The Belfast Royal Academy was founded in 1785 and is the oldest school in the city. For more than a century the school was named Belfast Academy. In 1888 Queen Victoria granted permission for the school to style itself Belfast Royal Academy. It is now a large non-denominational, co-educational, voluntary, day grammar school listed among the Public Schools of the United Kingdom: the Headmaster is a member of the Headmasters' Conference. There are currently 1,400 pupils attending the school.

THE Duke of Edinburgh's Award at B.R.A.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award at Belfast Royal Academy is one of the major extra-curricular activities available to the pupils. The school's aim is to allow as many pupils as possible to experience the benefits of the DofE within the context of the staffing, equipment and financial resources available. For each new participant there lies ahead a challenging and interesting programme of activity which will stand them in good stead not only during their school years but in later life. Apart from anything else, the DofE helps to broaden the young people's outlook on life, and to make them more aware of and to develop their own abilities and strengths.