Newest Review: ... of Yorkshire and Derbyshire too. The library facilities at the John Rylands University Library are excellent, the main library buil... more
University of Manchester in general
Member Name: blonde_girl774
University of Manchester in general
Advantages: Great city, over 500 courses on offer, plenty of nightlife.
Disadvantages: Can be daunting at first, obviously have to do SOME work!
I’m in my third year at The University of Manchester and am thoroughly enjoying my time here. I’m in my final year of studying for a Joint Honours in English and French and have just finished my Semester 1 exams. Before coming to University in Manchester I’d had very little contact with the city apart from visiting it back in 2001 for a friend’s birthday weekend so it was a relatively new experience. Manchester University is situated on and around Oxford Road which is one of the main roads leading straight into the city centre, it’s approximately 10 minutes on the bus to the centre of Manchester so the location is really good.
History of the University
The University of Manchester is a recent creation that only occurred back in October 2004 with the joining together of The Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST which were two of Britain’s most distinguished universities. The original Victoria University of Manchester was founded back in 1851 as Owens College while UMIST was formed back in 1824.
The University itself has seen great success in the past 150 years having provided the place of study for many Nobel Prize Winners including Ernest Rutherford and his research which led to the splitting of the atom. The University has also been home to several famous faces today including newsreader Anna Ford, the Chief Executive of Tesco Sir Terry Leahy and also comedian Ben Elton.
In the present day the University is located on one major campus although the UMIST buildings are about a mile away from the old Victoria buildings. As previously said the Union is situated on Oxford Road, one of the main roads in Manchester and the other University buildings are all located within about a ten minute walk of this union. The UMIST campus still retains its own union and independence in a sense therefore the majority of my review will focus on the old Victoria University as this is where I study.
Courses on Offer
The University offers a wide range of courses that can be found at the majority of other University’s in the UK also. It offers your typical career paths including dentistry, law and medicine as well as more academic subjects of study such as English, Maths and History. Unlike some less renowned universities there isn’t a wide scope of unusual courses to be found at Manchester although they do offer degrees in subjects such as astronomy, genetics and zoology.
In total the University offers just over 500 degree courses which will equip you with a great start to finding a graduate career. There’s also the option with the majority of courses to take a Combined Studies option which means you can combine two subjects and come out with a joint honours degree. Manchester University also offers a great range of courses that give you the opportunity to take a year in industry or a year in a foreign country with the majority of degree subjects.
Entry to different courses obviously varies depending on the course but typically A Level results that are required vary between 3 A’s and 3 B’s but rarely fall below a B grade.
The union is very much central to university life and Manchester University’s Union is no different in that it houses the University bar and also an underground club. In addition to this there’s a shop selling essentials, a branch of Endsleigh insurance, an office for helping you find part time employment, a ticket office for gigs, a café on the second floor and even an eye test shop. The union is always busy with students wandering in and out for drinks and food and is a key place to know about at Manchester. On either side of the Union are the Academies 1, 2 and 3 which often house weekly club nights and also concerts by artists such as Katie Melua, Beverley Knight and some less well known ones too. Also within the university you can gain access to a list of all the clubs and societies run by the university, of course they’re all your usual clubs such as the football teams and hockey teams but many, many more too. Some of the more unusual ones include the Croquet Club and the Wine Appreciation Society, it’s a great way to get to know people!
Halls of Residence
In your first year at university the majority of students will move into halls as they’re an ideal way of making friends and a secure place to live as well. There’s three main areas in Manchester which offer student halls, the first one being in the city centre which houses about 10 halls, there’s also Victoria Park which is about a 10 minute walk from the university and lastly Fallowfield which is a 15 minute bus ride from the university and known as the “student village” in Manchester.
There are roughly 40 halls of residence in total and something to suit everyone. Almost half of the halls are catered which means that breakfast and dinner are included in your board which the other half are self-catered meaning you cook for yourself. The former type of halls typically house students in long corridors while if you’re in a self-catered hall you’ll find you’re in a flat of between 6 and 10 people sharing a kitchen. Some halls are en suite which are obviously more expensive while the others share bathroom facilities, typically in flats of around 8 people single sex.
Costs of living in halls vary immensely depending on the amount of luxury you desire, a basic self-catered hall where you share all facilities starts from around £2,300 for the year while an en suite, catered hall will cost about £4,300. The majority of halls will provide residence for students from September to June meaning you can leave your belongings there during the Christmas and Easter holidays.
After first year most students tend to move into student houses which are mainly located in the Fallowfield area of Manchester. Again there’s a great variety and prices start from about £50 a week and go up to about £80 depending on how nice a house you require.
Manchester University boasts a great nightlife which extends much further than the nightly club nights which are run at the union. In excess to this there’s really something for everyone’s musical tastes, there’s some great indie clubs such as 5th Ave and 42nd Street, some brilliant r n b clubs such as Tiger Tiger and MTwo and of course the famous Canal Street just for homosexuals which has over 20 bars and clubs on it.
For nightlife there’s basically two choices of location, either the city centre which boasts areas such as Deansgate Locks with classy bars and clubs such as Revolution, Arch 9 and Loaf or Fallowfield (the student village) which has a much more relaxed setting and some bars just for students. Student nights are run at most clubs during the week and you’ll never be stuck for somewhere to go, the great thing about student nights is that drink and entrance prices are heavily reduced to even the most classy club.
One of the biggest factors that you need to take into consideration when looking for a University is its position in the league tables. These are published by a variety of organisations including some lesser well known websites and large newspapers such as The Guardian and The Times. They use a range of factors when deciding league table positions including student to lecturer ratio, entry qualifications, overall degree level obtained, etc.
In The Guardian’s latest findings Manchester came in at 14th overall and beat other well known universities such as Birmingham Bristol, Durham and Nottingham. In The Time’s latest findings Manchester came in at 18th (falling from 13th back in 2003) and was beaten by universities such as Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford and York. Overall Manchester is a typical red brick university that is certainly in the top 20 universities in the UK at present.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Manchester University, I lived in catered halls during my first year here which meant I got to meet practically everyone in my halls during the social dinners each night. I personally would recommend living in catered halls as some of my friends felt much more alone and excluded living in self catered halls as there was reduced interaction with other students.
I've not had any real problems during my time here except for in my first year when I got terribly lost in the John Rylands Library. This is the main university library and situated on the campus, it stretches over 4 floors and has literally millions of books. You should be given a map when you arrive as to how to get out of the library!
I really couldn’t criticise anything about my time here, my course has been brilliant and I’ve made some superb friends. If anyone is thinking of going to university in the near future then I’d definitely recommend looking at Manchester!
Summary: An insight into The University of Manchester.