out of hours support:

Advice and Counselling will be running various Personal Development workshops on topics including managing exam stress, which may be of particular interest to students who are revising.

Help In A Crisis

For advice and guidance about how to access help and support in times of crisis, please visit this page, which is hosted by our Advice and Counselling Services:

If your life is in danger or if you have a medical emergency (including mental health) call 999

Security (all campuses)

Available 24/7 every day. Contact numbers for the Security Control Rooms at Mile End, Whitechapel and Charterhouse Square are available on the Security webpages.

The Security emergency number is 020 7882 3333. You can also call the Police on 999.

Big White Wall

Queen Mary University of London is able to offer all of its students access to an online support service called Big White Wall.

Big White Wall offers unlimited, 24/7 accessible online support. Students can connect with peers, chat online to clinicians, use self-help resources, join groups or take self-assessments. Lots of students at lots of universities find it an incredibly helpful resource. It is also completely confidential and staff at the University cannot see what students may be writing or sharing.

Student Enqury Centre

The Student Enquiry Centre will close for the Christmas closure period on Monday 23 December at 1pm. It will reopen on Thursday 2 January.

For information on Examinations such as how these are conducted, frequently asked questions and Podcasts for hints and tips on how to prepare for your exams, please see the following webpage:

For information on other services provided by the Student Enquiry Centre, please see this webpage:

Student Health Service

The Student Health Service will close on Friday 13 December and reopen on Thursday 2 January 2020.

Whilst the on-campus Student Health Service is closed, registered patients can still use the main Globe Town surgery, for their Christmas opening hours, click here.

Disability and Dyslexia Service 

The Disability and Dyslexia Service will close for the Christmas closure period on Monday 23 December. It will reopen on Thursday 2 January.

For information on Examination Access Arrangements, please visit this page on their website:

The Chaplaincy 

The Chaplaincy’s drop-in service is term time only and is not available between Monday 16 December and Friday 3 January.

If students need to speak to a member of the chaplaincy team about a spiritual matter, Reverend Ella Sharples can be reached at any time over the holidays on 07740547689.

The Chaplaincy hosts a church service at 10am on Christmas Day with the local Stepney Green Salvation Army and E1 Community Church. 

Students' Union Hub, QMotion and other QMSU outlets including shops and cafés

The Hub will be open from Monday 16 December to Friday 20 December from 9an-5pm.


It will close from Monday 23 December. Normal hours will resume from Monday 6 January 2020.

Full opening time details of other QMSU outlets can be found here

Whatever you are doing this festive season, we wish all of our students a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to welcoming you back in January 2020!