Greater Belfast

University of Ulster, Belfast Welcome to the Greater Belfast Development website which provides the latest information and updates concerning the development of our Belfast and Jordanstown campuses.

The University’s strategic development plans are designed to spearhead higher education in Greater Belfast over the next decade. The development of a new campus around the existing York Street complex is a creative and exciting initiative representing the creation of a modern university right in the heart of Belfast city. It will provide an innovative and transformative higher educational environment offering new opportunities for learning through a variety of modes and the generation of knowledge that contributes to the economic, social and cultural life of the city, the region and further afield.

The new campus will build upon the University's recognised strengths in the provision of professional education focussing on employability and skills yet providing flexibility in response to the changing higher education and external environments.

This contribution characterises the University’s continuing commitment to the city which began over 160 years ago with the establishment of our founding School of Design. This rich legacy has enlivened the artistic, design and cultural life of the city and continues in the wide range of high quality teaching and research programmes in these disciplines on offer today.

The rationale for the Belfast campus redevelopment is driven by the University’s response to the replacement of the Jordanstown campus a decision which is outlined below. All activities currently based at Jordanstown will transfer to Belfast by 2018 except for our world class sports facilities, some specialist engineering and the student residences.

In addition to the educational benefits which the new campus development will bring to the city it is also recognised that this is the largest non-market led development project that is likely to take place in the city over the next decade. The regenerative impacts will be immense particularly in stimulating economic development in the northern part of the city as well as a catalyst to development across the wider urban area.

Our vision for the Greater Belfast Development is to promote a creative, innovative, transformative and vibrant environment that will stimulate, inspire and add value to our core activities of teaching and learning, and research and innovation.


Physical estate review
Greater Belfast Campuses

University of Ulster Pathway, Belfast

In 2006 the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) commissioned JM Consulting to undertake an independent review of the physical estate across the whole of the higher education sector in Northern Ireland. Their report identified that the buildings at our Jordanstown campus were the key challenge facing the higher education sector in Northern Ireland.

JM Consulting concluded that the building was coming to the end of its economic life. The review also pointed to the difficulties involved in seeking to renovate the building. Following receipt of the JM Consulting report, we commissioned our own report which reinforced the conclusions of the earlier report and concluded that best value would be achieved by demolishing the existing building and constructing new buildings.


Greater Belfast
Campus Review Outcome

Outside University of Ulster, Belfast

The review presented us with a particular challenge because, unlike most university campuses, Jordanstown essentially comprises one large building rather than a collection of buildings which could be renovated or replaced one at a time without significant disruption to the ongoing activities of the University.

Given that the consultants’ reports identified the need to replace the building our option appraisal considered whether it was best to do this at Jordanstown or, given the success of the recent redevelopment of our Belfast campus, to move some of our activity to Belfast. The outcome of the appraisal resulted in a decision to transfer most activities to an enlarged Belfast campus and we have purchased sites immediately adjacent to the existing campus buildings.

Part of the Jordanstown campus will be retained namely, our sporting facilities, some specialist engineering and the student residences. Jordanstown will be developed further as a leading sports campus building upon our existing world class facilities.


Transfer of students and
staff to Belfast

Inside University of Ulster, Belfast

The Greater Belfast development plans will see the transfer of students and staff between Jordanstown and Belfast, with most of the existing Jordanstown activity being moved into the city. By 2018, we will have more than 15,000 students and staff studying and working in the Cathedral Quarter.

Jordanstown will remain part of our estate and will continue to house our excellent sports facilities, forming the hub of all sports-related team and individual activities, together with our student residences and specialist research facilities.