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Queen's University, Belfast
Queen’s University, Belfast (often referred to as Queen's or QUB) was opened in 1849. It offers over 300 degrees and is recognised for excellence in all disciplines. It is a university with a rich heritage, and a history of producing Nobel Laureates, leading global academics, public figures and national and international leaders over the last 170 years.
The university’s campus is set in the south of the city of Belfast. Belfast is one of the UKs most exciting cities, with a range of entertainment venues, restaurants, shops and nightclubs. In the 2014 Worldwide Cost of Living survey carried out by Mercer, Belfast was recognised as having the lowest cost of living in the UK. In the same year, the British Crime Survey named Northern Ireland the safest region in the UK.
Travelling to and from Northern Ireland is both easy and cheap. Belfast’s two airports run daily flights to other UK cities and many destinations in mainland Europe and North America. Dublin is only two hours from Belfast by train, and there are regular ferries to mainland UK.
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The historic university of Queen’s is set in south Belfast, 15 minutes’ walk from the vibrant city centre. Queen's refers to its buildings as a campus however they are actually spread over a number of streets, centring on University Road and University Square. These buildings are situated within three designated conservation areas, making it easy to walk or cycle around the area. Within walking distance of Queen’s are numerous shops, cafes and restaurants, Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum, the Grand Opera House and the Lyric Theatre, the Physical Education Centre and many other useful facilities. Also associated with the University are two University Colleges, Stranmillis and St Mary’s, primarily used by students training to become teachers. Queen’s has more than 250 buildings and some 120 of them are listed as being of architectural merit. Over the past decade they have invested almost £350 million into building projects and they plan to invest a further £350 million over the next ten years.
Queen's was founded by Queen Victoria in 1845. It was designed to be a non-denominational alternative to Trinity College Dublin which was controlled by the Anglican Church. The University was made up of three Queen's Colleges - in Cork, Galway and Belfast. Queen's was the first University in the north of Ireland but it has its roots in the Belfast Academical Institution, which was founded 35 years earlier, in 1910, and from where many of Queens’ early students and four professors transferred. Queen's had just 90 students when it opened in 1849, in the magnificent new college building designed and built by Charles Lanyon. In 1908, the three Queen's Colleges, and the Royal University (which replaced the Queen's University in Ireland in 1879), were dissolved and replaced by the Queen's University of Belfast and the National University of Ireland. As an independent institution, governed by its own Senate, Queen's flourished. Increasing student numbers and new staff were accommodated in a number of new buildings and the academic programme increased in range. In addition to the early faculties of Arts, Science, Law and Medicine, students could study in the new faculties of Commerce, Applied Science and Technology, Agriculture, and Theology. Recently, the University has received major financial investment into its facilities. A number of new buildings have been recently opened including the McClay Library, the Elms Village, Riddel Hall and the new Graduate School.
Faculties, Schools & Institutes
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- School of Creative Arts
- School of English
- School of Education
- School of History and Anthropology
- School of Law
- School of Modern Languages
- Queen’s University Management School
- School of Politics International Studies and Philosophy
- School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
- Institute of Theology
- Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities
- Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
- School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
- School of Electronics, Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
- School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- School of Mathematics and Physics
- School of Geography, Archaeology, Paleoecology
- School of Psychology
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
- School of Biological Sciences
- School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
- School of Nursing and Midwifery
- School of Pharmacy
In the 2014 Research Excellent Framework Queen’s was placed in the top 20 UK Universities for research quality and impact with over 75 per cent of the University's research ranked world-class or internationally leading.
The UK Research Assessment Exercise also identified research of international excellence across all disciplines. Queen’s University has been awarded Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts (2008), the UK’s Entrepreneurial University of the Year (2009), the Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year (2010) and Most Innovative Teacher of the Year (2011) for an academic the Management School.
International & Industrial Opportunities
Queen’s has links to many leading universities around the world, and is able to offer an array of international opportunities to broaden students’ horizons and enrich their university experience. Students can undertake Erasmus study placements at over 150 partner universities across Europe or Erasmus work placements with an employer. Queen’s also has a close relationship with Santander Universities, and students following interdisciplinary degree programmes within the arts and social sciences can benefit from study visits to leading universities in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, particularly Brazil. Queen’s students also regularly participate in the Study USA programme, spending a year studying business at a US college. The Washington Ireland Program offers the chance for students to serve as interns in the offices of US politicians and government departments.
