Skip to Content


For further information for students coming to Queen's under the age of 18 on their first day of study please see the relevant sections below. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Student Wellbeing Service (Tel: +44 (0) 28 90 972893 or email:

  • Under 18 Restrictions

    The following restrictions apply to students under the age of 18:

    • Any person under 18 cannot usually be legally held to a contract. For that reason, under 18’s should not be able to access credit cards or enter into hire purchase agreements. However, if you are over 14 but under 18, you can enter into a credit or hire purchase agreement if an adult acts as your guarantor. Further information about money and consumer advice issues can be obtained from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
    • While you are under 18, you may not hold elected office – this includes within the Students’ Union, but does not include roles such as Staff-Student Consultative Committee representative.
    • Anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed in any bar area of licensed premises or registered clubs. However, some places hold a children’s certificate that allows a young person accompanied by an adult to be in the bar area (but not at the bar) in premises up to 9pm.
    • The Queen’s University Students’ Union policy does not allow anyone under the age of 18 into any of the licensed areas at any time.
    • In Northern Ireland, if you are under 18 you are allowed to go into a pub which serves food. However, you are not allowed to drink any alcohol, regardless of whether an adult has bought it or not. It is a criminal offence for someone under 18 to buy alcohol or drink alcohol in a public bar, or for someone to buy alcohol for them.
    • You can access more information on the laws in Northern Ireland at
  • Parental Consent Form
  • Parental Consent Form (Tier 4 Students)
  • Educational Guardianship

    For students at Queen’s University Belfast who will be under the age of 18 on their first day of studies, and who will not be living with a legal guardian or parent during their studies, their parents / guardians are encouraged to consider an educational guardianship arrangement while they are under the age of 18.

    Educational Guardians are not the same as ‘legal guardians’. Educational Guardians have a parent’s permission to act as their representative in the United Kingdom, should the need arise while their son or daughter is studying here.

    Information about Educational Guardianship, and guardianship providers can be found on the AEGIS (Association for the Education and Guardianship for International Students) website

    Different providers will offer different services, for a cost. Some Educational Guardians may offer visits to the student, provide additional support to settle in to a new city and country, or source host families for holiday visits. Guardianship organisations should provide a 24 hour emergency contact point for either students or parents, if problems should arise.

    It is the case that boarding schools in the UK may require an educational guardian as a condition for admission. This is not the case with Queen’s University, though parents of international students are encouraged to consider the best way for their child, and their family, to be supported while their child is under the age of 18.

    Please note that not all agencies will operate in Northern Ireland, so please enquire about this when speaking to an educational guardianship provider. You should also clarify the services provided (e.g. organising home stay visits with host families, frequency of contact with your child) and the cost of this provision, and what is offered by the organisation.