Queen's University, Belfast

2014 League Table Ranking 29
2014 Overall Score 755
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Entry Standards 384 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 15.6 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 1,159 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 4.10 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 660 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 72.7 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 91.8 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 71.7 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 166 in the world, i.e. in the top 1% of universities (QS World University Rankings).
  • 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 in 1984 to commercialise research and development activities. QUBIS has been involved in the creation of nearly 60 companies. It is currently the leading company in the UK and Ireland for revenue generation created through its spin-outs companies. QUBIS is second only to the University of Cambridge for job creation through its spin-outs with over 1,000 high quality jobs created.
  • As one of the UK’s leading Knowledge Transfer Partnership 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 has been named the lead institution in the UK for tackling the unequal representation of women in science and engineering. It is the only UK University to hold a Silver institutional honour at the Athena SWAN Charter 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. In addition to the institutional award, Queen’s is also the UK university with the most departmental silver awards 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 Northern Ireland’s only arthouse cinema on campus 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

  • 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 4thAS level subject.
  • Only Dentistry and Medicine require a 4thAS 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 and Social Work).

Student mix

  • Male 42%; female 58%.
  • 17,012 UG students and 5,674 PG students (full-time and part-time).
  • 31% of full-time postgraduate students are international (non-UK domiciled).
  • 31% of young, full-time, first degree entrants are from low socio-economic groups – over seven per cent above the benchmark set for the University.

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 is among the top 10 Universities in Europe for the number of students who go on work placements as part of the Erasmus scheme, a partnership of 120 universities that facilitates work and study abroad. 
  • 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. For example, the curriculum-based Certificate in Entrepreneurship Studies at Queen’s is embedding entrepreneurship skills into the curriculum of all non-business students,throughout the University (116 pathways, reaching more than 11,000 students annually). This unique teaching model has been adopted by the European Training Foundation to enhance the employability of graduates across the EU.
  • 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 2012 National Student Survey when it received an overall satisfaction score of 87 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 teaching.
  • Support for students has been enhanced by mentoring schemes, including a Peer Mentoring project which has proved popular with new students on campus. A pilot scheme with alumni has also been launched 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. 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 forged with leading research groups throughout the world, including Georgetown University and Lombardi Cancer Centre, Washington; Petronas, Malaysia; a £2.3-million Science Bridge scheme with several leading universities in China; partnership with Madras Christian College in Chennai, India.
  • Priority development areas include health sciences, executive education and green chemistry.
  • Queen’s is at the forefront of globally leading research in Medicine, Food Security, Cyber Security, Green Chemistry, Astrophysics and the Humanities and has launched an ambitious £140-m five year fundraising campaign entitled Beyond to  build on its excellence in these areas.

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, including library and computing

  • Queen’s award-winning £50-m McClay Library opened in the summer of 2009 and provides 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).
  • The University opened a new £1.3-million dedicated International and Postgraduate Student Centre in 2010. It was shortlisted for an Outstanding Support for Students in the 2012 THE awards.
  • 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 2012 National Student Survey ranked Queen's Students' Union fifth in the UK in terms of student satisfaction.
  • 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 The XX, Jake Buggs, Richard Hawley, Gabrielle Aplin and many more. It is also home to a bookshop, letting agency, extensive catering facilities, a bank and a large.relax and study area called The Space.
  • There are more than 180 sporting and student societies.
  • The SU building is home to Enterprise SU, a unique centre in UK universities, which promotes enterprise and business opportunities for students, including the annual Queen's Students' Union Business Idea Awards, and the award-winning Students in Free Enterprise Initiative which helps the disadvantaged. The Students’ Union also runs an annual QUB Apprentice competition in partnership with Deloitte.
  • 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.
  • Nationally recognised as Equality and Diversity Students' Union of the Year in 2011 for its equality and diversity programmes.
  • Awarded gold accreditation in 2012 by the Green Impact initiative for its environmental and ethical programmes.


  • Queen's sporting facilities were selected as a training venue for the 2012 Olympics, and will play a major part during the 2013 World Police and Fire Games being held in Belfast.
  • The sporting experience for students at Queen's was also further enhanced in 2012 with the completion of a £20-m investment in sport and recreation.
  • The University's new £13-m facility at Upper Malone features an arena pitch which can host football, rugby and GAA on one single site, with a further 14 pitches right across the grounds. 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 Physical Education Centre, 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 High Performance and Lifestyle Centre which offers a unique range of professional services such as physiological testing, exercise programming, sports medicine, physiotherapy, sports massage and podiatry. 
  • A cafe area which offers 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 such as 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.

Recent/prospective new builds

  • Over the past 10 years Queen’s has invested £350m in its campus, and plans to spend another £300m over the next 10 years.
  • It is anticipated that £44m of capital schemes will start on site during 2012–13. 
  • 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, the award-winning £45-m Elms Student Village, a dedicated Student Guidance Centre and a new Postgraduate and International Student Centre. 
  • 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 Leadership Institute, it is quickly becoming the portal for business in Northern Ireland.

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 extracurricular 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. 

Notable alumni

  • Queen’s has over 100,000 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 Laureate, Seamus Heaney; Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea; Mike Brown, MD, London Underground, Alan Green, Radio 5 Live broadcaster, Patrick Kielty TV presenter/comedian; Annie Mac, BBC Radio 1 presenter; Professor Paul Muldoon, Princeton University; Nobel Laureate, Lord David Trimble; and 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

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Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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