Queen’s University Belfast (informally Queen’s or QUB) is a public research university in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The university was chartered in 1845, and opened in 1849 as “Queen’s College, Belfast”, but has roots going back to 1810 and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.
Queen’s University Belfast has its roots in the Belfast Academical Institution, which was founded in 1810, one of the United Kingdom’s 10 oldest universities, and remains as the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. The present university was first chartered as “Queen’s College, Belfast” in 1845, when it was associated with the simultaneously founded Queen’s College, Cork, and Queen’s College, Galway, as part of the Queen’s University of Ireland – founded to encourage higher education for Catholics and Presbyterians, as a counterpart to Trinity College, Dublin, then an Anglican institution. Queen’s College, Belfast, opened in 1849.
The university was one of only eight United Kingdom universities to hold a parliamentary seat in the House of Commons at Westminster until such representation was abolished in 1950. The university was also represented in the Parliament of Northern Ireland from 1920–1968, where its graduates elected four seats.
Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, Universities Ireland and Universities UK. The university is associated with two Nobel laureates and one Turing Award laureate.
Academics at Queen’s are organised into fifteen schools across three faculties. The three faculties are the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, Health & Life Sciences. Each of the 20 schools operates as a primary management unit of the university and the schools are the focus for education and research for their respective subject areas:
- School of Biological Sciences
- School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- School of Arts, English and Languages
- School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
- School of Law
- Queen’s Management School
- School of Mathematics and Physics
- School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
- School of Nursing and Midwifery
- School of Pharmacy
- School of Natural and Built Environment
- School of Psychology
- School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
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 their degree programmes. However, it may be specified as part of an alternative offer and they 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 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, they 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, they would like to provide reassurance that they 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.
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.
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 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.
They work closely with employers to ensure that their curriculum equips their 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.
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.
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.