A Guide to Student Life in Manchester

As one of the bigger university cities Manchester has a lot to offer students and it’s a very exciting place, particularly if this is your first time living in a busy urban environment.

You’ll learn a lot about your adopted city once you move there but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful to have a rough guide to the city before you go.

So, what do you need to know about studying in Manchester?

Where to study

Manchester boasts some of the best education institutions in the UK so you won’t be short of excellent places to study.

Choose from the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford, and the Royal Northern College of Music for the musicians among you.

How much will it cost you?

As a big city Manchester is probably more expensive than if you chose to go to a more rural university, but in comparison to London, the cost is fairly minimal.

An HSBC survey conducted in 2014 estimated that students in Manchester pay around £235 per week for rent, food, travel, study essentials, and entertainment.

Getting around

Manchester has an excellent public transport system, including a tram service, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting around the city.

Bus is by far the most popular option, there are literally buses going past every minute on the Oxford Road, and there are three major train stations when you want to travel outside of Manchester. 

The city is reported to be easy to navigate by current students both on foot and using public transport and the city centre and university campuses are within close proximity.

Where to live

The majority of students in Manchester live in the South of the city with Fallowfield and Withington being two of the most popular areas.

If you’re looking for a quieter life, Victoria Road is a good place to look for accommodation. Expect to pay around £55 - £90 per week for housing outside of halls depending on the quality and location.

Party time

As you would expect from a big city there are plenty of things to do in Manchester whether you like eating out, clubbing, live comedy, or some retail therapy. Manchester is well known for its thriving music scene and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to where to go for a night on the tiles.

The Trafford Centre, Arndale, and the eclectic Affleck’s Palace are the best places to shop in the city and you can quench your thirst afterwards in any of the many independent bars and cafes in the city including Trof and Gusto.

For a good night out Cloud 23 is known as the classiest bar in the city, although be aware that there is a price tag to match, or try 5th Avenue, Tiger Tiger, and Revolution.

Fancy a night in instead? “Curry Mile”, a mile long road of takeaway shops in Rushfield, is the place to go for a tasty (and budget friendly) meal.