Other international work placements are available through The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) programme for students from science, engineering and technology disciplines. Students can also gain experience in India, Malaysia, China and Thailand. Some degrees (especially those with a language element) include a compulsory year abroad. These are generally four-year courses. Other degrees offer the option of participating in a study exchange scheme for one or two semesters, usually in students’ second year. The ‘semester abroad’ option allows students to graduate within the usual three years.
Fees & Finance
Rest of UK Students
Note: Northern Irish and European Students should check with NI Direct Government Services.
Queen’s offers five, full-fee scholarships to students from schools in Northern Ireland. These are designed to reward academic achievement and recognise wider social contributions including sports, music and the arts, business and enterprise and the community. Students from the rest of the United Kingdom who satisfy the conditions of their offer will qualify for a scholarship of between £1,250 to £2,500 per year depending on their grades. Either the full amount can be put towards the tuition fee or students can opt to receive accommodation and lifestyle benefits in lieu of part of the fee reduction. All first time undergraduate students who have achieved at least three ‘A’ grades at A-level (including AVCEs), are eligible to enter the University’s annual A-level Entrance Scholarship Competition, which offers a number of scholarships from £200 to £1,000. There are also a number of international scholarships available, please see the university website for more information.
Queen’s offers an extensive range of student bursaries. These are assessed each year on the basis of household income. To find out the criteria for this year, see the university website. Students who encounter financial difficult whilst studying can either apply for aid from the Student Support Fund or the University’s Hardship Fund. To be eligible for an award from the Support Fund, undergraduates must have taken out the maximum tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to which they are entitled. Those not eligible for an award can look to the Hardship Fund for help. However, there is less money available in this fund so cases must be exceptional.
The University’s McClay library was built during the last decade’s regeneration at a cost of £50 million. It is home to 1.2 million volumes and has 2,200 reader seats in a mixture of formal and informal spaces, offering places for quiet study and group work. The iconic CS Lewis Reading Room, a serene reading space, is the Library’s magnificent centrepiece. The Library provides PCs and has wireless access throughout, so that students may access network services using their own laptops. It has extensive opening hours and in the lead up to, and during, examinations, it is open 24-hours a day.
There is also a modern Medical Library at the Royal Victoria Hospital site with supplementary facilities in the Biomedical Library on the Lisburn Road. A dedicated Language Centre is available to help students at all levels develop their language skills.
Many lecture theatres have data projectors, which in some cases have been partnered with voting systems allowing teaching sessions to become more interactive. It is also possible for many students to access their lectures over the Internet, or download them to their mobile devices. On-campus there is access to over 1,800 PCs and the IT Helpdesk provides advice and support on how to get the best out of University and personal IT equipment. The University also has a range of training resources to help develop the IT life skills required for study.
Queen’s state-of-the-art Physical Education Centre (PEC) is located just five minutes from the university campus. It offers cutting-edge equipment, flexible membership options and professional expertise.
Queen’s outdoor facilities are based at Upper Malone and are located just over two miles from the main campus. Following an investment of £12.5m, this facility is now regarded as one of the best outdoor sporting facilities in the UK and Ireland, boasting a range of synthetic and grass pitches, floodlit arena stadium pitch with seated stand and club house, catering for rugby, soccer, Gaelic football, hockey, hurling and camogie.
The University also has a Boat House, used by the rowing club, located on the River Lagan, as well as a cottage in the Mourne Mountains, which allows students to take part in hill walking, mountaineering and orienteering.
The University has hosted major intervarsity and international events and Queen’s Sport was used as one of the official training camps for athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The PEC offers students a choice of over 50 different sports clubs and an opportunity to join a number of ‘Academies’ promoting recreational and community-based initiatives.
Queen’s Sport also offers opportunities for students to receive over 120 Academy scholarships and Ulster Bank sport bursaries. In addition, Queen’s runs an Elite Athlete programme that rewards students who are destined to achieve greatness both in sport and academia. This package offers a significant contribution towards fees, accommodation and other student support services.
Queen’s University’s students union (QUBSU) is ranked in the top five Students’ Unions in the UK. The Union building boasts a top-class entertainment complex, shops, cafes, and hosts a varied programme of concerts, comedy, quizzes, dance classes and live sport for students, as well as its very own bookshop.
