Learn more about our Elite Athlete Programme
The Queen’s Elite Athlete Programme (EAP) provides prospective, exceptional students a platform to achieve their sporting and academic goals.
Why Choose the Elite Athlete Programme at Queen’s?
Choose Queen’s to take you to the next level. We feel we are the best choice due to our:
- World renowned education
- Top class facilities
- Support network
- Programme benefits
- Cost-efficient city centre location
Important Application Dates
- Application status
- Open 5 September 2016
- Closing date
- 28 February 2017
- Fees - £3,000 p/a
- Accommodation - £2,000 p/a
- Travel/subsistence allowance
- Academic mentoring
- Sports clothing
- Personalised strength + conditioning
- Academic flexibility
- Medical support
- 14 places available annually
- + all other Academy benefits
Queen’s University recognises that combining high level sport and higher education can be difficult. The University is fully supportive of elite athletes who manage themselves well and are proactive in organising their sport and their studies.
The University has therefore developed the following guidelines for ACADEMIC FLEXIBILITY to allow those students to combine their sporting responsibilities with their academic requirements.
- Leave of absence/authorised absence from scheduled classes
- Longer study period
Both the student and the University have a responsibility to ensure that elite athletes can compete at the highest level whilst also meeting the requirements of their academic programmes.
- Proven Junior or Senior International
- Participation at Olympic Games, World & European Champs
- Meet the academic standards for entry to Queen’s University Belfast
- Progress on International Pathway or National Trialing programmes
- Highly ranked within their chosen sport
- Proven record of success
- Meet specific test scores relevant to sport
- Maintain satisfactory sporting performance
- Meet the academic requirements of study
- Attend and progress through four individual meetings per year
- Represent Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in all competitions
- Act as ambassadors of QUB and Queen’s Sport (QS)
- Wear the QUB branded apparel of their respective QUB Sports Club while competing on behalf of the University
- Travel with the relevant QUB Sports Team or Club
- Support Marketing and Recruitment and attend relevant promotional events/functions
- Seek permission from QS to represent non-QUB affiliated Clubs or Teams on exceptional circumstances
- Commit to training and testing as specified within the performance pathway of your sport
- Attend all Personal Development Events (A.I.M)
Meet our current elite athletes
BSc Actuarial Science & Risk Management
BSc Mathematics with Finance
Queen’s Sporting Greats
Third level sport played a massive part in developing me as an athlete. Universities have a key role in nurturing people to achieve greatness.
Dorothy Armstrong, Geography/Education (1970)
I have had a strong connection with Queen’s ever since I arrived at this great institution. It can foster the next generation of leaders in sport and in life.
Jack Kyle, Rugby, Medicine (1944 - 1951)
The Queen’s University sporting environment, with the exposure to high class coaching and players unquestionably laid the foundations for my career as a Gaelic Footballer
Sean O’Neill, Gaelic Football, Law (1961)
Queen’s becomes a part of who you are. At Queen’s you play for, with and against the best.
James McCartan, Gaelic Football, Civil Engineering (1993)
I spent 10 years studying at Queen’s and can’t speak highly enough about the learning environment both on and off the field of play
Janet Boyle, Athletics, Medicine (1997)
I have had many special moments throughout my career culminating in an Olympic Medal in ’88. Queen’s should continue to support their top performing athletes like they did for me
Jimmy Kirkwood, Hockey, Economics (1984)
Every time Queen’s is mentioned in the news, I feel a certain connection that will never break. The passion is hard to explain but one I cherish deeply.
David Hewitt, Rugby, Law (1961)
Dorothy Elizabeth Armstrong
Area of Study: Geography/Education (1965 - 1970)
Dorothy Armstrong played her club squash for Queen’s and then Windsor, and in 1974 won her first of 64 caps for Ireland. These included playing in the Women’s World Championships in Brisbane in 1976, and the first and second World Team Championships in Birmingham (1979) and in Toronto (1981) respectively. She was a member of the team which came second in the European Championships in 1979. She won the Irish International title in 1972, and went on to win the Irish National title twice in 1974 and 1978 respectively. At provincial level, she was the Ulster Women’s Veteran Champion three years in a row from 1987 - 1989, and has won the Irish Vintage title twice. It was also in 1989 that she added the World Masters title to her tally.
An accomplished tennis player, she was the Ulster Grass Court Champion in 1972 and 1973, and represented Ulster on many occasions from 1966 - 1974.
More recently, Dorothy has been involved in the development of coaches and coaching programmes, and has assisted the University club in this increasingly important area.
John Wilson Kyle
Area of Study: Medicine (1944 - 1951)
University Blue Recipient: 1945, -46, -47, -48, -49, -50, -51
Jack Kyle, a product of Belfast Royal Academy, played his domestic rugby for Queen’s initially and then for North. He won Ulster Senior Cup medals in 1947 (with Queen’s), and in 1954,1956,1957 and 1958 (all with North). At international level, he represented Ireland 46 times (6 as captain) and played for the British Lions in 6 Test matches. From 1958 until 1971, he held the record for the world’s most capped player in any position, and was also Ireland’s most capped outhalf until 2003. He was a key player in Ireland’s only success in the Grand Slam in 1948, the Triple Crown in 1949 and the International Championship in 1951.
