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Why Choose Queen’s

5 Reasons Why You Should Study in Belfast: An ROI Student’s Perspective

Human Biology student Sarah gives 5 key reasons why she is glad she made the move from Galway to study at Queen's in Belfast.

Samson and Goliath cranes in Belfast

Cost of Accommodation and Living

Belfast does not have the rental crunch that Dublin or even Galway and Cork have, so finding a secure, reasonably priced home to live in will not be difficult.

The average monthly cost of student housing in the vibrant Queen's Quarter is at most €500 (£430), with rent in the city being almost 70% less than in Dublin. Putting the cost aside, there are so many more accommodation options available in Belfast in walking distance to Queen’s as opposed to Dublin, Galway, and Cork in relation to the universities. Not to mention, the cost of living is notably cheaper than the Republic of Ireland, with bills and groceries reportedly costing 30% less.

Belfast has the lowest cost of living in the UK (Mercer Cost of Living City Ranking 2023)

Bedroom in student accommodation

View all Queen's accommodation options here!

Queen’s Reputation as a Russell Group University

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024, Queen's has the fourth-best international outlook in the world. Queen’s is also one of 24 of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities.

From my experience at Queen’s, there are so many more opportunities to get involved in the University compared to universities in the Republic. These include many amazing opportunities with GoGlobal, being able to have your voice heard (and listened to) within the Students’ Union, as well as a platform (QWork) that offers part time work around the University to make some pocket money.

Queen’s is in the top 170 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022)

Future Ready Skills NY Programme banner with Statue of Liberty in background

I have been selected by the GoGlobal team at Queen's to go to New York for the Future-Ready Skills for Leaders: New York Programme 2024 - an amazing opportunity that will open so many doors to me and I will learn so much about design thinking and networking - an experience I certainly would not be offered in any other University!

Queen’s offers the perfect balance of a student-centered ethos, presumably offering excellent educational prospects as well as enjoying student life to the fullest.  What's not to love about that?

Safety of Living in Belfast

Belfast is one of the safest cities in Europe and Northern Ireland has the second lowest crime rate in Europe. Queen’s is a student-centred university, so no matter where you go around Queen’s Quarter, be it a night out or a sunny daytime stroll, you are bound to bump into a friendly face you know who is looking out for you.

Belfast is in the safest region in the UK (UK Crime Surveys 2021/22)

Student holding takeaway coffee cup in Botanic Gardens

Grabbing a coffee and going for a walk around the beautiful Botanic Gardens

Belfast is relatively small, so after a few weeks you will know the way around like the back of your hand!

Belfast's cultural experiences

Belfast is a city with a deep-rooted history and is also the gateway to Northern Ireland. It is a bustling city, a hub for concerts, shows and gigs once the weekend comes along. This, in turn, provides a tourist or new student with plenty of amazing opportunities to explore stunning restaurants, rich historical experiences or browsing museums for hours on end.

"Belfast is bursting with clubs, pubs and music, and has a packed schedule of festivals and events including Belsonic and Belfast Vital close to the university." (Complete University Guide 2024)

Belfast city hall at night

Belfast City Hall at night!

From taking a trip to the Giant’s Causeway, to browsing the Ulster Museum, located in the lively Botanic Gardens in the heart of the Queen’s Quarter, to checking out the renowned Titanic Experience, there is absolutely something to do in every student's spare time, with enough time left to indulge in one of the mouthwatering restaurants or cafes nearby.

Proximity of Belfast to ROI towns and villages

People like to think Belfast is an age away from the Republic of Ireland, when in reality it is only just a couple of hours away from most locations. It is only a short train journey from Dublin, but from Galway, Cork, and many other counties it is two. What's to complain about that? You can kick your feet up and get up to date on your most recent Netflix series, catch up on some seriously needed sleep, or if desperate, do some uni work.

View of Dublin from train

Dublin is just a short train journey away

The Irish Rail and Enterprise rail services are extremely smooth running and run from Belfast, as well as to locations in the Republic of Ireland every two to three hours, so you will never be short of a way home.

Find out more

ROI students: Admissions Guide

More blogs from ROI students

Queen's rankings and reputation

Also by Sarah: Taking a Day Trip from Belfast to Dublin

Sarah Geraghty

Human Biology | Undergraduate Student | Galway, Ireland

My name is Sarah Geraghty! I am a second year Human Biology student from Galway. I'm 21 and I feel like I have a lot to offer in the line of advice because I realise that a lot of people have a hard time settling in and making friends in university and that the expectations of “university life” don't always meet reality for many students.

I am in the Biomedical Science society, and I really enjoy it. 

Sarah Gerarty