Ulster University (Irish: Ollscoil Uladh, Ulster Scots: Ulstèr Universitie or Ulstèr Varsitie), officially the University of Ulster, is a multi-campus public university located in Northern Ireland. It is often referred to informally and unofficially as Ulster, or by the abbreviation UU. It is the second largest university on the island of Ireland, after the federal National University of Ireland.
Established in 1968 as the New University of Ulster, it merged with Ulster Polytechnic in 1984, incorporating its four Northern Irish campuses under the University of Ulster banner. The university incorporated its four campuses in 1984; located in Belfast, Coleraine, Magee College in Derry, and Jordanstown. The university has branch campuses in both London and Birmingham, and an extensive distance learning provision. The university rebranded as Ulster University from October 2014 and this included a revised visual identity. However its official name remains the University of Ulster as its charter remains unchanged.
The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, Universities Ireland and Universities UK.
The New University of Ulster (NUU) incorporated Magee College founded in 1865 in Derry. Magee College was a college of the Royal University of Ireland from 1880 and later became associated with the University of Dublin (better known as Trinity College) when the Royal University was dissolved in 1908 and replaced by the National University of Ireland. In 1953 Magee College broke its links with Dublin and became Magee University College. It was hoped by groups led by the University for Londonderry Committee that this university college would become Northern Ireland’s second university after The Queen’s University of Belfast. However, this did not happen and instead it was subsumed into the New University, primarily as a result of the unwillingness of the Unionist government at Stormont to have the second university sited in overwhelmingly nationalist Derry, in which “The Troubles” were just beginning to break out. The decision caused an outcry at the time.
The university was built at Coleraine as part of Her Majesty’s Government’s expansion of higher education in the 1960s. Following a review of higher education in Northern Ireland under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Chilver in 1982 the direct-rule government decided to merge NUU with the Ulster Polytechnic to form the University of Ulster (dropping “New” from the name.) The merger took effect on 1 October 1984. Whilst the university was established in 1968 it can trace its roots back to 1845 when Magee College was endowed in Derry, and 1849, when the School of Art and Design was inaugurated in Belfast.
Four university campuses are situated in Northern Ireland in Belfast, Coleraine, Derry (Magee College) and Jordanstown. Additionally, two further branch campuses in both London and Birmingham in England deliver courses.
The six faculties of Ulster University, are:
- Faculty of Arts
- Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
- Faculty of Computing and Engineering
- Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Ulster University School of Law
- Ulster University Business School
Entry standards vary by course at Ulster, please refer to their website for details.
There is no cap or limit on the number of GB or international students which the university is permitted to admit (except in the Allied Health Professions and social work).
Ulster University’s Talented Athlete Entry Scheme is designed to assist talented athletes in gaining access to a quality education whilst attaining success at the highest level in their chosen sport.
Traditionally associated with Art and Design, their Belfast campus now spans an increasing range of subjects including architecture, hospitality, event management, photography and digital animation.
Course provision at the Coleraine campus is broad – biomedical sciences, environmental science and geography, psychology, the humanities, media, film and journalism, travel and tourism and teacher training are among the campus strengths.
The Jordanstown campus has a strong profile in engineering, built environment, social sciences, business, law, communication and academic disciplines relating to the science and coaching of sport.
Teaching strengths at Magee include business, computing, nursing, Irish language and literature, law, peace and conflict studies and the creative and performing arts – with plans to expand computing and engineering provision on this campus over the next few years.
They have an 89% overall student satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey.
They provide a Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) to all eligible full time graduates – a detailed record of their academic and extra-curricular achievements to supplement the traditional degree award. The HEAR allows them to showcase their achievements to employers or postgraduate tutors and helps their development during their time in higher education.
The quality of their teaching and the learning experience for students has been given the highest level of confidence by the Quality Assurance Agency.
They are proud to be one of the UK participating universities in Ciencia sem Fronteiras (formerly known as the Science without Borders programme).
Skills+ is a unique resource for students providing access to a wide range of online tools and materials that will help them throughout their time at Ulster.
The university has one of the highest employment and/or further study rates in the UK, with over 90% of graduates being in work or undertaking further study six months after they have completed their degree.
The Career Development Centre (CDC) provides impartial careers advice and opportunities for the students to develop their employability skills from day one of year one.
The Award-Winning Career Development Centre is made up of an experienced team with expertise in careers & employability, work experience, employer engagement and more.
Career Development Centres at each campus are open throughout the year and students can call in for information and use the daily (Mon-Fri) drop-in times to speak to a Career Development Consultant.
There are extensive opportunities to liaise with employers at Careers fairs, forums, presentations, workshops, and dedicated subject specific events. They also co-ordinate and facilitate placement/employment interviews with employers on campus.
They deliver accredited employability modules, either direct to their programme of study or as part of an open seminar series; provide drop-in advice clinics; one-one guidance service and a dedicated vacancy system for finding part-time work, volunteering, placement and graduate job opportunities.
The Ulster EDGE Award provides official recognition and evidence of their relevant interests outside of university. It is awarded in addition to their degree and gives them the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities that will boost their career prospects and show commitment to their personal development.
The Career Development Centre offers careers support to graduates for 3 year’s post-graduation. Graduates can access 1-1 careers consultations as well their vacancy systems and events.