Queen's University, Belfast

2015 League Table Ranking 31
2015 Overall Score 764
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Entry Standards 390 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 15.5 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 2.56 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,109 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 4.15 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 665 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 74.6 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 92.2 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 72.6 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 31.0 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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  • Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, one of three Queen's Colleges in Ireland.
  • Became an independent university in 1908, and is the ninth oldest university in the UK.
  • Member of the Russell Group. Ranked as 172 in the world, i.e. in the top 1% of universities (QS World University Rankings, UNESCO IAU).
  • Queen’s was placed 12thin the 2013 National Student Survey of UK universities, with an overall satisfaction score of 90% (excluding further education and specialist institutions).
  • The University has launched a £140-m fundraising campaign entitled 'Beyond'. A key theme of the campaign is the Student Experience, which it is supporting through scholarships, bursaries and a global internship programme. The University won Outstanding Fundraising Team of the Year at the 2013 Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards. 
  • Awarded a fifth Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2012, for world-class achievement in cancer research through its leadership of the Northern Ireland Comprehensive Cancer Services programme, which has seen cancer survival rates in Northern Ireland move from the bottom of the UK league table to the top. Previous Queen’s Anniversary Prizes have been awarded to the University for green chemistry, law, environmental research and palaeoecology. 
  • Queen’s was one of the first universities in the UK and Ireland to form spin-out companies, establishing QUBIS Ltd in 1984 to create wealth through the commercialisation of research and innovation. QUBIS has been involved in the creation of 65 companies. It remains one of the leading companies in the UK and Ireland championing the impact agenda through the creation of jobs and wealth. The combined turnover of its portfolio is £144-m, attracting external investment of over £70-m.  QUBIS is second only to the University of Cambridge for job creation through its spin-outs with 1,350 high quality jobs created.
  • As one of the UK’s leading Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Universities, Queen’s has helped more than 300 companies improve their products and services, working with companies across all sectors, ranging from multi-nationals to very small firms.  Queen’s and Bullivant Taranto Ltd were named as the UK’s Best KTP in 2013’s national KTP Awards.
  • Queen’s is one of the leading institutions in the UK for tackling the unequal representation of women in science and engineering, as demonstrated by its success in the Athena SWAN awards, which recognise the commitment of institutions, and science, engineering and technology (SET) departments, to addressing gender inequalities and improving career progression for female academics.Queen’s was the first UK university to hold an Athena SWAN institutional Silver award, one of only three UK universities to hold a Gold departmental award, and has more departmental Silver awards than any other university in the UK.
  • The University’s contribution to Northern Ireland’s cultural sector reached a milestone in 2012 when it hosted the 50thBelfast Festival at Queen’s. Queen’s also has the QFT, Northern Ireland’s only arthouse cinema, and the acclaimed Naughton Gallery.

Location and Transport

  • A 15-minute walk from the city centre, the University’s leafy campus gives its name to the attractive Queen’s Quarter, nestled between the buzz of nearby Botanic Avenue and the beautiful Botanic Gardens and Ulster Museum. 
  • Modern transport infrastructure. All major UK cities within an hour's flying time.
  • Daily flights to UK and international destinations from the George Best Belfast City Airport and the Belfast International Airport. Regular ferry services to Scotland and England.

Entry Standards

  • Full details of entry requirements and selection criteria are provided in the University’s online course finder.  Please visit our website for details: http://qub.ac.uk/home/StudyatQueens/CourseFinder.
  • A wide range of different qualifications is accepted by the University.
  • In terms of A levels, offer grades generally range from BBB at A level to AAA at A-level + A in a 4th AS level subject.
  • Only Dentistry and Medicine require a 4th AS level subject in addition to 3 A levels.
  • For a small number of degree programmes the A* grade at A level is used as part of an alternative offer, e.g. for the MSci in Mathematics – AAA including Mathematics or A*(Mathematics)AB.
  • Differential offers may be made with a lower grade required where applicants are taking the A-level subject which provides the best preparation for the degree, even though it may not be an essential course requirement, e.g. for the BSc in Finance – ABB including Mathematics at A level or AAB at A level if Mathematics is not offered.
  • There is no cap or limit on the number of GB or International students which the University is permitted to admit (except in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Midwifery, and Social Work).

