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Queen's University Belfast

Queen's University Belfast
Seal of Queen's University Belfast
Seal of Queen's University Belfast
Latin: Universitas Reginas Belfastum
Motto Pro tanto quid retribuamus
Motto in English
For so much, what shall we give back?
Established 1810 – R.B.A. Institution
1849 – Queen's College
1908 – University Status
Type Public research university
Endowment £ 59.1 million (2014)[1]
Chancellor Thomas Moran
Vice-Chancellor Patrick Johnston
Visitor HM The Queen
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 24,955[3]
Undergraduates 17,210[3]
Postgraduates 5,495[3]
Other students
2,250[3] (Colleges)
Location Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK
Campus Urban
Newspaper The Gown
Colours Blue, Black, Green
Nickname QUB
Affiliations Russell Group
Universities UK
Universities Ireland
Website Official Website
Queen's University Belfast corporate logo

Queen's University Belfast is a public research university in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The university's official title, per its charter, is The Queen's University of Belfast. It is often referred to simply as Queen's, or by the abbreviation QUB. 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.[4]

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 has been associated with three Nobel laureates and one Turing Award laureate. The university offers academic degrees at various levels and across a broad subject range, with over 300 degree programmes available.[5] Patrick Johnston is the University’s 12th President and Vice-Chancellor since 1 March 2014, and its Chancellor is Thomas Moran.

The University also forms the focal point of the Queen's Quarter area of the city, one of Belfast's seven cultural districts.


  • History 1
    • Parliamentary representation 1.1
    • Modern day 1.2
  • Campus 2
  • Organisation 3
    • Faculties and schools 3.1
    • Institutes 3.2
  • Academic profile 4
    • Rankings and reputation 4.1
    • Admissions and students 4.2
  • Student life 5
    • Students' Union 5.1
      • Union services 5.1.1
      • Clubs and societies 5.1.2
    • Housing 5.2
    • Cultural life 5.3
    • Sport 5.4
  • Visual identity 6
  • Notable alumni and academics 7
  • Links with other universities 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


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.[4] 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.[4] Queen's College, Belfast, opened in 1849.[4] Its main building, the Lanyon Building, was designed by the English architect, Sir Charles Lanyon. At its opening, it had 23 professors and 343 students.. Some early students at Queen's University Belfast took University of London examinations.[6]

War Memorial and main entrance

The Irish Universities Act, 1908 dissolved the Royal University of Ireland, which had replaced the Queen's University of Ireland in 1879, and created two separate universities: the current National University of Ireland and Queen's University of Belfast.[4]

Queen's has been led by a distinguished line of Sir Peter Gregson.[4]


  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Queen's University Belfast Students' Union
  • Queen's University Belfast Research Portal

