In May 2023 I spent three days getting a deep dive into all that is on offer at both the University of Manchester and in the wider city. I found a city filled with people very proud to call it their home and a rich array of sporting, musical, cultural and outdoor activities on offer.

*Details are correct as of June 2023

  • Large public research university – member of the Russell Group
  • Established 1824
  • 40,000+ students on campus – diverse international community
  • Global Top 30 research university
  • 25 Nobel prize winners
  • University is very rooted in the region; Manchester is the home of the industrial revolution, the suffragette movement and trade unions so making a difference and social responsibility are key institutional goals


  • urban campus – includes the stunning John Rylands library, Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Gallery
  • campus university but within a manageable city – less than 20 mins walk from main city centre
  • a hugely diverse city so there is a wide range of ethnic foods on offer
  • 3 universities – highest concentration of students of anywhere in Europe
  • trains to Paris and Amsterdam
  • many budget flight companies based in Manchester so there are lots of cheap flights all over Europe
  • close to the Peak District for hiking and other outdoor activities
  • an old city but constantly evolving – industrial revolution started here
  • famous for music and football
  • UNESCO City of Literature
  • Trafford Centre – great shopping mall


  • 3 faculties: Faculty of Science and Engineering/Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health/Faculty of Humanities
  • students need to know what they want to study – they specialise early but there are lots of options for flexible, multidisciplinary courses
  • Very high graduate employment rates
  • Lots of courses in entrepreneurship
  • Computer Science is the most competitive subject. Physics and Medicine also receive very high numbers of applications.
  • Some programmes will accept transfer into Year 2, but students must still apply through UCAS
  • Impressive new Science and Technology centre is a great draw for STEM students
  • 2nd largest politics dept in the country – home of the British Election survey
  • Largest International Relations faculty in the UK
  • Very strong philosophy department
  • A wide range of health care degrees – 50/50 practical and theoretical, early placement and employability, excellent facilities
  • Medicine – clinical experience starts first year. Largest medical school in UK but small classes
  • Optometry – longest history of teaching this subject in the UK. One of most prestigious eye teaching hospitals in Europe. Students see patients in first year – not common across all universities.
  • Pharmacy – 4 years. Ranked 14th in the world and accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Public Health and Data – newest course, online and on campus options, address public health concerns at local, national and international level.
  • Biosciences – universal first year makes it easy to switch between 70+ undergraduate options. Great flexibility to then change direction from Year 2.
  • Options to tailor degrees: integrated masters, industrial/professional experience, modern language, entrepreneurship (with AMBS)
  • The Manchester Leadership Programme blends community volunteering with a course unit that explores topics such as ethical leadership and social responsibility.
  • University College for Interdisciplinary Learning courses allows students to broaden their horizons and get introduced to different disciplines. Drawing on the best teaching talent across the University, they can take courses that showcase Manchester’s latest research and challenge conventional thinking.


  • All UK and international students must apply through UCAS
  • The final deadline for international student applications is 30 June, however, there is also an equal consideration deadline on 25 January (6pm, UK time).
  • Apply before this date as some courses fill up quickly.
  • More applications than other UK universities
  • Admission is purely academic for most subjects
  • Students can apply for deferred entry
  • IELTS requirements vary depending on the subject but generally 6.0-7.0 (5.5 for foundation programmes)
  • Manchester offers integrated foundation programmes on campus for courses in science and engineering and at nearby Xaverian College for biological sciences. They also work with their foundation partner INTO Manchester to provide pathways guaranteeing an offer or interview to study at the University.
  • Easier to switch OFF an integrated masters programme than to get ON so best to apply for this if it is of potential interest, especially from a visa perspective. Same for the year abroad and work options.


  • Tuition fees depending on the course. Examples for 2023/24: Business = £29,000, Humanities = £23,000, Architecture = £26,000, Maths = £30,500, Mechanical Engineering = £30,000
  • A number of scholarships are on offer for international students: Global Futures Scholarship / Humanitarian Scholarship / Subject-specific scholarships
  • Sports Scholarship programme for performance athletes – open to international students
  • Cost of living = around £11,940 for 41 weeks in mid-range university accommodation (2023)
  • Students on a Tier 4 visa can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and with no limits during the vacations


  • 3 main accommodation areas
  • 1st year international students are guaranteed accommodation
  • Students select 5 halls of residence on their application – 90% get one of these
    Usworth Park the newest is the most oversubscribed
  • Older halls standard single
  • Most flats are mixed gender
  • Ensuite and shared bathrooms/ catered and self catered


  • Biggest student union in the UK
  • 400+ societies
  • Big international society
  • Student media outlets are amongst the best in the UK – including the long-standing Mancunion newspaper, Fuse FM radio station and Fuse TV channel
    Plenty of fundraising (Manchester RAG) and volunteering opportunities (Student Action programme)
  • Athletic facilities built for Commonwealth Games in 2002 – located next to one of the main accommodation campuses
  • 40+ Athletic Union sports clubs
  • Sports teams emphasise promoting values as well as winning – very strong on developing people as students, professionals and athletes
  • Football – have an Elite Performance Programme. Aim to be the best University Football club in the UK – the club has a very long history and strict standards of attendance, punctuality and behaviour
  • Lots of leadership opportunities on the sports committees and in coaching
  • LifeStyle Advisors help students with balancing sports and studies – systems in place to support student athletes
  • Manchester Academy is one of the UK’s most iconic music venues and has welcomed acclaimed artists such as Kylie, Alt-J, Rita Ora and Foo Fighters. It also stages Pangaea, Europe’s largest student-led festival – taking place three times a year.


  • There is a big administration team to help with students visas – virtually non are turned down

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