Useful information

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Families and dependants

Education and childcare

If you are planning to bring your family with you to the UK it is vital that you prepare for this in advance and find accommodation which is suitable for them to live in.

You may also need to consider education and childcare arrangements. 

Education for your family

If you are bringing or have brought your family with you, you should be aware that education in the UK is compulsory for all children between five and sixteen years of age and is normally free of charge. We would recommend that you organise this before you arrive in the UK as it can be very difficult to find a school quickly.

Guidance for school attendance in the UK can be found at the Department for Education website

Crèche, nursery, childcare facilities

We strongly recommend that you organise this before you arrive in the UK as it can be very difficult to find these facilities quickly.

If you want to place your children in the Queen’s crèche you should contact the crèche as far in advance of your arrival as possible. Contact them at . You can also choose to use other crèche facilities details of which can be found at the following link:

When you have found a nursery or crèche you would like your children to attend, you must telephone them and make an appointment to discuss whether there are places available for your children. You will have to pay a monthly charge to the crèche.

It is your responsibility to find crèche for your children. Queen’s University cannot book this for you.

Types of schools in the UK

Children’s education in the UK begins with primary education the year a child turns five until they are eleven. Children then move to secondary school where they stay until they reach sixteen, seventeen or eighteen years of age. These are normally local authority maintained schools (State Schools) and are free to all children between the ages of five and sixteen. You could choose to send your child to an independent school, (private/public schools) but you would pay for their education.

You are expected to make sure that your child has a pen, pencil, ruler etc. but the cost of other more specialised equipment and books are covered by the school. You would be expected to pay for your child’s school uniform and items of sportswear. Charges may also be made for music lessons and for board and lodgings on residential trips.

When you have found a school you would like your children to attend, you must make an appointment with the Head Teacher to discuss whether they have places available.

Schools list

To find a list of schools in the Belfast area, go to and enter your Northern Ireland postcode in the highlighted box. This must be the post code for the address where you will live and NOT the University. Please note you cannot register your children for school enrolment until you arrive in the UK.

It is your responsibility to find a school for your children. Queen’s University cannot book this for you.

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Health Services

Hospitals, Doctors, Dentists and Opticians

Most medical treatment in the UK is provided under the National Health Service (NHS). Some services are free and there are charges for others.

If you are following a full-time course of study lasting at more than six months you will be entitled to treatment under the National Health Service. If you are married, your spouse and any children will also be entitled to free cover.

If your course lasts less than six months, you will not be entitled to treatment except by a hospital in an emergency unless you come from a country which has a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK. Students from countries with which the UK has a reciprocal health care agreement may receive health care as “temporary residents”. Students from other countries may be required to show personal medical insurance.

In some cases reciprocal health care agreements exclude treatment for conditions that existed prior to your arrival in the UK. Check this before you leave your home country – speak to your doctor.

If you are studying a course that lasts less than six months, you should bring any regular medication with you as this medication will be charged at full cost.

Further information

University Health Centre

The University Health Centre at Queen’s is a General Practice that provides both student-focused and general National Health services. Please follow the link below for more information. http://www.universityhealthcentre It is situated on the main campus beside Elmwood Hall which is off University Road and Elmwood Avenue.

If you are an international student studying at Queen’s for six months or more, you must register with a Health Centre. This entitles any student from any country to treatment from the University Health Centre; hospital treatment in emergencies from the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Belfast City Hospital; and subsidised dental and eye services.

If you are an international student studying at Queen’s for less than six months, you are not required to register with the University Health Centre. Should illness occur, such students can contact the University Health Service to make an appointment at a small cost.

- A doctor is “on call“ in the case of an emergency for those students who have registered with the University Health Service – Tel: 028 9066 4634 (Monday-Friday 8.30am to 5.30 pm). Outside these hours, contact 028 9079 6220.


The two nearest hospitals to the University are:

Belfast City Hospital NHS Trust, 51 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AB. Telephone: 02890 329 241 http://www.

Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 6BA. Telephone: 028 9024 0503

What if I need medical advice?

111 is the NHS non-emergency free number. If you require medical help urgently call 999.


There is a charge for all dental treatment but it is less expensive to be treated under the NHS than as a private patient. It might not be possible to find a dentist who can provide you with dental treatment under NHS. When you register with a dentist you should check if they can treat you under the NHS. A list of dentists in Belfast is available from the University Health Centre.

Details of emergency dentists can be found at: DentalServices.htm


There is a minimum charge for an eye test and you will have to pay the cost of any spectacles or contact lenses you might need. Go to the following link for a list of opticians in Belfast http://www.cityvisitor.


The national emergency number in the UK is 999. This is for Police, Ambulance and Fire Service and is ONLY TO BE USED FOR VERY SERIOUS EMERGENCIES.

If you are not sure about whether or not you should ring 999, you can ring Queen’s Security: Tel. 028 9097 5099 who will help you.

The national Non-emergency and general enquiries telephone number in the UK is 101. You can call 101 if you wish to report a non-emergency incident or hate crime.

What if I need medication late at night – where can I find an out of hours pharmacy?

The NHS Direct line will be able to tell you where you can find an out of hours pharmacy in Belfast. You could also check the following: http://

What should I do about vaccinations/ immunisations?

You should visit your doctor in your home country before departing for the UK to check if you are required to have any vaccinations or if any are recommended. There are some vaccinations which the UK NHS recommends you should have before you arrive or soon after you arrive.

These are available here:

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