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Seasons greetings – information on closures and activities over the holiday period

Find all the information you need to know about opening times and availability of services if you are planning to stay on or near our campuses this holiday period.

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As the term begins to draw to a close, we understand that not all students will be travelling home and that some will be staying on campus or in London over the festive period. To help those of you remaining in London or staying on and around campus during this time, we hope that you find the following guidance about what is going on in the local area useful.

International Students House is a charity dedicated to British and international students in London. They run many social events around the Christmas period, so if you are feeling isolated then you may find this useful. They are running a Christmas lunch at International Students House on Christmas day. Tickets are only £15 for Queen Mary students. There won’t be any public transport running on Christmas day, but you could use Santander bike hire. Please note that this event is open to all students, regardless of nationality. There is also a Facebook event for the lunch here.

The charity StandAlone has produced a festive guide for those who are no longer 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.

Any Queen Mary student who is a care leaver and aged between 18 and 25 can apply for a free place at the Hackney Christmas Dinner. This will take place on Christmas day from noon to 6pm at a secret location in Hackney, and will cater for up to 50 young people. You can expect to have a fun-filled day, an exquisite home cooked Christmas dinner in a relaxed and friendly environment. Young carers from all ethnic backgrounds and faiths are welcome to apply. Please come to the Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service, or call us as soon as possible for help applying, as places are filling up fast!

What will be happening on campus?

All central university buildings including the Queens’ Building

Closed from Friday 21 December and will re-open Wednesday 2 January.

Campus catering outlets

Closed Friday 21 December and will re-open from Wednesday 2  January as follows: 

  • Starbucks: Wednesday 2 January, 7.30am–5pm, Monday to Friday  
  • The Curve: Wednesday 2 January, 8.30am–2.30pm, Wednesday to Friday 
  • Mucci’s: Monday 7 January, 11am–4pm, Monday to Friday
  • Café Grad: Wednesday 2 January, 8am–3.30pm, Wednesday to Friday

Normal opening hours will resume as of Monday 7 January.

IT Services

Support services will be operating as normal up to and including Friday 21 December. From Saturday 22 December to Wednesday 2 January there will be an out-of-hours telephone support service in operation only. If you call the IT Service Desk on 020 7882 8888, or the chat service via the IT Help Chat icon on the IT services website you will be put through to an operator who can offer general advice and help with requests such as password resets, login issues and Wi-Fi connection issues. You can read more about this service on the IT Services website. Full on-site service will re-open Wednesday 2 January at 8am.

John Smith’s Bookshop

Expected closure dates are from 1pm on Friday 21 December to Wednesday 2 January.

Please check in store for more details.

QMotion and other QMSU outlets including shops and cafés

Full opening time details can be found here and also via the Queen Mary On Campus Christmas Facebook page.

Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service

Closed from 4pm on Friday 21 December and re-opening Wednesday 2 January. 

Full details on opening times can be found here.

Their website also has useful information on emotional wellbeing.

Residential Services

The residential support team will be organising a number of events for the holidays. Please look out for further communications.

Laundry facilities will be accessible 24/7 (swipe card access).

Mile End residences reception (ground floor of France House) will be open 24/7 across the festive break.

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.

The Chaplaincy

The Chaplaincy will be closed from Monday 17 December up to and inclusive of Friday 4 January.  

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

Details of local church services over the festive period can be found in the separate list below.

The Library

For full details of the opening hours of our library spaces across all campuses including Canalside and The Hive, please see here.

Please note that there will be no access at all to the library’s reading rooms and print collections during closure times. 

Senate House Library will be closed over the festive period. The British Library will be closed over Christmas and will have reduced hours up to Wednesday 2 January 2019.

The SU Hub and prayer rooms

The Hub will be closed from 2pm on Monday 17 December until Monday 7 January. During this time, LG3 and LG4 will be available for students to use as prayer space (with the exception of the Christmas closure days when all of campus will be closed).

Westfield Nursery

The Nursery will close on Thursday 20 December and will re-open on Thursday 3 January.

Additional online support and services

QMUL On Campus Christmas

The Students’ Union have created a handy Facebook page for students staying in London/on campus over the festive period. You can use this page to catch up with others during the break and find lots of information about events and activities running in London as well as full details of Union buildings and services' opening hours.

Christmas in the UK

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) student blog about Christmas in the UK.

Cite Them Right Online

Online referencing tool which provides clear guidance on a range of referencing styles, including Harvard, APA, MHRA, MLA, OSCOLA and Vancouver.

This tool enables you to:

  • choose a source to reference from a drop-down menu or by using the search facility
  • create the reference in the style you need
  • use examples to copy, and a 'You try' box so you can build your reference on screen
  • check your references against a correct example
  • export the prepared reference straight into your coursework.

You can also access Cite Them Right Online on QMplus.

Learning Development Online Services

Online study guidance and information.

Library Online Services

Self-service tools and online resources.

Advice and Counselling website

Online resources to help you with financial, welfare, legal, emotional and psychological issues.

What is happening locally and across london?

Free or low-cost activities

Most major supermarkets will be closed on Christmas Day (Tuesday 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: 

Tips for the festive period

  • Plan ahead

    If you are intending to study over the festive break and require access to physical library resources then you will need to take the resources out on loan before the library closes. Full library opening times can be found here.

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

    Please note that there will be no public transport on Tuesday 25 December and limited public transport on Wednesday 26 December, so please ensure that you research and plan ahead for alternative means of transport. Local taxi services should still be running but may incur additional charges above the normal tariff.
  • Get together

    If you will be staying on campus or in London during the festive break then get involved with QMSU’s Facebook page and connect with others in a similar position.

  • 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:

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 2019!