Student Mix

The 24845 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of Study
Mode of Study
Full Time
Part Time
Student Gender

Course Flexibility

  • Modular system: opportunities for student choice within courses based on need for appropriately focused and coherent programmes of study.
  • Flexibility varies across subjects according to requirements of accrediting bodies and national subject benchmark statements, where applicable.
  • Queen's offers a wide range of opportunities for students to develop and extend their academic, social and employability skills. 
  • Queen’s embraces enterprise and offers a dynamic curriculum attuned to the needs of students and employer. As a result skills development is embedded in all Queen’s academic programmes to enhance student employability.
  • The approach taken to support employability is shaped by the subject, but key elements include practical opportunities to support skills development, opportunities for work related learning, engagement with employers and/or alumni and workshops focussed on development of career management skills. 

Teaching Standards

  • Queen’s is significantly investing in the student experience, a fact reflected in its best ever rating in the 2013 National Student Survey when it received an overall satisfaction score of 90 per cent.
  • An excellent record of achievement in reviews of teaching quality; numerous teaching awards.
  • The QAA Institutional Audit (2009) said Queen's meets its highest level of confidence in the management of academic standards and in the quality of the learning opportunities offered to students.
  • Queen's Centre for Educational Development provides a comprehensive and systematic range of support to develop and enhance learning and teaching.
  • Support for students has been enhanced by mentoring schemes, including a Peer Mentoring project which has proved popular with new students on campus. An alumni mentoring scheme is also offered, with high-achieving graduates spending one-to-one time with undergraduates and passing on the benefits of their knowledge and experience.

Research Standards

  • Queen’s has established itself in the premier league of UK research-intensive universities and is a member of the Russell Group. The UK-wide 2008 research assessment exercise (RAE) showed Queen’s had 11 subject areas ranked within the top 10 in the UK and 24 in the top 20. With almost 800 staff submitted, every area had research assessed as world leading.
  • The Research Power Index, which measures the quality and quantity of research, places Queen’s in the top 20 universities in the UK. 
  • Consistent increases in research recognition nationally and internationally; Queen’s places a strong emphasis on international collaboration.
  • Research partnerships with leading research groups and multi-national companies throughout the world, including the National Cancer Center, Georgetown University and Vanderbilt University in the USA; Petronas in Malaysia; InfoSys and Madras Christian College in Chennai, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in India; China Medical University, Harbin Institute of Technology and a £2.3-million Science Bridge scheme with several leading universities in China.
  • Significant recent achievements include a 2012 award of £32m under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund to establish a Centre for Experimental Medicine and, in 2013, Research in Ionic Liquid Chemistry undertaken at Queen’s was named Most Important British Innovation of the 21st Century.
  • Queen’s is at the forefront of globally leading research in key priority areas such as Green Chemistry, Secure Information Technologies, Food Security, Collaborative Research in the Humanities, Conflict Transformation, Health Sciences and Astrophysics and has launched an ambitious £140-m five year fundraising campaign entitled Beyond to build on its excellence in these areas.
  • Queen’s success in innovation and commercialisation is evident in the success of our spin-out companies. To date the University has established 65 companies, with a combined turnover of £144m, and created 1,350 higher value jobs. Recognised commercialisation metrics position Queen’s performance at the leading edge of universities across the UK and Ireland.
  • Dr Ryan Donnelly was also named the BBSRC Innovator of the Year 2013 for his work on hydrogel-forming microneedles.
  • Queen’s is also the UK’s most active contributor to the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme, aimed at enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to gain access to the skills and enterprise within academic institutions.  Queen’s and Bullivant Taranto Ltd were named as the UK’s Best KTP in 2013’s national KTP Awards.

