Ulster, University of

 

Overall ranking: 74th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

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 was appointed as vice-chancellor in April 2006. He is a former director of the board of UCAS.

Prospectus: 02890 366 251 or request one online here.

UCAS code: U20

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies. Between 160 and 340 UCAS entry points required, depending on the course.

Vital statistics: Over 25,300 students, making it the largest university in Ireland. Students from private schools are hard to find, while mature students account for 21 per cent of full-time undergraduates.

Added value: The university has embarked on a development programme of £500m over the next 10 years. The Office of Innovation runs a range of initiatives to create strong links with business and industry. Has partnerships with other education providers, locally, across Northern Ireland and around the world. A whole new campus in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter will house 15,000 full-time and part-time students and staff by 2018. New course in renewable energy engineering to be introduced with effect from 2013.

Teaching: 64th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide.

Research: 43rd out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Graduate prospects: 101st out of 124 with 54.2 per cent finding graduate level employment upon completing their degrees.

Any accommodation? Yes. Rooms in halls of residence range from around £55 per week for a basic room to just over £100 for an 'enhanced' room.

Cheap to live there? About average. Most students pay between £75 and £85 per week for a room in a shared flat.

Transport links: Trains and buses connect Coleraine, Jordanstown, Belfast and Derry. There is a good Sustrans cycle network in Northern Ireland. Three airports nearby.

Fees: £3,465 per year for full-time Northern Irish and EU undergrads, while GB students pay £6,000.

Bursaries: Up to £800 per year for full-time students with an annual household income of up to £19,203.

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, 137th in the BUCS 2012/13 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; Brian Keenan, Beirut hostage and author; Kate Hoey, MP; Omad Djalili, comedian.

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.

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