The University of Manchester is both fairly old, and very new. It was formed from the merger of the Victoria University of Manchester (VUM) and UMIST on 1st October 2004. It can, however, be traced right back to the Manchester Mechanics institute, started in 1824.
In the most recent research ratings, academics in every subject for which the university made a submission were considered either nationally or internationally eminent, and only Cambridge can match the number of subjects that have secured excellent teaching ratings. In fact, The University of Manchester came 3rd in terms of research power in the whole of the UK after Cambridge and Oxford.
It repeatedly features as one of the top 30 universities in the World (QS World Rankings) having placed 26th in 2009. Furthermore, it consistently features among the top 5 universities of the United Kingdom (ARWU), having placed 5th in UK, 6th in Europe and 38th in the world.
According to the High Fliers Research Limited's survey, University of Manchester students were targeted by more top recruiters for graduate vacancies than any other UK university students for three consecutive years (2007–2009). It is also ranked 4th in the world by employer reviews (QS World Ranking 2011) by receiving a maximum 100% rating, which the university has retained since 2008.
Historically, Manchester has been linked with high scientific achievements: Rutherford split the atom here (1911), the first modern computer was built here (1948) and many other countless discoveries and inventions.
University of Manchester has 25 Nobel Laureates among its past and present students and staff, the third highest number of any single university in the United Kingdom (after Cambridge and Oxford). It also has four Nobel Laureates on its current staff, more than any other UK university.
The University of Manchester is the largest non-collegiate university in Western Europe, with close to 40,000 current students. It is one of the most popular universities in the country, with over 58,000 applicants in 2011. The university boasts over 400 degree courses, and the fifth highest research income of UK universities. The university is spread over a large campus that reaches into the heart of the city. It has a large number of halls of residence, allowing the university to guarantee halls to every home first-year student, and a place in halls for the duration of the course for every international student (conditions apply).
Of course, "big" doesn't necessarily mean "overwhelming" - students here tend to spend most of their time on either one campus or the other. It does, though, lead to a great choice of facilities - there are, at a quick count:
- 15 libraries
- 2 sports halls
- 1 Aquatics Centre (a swimming pool built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games!)
- 2 University of Manchester Student Union (UMSU) buildings
- 29 restaurants
Entertainment & Nightlife
Manchester/Salford, with its three universities (UoM, MMU, UoS) has excellent nightlife - rumoured to be the best outside of London. However, if pubbing and clubbing is not your thing, there are plenty of other activities to keep you away from your lectures - that's to say, plenty of theatres, cinemas, and societies, plus anything else you enjoy doing. Quite a few of the cinemas and theatres offer very cheap tickets for students, so you won't need to max out your loan to have a good time. An indoor ski slope similar to the one in Castlefield has just opened up next to the trafford centre and is very affordable.
The nightlife in Fallowfield has more of a student vibe, with clubs such as 256, Baa Bar, Revolution, Twisted (formerly Robinski's) and Font proving very popular among students. Bars within OP campus include...er...OP bar, and Squirrels bar, the two of them often providing comedy nights, sports and pub quizzes. Outside of Owen's Park, the upmarket Whitworth pub and hipsterish Trof are both worth a look.
Around the City Centre and Oxford Road area is a plethora of clubs, with a big focus on indie, pop, rock and dub. 5th Ave is a lot of people's go-to, with Monday Madness and the lure of a bucking bronco being all too much. Drinks and entry are average price, although girls can get in free before 11 on a number of nights. However, ignore Factory's Kong at 80p entry 80p drinks and £1 jaegerbombs at your peril - this three floored club features, indie, charts/RnB and dub to keep everyone happy. Joshua Brooks is also on call to provide cheap and cheerful entertainment with their Rap and Urban night Juicy - £1, also on a Wednesday. It recently won best small venue and as such can get pretty rammed, so don't be suprised to be queuing. Deaf institute has an array of club nights, and is a really nice venue. 42's is another prominent indie club; more request friendly and less mainstream than 5th Ave, it's suited to indie fans tired of the 'Mr. Brightside/Flux/Basketcase/Occasional Swedish House Mafia' combination. Sound Control and Subspace and more dance and dub dedicated, with the former hosting 'Drop the Mustard' nights frequently.
