Studying in Belfast, United Kingdom

Study PhD's in Belfast

United Kingdom

Belfast at a glance

Known as one of the United Kingdom’s most affordable student cities, Belfast is an excellent location for pursuing your dream study programme. Belfast is a friendly and welcoming city, with around 60,000 of the population comprised of students. In fact, the city has one of the youngest populations in Europe – almost 20% people under 16 years old. Local universities are centres of excellence in teaching and learning, proving their graduates register a high employability rate. While in Belfast, you can enjoy and admire beautiful beaches and coastal scenery. No wonder this is the main filming location for most scenery filming in Game of Thrones! Get the insights of the fascinating history and cultural heritage, mostly known as the city who built the Titanic.  Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, UK, located at the western end of Belfast Lough and at the mouth of the River Lagan.


Studying in Belfast

Universities offerings cover a huge area of study programmes, available for undergraduate (Bachelor’s) level, postgraduate (Master’s) and PhD or doctoral studies.

Choose a degree programme in areas of high interest such as: accounting, biochemistry, business management, computer science, law, medicine, social work, politics, software engineering, graphic design, or tourism management. Take a highly regarded MBA to ensure your future success as a manager. Competitive PhDs offer rewarding doctoral studies, enabling students to do research in modern, well-equipped laboratories.

Take an online learning degree programme or distance studies with regular on-campus visits, or choose a diploma awarding short course on a topic that interests you.

All higher educational institutions integrate modern library learning centres and career and employability services.


Career opportunities in Belfast

The city attracts the largest number of software development projects in the UK outside of London, enjoying rapid economic growth in the past years, thanks to massive investments.

The most important industries sustaining Belfast’s economy are: arts, higher education, business, law, and commerce, being the main economic hub in the Northern Ireland.

Companies with headquarters or local offices in Belfast are: PwC, HAYS, Jar Technologies, Airpos, Danske Bank, Solomon and Peres, UTV Media, Whelan Commercial, Nambarrie, Northern Ireland Railways and Shorts Bombardier (the first aircraft manufacturing company in the world).

Belfast is home of the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News, The News Letter, and the BBC Northern Ireland, where students can practice in the fields of journalism and communication.

Students can engage in several internship opportunities in many companies from Belfast, particularly in the technology sector, which brought Belfast into the spotlight over the last years.


Belfast city life

Belfast has an interesting historical and cultural heritage, and you will love to take long walks in the city that inspired ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. An iconic and famous attraction is the Titanic Museum, where you can uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch.

Green areas represented by parks and gardens are an important part of Belfast’s heritage; you will find many places for picnics or jogging.

Belfast is well-known for the music and movies scene, as the city is home to many music and special events venues, like Oh Yeah Music Centre, two independent cinemas: the Queen's Film Theatre and the Strand Cinema, hosting screenings during the Belfast Film Festival. Attend the Grand Opera House if you consider drama, dance, comedy and musicals shows.

Other attractions include:

  • Albert Memorial Clock – Belfast’s version of Pisa’s Leaning Tower
  • The Alexandra Graving Dock
  • The Alice Clock –the only automaton clock in Ireland
  • Aunt Sandra's Candy Factory
  • Belfast Castle Estate – on Cave Hill, offering great views over the city
  • Belfast Cathedral

Check out Victoria Square if you want to do some shopping. Enjoy sporting events from Belfast’s notable sport teams of football, Gaelic games, rugby, cricket and ice hockey.

In terms of festivals, Belfast hosts many of them, the most popular is St. Patrick’s Day held every year in March.

International atmosphere in Belfast

Belfast has been attracting immigrants since 1930 and today almost half of the population born outside UK and Ireland lives in Belfast. Ethnic minority communities are comprised of Poles, Chinese and Indians.

Due to Belfast’s strategic location, close to the UK's only land border with another EU country, makes this city appealing for a significant number of business investors and traders. Belfast offers excellent local business support services and is continually adapting the business environment in order to satisfy international business demands. Studying abroad in Belfast is a great way to start an international network that can greatly improve your career success in the future.

Weather Belfast

Significant rainfall occurs throughout the whole year in Belfast, so you will often have to carry an umbrella with you. As an urban and coastal area, Belfast gets snow on fewer than ten days in a year. Lowest temperature in December is around -9 °C (17 °F) and highest temperatures during summer could go up to 31 °C (87 °F) in July.


Accommodation costs in Belfast

The following student accommodation options are available in Belfast:

1. University halls – starting from 280 GBP/month for a twin room and they can get higher for a single room.

2. Share apartment/house – a one or two bedrooms apartment you would have to pay between 400 and 600 GBP/month.

3. Host family (home stay) – 620 GBP/month.

4. Hostel – preferred mostly for a temporary stay, you can find several hostels, with rates starting from 16 GBP/night.

Living costs in Belfast

Belfast is one of UK’s least expensive cities. Cost of living in Belfast will largely depend on your lifestyle, but usually an average student spends between 700 and 800 GBP/month for expenses that include accommodation, food bills, moderate social activities and public transportation.

For your monthly supermarket food bills, you would spend around 130 GBP. A monthly public transportation student pass is around 40 GBP. For shopping, museums, libraries and others, you should use the ISIC card as you can get numerous discounts.

Universities in Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast is steeped in heritage yet benefits from world-class, state-of-the-art facilities. Queen’s has a history of investing in people and building brighter futures. It’s a place where learning and research come together to create new and exciting global opportunities. The university has a rich heritage and a renowned history of producing Nobel Laureates, leading global academics and national and international leaders over the last 170 years.

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