Why choose the IIS Summer School?

International students choose to attend the Irish Studies Summer School for a number of reasons. Primarily, the Summer School attracts those who are eager to explore Irish culture from a variety of viewpoints. Students are given the opportunity to learn about a vast range of subjects and disciplines from Irish and Northern Irish perspectives. These include diverse areas such as history, literature, languages, politics, social anthropology, film, and theatre. Lectures and seminars are taught by internationally-acclaimed scholars. Also, the innovative combination of teaching and fieldwork delivers a valuable and rewarding programme.

Click here to read about the experiences of former students on the International Summer Scheme.

Newspaper articles about our programme:

The Summer School is co-ordinated by the Institute of Irish Studies, an internationally-renowned centre for Irish scholarship, awarded a top grade 5 in the United Kingdom Research Assessment Exercises in 2001 and again rated highly for international excellence in the last exercise in 2008 as part of the School of History and Anthropology. Queen’s University Belfast is one of the twenty research-led universities in the UK's 'Russell Group', and is one of the leading centres for historical and anthropological research on the island of Ireland. Read about Queen's in the Times Good University Guide.

The Director of the Institute is Dr Dominic Bryan. Dominic is author of Orange Parades and has worked with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Community Relations Council. Assistant Director at the Institute is  . Eamonn is Senior Lecturer in the School of English at Queen’s and has published widely on many aspects of Irish literature and culture.

With consistently excellent scores in the UK-wide Teaching Quality Assessment and a member of the elite Russell Group, Queen’s University plays a pivotal role in the educational and cultural life of Northern Ireland. The University is proud of it’s ‘Irishness’ and the extraordinary cultural heritage of this island.

Among the varied alumni of Queen’s are Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, President Mary McAleese, and Nobel prize-winners Seamus Heaney, David Trimble and John Hume (who is an honorary graduate). For a university in a small island this is a proud achievement. 

The Queen’s University campus is located on the south side of the city of Belfast, in the vibrant ‘Queen’s Quarter’. This area is packed with restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs, museums, parks, bookshops, and cinemas, and is popular with students of all ages.

Significant changes have occurred in Belfast in the last number of years and its cultural and political landscapes have transformed completely. Cross-community and inclusive festivals abound and community leaders and politicians are willing to enter dialogue with each other. Belfast is a centre of diverse cultural activity: the historic Titantic Quarter, the Falls Road, the Shankhill, the lively nightlife of the Cathedral Quarter and the many shops, pubs and restaurants of the City Centre. It is a city in transition, and a fascinating place to live and work. Now is an exciting time to be in Belfast, to watch this change unfold.