The Northern Quarter: Home to a broad spectrum of nights that manage to retain their underrated quality without the pretentious complex, the Northern Quarter is worth exploring for something new. Moho's live features loads of live bands, as well as being home to Propaganda every Saturday (yes, it's another indie night. But after all, this is Manchester). Band on the Wall is worth visiting too - local DJ Mr Scruff does the occasional night there. At £11 a ticket, it's not a student hive, but instead a pretty relaxed club night. The money's well worth it, as Scruff DJ's the whole six hours, an each time with a different playlist. Other clubs include the Mint Lounge, with nights such as Clique and Funkademia. South is there for the cheap and cheerful Tuesdays, boasting 80p entry and drinks. Visit the Roadhouse for heavy dub and 'bashment' nights, and don't forget to start your evening at SociaRehab for some ridiculous cocktails. You can get one of them served in a brown paper bag. Nuff said.
The Printworks - located in Piccadilly, this is home to Restuarants and bars by day (see: Hard Rock Cafe), and clubs by night. Birdcage, Entourage, Tiger Tiger (home of the AU social) and Norwegian Blue are all located here. For Fallowfield residents especially, it's a bit of a trek, but if you're all about chart music then this is one of your safest bets. For a student, it can be considered a bit pricey, with standard entry £5 - £7 for a lot of nights, but if you scout out student nights (AU, Vodka Island and We Love the 90's), it's definitely worth a visit. During seasonal events such as Christmas and Halloween, they'll often have t-shirt/fancy dress events that allow you access into all of the printworks clubs for the night.
Deansgate Locks is a rather trendy development underneath railway arches slightly away from the city centre. Here you can find Revolution, Missoula, Sakura and the Comedy Club. These club nights are a little more upmarket in terms of dress code, again with popular chart music. Again, ticket prices are £5 upwards, and unless you have a revolution card (and even then) don't expect any gratuitous drinks offers. Again, a little out of the way but still worth it.
And what is Manchester University's club night, you may ask? AU social belongs to Man Met, with their chart music tunes, adequate drink prices and nice surroundings. How do we one up these pretentious polytechnics? We bring in BOP. Big. Old. Party. The Chemical Brothers debuted there, true story. It used to be in OP bar. It used to be dirt cheap. It's now located at Jabez Clegg, opposite the student union, with entry a fiver. It is the epitome of cheese. Remember 5ive? Remember Steps? Remember Abba? Journey? Ricky Martin? B*witched? Sounds like a playlist from hell, but throw in a 'Green Monster', the night's speciallity drink, and all of a sudden, it's the best night of your life. It's like your school disco, but somehow a little more manic. There's also a different fancy dress theme each week - some examples include Bad Taste, Harry Potter, Dr and Nurses, Smurfs...you get the idea. FHM voted it the 'best place to pull', take from that what you will. One warning though - it gets hot as hell. Expect to sweat. Expect to sweat and trip on the sweaty, slippy, drink stained floor. It's a ritual. Doesn't matter if you're in heels, doesn't matter if your in snow boots - it will happen. But somehow, it's hard to be upset when dressed as a Jersey Shore character with 'Cotton Eye Joe' blaring out, regardless of the circumstances.
If gay is your thing, then gay Manchester has in abundance - especially in Canal Street, the gay village of Manchester. This vibrant area next to the former UMIST campus boasts a large number of bars and clubs, with a lot of free condoms and lube, for some reason. Just don't buy anything from McTucky's, however much of a good idea it seems at 3am in the morning. And don't try and steal a rainbow flag from Baa Bar. Everyone tries it. Few succeed.
But what about you rock chaps, or those who tire of the UKTop40? Granted, you may be more interested in the live bands, but sometimes a few quid for some hardcore tunes isn't too much to ask for. Enter Rockbox. Enter Satan's Hollow. Enter Caged Asylum. Rockbox is a two-floored complex, the top staying with the metal and rock classics, the bottom flirting dangerously with post-hardcore, pop-punk, alt-rock and other genre lovechildren. Very fun atmosphere, very request friendly, and some very lovely dancers that will let you and your mates drunkenly cage-dance during their break for your (and probably only your) entertainment. Caged Asylum is a little more hardcore and for true alternative music, not shy to stay away from mainstream. A little more risqué, they also boast their own lapdancing parlour - even metalheads have needs.