Academic Strengths

  • Research-oriented environment; teaching by people working at forefront of disciplines.
  • To ensure its global standing continues to grow and that its students are taught by those at the leading edge of their field, Queen’s is actively recruiting more than 100 of the world’s top innovators and inventors, including the appointment of academic leaders across all areas. 
  • The international reach of Queen’s academic reputation is evident from the fact that in 2011–12 it was the most popular destination university in the UK for American winners of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarships. 
  • Model of entrepreneurship education embedded across 111 non-business academic pathways.

Student Facilities

  • Queen’s award-winning £50-m McClay Library opened in the summer of 2009 and provides over 2,000 reader places and accommodation for 1.5 million volumes. It provides a seamless range of service and user support (library, media, information and computing).  A major project in summer 2013 has further enhanced the McClay Library adding over 200 PCs and study seats.
  • The University opened a new £1.3-million dedicated International and Postgraduate Student Centre in 2010.
  • Extensive student support services, including Counselling, Disability Services, Childcare, Income and Student Finance, Widening Participation, Learning Development Unit.
  • Queen's is at the forefront of using ICT to support learning and teaching; the University's virtual learning environment, Queen's Online, provides each student with secure online access to information and materials relating to their specific course components enhancing the learning experience.

Disability Services

  • For information about disability services at Queen's, telephone +44 (0) 2890 972727, email disability.office@qub.ac.uk or visit the website www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/disability/.

Students' Union

  • The 2013 National Student Survey ranked Queen's Students' Union twelfth in the UK in terms of student satisfaction with an 90% satisfaction rate.
  • Queen’s Students’ Union received National Union of Students runner-up awards in the categories of “Higher Education Students’ Union of Year” in 2013, and Community Award for contribution to local community.
  • Awarded Gold Accreditation in 2012 NUS Green Impact Initiative for its environmental and ethical programmes.
  • After a £9-m refurbishment, the Students' Union building houses three bars and the famous Mandela Hall which has hosted everyone from U2 back in the day to, in more recent times, Passenger, Editors, The 1975, The XX, Jake Bugg, Richard Hawley, Frightened Rabbit, Boyce Avenue and many more.
  • The Students’ Union is also home to a general merchandise shop, a bookshop, extensive catering facilities, a bank and a large ‘relax and study’ area called The Space.
  • There are more than 190 sporting and student societies.
  • The SU building is home to Enterprise SU, a centre which promotes enterprise and business opportunities for students, including annual competitions, awards, placements and accreditation opportunities. 
  • Queen’s Students' Union also holds an annual Student Volunteer Awards ceremony to celebrate excellence in volunteering as demonstrated by many of its students.
  • Independently accredited for quality by the Students' Union Evaluation Initiative (SUEI) since 2010, and currently in receipt of a Bronze Award.


  • Queen's sporting facilities were selected as a training venue for the 2012 Olympics, and played a major role during the 2013 World Police and Fire Games that were held in Belfast.
  • .
  • The University's new £13-m facility at Upper Malone features an arena pitch which can host football, rugby and GAA on one single platform, with a further 14 pitches right across the grounds to accommodate other sports such as hockey and multi-sports. A spectator stand adjoins the new clubhouse and there are more than 48 changing rooms around the site. There is a strength and conditioning suite, conference and hospitality facilities, and a 3km recreational trim trail.
  • Other facilities include a £7-m extension to the Physical Education Centre (PEC), which provides an unrivalled sporting experience appealing to all levels of student interest – competitive, recreational and facilitating community interaction.

