Belfast Metropolitan College, also known as ''Belfast Met'', is a
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higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
institution in
Belfast, Northern Ireland Belfast ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster S ...
. The college offers both
vocational education Vocational education is education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teach ...
academic An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, secondary or tertiary education, tertiary higher education, higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the ...

qualifications. With over 37,000 enrolments and an annual budget in the region of £60 million, it is the largest FE college in the UK and the fourth largest post-secondary institution in the UK.


The college traces its origins back to the beginning of the twentieth century when the Belfast Municipal Technical Institute was established in 1906. It was in a grand building in College Square East, constructed between 1902 and 1906. College Square East survived the Belfast blitz with students often having to hide in its air-raid shelters during WWII. College Square East was known colloquially as the 'Black Man Tech'. This is because of the statue of
Dr Henry Cooke
Dr Henry Cooke
, a leading 19th century
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
minister, which stands outside the building. The statue of Cooke is not marble, but copper, like most other architecture around the city of Belfast around the same time. Due to exposure to the elements, most of these statues and domes around the city have oxidised, producing a green colour of copper oxide, especially noticeable on the nearby
City Hall #REDIRECT Town hall #REDIRECT Town hall#REDIRECT Town hall In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre (in the United Kingdom, UK or Australia), guildhall, or (more rarely) a municipal building, is the chief administration ...

City Hall
. Other specialist colleges were subsequently established in the city including Stanhope Street, Rupert Stanley, and the College of Business Studies in Brunswick Street. In the early 1990s, these colleges amalgamated as the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education which in turn merged with Castlereagh College to form the current Belfast Metropolitan College in 2007. In September 2011, Belfast Met opened a new £44 million campus in
Titanic Quarter Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a large-scale waterfront regeneration, comprising historic maritime landmarks, film studios, education facilities, apartments, a riverside entertainment district, and the world's largest Titanic ...
. It was officially opened by
Princess Anne Anne, Princess Royal, (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise; born 15 August 1950) is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom Th ...

Princess Anne
on 10 November 2011.
Michael D Higgins Michael Daniel Higgins ( ga, Mícheál Dónal Ó hUigínn; born 18 April 1941) is an Irish politician, poet, Sociology, sociologist, and broadcaster, who has served as the ninth president of Ireland since November 2011. He served as a Teachta ...
visited several months later.


Belfast Met has three main campuses. They are Millfield Campus, Castlereagh Campus, and Titanic Quarter Campus. Belfast Met also has several smaller centres around the city such as e3 at Springvale Campus, opened in 2012. The city centre campuses at Brunswick Street and College Square East were sold when the Titanic Quarter campus opened in 2011. College Square East was made into student accommodation in 2016 at a cost of £16 million, but it retains its exterior appearance due to being a listed building.

Academic courses

Belfast Met offers courses from
GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies north ...
level to
GNVQ A General National Vocational Qualification, or GNVQ, was a certificate of vocational education Vocational education is education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value ( ...
and even undergraduate courses. Millfield: Castlereagh Campus: Titanic Quarter Campus: e3 Campus:


Louise Warde Hunter, the former Deputy Secretary of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, became Principal and CEO of Belfast Met in April 2020. She replaced Marie-Thérèse McGivern who had been the Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Met since 2009.


In April 2020, Belfast Met received the
Queen's Anniversary Prize The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are a biennially awarded series of prizes awarded to Universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs ...
– a UK-wide award recognising excellence, innovation and public benefit in work carried out by UK colleges and universities.


Danny Blanchflower Robert Dennis "Danny" Blanchflower (10 February 1926 – 9 December 1993) was a Northern Irish footballer A football player or footballer is a sportsperson An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a person who competes in one or ...
, footballer *
Aidan Browne Aidan Browne (b. Belfast)Eamonn Holmes Eamonn Holmes (; born 3 December 1959)Holmes receives honorary degree
BBC ...
personality * John Irvine, newsreader * Brian Keenan, writer *
Colin Morgan Colin Morgan (born 1 January 1986) is a Northern Irish actor. He is best known for playing the title character The title character in a Narrative, narrative work is one who is named or referred to in the title of the work. In a performed work ...
, actor * Joseph Tomelty, actor and playwright * Lynda Bryans, television presenter



External links

Belfast Metropolitan College
– official website {{Authority control Further education colleges in Northern Ireland Higher education colleges in Northern Ireland Education in Belfast Educational institutions established in 1991 1991 establishments in Northern Ireland Further education colleges in the Collab Group