And then there's Sankeys. You'll go to Sankeys. You probably won't remember the night. Full moon is by far the cheapest night on a Thursday, at a measly fiver. It's a night to be experienced at least once. I'd love to tell you where to find it, but I still don't know. Not many people do know. You may frequent it a fair few times, it might be one of your favourite club nights. You still won't know where it is. All I know is I catch a taxi, I split the £12 fare, and then I wake up the next morning in my bed with a pizza box as a pillow.
And this, my dears, is just a drop in the ocean. Half the fun is finding new nights out, be it based on price, music, or just simply whim. There's no fear of falling into s set routine every week, with many, many other clubs and bars to be found.
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL
0161 306 6000
Applicants per place:
The University boasts the largest non-legal deposit library in the country - The John Rylands University Library (aka "main library"), located just off Oxford Road close to the Steve Biko Union Building. There are over 4 million books, a half a million electronic books, and over 40,000 electronic journals.
The main library opens from 8am-11.30pm Monday to Thursday, closing earlier on Fridays at 9.30pm, Saturdays from 9am-9.30pm and Sundays from noon-11.30pm. During exam times they usually stay open 24 hours a day, which is really useful.
There are further libraries on campus, the largest of those being the Joule library - which is mainly for Science texts and is situated on the old UMIST campus on Sackville Street.
The Eddie Davis Library (MBS), the Braddick Library (Physics), the JRUL Special Collections in Deansgate, the Kantorowich Library (Architecture, Geography, Planning and Landscape), the Leanagan Library (Music and Drama), the Learning Resource Centre (Education), Precinct Library, the Stopford Library (Medicine), Mansfield Cooper (Archaeology and Art History) and the ULC Library (Language learning) all complement the resources of the main libraries.
IT and computing
Manchester is the birthplace of the modern computer and many modern aspects of computing are spin offs of the research carried out by Tom Kilburn and a team of associated researchers 60 years ago. The Kilburn building is the home of the University's School of Computer Science and a national centre for super computing and research.
The provision of computing for teaching and learning purposes is largely driven by the teaching faculties and schools. These provide numerous computer clusters (some 24 hour) across the teaching and residential campus areas as well as labs for teaching and wireless Internet access hot spots - a summary of facilities can be found on the IT Services website. Every room in University managed accommodation has a dedicated Internet access point which connects to the Hornet Internet Service.
The University of Manchester is ranked 10th in the UK for sport performance.
Throughout the year over 40 Athletic Union clubs take part in weekly fixtures organised by BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) and the results are collated into a university wide league.
Fencing, women's football and women's hockey enjoyed good seasons and have all been promoted to the premiership for 2008/09.
The university has an excellent counselling service, without any cap on the number of sessions you can have. They also hold regular workshops on issues many students face, such as coping with stress and dealing with procrastination. In addition to this they have various online resources. Based in the 5th floor of Crawford House (near the Aquatics Centre), it is well enough hidden that people don't have to know where you are going (Crawford House is also home to the careers service, for example) but is still easy enough to find.
For more information visit the counselling service's webpage.
During freshers week, there is the chance to register with local healthcentres. If you're living in Owen's Park or Oak house, you can also register with the Fallowfield Surgery which is handily located beside Owen's Park.
If you require A&E services, the nearest accident and emergency unit is at the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) which is situated on Oxford Road near the main university campus.
Just down the road from the main university campus is a small row of shops including Tesco and Lidl which is great for students staying at the Victoria Park residential Halls. Nearer to the university there is a small Sainsbury's, a Costa Coffee, MacDonalds, Greggs and a number of banks with cash machines. After these is the famous Curry Mile, with over 70 takeaways, curry houses and restaurants. The main supermarket in Fallowfield is Sainsburys.
