Queen's University, Belfast

  • Entry Standards Entry Standards

    The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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  • Student Satisfaction Student Satisfaction

    A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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    4.13 / 5.00
  • Research Quality Research Quality

    A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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    2.99 / 4.00
  • Research Intensity Research Intensity

    A measure of the proportion of staff involved in research in the University.

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    0.95 / 1.00
  • Graduate Prospects Graduate Prospects

    A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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    78.4 / 100.0
  • Student-Staff Ratio Student-Staff Ratio

    The average staffing levels at the University.

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  • Academic Services Spend Academic Services Spend

    A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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  • Facilities Spend 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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  • Good Honours 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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    78.3 / 100.0
  • Degree Completion Degree Completion

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

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    92.6 / 100.0


  • 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 9th oldest university in the UK.
  • Member of the Russell Group.
  • In the top 1% of global universities.
  • The UK-wide 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise placed Queen’s 8th in the UK for Research Intensity.
  • Awarded a 6th Queen's Anniversary Prize in February 2016 in recognition of the university's work in protecting the online activity of billions of internet users around the world through the work of staff in its Centre for Secure Information Technologies, one of Europe’s largest university cyber security research centres. Previous Queen's Anniversary Prizes have been awarded 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, and in 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 70 companies. It remains one of the leading companies in the UK and Ireland championing the impact agenda through the creation of jobs and wealth. Spin-out companies developed at Queen’s currently have an annual turnover of over £170m and sustain 1,500 high-value jobs.
  • As one of the UK’s leading Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Universities, Queen’s has helped more than 350 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 hold 10 Athena SWAN departmental Awards, including two Gold, as well as an institutional Silver Award.

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 Requirements

  • A wide range of different qualifications is accepted by the university and full details of entry requirements and selection criteria are provided in the university’s online course finder.
  • There is no cap or limit on the number of UK or international students which the university is permitted to admit (except in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Midwifery, and Social Work).
  • 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.
  • An A* grade is not a requirement for any of our degree programmes. However, it may be specified as part of an alternative offer and we also use differential offers for some degree programmes, depending on whether or not applicants are taking a preferred A level, i.e. one that provides a better preparation for the degree programme.
  • At present the university does not make unconditional offers to any of our applicants, who have not yet completed the qualifications required for admission, but this is kept under review.
  • The university recognises that qualifications reform across the UK, which will be introduced on a phased basis, will result in applicants presenting with different qualification profiles from 2017 entry. Furthermore, we appreciate that the opportunities available to applicants will often be dependent on school/college policy.
  • Queen’s has extensive experience of admitting students with a wide range of qualifications, many of which are linear in nature. Based on this, we would like to provide reassurance that we will continue to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged by the reforms and decisions made by schools/colleges, as appropriate to their individual circumstances.
  • Further information can be found on our website, which will be updated on a regular basis as more details become available.

Student Mix

The 23,855 students enrolled in the academic year 2014/15 comprise:

Level of study

  • Undergraduate 79%
  • Postgraduate 21%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 74%
  • Part Time 26%


  • UK 89%
  • EU 4%
  • Other 7%

Student gender

  • Male 44%
  • Female 56%

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, personal and employability skills.
  • Queen’s embraces enterprise and offers a dynamic curriculum attuned to the needs of students and employers. 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 focused on development of career management skills.

Teaching Standards

  • Queen’s has an excellent record of achievement in reviews of teaching quality, with numerous teaching awards. Close to 500 staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Queen’s is significantly investing in the student experience, a fact reflected in high rates of student satisfaction, completion and graduate employment amongst both the undergraduate and postgraduate populations.
  • Support for students has been enhanced by personal tutoring and peer mentoring schemes. 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.
  • Students have opportunities to study abroad, improve employability and increasing numbers take part in work related opportunities as part of their degrees.
  • We work closely with employers to ensure that our curriculum equips our students for their new careers. Examples include new employer partnership degrees established with key companies across a range of sectors, integrating study, placement and a graduate job on completion.

