Terms & Conditions

A cookie is a small file that is downloaded to your computer when you visit certain websites. Cookies typically store the name of the domain or website you are visiting, the duration or lifetime of the cookie, and a content value – typically a randomly generated unique number.

Queen’s University Belfast does not use cookies to store personal information about people visiting our website and typically a cookie cannot by itself identify you.

Generally websites use 2 types of cookie – session cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies are temporary and are eliminated when you close all your browser windows. Persistent cookies remain on your hard drive either indefinitely or for a specified period. (Third party cookies are cookies that are set by a domain other than the one you are currently visiting and these can be session cookies or persistent cookies.)

You can choose to manually disable cookies on your computer, or delete existing cookies by adjusting your browser settings. 
If you normally use more than one browser be sure to adjust each browser’s settings individually. 

Please note if you do not choose to accept cookies you may be unable to access certain parts of our websites.

Find out more information about cookies.

Online Environments

A number of our online services require users to engage and provide information in order to gain access to content, for example our Library and Research Systems. These systems need to store information about these interactions so they can provide the service and in some instances they use cookies to do this. Additionally where users are required to login to gain additional functionality or to gain access to user customised facilities, cookies are essential to our websites functioning correctly for access control and security.

Please Note – If you disable cookies in these instances, core functionality and services may not be available to you or the quality of the service will be severely degraded.

University Portals, (e.g. Queen’s Online and PURE and Qsis), our Web Content Management System, the Virtual Learning Environment, Library Systems and our Outlook Web Access Email Service require users to login to use the system. These systems use cookies for access control, system security, personal data security, effective monitoring and internal business reporting.

The storage of cookies by our Online Environments is provided for under regulation 6 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Section (4) Paragraph (1) in that the directive:

 … shall not apply to the technical storage of, or access to, information

(a) for the sole purpose of carrying out or facilitating the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network; or

(b) where such storage or access is strictly necessary for the provision of an information society service requested by the subscriber or user.

The cookies used by our Online Environments are not used for any purposes other than access control, system security, personal data security, effective monitoring and internal business reporting. The cookies stored are session cookies and are removed once you have closed down all your browser windows.

Web Analytics

Three main web analysis tools are used at Queen’s, Google Analytics, Piwik Analytics and Awstats. They are used to monitor the traffic to the site, to collect information about how users are using the site and to produce reports for business and marketing purposes. The information gathered is not used to identify individual users. 

Awstats reports are based on analysis of the web server log files and it does not store cookies on a user’s machines. The data collected by Awstats is held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the data:

  • is not made available to any third party
  • it is not used to identify individual users and
  • it is only used for analysis and report purposes.

However both Google Analytics and Piwik create cookies on your machine.  The cookies collect information about how the site is used, the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come from and the pages they visit while on our site. In the case of Piwik information about the use of our site, including user IP addresses is held at Queen’s in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in the case of Google Analytics the information collected, may be transmitted to, and stored by, Google where we will use it for analysis and reporting purposes. We have enabled Demographics and Interests tracking with Google Analytics. For more information please see Google’s statement on Cookies and Analytics and Google Privacy Centre.

The Google Analytics Opt–out Browser Add–on can be installed in your browser to tell the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js) that information about your website visit should not be sent to Google Analytics. This add–on does not interfere with other information gathering processes such as information gathered by Awstats. Find out about the Google Analytics Opt–out Browser Add–on.


Queen’s University Belfast may advertise online using the Google Display Network to deliver text, images and videos on participating websites using Google’s Remarketing technologies. When you visit a participating website Queen’s may ask for one of our ads to be displayed to you. This is based on your previous interactions with Queen’s websites, for example if you have previously visited undergraduate course finder pages at Queen’s we may use the Google Display Network and associated Remarketing technologies to make you aware of our next Undergraduate Open Day.

Periodically Queen’s will make use of the Google Remarketing service and Google DoubleClick, both of these will place cookies on your computer, but please be aware this is an anonymised process and we cannot use any of the information stored to personally identify you, the cookies will store information about your browsing device and aspects of your browsing history.

The DoubleClick.net cookie is needed for online advertising frequency capping and avoiding ad duplication, so a user will not be shown the same ad again and again.

Find out how to opt out of Google Display Network ads.