Why choose the pre-semester programme

Most international students choosing Queen’s for the Irish Studies pre-semester programme are eager to explore Ireland and Irish culture. This course offers the opportunity to do this through the study of subjects from Irish and Northern Irish perspectives: for example, history, literature, politics, social anthropology, film and theatre, language and literature. Lectures and seminars are taught by scholars with international reputations.

The programme is co-ordinated by the Institute of Irish Studies (the first of its kind in the world), an internationally-recognised research Institute, awarded a top grade 5 in the United Kingdom Research Assessment Exercises (1996, 2001).

Queen’s is proud of its ‘Irishness’ and the extraordinary cultural heritage of this island. To be exposed to this culture is as much part of the Queen’s experience as the academic programme itself. Among the varied alumni of Queen’s are Liam Neeson and President Mary McAleese, and Nobel prize-winners Seamus Heaney, David Trimble and John Hume (who is an honorary graduand). For a university in a small island this is a proud achievement.

Queen’s University Belfast, located in Northern Ireland, is also part of the United Kingdom (UK) education system. UK education enjoys a reputation for unsurpassed quality throughout the world. With a history dating back almost 800 years, the British way of learning has inspired education systems the world over and is still among the most valued and successful.

The Queen’s University campus is located in the attractive south side of the city of Belfast. One of the city’s best known thoroughfares is the so-called ‘Golden Mile’. This area, right beside Queen’s, is packed with restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs and cinemas, and is popular with students and young people throughout the year.

While images of Belfast and the troubled north have flooded the screens and newspapers of the world: for those who choose to live and work here, it is a fascinating place, a centre of diverse cultural activity enlivened by debate and discussion, a crucible for change.