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 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise placed Queen’s 8th in the UK for Research Intensity.
  • Over 75% of research activity at Queen’s was judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading. 26 of the 28 subject areas submitted to REF 2014 were ranked in the UK top 20 for research intensity, with 6 of these in the top 10, and 2 in the top 5.
  • Queen’s returned over 95% of academic staff, which was the 5th largest percentage of staff returned in the REF 2014.
  • Queen's is at the forefront of research globally in areas as diverse as Green Chemistry, Secure Information Technologies, Food Security, Collaborative Research in the Humanities, Conflict Transformation, Health Sciences and Astrophysics.
  • Research partnerships with leading research groups and multi-national companies throughout the world, including Dubai Healthcare City, 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 and Harbin Institute of Technology.
  • Spin-out companies developed at Queen’s currently have an annual turnover of over £170m and sustain 1,500 high-value jobs.

Academic Strengths

  • Research-oriented environment; teaching by people working at forefront of disciplines.
  • The university also has 14 subject areas ranked within the top 20 in the UK and 76% of its research classified in the top two categories of world leading and internationally excellent (REF 2014).
  • To ensure its global standing continues to grow and that its students are taught by those at the leading edge of their field, the university has been actively recruiting the world’s top innovators and inventors, including the appointment of academic leaders across all areas.
  • Queen’s is ranked no.1 in the UK for its participation in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with over 40 active projects across the University, more than any other UK institution.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

Student Facilities

  • In the National Student Survey 2015, students expressed very high levels of satisfaction (93%) with Learning Resources at Queen’s (i.e. Library and IT).
  • Queen’s award-winning McClay Library provides over 2,000 reader places and accommodation for 1.5m volumes. The library has achieved Customer Services Excellence, an independent accreditation of the quality and standard of its customer service, and offers the highest quality services to students.
  • The McClay Library’s outstanding design, facilities and services have been recognized with a Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Award, presented every three years to a UK library that best meets the needs of users.
  • 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.
  • As a result of the £1.93m wireless campus project, students can freely use our latest-technology wireless service throughout the university and across the widest range of mobile devices.

Disability Services

  • There are currently 1,959 students with a range of sensory, mobility, learning, mental health and other disabilities registered with Disability Services.
  • Students can access a range of support depending on their individual needs.
  • Disability Services also offers a DSA Needs Assessment Centre and a register of Support Providers for students who are recommended non-medical support.
  • Further information about disability services at Queen's is available by telephoning +44 (0) 2890 975251, by emailing disability.office@qub.ac.uk or by visiting our website.

Students' Union

  • The Students’ Union is a vibrant hub for the student body. In the 2015 National Student Survey, Queen's Students' Union was ranked 12th amongst universities in the UK in terms of student satisfaction with an 81% satisfaction rate.
  • The Students’ Union provides a wide range of social facilities including a range of chill-out areas and a student kitchen, meeting rooms for clubs and societies, and a number of bars and venues offering a comprehensive programme of entertainment. The Students’ Union is also home to a range of retail units that includes the SU Shop, Blackwell’s Books, Clements Coffee House, SRL Electrics (electrical goods and computer repairs), a hairdressers, and Santander Bank.
  • The Students’ Union is the representative body of the students and provides a range of developmental opportunities, essential to students’ employability skills. This includes student entrepreneurship through business start-up support, as well as structured programmes, annual competitions, access to free business incubation space and the Student Leadership Programme (Inspiring Leaders).The Students’ Union Advice Centre provides free, independent and confidential advice to Queen’s students on a wide range of issues.There are opportunities to join over 200 Clubs and Societies at Queen’s and a wide range of volunteer opportunities, including working with over 250 volunteer-involving organisations. Volunteer SU also runs the successful Homework Clubs initiative to support the local community, as well as the Volunteer Excellency Awards.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Part-time, temporary and vacation work on-campus, is available through the Queen’s Oncampus Jobshop (part of Careers, Employability and Skills).
  • A wide range of work experience, summer internships and other vacation opportunities are available to students through MyFuture and all students receive weekly alerts of new opportunities. The new MyFuture careers platform is accessed at www.qub.ac.uk/myfuture
  • 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.