External links

  1. ^ "Financial Statements for the Year to 31 July 2014" ( 
  2. ^ a b c Vice-Chancellor's Report 2009 – 2010 (PDF). Queen's University Belfast. 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Table 1 – All students by HE institution, level of study, mode of study and domicile 2009/10". Statistics Online.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f "History of Queen's". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "Teaching Quality". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 4 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Student lists". Senate House Library. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Brian Walker and Alf McCreary (1994). Degrees of Excellence: The Story of Queen's, Belfast, 1845–1995. Belfast: Queen's University Belfast. p. 213.  
  8. ^ Clarkson, L. A. (2004). A university in troubled times : Queen's Belfast, 1945–2000. Dublin [u.a.]: Four Courts Press. p. 195.  
  9. ^ "Queen's appoints new chancellor". BBC News. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "'"Queen's invests £259 million in 'world-class future. Queen's University Belfast. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 16 September 2006. 
  11. ^ The McClay library was designed by Boston-based architects Sheply, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott, working in association with Belfast architects, Robinson Patterson Partnership, the library opened in July 2009. The building has been named in honour of Sir Allen McClay, a major benefactor of Queen's University and of the Library."New library update – 27 July 2009". Library News (Queen's University Belfast). 27 July 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  12. ^ "Queen's opens £7.5m Ansin tech centre". 8 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  13. ^ See for example.
  14. ^ "Schools & Departments". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  15. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015 - UK". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2015/16 - United Kingdom". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2015/16". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "World University Rankings 2015-16". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "University League Table 2016". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "University league table 2016". The Guardian. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2015". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "The Russell Group appoints first Director General and expands membership to 20 top research universities". Russell Group. November 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  24. ^ "'"Queen's to join UK 'ivy league. BBC News. 7 November 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  25. ^ "Queen's University Belfast - World University Rankings 2014-15". 
  26. ^ "The 25 most international universities in the world". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "INTO Queen's University Belfast". INTO Higher. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Times Higher Education – Queen's University Belfast". 
  29. ^ "Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings 2007 – European Top 150". QS Top Universities. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  30. ^ "Queen's University of Belfast". QS Top Universities. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  31. ^ a b Sunday Times University Guide, Queen's University Belfast, 10 September 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2007.
  32. ^ "More state pupils in universities". BBC News. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2007. 
  33. ^ a b Taylor, Rupert (1988). "The Queen's University of Belfast: The liberal university in a divided society". Higher Education Review 20 (2): 27–45. 
  34. ^ Clarkson, Leslie A (2004). A University in Troubled Times: Queen's, Belfast, 1945–2000. Dublin: Four Courts Press. 
  35. ^ accessed 5 September 2011
  36. ^ Clubs and Societies, Queen's University website. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
  37. ^ "Mr Dawson Stelfox". Open University. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  38. ^ "Graduate & Student of the Year winners". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  39. ^ "BBC: NI doctors in Everest rescue drama". BBC News. 29 May 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  40. ^ Rising Sons of William LOL 1845 Queens University Belfast Homepage
  41. ^ "Supplementary Document 1: Housing Market Analysis, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs): Subject Plan for Belfast City Council Area 2015" (PDF). The Planning Service. p. 14. Retrieved 26 August 2007. 
  42. ^ "Where to stay at Queen's" (PDF). Queen's Accommodation and Hospitality. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  43. ^ "Queen's University Belfast Architectural Heritage Trail" (PDF). Queen's University Belfast. p. 5. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  44. ^ "Queen's Physical Education Centre scoops top building award". Queen's Sport. 8 June 2007. Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  45. ^ Results History; British Universities & Colleges Sport – Snooker – Championships; retrieved August 2010
  46. ^ "Queen's University Belfast Rowing | Home". Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  47. ^ "Queen's University Belfast | Press Releases". Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  48. ^ "ERASMUS partners 2007–08". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 9 March 2008. 
  49. ^ "University exchange programmes". Queen's University Belfast. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2008. 
  50. ^ "清雲科技大學與外國學校(含學術機構)簽署學術交流合作協約". Ching Yun University. Retrieved 9 March 2008. 
  51. ^ "Prospective students". British Council Northern Ireland. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  52. ^ "Business Education Initiative". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 


See also

Queen's takes part in the British Council's Business Education Initiative study-abroad scheme sending a number of undergraduate students to study business and related subjects at participating higher-education institutions in the United States.[51][52]

Queen's participates in the European Union's ERASMUS programme, allowing undergraduate students to study for a period at universities in Austria, Finland, Iceland, Portugal, Belgium, France, Italy, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland.[48] Queen's is also part of the Utrecht Network which works towards the internationalisation of higher education. The university also has exchange programmes with Fordham University School of Law in New York, USA, the University of Newcastle and the University of Tasmania in Australia, and two universities in Canada: Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.[49] Ching Yun University in Zhongli District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan, lists Queen's as a 'sister institution'.[50] The university is also a member of the Top Industrial Managers for Europe (T.I.M.E.) Association.

Links with other universities

Four alumni had very long and distinguished careers in the Far East. Sir Robert Hart was the Inspector-General of China's Imperial Maritime Customs for almost 50 years. Sir Hiram Shaw Wilkinson served in British Consular Service in China and Japan for 40 years retiring as Chief Justice of the British Supreme Court for China and Corea. Sir James Russell was Chief Justice of Hong Kong. John Carey Hall served in the British Japan Consular Service for more than 40 years retiring as consul-general in Yokohama.

