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Queen's University Belfast



Overall ranking: Came 36th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Previously Queen's College Belfast, founded in 1845. One of three colleges to be established in Ireland by Queen Victoria. Became an independent university in 1908 and celebrated its centenary in 2008 with a range of high-profile events, including a royal visit by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Address: A 15-minute walk from the city centre on University Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Ambience: A leafy campus bordering the city's Golden Mile in the Queen's Quarter. Right next to a bustling centre of pubs, clubs and restaurants and close to the buzzy Botanic Avenue. Belfast has been boosted by recent investment and the optimism of the ongoing peace process.

Who's the boss? Patrick Johnston, a globally-renowned expert in cancer research, took over from Professor Sir Peter Gregson in March 2014.

Prospectus: 028 9097 3838 or download one here.

UCAS code: Q75

What you need to know

Easy to get into? At Queen’s offers are made in terms of grades rather than UCAS Tariff points.  This means that a minimum grade in any qualification may be specified.  Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels (or equivalent). Queen's is keen on widening participation and offers an access programme to provide an alternative route for those without traditional qualifications.

Vital statistics: Home to more than 18,000 undergraduate students, 4,626 postgraduates and over 3,700 staff members. Very ethnically diverse, with nearly one third international students. There are over 250 buildings- three faculties comprising 20 schools and several research institutes. Queen's is of 24 Russell Group universities dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellence in teaching and research.

Added value: A lead institution in the UK for tackling the unequal representation of women in science and engineering. Queen's has invested £350m in its campus over the past decade and plans to spend another £300m throughout the next. The £50m McClay Library opened in 2009 and £45m has been spent on new residences in the Elms Student Village. The Students' Union has had a £9m face-lift and a £7m investment has enhanced the sports facility at the university's physical education centre. Culturally speaking the university owns a two-screen cinema, an art gallery, and hosts one of the UK and Ireland's largest annual arts festivals - the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's. In February 2010, a state-of-the-art theatre and research centre named after Ireland's greatest living playwright was opened. The Brian Friel Centre for Theatre Research includes a 120-seat studio theatre and will provide world-class facilities for the university's performing arts students. Ongoing developments include a £175m Institute of Health Sciences. Major new developments include the redevelopment of the former Library Tower as a new home for the School of Law. This will be complemented by the creation of a new Postgraduate Student Centre in the adjacent Lynn building, offering teaching, group study, and social space.

On the Health Sciences campus, the new Centre for Experimental Medicine interdisciplinary research facility, next to the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, is the latest phase in the configuration of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences to enhance its internationally recognised excellence in education and research. The Whitla Medical and Pharmacy buildings are also undergoing major refurbishment to develop a sustainable infrastructure to support research and education into the next decade and beyond.

Queen's is also about to open the China Queen’s College (CQC), a major transnational education partnership with China Medical University in Shenyang. This partnership will lead to students studying for a Queen’s degree in China.

Teaching: Impressive. Came 43rd out of 126 in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: Ranked 36th out of 126 with 74.9 per cent entering graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Plenty. Self-catering accommodation starts at £66.00 per week, based on sharing a twin room whilst the price of an en-suite room is £107.00 per week. All bills included. Click here to find out more.

Cheap to live there? Definitely. Private rentals cost from around £60 a week upwards, exclusive of bills and extra costs.

Transport links: An hour by air from London and most other major UK cities. Belfast has two modern airports within 30 minutes of the city centre with regular flights throughout the day to London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Paris, Krakow, New York and many other locations throughout America and Europe.

Fees: Northern Ireland and EU students will be charged £3,575 per year for full-time undergrad courses. Students from the rest of the UK will pay £9,000. Sandwich-year placements will be charged a £720 fee.

Bursaries: A large number of funds and scholarships are available for students in financial need or deserving of an excellence award. Click here for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The Students' Union has five main entertainment and social venues: the award-winning Mandela Hall which attracts big bands, the Bunatee Bar, the Speakeasy, Bar Sub and The Space. Belfast is a social hub and its nightlife scene boasts something for everybody. Be sure to dive into a few authentic Irish bars in the Docks area of the city.

Price of a pint: Cheap pints can be found but you're looking at around £3 on average.

Sports ranking: Not quite hitting the heights- currently in 109th place in the BUCS points league.

Notable societies: More than 180 sporting and student groups. The quirkiest one is probably the Chinese Lion Dance club- learn the moves before Chinese New Year!

Glittering alumni: Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon, poets and Nobel Laureates; Stephen Rea, Oscar-nominated actor; Nick Ross, TV personality; Lord David Trimble, Northern Ireland's former first minister; Mary McAleese, eighth President of Ireland; Frank Pantridge, developer of the mobile coronary care unit; Zoe Salmon, TV personality; Annie Mac, Radio One DJ; Patrick Kielty, entertainer; and Liam Neeson, actor.

Alternative prospectus: Read student reviews of Queen's and check out their ratings for its city life, facilities and eye candy on What Uni? here.