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Discover Ulster University

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Ulster University, Belfast campus building - Discover Ulster Online

At Ulster University we have decades of experience teaching distance learning programmes alongside on-campus offerings. Flexible and 100% online, Ulster’s online Masters courses are perfect for working professionals keen on balancing their studies alongside existing commitments. 

If you’re curious to know about who we are, what we do, and what it’s like being an online student at Ulster University, then read on. You might find out some things that surprise you… 

Who are Ulster? 

Ulster University the largest university in Northern Ireland, with strong links to local business and industry. We have played a key part in building the country’s tech ecosystem, helping students build key skills and practical experience to boost employability and maintain the global dominance of the UK tech sector.  

Outside of the region, Ulster University is internationally recognised for its world-class research and ongoing collaboration with employers across various sectors. Within the Research Excellence Framework (REF, 2021), Ulster was rated among the top 10% of UK universities for its research impact. 

We have character, history, and academic expertise all of our own, but first, a little background: 

A (very) brief history of Ulster University 

Ulster is a relatively young university, officially founded in 1984 with the merger of the New University of Ulster and Ulster Polytechnic – but our origins go back as far as the mid-19th century with our two other constituent colleges, the Belfast School of Art and Magee College. 

Since Ulster establishment, we’ve grown across four regional Northern Irish campuses (as well as bases in London, Birmingham, and even Qatar) with an academic body of 27,000 students and over 2,000 staff. 

UU was one of the first universities to offer fully online degree courses in the early 2000s in biomedical science. Our distance learning courses have since expanded and remain an important offering to online students from the UK and around the world. 

So, although we may be relatively young, we have old roots and forward-thinking ideas beyond our years. 

Ulster’s international recognition 

Despite its regional location, Ulster punches well above its weight in terms of international rankings. Within the Complete University Guide’s University League Tables for 2022, Ulster rose a total of 16 places from the previous year to stand among the top 50 UK institutions.  

Ulster was also shortlisted for the ‘University of the Year’ award by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. 

Ulster continues to climb rankings across many disciplines, scoring increasingly highly for its academic base, teaching, research power, and student satisfaction. 

Ulster’s reputation and goals 

We see ourselves as Northern Ireland’s civic university. Community is part of our DNA. We’re a publicly funded research university with charitable status. Making a positive impact on the wellbeing and prosperity of the community is at the heart of what we stand for. 

This might sound like a high-minded ideal – in reality, it just means Ulster is a place where local people can be inspired, educated, improve their skills, and take that knowledge and experience back to improve society around them. We want to be a force for good in Northern Ireland and beyond. 

Ulster is a university with a global vision, producing world-leading research and leading our students with the latest developments in academia and student experience.

Woman works at a laptop in a cafe - studying online at Ulster University

About Ulster’s online courses 

Ulster has been running online programmes for over 20 years. In this time, we’ve developed our distance learning offerings into an efficient, flexible, and rewarding model to reach all types of students around the world. 

All of our online courses offer the same respected qualifications as their on-campus counterparts and we strive to make our distance learning students feel as much a part of Ulster University life and community as their on-campus peers. 

All of our online courses are designed with practical, professional applications in mind. Whether you’re studying in the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences or with the Ulster University Business School, your qualification will be career-focused and combine real-world case studies and practical work as well as theory. Vocational education is key to our goals as a civic university – with the aim of bringing meaningful skills and knowledge to help improve society. 

What is studying online at Ulster like? 

Our online courses cover a range of subjects and disciplines and Ulster’s distance learning portfolio is expanding. For our 1,500+ remote learners, the online student experience is flexible, rewarding, and inclusive. 

There’s an online learning community enabled by our e-learning platform. Remote students are fully supported, not just by their academic tutors, but with dedicated Student Success Advisors who are on hand from the moment they enrol right up to graduation. Moreover, distance learning students are given all the resources, readings, and access to lectures and staff that they need via UU’s online platforms, accessible 24/7. 

The main benefits of online learning with Ulster is the flexibility of the programme design, with the same quality teaching that you would get in person. 

What courses does Ulster University offer? 

Ulster covers a wide range of programmes and disciplines. In many of these we produce world-leading research from state-of-the-art facilities. 

UU has four main faculties: 

  • Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences 
  • Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment 
  • Faculty of Life and Health Sciences 
  • Ulster University Business School (UUBS) 

We currently run four online Masters programmes: 

At the Business School: 

  • Business in Tech MSc 
  • FinTech Management MSc 

Regardless of whether you’re based at one of these campuses or an online student based at home, you’ll benefit from the expertise of our staff, the research enabled by our modern facilities, and the wide reach of our faculties across the region. 

Ulster University’s industry links 

Across our disciplines, Ulster maintains strong connections to industry organisations and bodies, locally, regionally, and internationally. This is a crucial part of our ethos – ensuring that learning outcomes for students are directly applicable to their current or future careers. 

For instance, UUBS not only collaborates with the Harvard Business School, but we have links to business organisations and industry individuals who help us design some of our courses and keep our teaching relevant. 

Likewise, our online Biomedical Science MSc is taught by research-active academics, many of whom are core members of Ulster’s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BMSRI). The faculty are active in the NICHE (Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health) research group, Cancer Research UK, and other industry bodies. 

We encourage our staff to deliver the highest quality research and foster links with other institutions and industry organisations. This helps ensure our academics are in touch with the latest industry developments while also producing career-focused programmes and graduates who are ready to face the world of work immediately. 

Study online with Ulster University 

There’s a lot more to discover about UU and the career-enhancing programmes we offer. If you have a particular course in mind we can answer any questions about that particular faculty, or about our online courses in general. 

Have a look at our distance learning programmes and if you have any queries about a particular subject or Ulster Online services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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