The main shopping district is the Arndale Centre, located by Piccadily gardens. It itself is surrounded by other shops too big to fit inside it, such as debenhams or primark. If this isn't good enough, the trafford centre nearby should be more than satisfactory.
For those of a less mainstream nature, there is an arcade in the Northern Quarter known as Afflecks Palace. A little like a small camden shoved into a building, the place is ideal for those wanting something a little out of the ordinary. Notable features are the cupcake cafe, tatto parlour, condom shop and until recently, the fetish shop.
The Northern Quarter has loads of quirky bars, cafés, pubs and restaurants with a range of prices. It has shops selling everything from vintage clothes and shoes, handmade jewellery, comics and graphic novels and RP gaming systems, second hand books, vintage records, alternative hair and beauty.
There are many restaurants both on campus and in Manchester City Centre itself offering a wide variety of food types suitable for any tastes and preferences. In the area of Rusholme (between Fallowfield and the main Uni campus on Oxford Road), also known as the 'Curry Mile' there are an almost overwhelming amount of curry restaurants/takeaways.
If you walk along Rusholme in the evening, a lot of the restaurants managers stand outside and try to coax you in to their business. Use this to your advantage and ask if they are willing to give you and your friends a special deal. Many will offer you things such as free poppadoms and dips, no service charge and free tea or coffee without you even asking. All food is halal unless otherwise specified.
- One branch located opposite the Student's Union on Oxford Road
- One branch located in the Precinct Centre, opposite St Peter's Chaplaincy
- One branch located next to the Manchester academy on Oxford Road
- One branch located in the Precinct Centre, opposite St Peter's Chaplaincy
- One branch located on Oxford Road opposite the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
- One branch located on Oxford Road opposite the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
- One branch located on Oxford Road opposite the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
- One branch located next to The Footage on Oxford Road
And many more.
The nearest Halifax is in the city centre.
An article on transport in Manchester can be found here
The Careers service at Manchester is continuously ranked as one of the best in the country. More information available here.
There are loads of cafés, shops, bar and restaurants in Fallowfield, Withington, Rusholme as well as the city centre which may offer part time work. Look in local papers like the Manchester Evening News. Some places advertise vacancies in their windows, and obviously you can always go in and ask. As a student the University of Manchester Careers website has a vacancy search you can do with a number of options so you can streamline your search to make it relevant to you. It lists loads of student opportunities: full-time, part-time and seasonal vacancies, internships and voluntary work with everything from administration, retail, marketing, construction, catering, financial Services, translators, student writers, coaching sports and tutoring.
There are various mosques the most popular being Didsbury Mosque which can accomodate up to 600 worshippers. It is located around 3miles from the city centre
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Bars, pubs and clubs
Manchester has some of the biggest clubs around for students. It offers a variety of different nights so no one is left out!
There are clubs for nearly every music taste in Manchester and it's best to check out local flyers or event listings on local sites.
Indie Rock - The indie scene is massive in Manchester and thus offers a wide range of music with more pop indie places like 5th Ave, 42nd Street and Moho Live. Also, most of the Northern Quarter has indie nights.
Pop & Retro - Fill your boots with clubs like Revolution and Deansgate on the weekend as well as some great pop nights in Fallowfield.
R&B, Funky House and Hip-Hop - If you’re into these genres of music then The Printworks in Manchester city centre is the place to go. It plays host to clubs like Tiger Tiger and The Bird Cage and nights such as Murkage play the latest grime.
Dubstep, Drum & Bass & Techno - Sankeys is one of the biggest and best clubs in the world for real dance heads but if you fancy something a little more mainstream then Fac251 is a good shout at the weekend.
Rock & Live Music - Satans Hollow is a great place for the rockers of Manchester to hang out. If you love live music then HMV Ritz is a great venue with some top acts playing all year round.
All in all, there is such a good mix of clubs all week round that you can't be disappointed.
Clubs and societies
As you would expect from so large a university there is a wealth of clubs and societies. Some are organized through the students union list. This gives a complete list of all the societies available from political groups and fundraising societies to sports societies, religious societies, language and international societies, course related societies, debating, music, drama and dance societies, and entertainment societies, such as; circus skills, film club and the animé society.
