Founded by Queen Victoria in 1845, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) is the ninth oldest university in the UK.
Just 90 students constituted the institution's first intake, which now boasts a cohort of more than 17,000 – including 1,800 international students from 100 countries – enrolled across three faculties: arts, humanities and social sciences; medical, health and life sciences; and engineering and physical sciences.
With over 100 listed buildings on its city campus, QUB is considered one of the most beautiful of all universities. Its stunning architecture was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, the architect who also designed other major historical landmarks in Belfast such as Belfast Castle and Customs House.
The university has benefitted from a recent investment in its infrastructure, with over £350m spent on buildings and improved facilities, including the construction of a new graduate school and the Wellcome Wolfson Building Centre for Experimental Medicine, which hopes to attract over 1000 leading scientists and clinicians from around the world.
Other redevelopments include a £50m spend on the McClay Library to include the latest technology, media services, group work areas, a café and a language centre.
QUB is a research-intensive university. In 2013, its development of liquid chemistry was deemed the ‘Most Important British Innovation of the 21st Century’, according to the Science Museum, and its commitment to accessibility and equality in engineering and science have been recognised with ten Athena SWAN awards.
Alongside academic study, the university places an equal emphasis on the acquisition of practical skills relevant to the workplace. It recently introduced 'employer partnership degrees' that allow students to combine work placements with classroom studies.
Student entrepreneurs also have access to free business incubation space and start-up support, while career services include an alumni mentoring scheme that gives undergraduates the opportunity to be paired with high-achieving graduates to help support their career goals.
Alumni of QUB include poet Seamus Heaney, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, and Northern Ireland’s former First Minister Lord Trimble, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.