Notable academics who have worked at Queen's include Paul Bew, Baron Bew, Sir Bernard Crossland, Tony Hoare, Michael Mann, poet and critic Philip Hobsbaum, John H. Whyte and writer Philip Larkin was a sub-librarian at the university.

Other alumni include poet Paul Muldoon; actors Liam Neeson, Cillian Cousins, Simon Callow and Stephen Rea; novelists Patrick Hicks and Brian McGilloway; broadcaster Nick Ross; scientists John Stewart Bell, Frank Pantridge and Thomas Henry Flewett. Other alumni include John Bodkin Adams, Trevor Ringland and David Cullen (2007 winners of the Arthur Ashe for Courage Award), David Case (Air Commodore, the highest ranking Black officer in the British Armed forces) and Tim Collins (former Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment).

Queen's has a large number of now-famous alumni, including former President of Ireland Mary McAleese; Nobel Prize winners poet Seamus Heaney and politician Lord Trimble; former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Lord Faulkner of Downpatrick; Lords Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Lord Hutton and Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Justice of The Supreme Court of United Kingdom (the only Justice who is not graduated from Oxbridge); former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Lord Alderdice and former and current Northern Ireland ministers Sir Reg Empey, Mark Durkan, Nigel Dodds and Conor Murphy, and former Irish Free State minister and prominent Sinn Féin member Eoin MacNeill. Irish Ambassador to Nigeria Sean Hoy graduated from Queen's. Former Provisional IRA member and hunger striker Laurence McKeown attended the university and obtained a PhD following his release from prison.

Great Hall

Notable alumni and academics

The graphic identity, which includes the logotype, was created in 2000 by Lloyd Northover, the British design consultancy founded by John Lloyd (graphic designer) and Jim Northover.

Visual identity

Queen's Boat Club are one of the most successful clubs in the University. They are reigning Irish Champions in men's Intermediate and Senior 8's and are the current holders of the British Universities and Colleges Sport Men's Championship 8, Men's Intermediate 8, Men's Intermediate coxed four, Men's Championship Quad, Women's Beginner 8 and Women's beginner coxed four titles[46] making them one of the most successful university rowing clubs in the UK at present. They are also reigning Irish University Champions in Men's Senior 8's, Women's Novice 8's and Women's Novice 4's. They are the only rowing club in Ireland to have a full-time rowing coach.[47]

Queen's Gaelic football team have won several Sigerson Cups, most recently in 2007. The university's association football team, Queen's University Belfast A.F.C., play in the Irish Second Division. Queen's snooker team have won the British intervarsity title on a record nine occasions and are the current champions.[45]

The University Playing Fields, also known as Malone Playing Fields, is located just over 2 miles (3.2 km) from the main campus, comprising 17 pitches for rugby, association football, Gaelic football, hockey, hurling, camogie and cricket. In addition, there are three netball courts, nine tennis courts and an athletics arena where the Mary Peters Track is situated. The area and its surrounding forest of Barnetts Demesne are mapped for orienteering.

Queen's Physical Education Centre (abbreviated to and known widely as the PEC) recently went through an extension program was awarded 'Best Building 2007' by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Northern Ireland.[44] It is one of the largest sports centres in the British Isles. This building houses many squash courts, several climbing walls and is home to QUB's senior men's and women's basketball teams.

The first QUB side to win the Sigerson Cup (1958)


The university hosts the annual Belfast Festival at Queen's and the Belfast Film Festival, and in 2007 held the Irish Student Drama Association Festival. It runs Northern Ireland's only arthouse cinema, Queen's Film Theatre, the Brian Friel Theatre and an art gallery, the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, which is a registered museum. In 2008 the Naughton Gallery was awarded the Times Higher Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts. Housed in the Lanyon building since 2001 is a marble statue by Pio Fedi of the great physicist Galileo, portrayed deep in thought.[43]

Cultural life

The university provides accommodation on a purpose-built 'student village' called Elms Village, which has its own bar and shop, located on the Malone Road, south of the main campus, as well as in a number of houses in the South Belfast area, including at College Gardens and on Mount Charles.[42]