He was elected to the Texaco Hall of Fame in 1977 - the first rugby player to be accorded this honour - and to the Rugby Writers of Ireland Digital Hall of Fame in 1991. He is, arguably, the greatest ever fly-half the game has known. Queen’s Rugby Football Club proudly named their Alumni Scholarships after ‘Jack’ which supports upcoming Rugby talent at the Queen’s University Belfast. He spent over 30 years in Africa and devoted most of his adult life helping others and was honoured with an honorary doctorate from Queen’s in 1991. In 2007, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Journal of Medical Science and the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.
Sadly, Jack passed away on 28 November 2014. He will be sadly missed by all.
John Francis O’Neill
Area of Study: Law (1957 - 1961)
University Blue Recipient: 1959
Sean O’Neill, known as the ‘Prince of Gaelic Football’, is considered by many to be one of the greatest forwards in the history of the game. His personal tally of 85 goals and over 500 points for Down bears testimony to his great ability. He won 2 Sigerson Cup medals with Queen's, one in 1959 (when the University won it for the first time) and the other in 1964. He recorded another first when, in 1960, he was on the Down team which won the All-Ireland Senior Championship for the first time (adding 2 more Championship medals in 1961 and 1968). He has a total of 7 Ulster Senior Championship, 8 Railway Cup and 3 National League medals to his credit. He was given further recognition when he was nominated as the Texaco Player of the Year in 1968, won 2 All-Star awards (1971,1972), and was selected at right-half forward on the Sunday Independent’s ‘Team of the Century’ in 1984. Having finished his playing career, Sean successfully managed Ulster and Queen’s teams in 2 Railway Cup campaigns (1979,1980) and the Sigerson Cup (1982) respectively. As an Honorary Vice-President of the club, he plays a very active role in its ongoing development.
James Ignatius McCartan
Area of Study: Civil Engineering (1989 - 1993)
University Blue Recipient: 1991, 1993
Guinness Sports Bursary Recipient: 1993
A product of St. Colman’s College in Newry, ‘Wee’ James, as he is affectionately known, played his club football for Tullylish and Tirconnell Gaels in London. He won two All-Ireland Colleges medals in 1986 and 1988 with St. Colman’s, and an All-Ireland Minor Football Championship medal with Down in 1987. He continued his winning streak, adding victories in the 1990 and the 1993 Sigerson Cups, the 1992 Ryan Cup, 6 Railway Cup campaigns and 2 Ulster Senior Championships - and subsequent All-Ireland Senior Championships - in 1991 and 1994, to his tally. In 1990 he won the BBC 'Goal of the Championship' award, and a year later, he was named as the ‘Man of the Match’ for his performance in the 1991 All-Ireland final. He has received two Gaelic Athletic Association All-Star awards (1990,1994) and was selected for Ireland's Compromise Rules team which toured Australia in 1990. An accomplished soccer player, he has played in the Irish League.
Janet Margaret Boyle
Area of Study: Biology/Education 1982 - 1987, Medicine 1992 - 1997
University Blue Recipient: 1985,1987
A product of Victoria College, Belfast, Janet Boyle attended Queen’s and graduated in 1987 with a degree in Biology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education to her credit. Having taught for several years, she returned to the University to fulfill her lifelong desire to study medicine. A superb high jumper, she won the UK championship title twice (1985, 1989), the Women’s Indoor AAA in 1987 and the equivalent outdoor event in 1989. She was a member of the Irish Universities team at the World Student Games in Zagreb in 1987 and in the same year came sixth in the European Indoor Championships in France. She represented Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1986 winning a bronze medal with a jump of 1.90 metres, and then went on to win a silver medal in the Auckland Games in 1990. She represented Great Britain on more than 20 occasions including several Europa Cup campaigns and at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 when she was placed 12th overall.
James William Kirkwood
Area of Study: Economics (1980 - 1984)
Jimmy Kirkwood played his domestic hockey with four clubs, namely: Friends' School Old Boys, Queen’s, YMCA (Belfast) and Lisnagarvey. His Irish international career started in 1981 when he was 18, and he made a total of 147 appearances in the green jersey. He won a gold medal as a member of the victorious Great Britain squad in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and has represented Great Britain on 40 occasions. While playing for Lisnagarvey, he won a formidable 10 Irish Senior Cup medals, seven of them consecutively from 1988 - 1994.
Area of Study: Law (1957 - 1961)
University Blue Recipient: 1958, 1960, 1961
David Hewitt played his domestic rugby for Queen’s and then Instonians. While still at school, he played for the Ulster Senior team, and at the age of 19 played for Ireland against Australia alongside fellow Queen’s graduates Jack Kyle and Noel Henderson. He was capped 18 times for Ireland (during which time he scored 1 try, 2 conversions and 3 penalties), and played in 6 Test matches while on tour with the British Lions to Australia and New Zealand in 1959, and South Africa in 1962.
His personal points tally for the New Zealand matches came to 112. His father, Tom, and his uncles, Frank and Victor, also played for Ireland. David Hewitt is considered by many to have been, on his day, one of the best centres of all time.