The facilities include:

  • A 900m² fitness area containing over 140 pieces of fitness equipment, each with its own personal entertainment screen and motivation system, a strength and conditioning suite with the latest hydraulic assisted systems, an indoor cycling studio and two new exercise studios which enable Queen’s Sport to offer over 90 weekly dance, fitness, aquatic, and mind and body classes.
  • A two-storey climbing wall over 10m in height and 20m wide, with an abseil tower, chimney and bouldering facilities.
  • The PEC also offers a range of professional services including exercise programming, physiotherapy, sports massage and podiatry. 
  • A cafe area offering students and members to opportunity to relax and socialise after their activity while overlooking the park and the River Lagan.
  • Two large multi-purpose sports halls, martial arts area, 10 squash and 2 handball courts, a 25m six-lane swimming pool and diving pool with viewing gallery and poolside sauna. 
  • An outdoor 80m x 40m floodlit synthetic grass training area adjacent to the PEC which is suitable for team sporting activities including soccer, rugby and Gaelic sports.
  • The University has a boathouse along the Rivery Lagan and a mountaineering cottage in the beautiful Mountains of Mourne.
  • A bursary and academy scheme offers awards and services to over 100 high-achieving student players/athletes.
  • The newly launched Elite Athlete Programme provides a platform for prospective students to achieve their sporting and academic goals with a support package worth up to £8,000.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Over the past 10 years Queen’s has invested £350m in its campus, and plans to spend another £350m over the next 10 years.
  • Ongoing developments to benefit students include a £175-m Institute of Health Sciences, which is recruiting the world’s best thinkers, innovators, scientists and clinicians to Queen’s and which will see over 1,000 leading scientists and clinicians working together on one site. 
  • Completed projects include the £50-m McClay Library which has become a big hit with students and the award-winning £45-m Elms Student Village. 
  • The University has also realised its vision of becoming the first university in the UK and Ireland to open a dedicated, state-of-the-art Graduate and Executive Education Centre at the £15-m redevelopment of Riddel Hall. Home to Queen’s William J Clinton Leadership Institute, it has quickly become a hub for business in Northern Ireland.

Planned developments include:

  • Major redevelopment in main quadrangle, providing a new home for the School of Law, a new International and Postgraduate Centre, and Student Hub.
  • New building for the School of Biological Sciences, including the Institute for Global Food Security.
  • New Computer Science Centre.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Part-time, temporary and vacation work, both on and off campus, is available through Student Jobshop (part of Careers, Employability and Skills).
  • Work experience, summer internships and other vacation opportunities at home and abroad are available through Queen's Careers, Employability and Skills
  • As part of its pioneering approach to ensuring its graduates have the edge in the job market, Queen’s also offers a unique Degree Plus programme formally recognising skills acquired during extra curricular work.  Students receive the award alongside their degree on graduation. 
  • Enterprise SU, within the Students’ Union, promotes opportunities for extra curricular work.
  • While the national graduate unemployment rate stands at nine per cent, at Queen’s 95 per cent of its graduates are in employment, further study or travelling, 6 months after graduation. 

Notable Alumni

  • Queen’s has over 140,000 alumni, spread across the globe. Keeping them in touch with the University – and with each other – is all part of maintaining a lifelong relationship.
  • Many of the University’s alumni are key figures in business, industry, academia, politics, the arts and the media, not just in Northern Ireland, but right around the world.
  • They include: Nobel Laureates, Seamus Heaney and Lord David Trimble; Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea; Patrick Kielty TV presenter/comedian; Annie Mac, BBC Radio 1 presenter; Alan Green, Radio 5 Live broadcaster; Bill Neely, International Editor for ITV News; Andrea Begley, winner of The Voice (BBC1); Karen Hassan, actress (The Fall & Hollyoaks); Mike Brown, MD, London Underground; Christine Browne, Managing Director, Thomson Airways; Brian Conlon, CEO of First Derivatives plc; Dr Michael McKay, European Space Agency; Lord Brian Kerr, Justice of UK Supreme Court; Professor Paul Muldoon, Princeton University; and Dr Mary McAleese, eighth President of Ireland.

For further information

  • www.qub.ac.uk
  • admissions@qub.ac.uk
  • +44 (0) 28 9097 3838
  • Queen's University Belfast
    University Road
    Northern Ireland
    BT7 1NN
UCAS Code Q75

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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