Queen's provides housing for both undergraduates and postgraduates, although because of the compact size of Northern Ireland many students chose to live at home and commute to the university. In 2005/06, 36 per cent of Queen's students lived in private accommodation within Belfast, 29 per cent lived with parents or guardians, 20 per cent in private accommodation outside of Belfast, and 10 per cent lived in university maintained accommodation.[41]


QUB is one of only 20 Universities in the United Kingdom to have the privilege of an AIESEC Local Chapter, developing leadership, business and soft skills in highly motivated students, as well as providing international opportunities through their work abroad program.There is an Orange Lodge, based at Queen's called Rising Sons of William Queen's LOL 1845 which formed in 2003.[40]

The Queen's University Mountaineering Club is notable for producing three Everest summiteers including Ireland's first, Dawson Stelfox.[37] Roger McMorrow and Nigel Hart also summited in May 2007, and were subsequently jointly announced Queen's University Graduates of the year for 2006/07[38] for their role in rescuing a young Nepalese climber left for dead near the summit.[39]

More than fifty sporting clubs and over 100 non-sporting societies are recognised by the Student's Union Council and therefore eligible to apply for an annual grant from the University.[36] The oldest society in Queen's University is the Literary and Scientific Society which focuses on debating political, cultural and social issues within Northern Ireland. Established in 1850 by Edwin Lawrence Godkin, the society has been very successful and produced some of the finest orators within Northern Ireland. The QUB boathouse, home of Queen's University Belfast Boat Club (QUBBC) and Queen's University of Belfast Ladies Boat Club (QUBLBC), is located on the River Lagan near Stranmillis. The Dragonslayers Gaming Society hosts one of Ireland's largest games conventions, Q-Con, in June of each year, and cultural groups such as An Cumann Gaelach and the Ulster-Scots Society are also present.

Clubs and societies

Ashby building, Stranmillis

A range of services are provided by the Students' Union following its reopening in March 2007 after a £9 million redevelopment, including an Advice Centre with full-time staff to help with issues such as money problems, accommodation and welfare. Commercial services are also provided for by the Union and include a shop, canteen and coffee franchise. There are also four bars within the building, the biggest of which, the Mandela Hall, hosts numerous concerts each year as well as the majority the Students' Union's club nights.

Union services

The Students' Union at Queen's (QUBSU) is located opposite the Lanyon Building on University Road, and is provided for under the University's Statutes. All students at the University are automatic members of the Union, making it one of the largest Unions on a single campus in Ireland and the UK. It is administered by the Students' Representative Council (SRC) (elected every October, on a Faculty basis) and an Executive (elected in March), who manage the operations of the Union in conjunction with several full-time staff.

The Students' Union building

Students' Union

Student life

In 2009, Queen's signed a joint venture partnership with INTO University Partnerships, creating INTO Queen's University Belfast. The INTO centre is based on campus and provides a foundation year for international students who want to study at the University.[35]

Queen's was established as a non-sectarian institution, with the aim of attracting both Protestant and Catholic students. While the university does not publish data on the religion affiliation of its students, Rupert Taylor, who conducted his PhD research on the university during The Troubles, argued in an article published in 1988 that "Whilst in the past, especially before the Second World War, Catholics were under-represented this is not currently the case". Taylor cites data showing that Catholic representation amongst undergraduates rose from 21.9 per cent in 1958/59 to 27.4 per cent in 1968/69 and 42.5 per cent in 1978/79.[33] By the late 1990s, 54 per cent of Queen's students were Catholics, compared to a 48 per cent share of the Northern Ireland population aged 18–25.[34] The growing share of Catholics in the student population is in part due to the tendency of middle-class Protestants to go to university in Great Britain rather than Northern Ireland.[33]

In the 2009–10 academic year, the total student population was 22,705, of whom 17,210 were undergraduates and 5,495 postgraduates. Of the undergraduate population, 16,575 were from the UK, 340 from elsewhere in the European Union and 295 were from outside the EU. The figures for postgraduates were 3,995 from the UK, 840 from elsewhere in the EU, and 665 from the rest of the world, mainly from China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. There was also a total student population of 2,250 at the University's St Mary's and Stranmillis University Colleges.[3]

Entrants to Queen's have, on average, 359 A/AS-level points and there are currently 5.3 applications per place.[31] The Sunday Times has described the Queen's admissions policy as "among the most socially inclusive in Britain and Northern Ireland".[31] 99.5 per cent of first degree entrants are from state schools,[32] although this is mainly due to the lack of private schools in Northern Ireland.