Careers Guidance

  • Careers guidance is delivered impartially and confidentially by professionally qualified staff through one-to-one consultations as face-to-face appointments, bookable on the careers platform Myfuture or remote access via e-guidance and pre-arranged skype interviews.
  • A Careers Zone is available at all graduate, placement and specialist fairs and includes careers consultants and information staff providing one-to-one guidance, sign-posting and employability development resources.
  • Careers education and guidance is provided both: on the degree programme through consultants’ tailored delivery of workshops, presentations, newsletters and collaborative activity with academic colleagues;centrally through careers programmes (including Workplace Study Tours), workshops, employer presentations and networking activity with alumni.
  • Extra curricular employability enhancement is accredited through the Degree Plus Award.
  • 94% of Queen’ graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Transformation of the Queen’s estate through a major capital investment programme is continuing. Key projects completed in the last few years include the award-winning McClay Library; the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology; a new home for the Queen's University Management School and the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute; new sports facilities and the redevelopment of the student residential Elms Village.

Major projects completed in 2015 include:

  • The Graduate School – a new intellectual hub based in the University’s historic Lynn Building, supporting the vibrant postgraduate and postdoctoral culture across the University and the significant increases in postgraduate taught, postgraduate research and postdoctoral numbers;
  • The Wellcome Wolfson Building – Centre for Experimental Medicine, a major new part of the developing Institute of Health Sciences. The Institute is recruiting the world’s best thinkers, innovators, scientists and clinicians to Queen’s - eventually this will see over 1,000 leading scientists and clinicians working together on one site;
  • The final phase of the refurbishment of the Ashby building realizing the university’s vision to create an Engineering complex offering teaching, research and support accommodation to rival that of the most prestigious institutions around the world.

The current programme of investment in the estate – a further £350m over the next decade – contains a number of projects that are due for completion in summer 2016. These include:

  • A major redevelopment in the quadrangle which is due for completion in summer 2016 and will provide a prestigious new home for the School of Law and a Student Hub at the heart of the historic campus;
  • A new building for Computer Science which will create a high-quality transparent building, integrating both teaching and research, and delivering a stimulating environment for staff and students. This is an institutional priority for the university and is closely aligned with the priorities set out in the current Northern Ireland Programme for Government;
  • The Maths and Physics Teaching Centre which is phase 2 of the three phase development programme for the School of Mathematics and Physics due for final completion in summer 2017.

Other major projects at construction stage include:

  • A new teaching and research building for the School of Biological Sciences, including the Institute for Global Food Security. The IGFS is a world leader in national and global efforts to provide the world’s growing population with a sustainable safe and secure supply of high quality food.
  • The university is currently progressing a major expansion in its student residential provision which will accommodate an additional 1200 students by 2018.

Notable Alumni

  • Queen’s has over 160,000 alumni, spread across the globe. Maintaining their contact with the university – and with each other – is all part of maintaining a lifelong relationship.
  • Many of the university’s alumni are notable figures in business, industry, academia, politics, the arts and the media, not just in Northern Ireland, but also around the world.

They include:

  • Lord David Trimble – Nobel Laureate
  • Dr Mary McAleese – former President of Ireland
  • Stephen Rea – Oscar-nominated actor
  • Annie Mac – BBC Radio 1 presenter
  • Bill Neely – Chief Global Correspondent for NBC News
  • Air Commodore David Case – RAF
  • Mike Brown – MD London Underground
  • Christine Browne – CEO of Mainstream Aviation for TUI Travel
  • Brian Conlon – CEO First Derivatives plc
  • Manus Cranny – European markets editor Bloomberg TV
  • Lord Brian Mawhinney – former Chairman of the Conservative Party
  • Patrick Kielty – TV presenter/comedian
  • Alan Green – Radio 5 Live broadcaster
  • Andrea Begley – winner of The Voice (BBC1)
  • Karen Hassan – actress (The Fall & Hollyoaks)
  • Dr Michael McKay – European Space Agency
  • Mark Gillan – former Chief Operations Engineer, Williams F1
  • Lord Brian Kerr – Justice of UK Supreme Court
  • Professor Paul Muldoon – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

Further Details

Address Queen's University Belfast
University Road
Northern Ireland
UCAS Code Q75