8 Things You Didn’t Know About Studying in Belfast
Sponsored by Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast may be celebrated for its good craic*, outstanding education, and diverse culture, but we bet there are still a few things you didn’t know about life in the historic Northern Irish capital.
So, before you pack your bags for the study experience of your life, take a look at what else you’ll discover when you live and study in Belfast.
You’ll experience world-class education in Northern Ireland’s most prestigious university
Established in 1845, Queen’s University Belfast attracts students from 85 countries across all four corners of the globe.
Well known for its very high research output and state-of-the-art facilities, Queen’s University Belfast was ranked 173rd in the world and 26th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings® 2020. It also has 14 subjects sitting comfortably in the top 200 in the world according to the latest QS World Rankings by Subject 2019.
Phew! It seems as if it’s fairly safe to say that Queen’s offers an academic experience like no other.
You’ll follow in the footsteps of some of Queen’s University most notable alumni
From Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Seamus Heaney, to Annie Mac, who you may recognize as the voice of BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds show, it’s exciting to know that you’ve walked down the same corridors, sat in the same lecture theaters, and potentially borrowed the same books out of the library as some of the university’s most notable alumni.
You’ll be inspired by the C.S. Lewis Reading Room at Queen’s University Belfast
Speaking of big names, the world-famous author, C.S. Lewis was born in Belfast and the surrounding countryside was considered to be a source of inspiration for his classic tales of The Chronicles of Narnia.
So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that at Queen’s University Belfast, they have their very own C.S. Lewis Reading Room to commemorate the author and his renowned novels. The relaxing study space has glass-engraved inscriptions which line the walls to boost student motivation.
Belfast is where the Titanic was built
Ok, so you may know this one already, but the incredibly fascinating history of the doomed ship is still prominent in Belfast, today.
An absolute must-see in between studying and lectures is Titanic Belfast, which tells the story of the Titanic, from its construction all the way through to its place in history. The museum was even awarded best visitor attraction in the world, in the World Travel Awards 2016.
Belfast has been voted ‘Best in Travel’
Belfast is a dynamic and modern city with a rich heritage and even richer identity. Renowned for its eclectic artistic murals and lively music scene which excites the city’s cobbled streets, you’ll also experience a warm and welcoming atmosphere from the friendly locals. Get down to any pub or live music venue and you’ll experience good craic* in no time.
Belfast is also a stone’s throw away from miles of endless coastline. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in 2018, Lonely Planet declared Belfast and the Causeway Coast the number one region in the world to visit.
Studying in Belfast means you’ll have access to all of this, while still getting the city life experience. At weekends you should explore the great outdoors and get up to the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast – Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Nature Reserve.
The film industry loves Belfast
Forget Hollywood, Northern Ireland is the hottest new filming-location. Thanks to its stunning coastlines, castles and countryside, Northern Ireland is the new go-to filming location for a whole host of big-budget productions.
If you’re considering pursuing your undergraduate or postgraduate degree in film studies here, there’s no better place for it. From Game of Thrones to Line of Duty, as far as filming locations go, it’s one of the most popular for national and international film companies.
Belfast is also a city of innovation and great entrepreneurial spirit
Belfast is a city of innovation, and is becoming a hotbed for innovative technological advances. In fact, it was ranked second in the world’s Top 10 Digital Economies of the Future, and was also named as one of the top 10 cities in the UK to develop a digital career.
So, it’s no wonder that Queen’s University students are making the most of the city’s resources and facilities in order to make their way on to the booming tech startup scene alongside their studies.
Despite being a capital city, Belfast is one of the most affordable student cities in the UK
Having been voted the eighth most affordable university town in the UK, Belfast is a real crowd pleaser when it comes to student living.
It’s also small enough to get around, but still has everything you could possibly need in a university city. With efficient transport links, including two airports (one of which is named after the country’s famous football star, the late George Best), and 99 ferry sailings each week, getting to and from mainland Europe and the rest of the UK is both cheap and within easy reach.
This article was originally published in August 2019 . It was last updated in September 2021