QUB McClay Library

Admissions and students

The Times Higher Education rankings 2014/2015 placed Queen’s 251-275 in world university rankings[25]and in the top 25 most international universities in the world.[26] In the National Student Survey 2013, Queen's was ranked 12th in the UK for student satisfaction.[27] In the 2013 QS World University Rankings, Queen's University Belfast was ranked 166th and in the top 1% of universities in the world.[28] This places the University on a trajectory well short of reaching the target set by Vice-Chancellor Peter Gregson of being a "Global Top 100" by 2016. In 2012-13 the Times Higher-QS World University rankings (known from 2010 onwards as the QS World University Rankings) placed Queen's at number 276-300 out of the top 400 universities in Europe[29] and commented that Queen's 'is a leader in innovation and education with an international academic reputation'.[30] The UK wide Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), announced in December 2008, showed Queen's has 11 subject areas ranked within the top 10 in the UK and 24 in the top 20. With almost 800 staff submitted, every area had research assessed as world leading.

Queen's University Belfast was admitted to the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities in November 2006.[23][24]

(2015, national)
(2015, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2016, national)
The Guardian[21]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[22]
(2015, national)

Rankings and reputation

Academic profile

The Institute for Global Food Security is based at Queen’s University Belfast within the School of Biological Sciences. The Institute houses a suite of state-of-the-art laboratories, conducting cutting edge research into various topics ranging from soil & plant health through to food security. Since the inception of the UK’s first Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use in 2006, the work of the Institute has become internationally recognised for its excellence in research and teaching. Over time the Institute has focused even more intently on its core founding principles, resulting in rebranding to become the Institute for Global Food Security. The Institute for Global Food Security is a key partner in national and global efforts to provide the world’s growing population with a sustainable, safe and secure supply of high quality food.

ECIT (The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology) was established in 2003 at the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).

The Institute of Theology consists of several colleges with a Christian emphasis, including St Mary's (Catholic), Union Theological College (Presbyterian), Belfast Bible College (non-denominational), as well as Baptist and Methodist colleges in Belfast. In all five colleges teach any programmes with a theological emphasis on behalf of the university; the university may confer theology degrees but cannot teach the subject itself.

Several institutes are also associated with Queen's. Located close to the main campus is the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen's which offers training to law graduates to enable them to practise as solicitors or barristers in Northern Ireland, England & Wales and the Republic of Ireland.


Academics at Queen's are organised into twenty schools across three faculties. Each school operates as a primary management unit of the university and the schools are the focus for education and research for their respective subject areas.[14]

Faculties and schools


While the university refers to its main site as a campus,[13] the university's buildings are in fact spread over a number of public streets in South Belfast, centring around University Road, University Square and Stranmillis Road, with other departments located further afield.

In addition to the main campus not far from the centre of Belfast, the university has two associated university colleges, these being St Mary's and Stranmillis both also located in Belfast. Although offering a range of degree courses, these colleges primarily provide training for those wishing to enter the teaching profession. The university has formal agreements with other colleges in Northern Ireland and operates several outreach schemes to rural areas.

University Square buildings
Lanyon Quadrangle
Administrative building


Queen's is one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, with a total workforce of 3,903, of whom 2,414 were members of academic, academic-related and research staff and 1,489 were administrative employees.[2]

In June 2010, the university announced that they would be launching a £7.5m Ansin international research hub with Seagate Technologies.[12]

On 20 June 2006 the university announced a £259 million investment programme focusing on facilities, recruitment and research.[10] One of the outcomes of this investment has been a new university library, opened in July 2009.[11]

Modern day

The university was one of only eight United Kingdom universities to hold a parliamentary seat in the Parliament of the United Kingdom 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.

Parliamentary representation

[9].Kamalesh Sharma The incumbent is [8]

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