Others including both sports and outdoor activities like mountaineering are run through the athletics union list.
Travelling in Manchester is ridiculously easy. The main student method of transport in Manchester is the bus, although the trains are cheap if you're going in the right direction.
Night buses run after midnight, and are an easy and safe way to get home after a night out.
It can be confusing at first, so reading the "Connecting People with Places" booklet before you come is a good idea.
You should also check out the wiki article Manchester: A Guide to Public Transport.
Oxford Road, the main student thoroughfare in Manchester, is the busiest bus route in Europe - at peak times, there can be up to one bus every four seconds! Cheap tickets are available for students - I would recommend that, if you come, you should wait a week or so, and buy the pass that suits you most.
If you would rather not buy a 'year-long' pass (£155), you can buy weekly passes each week for Magic Bus or Finglands. these passes are £6 per week or £7 for a pass that enables you to travel with both Magic Bus and Stagecoach. You can use your £6 Magic bus pass on Stagecoaches after Midnight as the frequency of Magic Buses is reduced.
You can also catch a free bus service which takes you around the city centre. There is a free 'uni-link' bus which runs between both the North and South campuses.
There are four train stations in Manchester, the main two being Victoria and Piccadilly. Oxford Road station is just a few minutes from the university, which makes it an easy option for going home after lectures. The old UMIST campus is a very short walk from Piccadilly Station.
MetroLink is a tram service, linking the city centre with the suburbs. At the moment, it doesn't go anywhere near the student areas so fares are expensive. However if you want to go to the outskirts of Manchester it's by far the easiest and most convenient option.
There are three lines, running to Altrincham, Bury and Eccles.
New lines, running to Droylsden, Oldham and Chorlton, together with a second route through the City Centre, have now got the green light, and will be up and running within five years, with further extensions planned to serve the Trafford Centre, Ashton and Stockport.
Where to start? The choice of shops in Manchester is huge. From the consumerism of the Trafford Centre with its three miles of shopping, to the interesting and unusual shops found in Afflecks Palace and the Northern Quarter, lie shops for almost every conceivable thing. Then there is the Arndale centre in the city and other shops. And to get the must-have official University of Manchester Hoody, go to http://www.manchester.ac.uk/giftshop
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There are many, many halls of residence at Manchester - 33, to be precise! Not all of these are suitable for the average first-year undergraduate, as some are set aside for post-graduates, mature students, or those with families. There is still a huge amount of choice though, and it can seem overwhelming when you read through the accommodation brochure. It's important to realise that you shouldn't worry about this too much - you only need stay in halls for one year, and if you are truly unhappy with your chosen hall, a transfer process operates from mid-October. You can even transfer between rooms in the same hall.
The university offers an accommodation guarantee to all undergraduates and international postgraduates for their first year, and to international undergraduates for the duration of their studies (full details can be found by following the link). There are also a significant number of place allocated to returning students - second years and up who have chosen not to rent privately.
For more information, check out our separate University of Manchester: Accommodation wiki page.
The internet for The University of Manchester Halls of Residence is provided by Hornet.
Hornet Internet Wiki can be found here
Pints are £1.40
The university is rated excellent in no fewer that 36 subjects - anatomy and physiology; anthropology; archaeology; building; business and management; chemical engineering; chemistry; civil engineering; classics and ancient history; computer science; dentistry; economics; education; electrical and electronic engineering; geography; geology; hospitality, leisure, recreation, sport and tourism; land and property management; law; maths, statistics and operational research; mechanical engineering; medicine; molecular biosciences; music; nursing; organismal biosciences; pharmacology and pharmacy; philosophy; physics and astronomy; politics; psychology; social policy and administration; subjects allied to medicine (optometry); subjects allied to medicine (human communications); teacher training; theology and religious studies.
Applying to Manchester
Thinking of applying to Manchester? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?
Other Manchester Articles
Why not read these other Manchester Articles?
- Main University of Manchester website:
- University Accommodation
- Guide to Manchester bars and nightclubs
- Short history of the University
- Manchester hotels
- Undergraduate Applications
- Postgraduate Applications
- Manchester wikispectus
- Local Directory of student friendly places