Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908.
Today, we are ranked 198 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023), and are a member of the Russell Group of UK research intensive universities, combining excellence in research and education with a student-centred ethos.
In this report, you will read about how we cemented our leadership role in the economic and social development of Northern Ireland, aided by the continuing progress of our Strategy 2030 ambitions.
The report highlights many of our achievements as a University community and our impact across education, research and society, both locally and internationally, as well as our ambitious plans for the future.
Strategy 2030 sets out our ambition for the next ten years to Shape A Better World through life-changing education and research.
Our vision is to be a global research-intensive university, generating internationally leading research coupled with outstanding teaching and learning, focused on the needs of our society, locally and globally.
We are proud to be a member of the Russell Group, and are a highly ranked institution across many subject areas. We have a reputation for teaching excellence, informed by world-leading academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.
A rich history
Since 1845, our world-leading researchers, pioneering students and inspirational alumni have been making a difference to society in Belfast and across the world.
Some of our renowned graduates include Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, ‘Northern Ireland’s Einstein’ John Stewart Bell, and the father of emergency medicine James Francis Pantridge. Explore our rich heritage.
Making a Difference
Our world class campus facilities are highly rated by students. Our aim is to inspire our students to be tomorrow's global citizens through leadership and citizenship, with wellbeing, inclusivity and cultural diversity at the fore.
Our students go on to make significant contributions to society, a fact of which we are very proud.
As a global institution, we have a major role to play in making a positive impact in our environment.
Our Strategy 2030 sets out how we will embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals across all our activities, from research and education to adopting a leadership role in the promotion of the SDGs, and leading by example in areas such as equality, diversity and inclusion, sustainable procurement and a commitment to disinvestment from fossil fuels.
We are a signatory to the UN Accord, which recognises the key role that global universities have in nurturing a culture of sustainability and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 through research and education.
We are committed to reducing our environmental impact, having invested £10 million to date in over 80 energy efficiency projects and we are currently developing the next stage of our carbon strategy.
The role of a university goes beyond education and skills; we have a key influence on the economy, through research and innovation, which drives economic growth, creating new and better jobs.
Our activity in areas such as research exchange and knowledge exports has an estimated annual impact of over £3billion and that on average, a degree from Queen’s is worth over £100k to the graduate. Every £1 invested in Queen's generates £8.20 within the UK economy. (London Economics Report)
We are proud of our record in working with local communities, businesses and policy makers to improve the lives and livelihoods of those who call Northern Ireland home and committed to continuing to give back through our research locally.
Queen’s is pivotal to Northern Ireland’s social and economic development.
We are playing a central role in the Belfast Region City Deal and are accelerating economic growth, ensuring a talent pipeline of fully equipped, future-ready graduates to meet demand.
We are renowned for our strengths in enterprise and innovation, and was ranked 1st in the UK as the most entrepreneurial University in 2019 and 2020 (Octopus Ventures Impact Rankings).
Our spin-out portfolio has a combined annual turnover of £171 million and has created 2,700 jobs, with half of Northern Ireland’s public companies created at Queen’s, including Kainos Group Plc, Andor Technology and Fusion Antibodies Plc.
We remain one of the leading providers of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) in the UK, engaging with businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity.
The University is a seven-times winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education. This prestigious award is the highest national honour available to universities and FE colleges across the UK, approved directly by The Queen and Parliament.
We are committed to providing a positive culture throughout the University that celebrates diversity, is welcoming, and inclusive.
We are one of only 21 UK universities to hold Athena Swan Silver status, an accolade that recognises our commitment to progressing gender equality.
We’re proud of the diversity of our staff, with over 80 countries represented in our multicultural, inclusive and vibrant campus community. We were awarded the Silver Diversity Mark by Diversity Mark in December 2021, in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender diversity, and the progress made at Queen’s in advancing gender, race and disability equality, and our ambitious plans to do more in these spaces.
We are ranked joint 13th in the UK for research intensity (Complete University Guide 2022), with 99% of research submitted by Queen’s assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021).
Researchers at Queen's help tackle the global challenges of our age, changing people’s lives for the better, in areas such as health, food, conflict and technology.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 highlighted the depth of quality across the University:
- 1st in the UK for Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Sciences
- 4th in the UK for Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy
- 8th in the UK for Law (REF 2021/ Times Higher Education)
With 96% of our Engineering research rated as world leading or internationally excellent. Our research community is a vibrant hub for intellectual development, exchange and collaboration. We support, develop and nurture outstanding researchers to become research leaders of the future.
See the global impact of our research.
A dynamic and diverse city in which to study and work, Belfast is now a leading global location for investment projects and major developments in innovation and enterprise.
It's a UK capital city with a passion for progress – a passion shared by Queen’s University Belfast, with our campus positioned in the beating heart of the city.
Belfast has a long and proud history of industry and innovation, from ship building to linen manufacturing.
Today, its young, dynamic population is a thriving business community drives technological advances, building competitiveness, innovation and prosperity on the global stage.