Ulster, University of


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Overall ranking: 84th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Origins date from Magee College in Londonderry and Derry, founded in 1845. The Belfast campus has its roots in the College of Art and Design (1849) and the New University of Ulster and Ulster College date from 1968 and 1971 respectively. The University of Ulster was established in 1984.

Address: Four very different sites spread across Northern Ireland, up to 72 miles apart.

Ambience: Depends on the campus. Belfast- housing art and design, architecture and law- is the smallest site, while the attractive Magee campus- offering law, drama, and computing- is in Derry. Coleraine, the university's HQ, which runs courses from media studies to marine science, is a small, quiet market town a few miles from the lovely Antrim coast and the seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart. Jordanstown is currently the largest site, although there are major expansion plans for the Belfast and Magee campuses.

Who's the boss? Professor Richard Barnett, former director of the board of UCAS, was appointed as vice-chancellor in April 2006. He has announced plans to retire in 2015.

Prospectus: 02890 366 251 or see it online here.

UCAS code: U20

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies. Degree courses ask for 304 UCAS points (or between ABB and BBB at A-level) on average, though it differs depending on the course.

Vital statistics: The University of Ulster has over 3,000 members of staff and, with almost 27,000 students, is the largest university in Ireland. Students can choose from over 700 courses across four vibrant campuses.

Added value: The university is in the midst of a huge redevelopment programme that includes a new £250m campus in Belfast’s lively Cathedral Quarter, on course to be fully operational by 2018. The university is also making significant investments in its Coleraine, Magee and Jordanstown campuses. Innovative courses, responsive to the needs of industry are regularly introduced at the university, such as a BSc Honours in stratified medicine and BEng in renewable energy engineering.

Teaching: 42nd out of 123 in the Complete University Guide, a huge improvement on last year.

Graduate prospects: 118th out of 123 with 49.3 per cent finding graduate level employment upon completing their degrees.

Any accommodation? Yes. The University of Ulster offers a range of accommodation across its campuses, ranging from £57 per week for a standard single room in a shared 5 bedroom apartment to £110 per week for an enhanced ensuite bedroom in a 6 bedroom apartment. Click here for more information.

Cheap to live there? Private rented accommodation costs vary considerably by campus location. Accommodation in Belfast is more expensive than other areas with contracts for the full calendar year. Costs range from £35 in Coleraine to £70 per week in Belfast.

Transport links: Trains and buses connect Coleraine, Jordanstown, Belfast and Derry and there is a good Sustrans cycle network in Northern Ireland. There are three airports nearby servicing regular flights from GB, with most major GB cities no more than 90minutes away by air.

Fees: Northern Ireland undergraduate students and EU students are charged tuition fees of £3,685. Students from England, Scotland and Wales will be charged £6,000.

Bursaries: The university offers bursaries worth £358. Find out more here. A number of other performance-based scholarships, awards are also up for grabs here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Plenty of pubs and clubs in Londonderry. Social life for Coleraine students is mainly in the seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart. Both the Belfast and Jordanstown campuses are close to the nightlife of the city.

Price of a pint: Prices vary as the university is split between different locations.

Sporting reputation: Not the sportiest, 129th in the BUCS 2013/14 league.

Notable societies: Plenty of course-based groups across the four campuses, Glitch gaming society, a DJ club and a fashion and textiles society.

Glittering alumni: James Nesbitt (actor) is Chancellor of the University of Ulster. Recent honorary graduates include entrepreneurs Nick Hewer AND Nicky Kinnaird, football managers Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool Football Club) and Sir Alex Ferguson (formerly of Manchester United), record-breaking jockey A.P. McCoy and actors Sir Ian McKellan, Ewan McGregor and Roma Downey.

Alternative prospectus: See how current Ulster students rate their university experience, from the course and accommodation to city life and eye candy, on What Uni? here.