There are more than 190 student clubs and societies to choose from, catering for every type of interest. Run by students for students, with seven full-time, elected Student Officers (including the Students’ Union President). The Union also offers a range of student support services and provides advice on developing business ideas and volunteering opportunities through its Student Development facility. Volunteer SU has a network of over 250 charities and community groups which students can get involved in.
Situated on the second floor of the Students’ Union, the Students’ Union Advice Centre has three Advisers who are all dedicated to providing students with free, independent, confidential, accurate advice.
Religion & Spirituality
At Queen’s University there are four Chaplaincy Centres, with three full-time Chaplains and other staff located near the Students’ Union and close to the main campus. Chaplains give a high priority to meeting students and, where appropriate, offer advice and assistance in a wide range of areas relating to university and student life. Currently, the University represents 12 faiths and denominations.
Health & Wellbeing
The University Health Centre at Queen’s is a General Practice providing student-focused national health services and University-funded, non-NHS services for Queen’s students. Located on the doorstep of the main campus, beside the Student Guidance Centre and close to student residences, the Health Centre provides a full range of NHS services and offers out-of-hours emergency cover if required. The Student Guidance Service provides support and guidance for a range of issues. It is the home of the University Counselling Service, the Learning Development Service and Disability Services. Disability Services co-ordinates a range of services to support students with disabilities, including School and exam support, accommodation requirements and assistance with applications for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).
Queen’s is widely recognised to provide outstanding careers development support to its students. In 2009, it was voted the UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2009. In May 2014, Queen’s Careers, Employability and Skills Service won an all-Ireland Employability award (Gold) in recognition of its Workplace Study Tours, which bring undergraduates to meet key potential employers in London and Brussels across the sectors of law, finance and the European market.
The University’s Careers, Employability and Skills service provides students with professional advice and guidance on many subjects including work placements and international study, post-graduate study, writing applications, preparing for interviews and finding part-time, vacation and graduate jobs. They also run skills and professional development programmes and out on events to link students directly with employers. The University’s Degree Plus Award allows Queen’s students to gain accreditation for skills developed outside of their academic programme. Part-time work, volunteering, or involvement in clubs and societies, all count towards the Award. Degree Plus is recognised by employers and so is a good way for students to enhance their skill set in a competitive graduate job market.
Self-catered (per week)
Queen’s offers a range of student accommodation. Elms Village is the centrepiece of Queen’s purpose-built student accommodation. Rooms are set out in floors of 10 or 11 with a shared kitchen and common room. The majority of rooms are en suite, although standard rooms are also available. The Treehouse is the hub of the village, it offers Sky TVs, pool and table tennis tables, a convenience store, a lounge area with computers, and laundry services.
Elms Village is located in a convenient, quiet residential area within 15 minutes' walking distance from the University.
Queen’s Houses, the university’s other accommodation complex, predominantly comprises fully furnished, standard, single study-bedrooms. A mix of room types including standard, premium standard and twin rooms is available. They are located two-minutes from Queen’s main teaching buildings, the McClay Library and campus restaurants and cafes.
Accommodation fees are based on self-catering and the all-inclusive package offers some of the best value-for-money housing available to students in UK and Ireland. Prices range between £89 a week for a standard room and £107 for an en suite room. Queen’s guarantee a place in accommodation for students who come from outside Northern Ireland. This is, however, subject to availability.
Lab or studio-based
English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language, most courses require an overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all four elements of the IELTS academic test.
Around 1,400 international students from nearly 100 countries currently study at Queen’s each year.
The International Student Support team has special responsibility for looking after and supporting international students before arrival and helps them to adjust to their new way of life in the UK. They offer specialist visa and immigration advice. They also organise a five-day orientation programme prior to the start of the first semester, within the overall Welcome and Orientation Programme for all new students. A four-day orientation programme for international students is held in late January to allow them to meet staff from International Student Support, academic staff, Students’ Union representatives and fellow students. Students will also be given advice on adjusting to university academic study, life in university accommodation, living expenses and local immigration requirements.
INTO Queen’s University Belfast is a college of the University providing a range of academic preparation and English language courses to help students prepare for future study at Queen’s. They offer both English language courses and academic preparation courses.